Smoke cloud speed

I'm trying to recreate a scene of the Jupiter 2 crash landing as it flies passed this pinnacle rock and there's all this smoke rising like from smudge pots.  I'm having trouble finding the balance on the speed setting.  when I have it turned up high enough to get the clouds looking right, it rises WAY too fast and when I turn it down it looks more like snow rising.  Am I adjusting to wrong thing?  I've played with the gravity control a bit thinking that might be it but have not seen an appreciable change.  Suggestions anyone?



  • @tddavis You might consider posting your WIP so everyone can get a better view of your issue.  And . . . this sound like a cool shot!

  • Which specific filters are you using? Rolling your own sim, or a Quick3D preset? These change available options. 

  • edited September 2016



    Not sure how attach a picture but here's a link to my Google Drive where I uploaded the image...I hope.  I'm using a preset cloud effect.  I wouldn't know how to begin to do my own sim.  I have turned off several of the copies of the smoke to speed render time while I'm trying to find the sweet spot.

    I was modeling my own Jupiter 2 and teaching myself modeling in the process but a generous poster  in a LIS forum by the name of Al Dinelt offered the use of his beautiful models.  You can see his work at his youtube channel:

  • edited September 2016

    Not a direct answer but if you have problem with a speed effect you can alter the frames per second output too to get it in the way you want. But you have to adjust the speed of the other elements accordingly probably.

    If your final video will be 30 FPS for example make the output of Hitfilm 40 FPS and change that video to 30 FPS afterwards. The movement of the cloud will be 25% slower in this example.

  • @ Kadri  Thanks for the suggestion.  I will give it a try.  That would never have occurred to me.   All the settings I have monkeyed with don't seem to slow down the rise of the cloud in any way, so it's worth a shot and the saucer could stand a little slowly as well, but I think I know how to adjust that normally once I get the smoke rise right.

  • edited October 2016

    @ Kadri I used your suggestion and it worked pretty well, but I got the ship slowed too much after all.  Working on speeding it up but it's going to take a day now to render the clip???

    Oops, found part of the problem with that.  The time line changed back to the full 5 minute default from the 17 seconds I had set it for.

    Still, I am thinking I need to get a new video card because I am not seeing GPU assist with this GeForce GT 610.  I have my eye on a Asus GeForce GTX 1060 3 GB Dual-Fan.  Does anyone know if this will help my slow renders??  I have 32 GB ram and an AMD 8-core chip.

    I've made some adjustments to the pinnacle in the foreground already and graded it for the shot till to render, but it needs more tweaking.

  • Cloud looks good.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    A 1060 is roughly 25-30 times the speed of the 610 (which is actually slower than an Intel HD4000). 

    Yes, it will greatly speed renders. 

  • @Tddavis, you might want to spend that little bit more on the 1060 6gb cards, the 3gb is rather limiting. From looking at the UK market the 6GB version is only about 20-30 UKPounds more.

  • edited October 2016

    Thanks for that info @Triem23Andy001z.  I saw that here in the states the difference is only around $60 and wondered about that being the better buy.  I'll go that route for sure now that I know it should improve speed.


    PS: I should have mentioned that I changed the effect from "Smoke" that I was originally trying to the "Bonfire" effect and turned off the fire.

    Uploaded this a few minutes ago to show the progress:



  • @tddavis ok much better, but the shot only works for me once the ship moves behind and beyound the large stack, before that it just looks a bit to stuck on. Maybe you need a little bit more of that smoke over it before the stack. also are you using the light wrap feature, maybe that might blend it in.

  • edited October 2016

    Andy001z  Oddly enough I used light wrap on that pinnacle but forgot to put it on the ship.  That sounds like it might be the problem, or the more smoke idea too.  Thanks for the suggestion.  I'll add it on the next render if I ever get the fusion core lights to work.  I'm slowly wearing down Blender on figuring out modeling and animation.

  • Okay, this is what I finally was able to to do with my limited knowledge and skill.  I'm calling it the final shot but I probably will tweak it as I get inspiration:

    I finally got the core lights to do what I wanted anyway, and I added another smoke column at the beginning and light wrap to the ship.  I'm still not 100% happy with the speed of the ship though.

    PS: @Triem23, I saw over in the Atomic Particles thread you thought I created those beautiful flame sims...I can only dream of getting to that level. They are truly amazing.



  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Bill Mumy would be proud. 

    Tk, I did confuse you and takeoff. In my defense I've been fighting a nasty stomach virus--the kind where one doesn't get much sleep as one is constantly running for the restroom, and where the meds leave one groggy. Mea culpa. 

  • Oh, no apologies necessary.  I know the bug of which you speak quite well.  I just wanted you to know that I wasn't exaggerating my lack of skills. 

  • @tddavis Hey, that's looking pretty good!  You've got the J2 looking more like it is in the scene.   Nice shadow as it passes behind the rock spire. 

    Another thing you might consider is blurring the ship a little to look more like the it is in the same focus as the rocks in the scene.  You're very close!

  • @tddavis Yep, looking very good, :) although why are you not attempting to recreate the original ship angle?  I'd echo (echo) making it a bit more blurry to blend in with the rest.

    Don't know where you got your reference shot from , but found this on YouTube, where a guy from 20th Century Fox goes to find the original site and speculates how they created it with a 4ft model.

    Jupiter 2 Crash Site

  • @Stargazer54 @Palacono Thanks for the feedback.  I had thought the motion blur would do just that, but I think I have the ship moving too slow for that to really work.  Never thought about using a blur preset. Good idea.

    Palacono, that video is exactly where I got my reference shot from. I took a screen cap right before it says "forty years later."  As to the angle of descent, the shot showed more of just the bottom of the Jupiter, and I knew I could never get it properly lined up so I thought I'd try and show as many sides as I could and do something a little different.

  • @Tddavis looking better. One is tempted to say speed up the ship as it looks a bit controlled but then  guess that might be the look you are going for.

    @Triem23 oh dear get well soon, I am not looking forward to getting the version that is going round the school at the moment, dam kids and their schooling bugs.

  • @tddavis Just curious if changing to a lower frame rate might blend the ship more into the footage?  Maybe try 24 fps or even 12 fps?  Just a thought.

    I'm sure the original shot that was in the video with the physical model was at a film rate.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @Stargazer54 probably not at 24. 48 or 72 for scale. 

    But a 24 framerate would match the source material better. There's a settings cog, bottom left of the layer stack, below the editing tools. Click that for Composite Shot Properties (or right-click the Composite Shot in the Media Panel and choose Properties)  and switch to the "Advanced" Tab. Here, you can crank up motion blur. Default is 180 degrees (half a frame). You can crank this up to an unrealistic 720 (or a median number) to increase the amount of motion blur. Jupiter 2 is moving pretty slowly, so you'll never get too much. 

  • @Triem23 ; Actually what I had in my head for 12 fps was still 24 fps but "shooting on twos", ala traditional hand animation rate.   Still 24 fps but two frames are shot of the same stop action - so only 12 different frames per sec.

    This would result in a stuttering motion for the ship which would probably not look too pleasing, but with some blur applied and ramping the frame rate back up higher, it might give the shot more of a film look?? 

    Wish I had time for all these experiments, myself! That's why I am living vicariously through @tddavis. :)   The crash of the J2 is such an iconic shot.

  • edited October 2016

    While searching all things 'Lost in Space' on YouTube, I found a colour clip of the latter half of the crash when it's travelling down and away from the camera after it's passed the peak. Only problem is: lost it again. :(

    Will try to find it again for reference.

  • @Triem23@Stargazer54;  @Palacono@ Kadri

    Okay, I promise this is the last one!  I got to thinking about recreating the exact angle and then it hit me.  All I had to do was go to that video I had from David Ice and capture four stills of the original footage and paste them into my comp and mask so all four ships were there.  Size it to my comp and then adjust the ship movement and scale to close as I could.  Then I noticed the original kind of looked up at the spire so I dropped the camera a bit and rotated upward.  I had to make some parallax adjustments to the backgrounds but it worked fairly simply.  Also, I had been using 48 fps in the comp but rendering at 24 to get the smoke motion slowed as Kadri suggested but on this to speed up the ship, I did 30 fps on both the comp and the render.  I also went and found my LIS SFX disc and added more saucer flying sound into it.  That's what I always remember so much of the show was that sound when it was in space.

  • Wow!   The J2 looks like it really fits in the scene now.  Good going!

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    That looks really coherent now. All the elements are blending in a very natural way. It feels like a classic  LiS shot to the point where I can almost see the wires on the J2 ;-) 

  • edited October 2016

    Looks nice :)

    I have a small nitpicking. The left side when the spaceship gets out of the frame in the end is a little kinda cropped. Maybe a distort-effect layer ?

    But i have some small parts with the same problem in my own animation that i didn't bother to fix 

  • @Kadri No problem.  Its out of action safe on a 1960's TV set. :)


  • @Kadri, if it's a distortion-effect layer, it's purely accidental on my part. Is this the area you mean on the left side of the ship?  That's the forward viewport just barely visible with the upward tilt of the camera and I notice after you mentioned it that as the ship is about to exit the frame it makes it look like the ship hull is missing a chunk there.  Thanks for catching that.  if I go to use it in a project I'll re render and tweak it so it clearly shows the viewport.  Now, I'm on the "trying" to create a sandstorm and desert floor from youttube tutorials to do the actual crash into the ground we never got to see only hear.  Well, the sandstorm wasn't there but the tutorial looked cool...

  • edited October 2016

    @Stargazer54 i had a strange feeling when i was going to write it here. In the past that kind of small error wouldn't be seen at all when shown as you said. Not sure but it was related to feeling old maybe :)

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