Preface: I'm thinking that this might be a bug, because the behavior's pretty weird. I'm posting it here in case it is the intended behavior and there's some trick I should use.

I can successfully use a texture to control the local emission density of a smoke flow mesh by using the Use Texture feature of Smoke Flow Advanced (Python: SmokeFlowSettings.noise_texture). This works with the default texture types, like Blend, Clouds, etc.

If I go into the compositor and switch to texture nodes, I can convert this to a node-based texture by checking Use Nodes. I can then create a texture with more flexibility. All good so far.

However, when I play the animation to bake the smoke, the Use Nodes box is immediately unchecked. The texture obviously stops working, and no smoke is emitted.

The desired behavior is, obviously, to use the node-based texture I've created as the smoke flow texture. How can I accomplish this within Cycles (besides the texture to an image sequence, etc.)?

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Create new scene. Switch to Cycles.
  2. Delete the cube and add a plane. Press Space, Quick Smoke.
  3. In the plane physics settings, under Smoke Flow Advanced, click Use Texture and select Tex.
  4. In the compositor, switch to texture mode and check Use Nodes.
  5. Advance the timeline by one frame (). The Use Nodes box is now unchecked and the texture is not considered in the smoke baking.
  • $\begingroup$ If it's possible at all, then it's probably a bug. My guess is that this isn't supported. :/ $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Jan 28 '15 at 6:56
  • $\begingroup$ @gandalf3 Is there any reason that it shouldn't be? Cycles can use the internal non-node textures just fine (e.g., Clouds). $\endgroup$ – wchargin Jan 28 '15 at 15:04
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think it's cycles which doesn't support it, it doesn't work in BI either. I guess the smoke sim doesn't support texture nodes. Maybe it's just me, but I've always had the sense that texture nodes and the VSE were two parts of blender which didn't quite stay with the rest in terms of being updated and integrated with new features.. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Jan 28 '15 at 20:28

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