Well I thought this might be a great topic to kick off “The Smoking Gunn” blog.

Recently on April 11th, 2012, almost 6 years from the release of version 1.0, Sitni Sati is proud to announce availability of the FumeFX 3.0 for Autodesk’s 3ds max platform.  I must say after having worked on several feature films using FumeFX the updates in version 3 are absolutely amazing.  I’d like to discuss some of my favorite new features and why.  Please join in on the discussion if you’ve been using FumeFX.

To most people that have used or played with FumeFX this new version on the surface might not seam like a lot of the value but let’s try to take a closer look.  Here is a list of the new big features in version 3:  Effectors, Render Warps, N-Sim, & Preview Window updated (GPU).  These 4 new features alone are my favorites.  Certainly there are a few other improvements with FumeFX like the ability to see the noise pattern, simple source texture emission, colored smoke (not looking forward to the hundreds of crappy sims on utube that will pop up on this feature).  So yes there are more features or gems that you will find with FumeFX 3.

Let’s start off with the my first favorite, the preview window.  There is a new GPU version that you can use to display your simulation with full shadows & illumination unlike before along with geometry included in simulation.  Having this ability is certainly nice to have but for me the biggest part of the update to the preview window is the fact that I can preview multiple grids at the same time.  I would have killed for this feature while working on Final Destination 5.  Another very good addition is the Render Warps.  I would almost suspect this is slightly taken from the guys at Thinkbox.  They’ve had the ability to warp “PRT’s” with modifiers for a long time and its a great feature.  You can do this sort of thing in Maya particles but let’s not go there.  Instead of going back to tweak a fume simulation just to move a section of the sim a little bit to the left, to the right, etc. or whatever the art direct is telling you.  Now you can just throw on an FFD box and ghetto animate it for a few frames done.  I’ve used warped particles with PRTS before in production and now having that ability in fume is going to be sweet.

OK now for anyone that has every had to simulate a shit ton of grids you know “N-Sim” is going to be your friend.  The last update in FumeFX had a way of sort of doing this but just really didn’t work out as expect and you ended up just doing the brute force method and having a bunch of grids overlapping.  I’m stilling waiting on my FumeFX 3 license to show up just so I can do a massive smoke trail to test out the new “N-Sim” method.  Now for anyone that has been doing a lot of advanced work with FumeFX “Effectors” are a big deal.  This is not for the max user that just creates a grid and hits “Sim” and posts to Facebook or UTube and tells everyone they know FumeFX.  Effectors are going to really change the game.  This is going to separate the users that open up Allan McKay files and post them to the internet as simulations they’ve cooked up.  When you have a vfx supervisor giving you feeedback on a FumeFX sim and you really need to dial it in, Effectors are going to really be a big player.  I can’t wait to get my hands dirty with Effectors.

So for all the FumeFX users out there please give me a shout out for your favorite new features and why.


  • Max Schumiker07-03-12

    I’m just impressed you worked on Final Destination 5! Also GPU preview? Freakin’ aswesome. Programs need to start making use of epic hardware.

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