How to use the new Smoke feature of Blender 3D 2.50

One of the new features of the upcoming Blender 3D 2.50 will be the new Smoke simulation tools, which will allow us to work with a mix of particles and procedural clouds to simulate smoke. This is not directly related with architectural visualization, but if we take a closer look on how this feature works, we will realize that with the Smoke tool we can create environmental clouds. For projects that demand this type of element on the scene, this new system will be a great help.

If you want to try the new system, there are a lot of test builds for Blender 2.50 at that already have the smoke system integrated to Blender 2.50. But, how can we use this system? How it works? If you want to try some of the 2.50 builds, I will show in this article the basic steps to create a smoke simulation. The overall workflow to create a smoke simulation is very similar to the Fluids. To make a Smoke simulation we basically need a Domain object and an Inflow, which will add Smoke to the scene. With the Blender 2.50 build we can create a Cube and at the Physics panel add a Smoke simulation to it.


Choose Domain at the Smoke panel.

The next step is to add a plane to the scene and add a few subdivisions to the object. This plane will use a particle system to emit the smoke, so we have to go to the particles menu and add a new particle system to the plane. Just increase a bit the Normal velocity of the particle.


Now, with the plane still selected we can add a Smoke simulation and set it as an Flow. Choose the particle system name that is associated with the plane, and we will have a working smoke simulation. Just play around with the timeline and you will see smoke coming out from the plane.



Since this is a test build and Blender 2.50 won`t be released until October, a few things might change in the interface, but I believe that this workflow won`t change. If you want to play with the velocity and direction of the Smoke, change the settings of the particle system.

Blender 3D Architect Pro


  • afalldorf

    sorry to be negative but your tutorial is somewhat incorrect, if you notice in Daniel’s blog posts that he move the particles as they are simply the emitters. The smoke moves on its own even if the particles are stationary. Try raising the heat and you should see that the smoke moves on its own.

  • afalldorf

    sorry I meant daniel doesn’t move the particles… typo

  • seed

    That’s a nice tutorial. Please don’t constrain yourself with architecture stuff. You have a good ability to make good tutorials on many subjects.

  • Allan Brito

    Hi afalldorf,

    I’m aware of the Daniel’s post.

    But, when I change the particle settings my smoke simulation changes anyway. 😀

  • Allan Brito

    Thanks seed,

    I will try to keep posting new tutorials, not only related with architectural visualization.


  • oogsnoepje

    The emitter method (ie. not moving the particles) is preferred because it looks better 🙂

    With moving particles, you’ll get infinitely tiny smoke fluffs, which look bad because the voxel volume can’t handle such precise data.

  • Arkinauta

    Humm… Sorry but I don´t agree with Seed.

    I think most of the readers come here to se architectural stuff. Right now this is the ONLY blog/web where you can find this kind of info (and so well explained), so I would be sorry if it becomes another kind of 3d blog.

    I´m saying this with a LOT of respect for the author, and of course I´ve in mind this is HIS blog and he can do wathever he wants with it.

    Anyway, good tuto.


  • JonasF

    Arkinauta is right, separate blog for architecture tutorials is extremely useful for many people.

  • Allan Brito

    @Arkinauta and @JonasF:

    The focus of the blog won’t change. 🙂
    It will be always be architectural visualization, but it doesn’t mean that from time to time a tutorial about a new feature of Blender couldn’t appear.

    I don’t have plans to make it a generalist 3d blog.

  • Davis

    This tutorial doesn’t seem to work with the latest versions anymore- Try it again in a late SVN build. If it still works, then you can safely tell me that I’m doing something wrong. 😉

  • Dennis F.

    Great stuff!!!

    Can someone tell me how to render this?
    I have the box in my renderview and how are the settings to render the smoke???

  • David C

    Hi Davis,

    I’m using revision 25214, and it works for me….

  • Tom F

    Does anyone else have a problem with Blender crashing whenever they try to set a domain for the smoke?

    I am using Windows 7, 32 bit, 3 gig of ram, Athlon dual core processor and NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE graphics card.

  • WolfDude

    I’m sorry for bothering with this, but everything is fine till I render it – all I see is the domain box (as a simple box), the plane (which is inside the box, so I can’t really see it) and the particles… no smoke even if I disable rendering for the domain
    I have Blender 2.56.0 (2.5 beta)
    Any suggestions?
    Or it’s just what Davis said – it doesn’t work on the latest versions?

  • esmilesvfx

    hey am i have been using blender like and from b2.5 all along have tried to use the smoke simulator and have always got the same error in the blender console even when i use different pcs
    blender can’t allocate 3d smoke texture
    some one pliz help this is realy creapling my creativity g

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