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I’m using a smoke simulation in my scene (animation), but I only need to use the simulation after it has reached a certain state. It takes around 2000 frames for the smoke to reach the point where it looks the way I want for my render, and after that I want to use the next 150 frames or so.

Baking the simulation takes a long time and takes up a lot of drive space, and I don’t need the majority of the calculated frames. In the cache settings I’ve set the start frame to 1, the end frame to 2150, and then the offset to -2000. This means that frame 1 of my animation is frame 2000 of the simulation which is what I want. However, every time I free the cache to tweak settings and hit re-bake the simulation re-calculates all 2150 frames.

Is there a way for me to keep frame 2000 as an initial state and just re-calculate the subsequent frames I’m using from that point on after I change settings? I realise that changing a setting means frame 2000 would be different, but most of the time that doesn’t matter - as long as the initial state looks OK I just want to calculate subsequent frames with the updated settings. Is this possible? Thanks.

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Blender's fluid simulation can't stop / resume for now ... so I don't think you can start (resume) from a middle of simulation.

Smoke

In your case, there is not a chance by default at the moment (or without someone to hack a code).

Liquid

For liquids you can try Flip Fluid $ addon (if you don't care to invest) ... It resumes from certain frame ... in step of 50 frames.

enter image description here

The list is sorted in a weird order, but seems to be a cosmetics :)

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I’m not against investing in good tools but from my quick research I can’t see that flip fluids does smoke/gas simulation. Their website talks mainly about liquids. Do you know if it can do smoke/fire also? $\endgroup$
    – John
    May 14, 2023 at 20:44
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, sorry ... My fault ... Right, addon is about fluid only ... Originally I commented it it is not possible, later I started to think about the resume feature and accidentally stacked with your title "fluid cache". ... So try to check Embergen ...I'm not sure if it can start from certain frame, but since it is realtime, it could speedup your workflow. $\endgroup$
    – vklidu
    May 15, 2023 at 4:35
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    $\begingroup$ @vklidu Just for information, in physics the term "fluid" refers to liquids, gases and other materials that continuously deform (flow) under applied external forces. So actually Flip Fluids is about liquids, not fluids in general - despite the name, but I guess it comes from the addon using fluid mechanics to calculate the simulations. And on the other hand it is correct that Blender has its liquid and gas simulations summarized under the Fluid physics. $\endgroup$ May 15, 2023 at 11:55
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @vklidu, I will check out Embergen. If resuming smoke simulations is not possible in Blender then I'll mark your answer as correct. But perhaps it would be good to edit it to remove the reference to Flip Fluids? $\endgroup$
    – John
    May 15, 2023 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I wanted to delete my answer, but then it will be poked by system here, so you can probably delete your question (until that I just edit it) :) $\endgroup$
    – vklidu
    May 15, 2023 at 15:34

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