Hello Blender community,

I am a huge fan of the Disney movie Zootopia, the amount of physics and detail really drew me into 3D animation and design. Although I always had an interest in 3D technologies, designs, animation, etc. This movie really pushed me into getting into making 3D stuff, and learning Blender.

Anyway, as a learning experience, I decided to take multiple different 'animating techniques' of the movie and try to replicate in Blender.

The scene I'm trying to replicate? The Limo scene, specifically the low, lying smoke.

Limo Scene, with low-lying smoke

I have analyzed this scene many times and I have concluded on some of its properties

  1. It lively collides, with the characters, meaning that it is not a textured material, it is most likely mesh based.
  2. It has a lower temperature value than other objects, which is why when the characters breathe, an amount of fog appears (This is because the movie was designed in the Hyperion Renderer, I don't really need this, but if you know how to make this please let me know)
  3. It is somewhat fluffy, although not cloud-like. When a mass of this smoke comes together, it makes a fluffy looking mass.
  4. It is affected by gushes of air, when Judy (the bunny) lands on the ground, a gush of air extrudes the smoke around her. Sudden movements have this effect as well.

Now I'm pretty sure that making this is in Blender is difficult or even impossible, considering that Disney has their own proprietary rendering engine named Hyperion and they can drop smoke in within a couple of clicks. And they have HUGE render-farms that can render these details.

But I just wanted to know if it is possible. As I may be getting an internship for Disney Animation, I need to know this stuff

UPDATE: So, I see that using a still frame from the movie to demand something that needs multiple frames, is pretty stupid

So feel free to study this clip: https://www.yahoo.com/movies/zootopia-clip-fur-skunk-170000173.html (and if you haven't seen the movie, do yourself a favor and please have a watch)

Also, I would like to know, how to smoke kind of 'flows', the way that it lies low to the ground moving. Not just stuck in place similar to how Cycles does it.


1 Answer 1


I've tried really simple smoke in Blender and here is what I've got:

Gif with sample

You just need to play with smoke temperature and domain height. Sphere is nothing more but smoke collision.


Here it is how to make it:

Gif steps

If you need more info just specify what you want.

Sorry that I didn't cover timeline for sphere animation.



  1. Create a simple plane. Shift+A > Mesh > Plane
  2. With still selected plane go to Physics tab then select Smoke and set smoke type to Flow. Next change the Temp. Diff. to -0.01. It will keep smoke near the ground and even after collision smoke will very slowly descend.

Step 2

  1. Create cube Shift + A Mesh > Cube and position it as you can see in picture below. It must be a little wider then our plane. So scale it a little S. This cube will be our smoke domain.

Step 3

  1. Having selected cube go to Physics tab, select Smoke then smoke type Domain.

    • First thing you want to change is Resolution, I've set it to 64. Higher values gives more detailes to our smoke.
    • Secondly you need to check Smoke Adaptive Domain, this will only calculate domain where smoke actually is.
    • Next check Smoke High Resolution. This will add more details to smoke. Set Resolution to 2 and Noise Method Strenght to 1. Lowering Strenght gives us smooth smoke.

Step 4

  1. Now save your file and go to Smoke Cache in Domain options. Choose File Format > OpenVDB (this is optional).

  2. Now you can Bake or just hit Alt+A to start animation. Second option will be slow trough te first loop.

As you can see nothing happend which in this case is good :) Now let's make some...


We will create collision object and little bit of turbulance to give this smoke a life.

  1. Create Turbulance - Shift+A > Force field > Turbulance and set Strenght to about 0.5. This option is totally up to you. you can even skip it. What it does is it create some air movements in our domain and based on location (room, outdoor etc.) you will want to adjust position of it and strenght.

  2. Create UV Sphere - Shift+A > Mesh > UV Sphere. In Tools tab select Shading as Smooth. Position sphere in a corner of our domain and right above plane. Check on your timeline if you are on frame 0.

Step 2_n

  1. In Top ortho view (sphere selected) hit I and choose Location. Now you can go to frame 50, move your sphere and again hit I and choose Location, and repeat this step. You can also select Automatic keyframe insertion (red dot under the timeline) and do this little faster. See gif below.

Step 3_n

  1. With selected sphere go to Physics tab then select Smoke and set smoke type to Collision and Collision type > Animated.

That's it! You can now bake it and play it. Should look like this:


There is still many to do. Smoke texture, lighting, correct density and so on. If you want I could try to make it but I'm not really good at it.

Here is the blend file:



Here I've changed Turbulance to Wind. You can adjust wind speed and noise. If you want to make it fluffy try higher resolutions. I don't have render farm and 64 is max usable/testing for me.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ "Play with the settings" isn't really an answer. Please add some more details as to what exactly you did. $\endgroup$
    – PGmath
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 23:44
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I've just lowered smoke temperature to something little above 0 (~0.1-0.2) and changed domain height in edit mode. That's all. If you need something really specific, show me the scene (not screen) and I think I could follow you trough all steps. I don't know how skilled you are in Blender so it's hard to elaborate. $\endgroup$
    – cgslav
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 23:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ (FYI I'm not the OP.) Please try to add some more details to your answer (with the edit button). Things like screenshots and details of what settings to use and how they affect the result, as well as how you set the domain and objects up would improve the quality of your answer. $\endgroup$
    – PGmath
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 0:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It's not a war, they want to maintain quality of BlenderSE and I'm noob here... $\endgroup$
    – cgslav
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 2:31
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Sorry, but I still don't understand, how to make the smoke, can someone please explain EVERY step. and also the keyboard shortcuts (i need work there) $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 3:43

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