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So, continuing to experiment with Dynamics features, I am playing with the Smoke Domain. I drop a cube and make it burst into flames on the way down, then bounce and roll with a hot "gasoline fire" effect, then the flames go out and we look at a smouldering wreck with wisps of gray smoke thinning out. Everything looks great, except that the cube has lost its material/texture.

I had an original texture/material (metallic) which changed to a blackened and bubbled appearance after the flame-out; I was hoping that this change would be visible in the animation but instead, the cube is blank matte gray at both start and end. I am guessing this is because the smoke emitter function overrides the cube's original material and the cube is "smoke coloured" throughout.

So, is there any way to make original material/texture "show through" the smoke effect, so the object appears damaged and burnt by the end of the sequence, but recognisably the same paint job as at the start?

PS blend file attached below in thread. In this version I think I got desperate and added an outer cube (just slightly larger) with the texture, but even that was masked by the gray smoke texture. I can see the surface deform at the end (pitting) but no colour -- neither diffuse nor specular.

film at 11...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rootlessagrarian/31318078720/in/album-72157675807017632/

UPDATE: Answered Own Question. The solution, and it was probably too obvious for anyone even to suggest it 'cos you couldn't believe I was that dumb: make the smoke emanate from Volume rather than from Surface. Also, I had made an error in my lighting (accidentally turned up Ambient intensity) and the result was unlike anything I'd seen before :-) a Blender N00by's life is full of surprises...

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Just to remove this from Unanswered Questions, I am answering it myself. Turns out it was a dumb question anyway.

Point 1: when textures look weird and you are using BI, check the World carefully for environmental lighting. This was 90 percent of my problem, just dumb n00b error.

Point 2: the smoke effect seems to reveal more of the cube surfaces when I make the proportion of Volume smoke higher and the proportion of Face smoke lower, unsurprisingly. Tweaking this enabled me to get pretty much the look I wanted.

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