I am trying to simulate a waterfall using this tutorial:


I got a scene with smoke that acts sufficiently accurate as water pouring down. I am able to render the smoke in cycles. So far, so good. (It is just a test project)

My problem is: What can I do to make the smoke actually look like water?

Smoke material

Is it possible to assign a material to the smoke volume? So can you work with the smoke volume and create a material with exactly the same shape?

When I tried to use a glass or glossy shader node, the only result I got was the whole smoke domain box rendered with this material.

What can I do? Maybe, there is another, more simple way to create a waterfall?

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: Using fluid, I don´t get a result near my expectations, partly because of the limited domain size (10 meters):

  • $\begingroup$ As far as I know you can only assign volume shaders to smoke simulations $\endgroup$ Dec 27, 2017 at 15:33
  • $\begingroup$ One thing if you don't mind you can simulate actual fluid in physics tab instead for going smoke simulation! $\endgroup$ Dec 27, 2017 at 15:37
  • $\begingroup$ Check here: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/61531/jet-stream-of-water/… you can tweak it to look like actual waterfall. I've nothing against Steve Lund method but for me it's to slow and to... smokey. Look over here: youtube.com/watch?v=Qo3OM5sPUPM $\endgroup$
    – cgslav
    Dec 27, 2017 at 15:54
  • $\begingroup$ The only reason I don´t use fluid simulation is the limitated size of the domain. Waterfalls created with fluid always look like tiny caricatures. I don´t know what I am doing wrong. $\endgroup$
    – Brimdam
    Dec 27, 2017 at 17:32
  • $\begingroup$ Your method LukeD doesn´t work well, so I think I cannot use it $\endgroup$
    – Brimdam
    Dec 27, 2017 at 17:33

1 Answer 1


I looked at your solution another time @LukeD and it worked. I am sorry, I must have got it wrong the first time.

I think you can get acceptable results with this solution:

Now, the quality depends on the density of the smoke (and, of course, the smoke resolution)

Material for the smoke domain: foam material for the smoke domain

However, if you what to create a slow waterfall, like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTjtHFeZ1zM with clear water, there must be another method.

I fiddled around with the fluid sim and noticed, that the volume of the inflow object is crucial. I increased it´s size, compared to the example above. There must be enough water flowing into the scene! Thus, fluid sim could do it as well:

Render time for fluids is way shorter than for smoke, if you have a good grafics card, btw, because smoke doesn´t support GPU computing yet.


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