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I am making a scene which I want to be a static image. To this scene I am trying to add smoke. And seeing as I'm quite new to these things in Blender (last time I remember playing with particles was 3D Max) I may not be doing things right.

So, I've put together a bit of an elaborate scene that consists of a number of curves that have been fleshed out by a circle (forming a tube) that go in large sweeping arcs around the scene. Now I want to flesh them out more by having smoke emit off of them.

I start with the longest one, convert it to mesh, create a domain that is larger than the scene, apply smoke flow to the tube, advance the frames, and it looks like the smoke isn't emitting from the surface of the tube but rather that the domain cube is just filling with smoke.

In the tutorials I've looked at, they simply say make box, make object, set box to domain and object to flow, and the result is smoke rising from the object. But when I do these same steps, the tube isn't smoking like in the tutorials. Either it is one big blob of smoke or patches of smoke all over that scales when I scale the domain.

So, what values should I set in the many settings in the domain and flow so that it looks like the smoke is emanating outwards from the tube's surface by about twice the tubes thickness, rather than filling the whole screen?

Also, in Rendered View it looks black, like if it is blocking all the light.

Smoke Properties

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Ok, so I've learned a lot since then, and after a long while of putting it off because I didn't like having to redo stuff, I managed to fix it myself. This is what I've learned:

First off, size does matter. Having a kilometer large room doesn't help (Source models are huge so always scale down).

Secondly, I figured out that the smoke is created on a grid-based system, which is determined by the Divisions. Though by amplifying that number tends to cause the program (or whole computer) to be unresponsive.

Because of these things, it felt best to make several smaller Domains that surrounded the tubes rather than the whole room.

And finally, I removed a few elements from the smoke material, and that was the color Attribute and the additional Add shader.

The results finally came together nicely, even with a few redos... http://fav.me/dbmid4o

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