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I am trying to simulate the smoke/dust from a scene from the latest Star-Wars trailer ("the rise of skywalker"): see attached trailer segment. enter image description here

I also included a gif that shows what I got so far. The set-up is rather easy: I have an smoke emitter that is animated within a large domain. In front of the emitter I parented a wind forcefield to emulate the effect seen in the teaser. See also attached .blend.
What bothers me the most in my example is the returning pattern that forms the smoke and clearly tells the viewer this is CGI.enter image description here I tried using a noise texture as instructed in this tutorial (from 1:05 - 2:08) but my pc(i7-2600k, Geforce GTX 1070) crashed when I tried to play the animation. In the video he states you need to tweak alot of settings (or have a good knowledge) of smoke to make it work which I don't have right now..

It's not my goal to copy the scene 1:1 from the trailer but make a believable smoke trail which can be done in blender (2.79 or 2.8). Maybe someone can offer some suggestions in order to make the dust more believable and break up the smoke pattern?

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  • $\begingroup$ You are missing at least two major forces: gravity (that pulls the dust down), and the wind created by the car. The dust is not coming from the car, but it is being lifted from the ground by the tires, then pushed left as the car displaces the air around it. Lastly it will eventually settle back to the ground. So the emitter is not the car but the ground. You need to add and animate several force fields. $\endgroup$ – cegaton May 4 at 15:43
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, in the process of posting I was thinking the dust is being pushed forward, not backwards...Thanks for the additional tips. I wouldn't have thought about making the ground the emitter...I'll give it another go. Maybe with more forces the dust will act more naturally.. Cheers. (I tried uploading the .blend with the blend-exchange uploader but keep on getting an error?) $\endgroup$ – apyl May 4 at 16:21
  • $\begingroup$ @apyl Here: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/60769/… Update 2 is probably answer for your question. Only thing you will need to change is Temp. Diff. to make smoke fall faster to the ground. $\endgroup$ – cgslav May 4 at 19:21
  • $\begingroup$ thanks, i'll have a look at those resources as well $\endgroup$ – apyl May 5 at 12:35
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enter image description here

It's amazingly easy to achieve.

  1. Create emitter with Real World Scale - this is important, as Smoke sim can differ based on scale. Mine has ~56x7m. Apply Scale!
  2. Add to it Quick Smoke - F3 > Quick Smoke.
  3. Scale Domain in Edit Mode to make it as big as you need.
  4. In Domain settings I've changed only Resolution - 192, Temp. Diff. - -0.04, Adaptive Domain - checked and High Resolution - checked + Resolution Division > 2.

    settings

  5. Collision Object. This is most important thing to do here. Set it as Smoke > Collision and Animated.

    settings_2

    Now you have 3 options how to interact with smoke.

    1. Allow object to "sink" into smoke.
    2. Attach to object "plow" to raise smoke and not be visible in Render.
    3. Attach Force Field to object to "suck" smoke from the ground.

This is it for the Smoke sim. You can cover smoke after baking by ground material, it will only show after being forced up.

Also to produce something as realistic as from your reference smoke is not enough. You can add some Particles for bigger parts from the ground (not necessary), motion blur, colors for the volume and probably that's it.

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  • $\begingroup$ Awesome! Thanks! I'll try this out as soon as I'm done rendering. $\endgroup$ – apyl May 5 at 11:09

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