Hello every one, and welcome to the wonderful world of fluids! My name is Aziz Khan and I will be your guide through this tutorial and I hope you all will enjoy doing this. In this tutorial we will explore some of the tools and options of fluid to create dissolving text effect like smoke. This tutorial is very handy for those of you who are looking to add something different and rather cool to your short movies or demo reel headers and intros.
Fluid effect is one of the powerful tools, that you can find inside Maya. It can achieve realistic result easily within a few minutes if you have experience and have a very creative mind. I would suggest that before you attempt to follow this tutorial, you should at least have a basic knowledge of the program first.
Ok lets get started.
First of all we need some text, this can either be saved as a targa, or jpeg format. It doesn't matter what text your are going to write all it needs is to have a black background. Here, I'm going to show you what I mean
Ok, now open up Photoshop and create new document, with the same setting as shown in the image below.
Note: The setting is just for this tutorial and you' re not bound by the sizes I've used. So you can use any desired size you like (If you feel a little lazy and don't wont to create these images, you may download it from (here) but I suggest that you to do create it by yourselves).
With your new file open, write anything you like. In this case I wrote the words below, make sure your background is black and save it as a targa or jpeg and name it density.
Now, create one more with the same setting and then change the text color to whatever you like, and then save it out again as a targa or jpeg and name it color like the picture below.
We are done with Photoshop for now, so now lets switch to Maya. On the view port hold down the h key on your keyboard and then hold down the left mouse button. From the pop-up menu choose dynamics. Click on Fluid Effects from the drop down menu, and hit the small rectangular shape beside 2d container, like the image illustrates below.
Now your Fluid option box will appear in the X, Y Resolution, give it the value of 300 by 300 this will increase the detail when we import our text images into Maya. Hit apply and close like in the picture below.
Note : The bigger the resolution value the slower the render and system performance will be. Don't increase the values out of your system requirements.
If you look at your scene, you will notice that you have created a 2d fluid container, like the pictures below shows.
Now, with the 2d fluid container still selected, go to Fluid Effects >> Add/Edit Contents >> then select the option box for Paint Fluid Tool, as shown in the image below.
Now you should have something that looks like the image below, on your right hand side of user interface.' '
Ok, expand the Paint Attributes tab and then in the drop down menu, my default for Paint Attributes it set to Density so leave it like this. Now expand Attributes Maps and you will see one more tab called Import. Expand this too as this will reveal the Import button. Click on it and the file browser window will open. Choose your density.tga from where ever you saved it to and import it, like the image below shows.
Press the 6 button on your keyboard and you should see something like the image.
Goto the Paint Attribute tab again and this time choose color from the drop down menu. It will then prompt you to set it to Set to Dynamics. Click the Import button once again and choose the color.tga image from your hard drive as shown in the image below.
Now, if you have been following me correctly you should be able to see your text image and it should look like something below.
Hit Ctrl + a to bring the up the Attributes Editor, now find the Dynamic Simulation tab and expand it and set the Start Frame to 45, or what ever number you like your animation to start from.
Expand the Contents Details tab from Attribute Editor and then expand the Density tab in-order to set the numbers like the image below.
Scroll down to find the Shading tab and expand it and set the Glow Intensity to 1, or what ever you would like your texts to reflect the glow.
Now that we are done, set your frames to 200 then hit play. You should now see your text melting and then dissipating slowly like smoke. These 2 renders are just to show you how its looks like after rendering.
A few frames played.
And here is short render of the sequence.
You can download the end scene from here.
I hope you enjoyed doing this tutorial and try it at your own pace with different images to see what different results you can make.
If you have any kind of suggestions, feed backs, questions, or comments, please feel free to write me I will be happy to hear from you.