I'm trying to render a smoke to composite a filmed character in the middle of it, as in the example.

I was wondering if there's a easy way to render the back of the smoke in one layer and the front of the smoke in another layer without creating two different domains as the smoke turns around the character.

For the moment the only idea I had is using two cameras with complementary clipping, but it means to calculate two times.

If anyone had any better idea, i'll be very glad to know it !! :-)


  • $\begingroup$ Just as Master Heavy's answer suggests: Key the character and put him on a plane in your smoke. Move him to another renderlayer set as mask. Render everything out and just alpha over it onto the original footage. $\endgroup$ – Leander Nov 22 '19 at 7:15

is the character moving or is it only a still ? Maybe you can create something like a card as a holdout for smoke in the back ?

  • $\begingroup$ The character is moving, dancing actually. How would it work this hold out? Are you thinking like importing an image of my video that in put in the 3D? How do I do then to make this keyed vidéo to become a mask? $\endgroup$ – Arturo Moreno Sep 18 '19 at 10:56
  • $\begingroup$ ahh sad, - I thought about re-creating the shape of the characters outline with a poly to mask the smoke in the back, but unfortunatly that is only easy with non moving objects. the other thing is - that if you want to have two separate layers (front and back), I think you have to use 2 smoke sources so you can distribute them to the different layers… I think you have to mask the character in Nuke or any other comp programm to get the desired effect . $\endgroup$ – Master Heavy Sep 18 '19 at 12:28

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