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I am trying to render a scene involving 128 or more rockets which each have their own smoke domain. To achieve the quality i want, any of the smoke domains take considerable time to bake, and the externally saved smoke caches takes up noteworthy disk space, and furthermore all the different smoke simulations look as good as identical.
Therefor i would rather not bake and save each every 128 smoke domains individually, instead i would rather bake a limited number of smoke caches (for instance 16) and use these smoke caches in multiple of the smoke domains (which all have the same mesh).

Simply setting the same external file path, index number and frame range for the different domains under the Smoke Cache tab (in the properties panel), does however not seem to make different smoke domains able to use each others smoke cache.

My question is therefor: is there any thinkable way to make multiple smoke domains use the same smoke cache (and thus have identical smoke – linking the smoke simulations so to say) provided that the smoke domains have exactly the same mesh? And if this is possiple, how can it be done?

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I think any instancer can do this job. Like ...

with Particle System

  • bake a few diferent Smoke Domains and Group them (Ctrl+G)
  • add Plane, assign a new Particle System to it
  • in Particle Properties set Physics=None, Render=DupliGroup (if you need manually position instances, let emit from vertices)

enter image description here enter image description here

with Duplivert

  • add a Plane, subdivide it
  • select baked Smoke Domain, then select plane and Parent them (Ctrl+P)
  • then with plane selected, go to Object Properties > Duplicates and choose "Verts" (keep domain in the same layer as plane)

Disadvantage of dupliverts is - you will have to repeat this process for each baked domain

Advantage - you have precise control over WHAT type of domain and where this specific type of instance (domain) will appear in a scene.

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