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How to apply diffuse, glossy or glass material to smoke in cycles without using volume materials?

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This is not supported atm, it would require converting the smoke simulation to a mesh or some other structure (an SDF maybe). The smoke simulator can only feed Cycles 3d texture data, thus can only be represented as a volume.

Note that if you have access to Houdini or another tool with OpenVDB, you should be able to read Cycles OpenVDB smoke cache (new in 2.77), create a mesh from the cache, and export that back to Blender. But using Blender alone it is not possible to generate the correct data to use smoke sim ouput as a surface.

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  • $\begingroup$ Will it be added this feature in Bl? $\endgroup$ – vejn Apr 8 '16 at 21:44
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    $\begingroup$ An eventual solution to do this entirely in Blender would likely come from general purpose OpenVDB tools that would allow a smoke sim to be converted to a regular Blender mesh object. Which theoretically could support any renderer. It's all just theorizing at this point though. $\endgroup$ – JtheNinja Apr 8 '16 at 22:39

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