I'm doing a moon landing animation and I need to simulate dust. The lunar module lands and as it approaches the surface, the rocket engine blows dust in all directions. The lunar module lands and the dust settles. Something like in this video:


Or at least this:


I got some results with quicksmoke, but it's not quite there. I especially couldn't get the dust to settle and the whole thing looks weird. Any ideas how to do this?

enter image description here

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ maybe wanna ask NASA how they did it? :D $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Apr 11, 2023 at 17:29
  • $\begingroup$ I doubt anyone there can still remember! :^) $\endgroup$
    – John Eason
    Apr 11, 2023 at 18:22

1 Answer 1


I'm thinking particles rather than smoke. Here's my attempt:

enter image description here

I set up a fluid simulation (quick fluid) on a cube that I set to Inflow and animated "use flow" for some 40 frames, with initial upwards velocity to counter gravity:

enter image description here

In the domain object, for the particle system, I chose a simple ico-sphere as the rendering object (pebble).

enter image description here

and in the Fluid Domain I did not add liquid mesh (keep as particles), added sluggishness with viscosity and diffusion, and animated gravity from low to high values after the particle inflow up-shooting stops.

enter image description here.

I added a plane as a Collision surface for the particles, heavy on stickiness and damping:

enter image description here

And I gift my example

... and ignore Chris and John_E: they must be high on spring pollen today! And I would use the same solution for Elon Musk landing on Mars, except for the color scheme.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the reply, it definitely pointed me in the right direction. Finally, I used smoke as fine dust and particles as small stones. I blow it all off with force. $\endgroup$
    – Saturn V
    Apr 16, 2023 at 6:18

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