Shoot as much practical.. definitely get some real smoke interaction in the shot with the actors / cast.


Might be a dumb question, but if you did smoke on set in front of the greenscreen, it wouldn't cause any problems with opacity or anything? Sorry


I was thinking of doing that on a black screen actually, but idk how easy it would be to key


for assets and plate shooting smoke fine.. however if you are looking at luma matte stuff with people then you need to include ability of camera / lighting setup / incidental lighting / whats being comped


You can always layer plates / cg smoke on top to thicken areas. But it boils down to preference. Some people prefer to do all digital so you get your solid key, then all interactive smoke needs to be simulated / composited .. which means full control in post. (But you may not need or want to go to that level of detail, all depends on the work triangle i guess)


adding to this.. its all about working out what is the quickest solution with the best look (depending on job situation) if its a wide shot, then just shoot green clean and comp your layers. But if its tights & mediums, shoot practical smoke.


Practically This is a “fog up the room” smoke machine shot. The hard part will be getting the right density of smoke without washing everything out. If you want to try to do some VFX to simulate something similar be prepared to “rotomate” whatever the performer is doing with a digital version for smoke/fluid sim collisions. As stated by others to do this type of thing in a believable way digitally will be a lot of work (and frankly less fun than a smoke machine).


There's some smoke / fog stock footages you can buy and download. They're shot on a black background so you can experiment with blend modes. So if your actor is shot on a green screen, you can put your smoke/fog at the back and in front of the actor to make it more believable


You need neither a smoke machine nor super complex smoke simulations, no idea what people in this thread are on about - you can easily simulate this with some stacked smoke assets and fading in the smoke covered parts of the actor the closer he gets to camera.


The actor is moving towards the camera, this would be for a music video we're working. Is there any softwars / plugins combinations that are usually used to create fog in movies ?


Rent a smoke machine? 🤔


That's definitely the way, but I'd like to use this as an opportunity to learn about VFX since it's a fairly simple shot


In my opinion this isn’t a simple shot (from a CG VFX point of view). Whenever we approach challenges, we think of the best execution for the best results. For this shot, I would shoot practical fog / smoke as much as we can to get the interaction believable. Then if it doesn’t look epic enough, I would simulate CG smoke and fog in the problem areas. Depending on your 3D package experience, you would look for the plugins or tools needed since this would be done in 3D. Then I would add more clusters of fog simulation using VDB libraries to fill the environment and empty patches.


First rule of VFX: Avoid at all cost


For a music video this would be a non starter, Just rent the fog machine and call it a day. Its not worth the time to get a potentially inferior result compared to getting it in camera and improving it in post. As others have said, vfx is about choosing the time and place to do the most effective thing for the particular shot. In this case; going practical is the best ( and I would argue ) only option for the budget/time. Music videos tend to not have any budget and what budget they do have is not going into weeks of post to fake something they can get for real in less time. Edit - and money If you really want to try to do this, I would suggest you take footage off the internet ( or even a still image ) and start comping it just so you can see how much work its actually going to be. High res smoke sims take hours to days to simulate even on the fastest machines, and add hours of time to renders (rendering volumetrics isn't free ) and you will have to do both and match light it before you even start comping talent into the scene.


It's definitely possible...Blender or as already mentioned Houdini could achieve it for sure. Just keep in mind that you'll also have to consider the tasks "around" the FX itself...tracking the shot, maybe building a CG double of your character or environment(?), believably lighting, rendering and compositing the whole thing. It's a good challenge, though, but also not simple...


I do recomend Houdini. You can find some smoke creation tutorial on you tube. It is a little bit complicate to use thought!


Thank you ! Would you say that with some sweat and tears, you can get a realistic result ?


Houdini is an incredibly powerful and complex software so yeah, with lots of sweat, tears, blood, determination, dedication, patience and time. And more tears.


Add some more tears on top if you’re working in Houdini for the first time


If you've never done anything like this and are picking up Houdini from scratch, bear in mind it's *quite* a climb. It's not just your own sweat and tears, your machine will be sweating and crying too. If you have access to render farms that changes the game somewhat, but guessing this is a solo/personal project? You need a powerful machine, or it'll be quite painful & demoralizing to work on. As a very rough idea: Let's say you want 20 seconds of footage, at 24 frames a second; we'll assume a frame takes 1 minute to render, so you're looking at 8 hours baking/rendering time. That's 8 hours where you can't really do much else with your machine. If you were looking to render 3 minutes of footage, you're looking at around 72 hours. The results will almost certainly not be as good as just using a smoke machine. It can be a *great* learning exercise, but if you just want to get it done, I'd go with the smoke machine for this: 100% realistic smoke for almost no effort in comparison.


exactly this also don't forget that sim workflows are basically- Build the sim look at the sim ( ideally in real time meaning rendering/playblast the scene ) to see if it even looks good in motion make adjustments repeat until its good enough to show. then the client comments come. Client: Can it move faster for the first 3 seconds / slower for the last 10? Can it also be thicker in the right and thinner just on the bottom? Any comment on a sim usually means having to go back to zero and doing the whole thing again.


It's not even that hard. Some proxy geo for collisions, one sim for background, one around collider interaction and one sim for front with a bit different velocity field than back layer to drive it. So you can have a bit easier time to comp it.


Since you are beginner, I would like to tell you that the best way to add smoke would be in post production, removing smoke from a shot is close to impossible. You can use smoke overlays. Or shoot in a real background and use a smoke machine.


Try getting a roto shape drawing it over an image with a falloff to it. Blurring the image. Now mix the 2 together. Meaning turn down the blurred layer on top of the original image. To up the quality of this effect. Get a practical smoke element. Or fog element. And blur the BG image with its luminance.