Help with smoke animation


I’m a bit struggling with the smoke effect… I’m not looking for a realistic effect but rather a cartoonish one…

Any simple ideas on how to do it?

I’ve attached my attempt at creating smoke…but honestly I don’t think it’s good enough…Can you help?

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:
smoke2.sifz (9.12 KB)

I think that the animation is good, but the shapes needs some refining. Nowadays, It’s a cartoon style animation

This guy seems to have made a lot of animations related with explosions and smoke:

In addition to improving the smoke shape, …
I think, that after the “gun” shot, the first “smoke cloud” has to be longer in size, following the direction that the gun points. Try to vanish the other clouds slowly. See if it works, if not keep trying :slight_smile: .

But… do you have made your own research? One animation that you want as inspiration?

Thanks for your reply :smiley:

I will take your advice on board and try to improve my smoke effect…
I have a kind of inspiration from these two videos:


I see … mmm

well, My advice, again, is improving the shape of the “smoke”, because I think that the steps in your animation are correct, at least for a cartoon animation.
I mean…A fluid (a gas, a liquid) has turbulence and randomness, but also it follows physical forces,etc, so a realistic animation of them is complex. A cartoon animation has to be easy to see, to understand, besides to be fun.

In some cases its better to draw the shape in another program, (Inkscape, or Gimp, or Photoshop,or even Paint) and find the way of importing to synfig, for animate it. Please, consult the wiki, or this forum for those cases.

Greetings… good luck with your project

Thank you…I’m working on it…

I have attached my latest kind of improved animation…

Can you help me decide how many frames should be between a keyframe and another to make it look good?

Thanks in advance


here is the file :slight_smile:
smoke3.sifz (27.6 KB)

I see improvement…

About the amount frames between keyframes… my strategy is just test and try, using the preview render,… and even do final render of some parts of the animation. Hope that others have better advice about this point!

and always save… In my machine, Synfig ALWAYS CRASH!..

I see you use a lineal gradient layer. But Synfig have another kind of gradient layers, give them a try…

The shapes of the “vapor”… they could be better, … but they are good right now… maybe thin the outlines, or remove them…

There are more shapes and outlines now, so it becomes difficult to manage them… Take your time to give significant names
Use the Sets panel:

Comment your keyframes:

At some point… all will become confusing… you will be animating several layers with several keyframes… You will be using UNDO all the time… You will forget to click to the little green/red guy … :unamused:

By the way, what machine and OS system are you using?

I’m using an all in one Acer desktop… Windows7 —Internet Explorer

And my Synfig studio often crashes as well :frowning:

If you don’t mind and if you have time can you draw a sample vapor, just to have an idea of what a well- drawn vapor is? … :question:

Thanks for the pieces of advice you have given me…They are valuable. :slight_smile:


I was asking more about the technical specifications: proccessor (like Intel I3, AMD Phenom ), ram memory mostly.

I put myself in trouble here… :blush:
When I say “vapor” I was meaning “water steam”. For a cartoon style, a well-drawn water steam may vary from cartoonist to cartoonist. At the end, there is no bad-drawn cartoon style steam.


This was made on Inkscape. because it’s more comfortable for me to draw there. I use a blur filter (in Synfig you can find something similar) for the outlines, and for the fill, is a radial gradient (in synfig you can use a curved gradient, perhaps), on a shape that more or less, follows the outlines… At the end… it’s similar to your last version. I use bluring because steam doesn’t have precise outline, but it can be used or not.

Oh thanks for taking the time to do it …I will try to make a similar drawing…:slight_smile: I will try to use different gradient filters as well…

As for my computer details :blush: here are the details

Once again thank you for everything…That was very helpful…

I think this is good enough.

Thanks :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: