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In the smoke simulation settings, there is an option called smoke adaptive domain. It basically (as far as I can tell) just changes the domain's size at each frame to be just big enough to fit the entire smoke simulation inside. It can really save some baking time, especially at the beginning of the simulation when the smoke is first expanding from the emitter.

My question is, is there any reason not to use smoke adaptive domain? I personally can't think of any reason not to. But it is an option, and it's actually off by default, so I thought there may be some disadvantage[s].

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  • $\begingroup$ I also always turn it on. I've heard that it can sometimes be too aggressive and cut parts of your simulation off, however I've never had this happen to me. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Jan 21 '15 at 0:27
  • $\begingroup$ My take is use adaptative unless you run into issues. $\endgroup$ – cegaton Jan 21 '15 at 1:25
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I think the only reason to have it off by default is compatibility, it was a feature added to the existing smoke simulator.

Added a new "Adaptive Domain" setting for smoke domains: Domain resolution and size adapts to only cover areas where smoke is, so that as small domain as possible has to be calculated at a time.

To enable it when opening an old file would cause a zero sized domain breaking the existing smoke simulation cache, or at the least force existing smoke caches to need re-baking. Leaving it off allows the user to re-bake only when they decide to.

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  • $\begingroup$ Isn't it possible to only enable it when opening files created with any version > 2.64 (or whenever it was added)? $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Jan 21 '15 at 19:48
  • $\begingroup$ possibly, they may have planned to enable it by default after it was proven to be reliable/beneficial but no-one has gone back to do it. You'd have to ask Ton or whoever was in charge of the smoke changes to know for sure, after a couple of years they may not remember what the plan was. You'd have to ask on irc to see if they would consider changing the default. $\endgroup$ – sambler Jan 22 '15 at 6:28

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