How to create a Tornado in Maya


When I was thinking about what I will show you today in our VFX miniseries, I walked autumn landscape in the vicinity of deciduous trees. Suddenly the wind breeze came and the leaves were picked up from the ground into the air and created a sort of mini funnel, a phenomenon tiny tornado. Right at that moment I knew what the next lesson will be and I created tornado shape animation using a dynamic simulation of particles in just ten steps.

Step 1: Create a basic particle emitter which can be found in the menu nDynamics> Create nParticles> Create emitter.

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Step 2: Move the emitter along the X axis 1.5 units and create seven more identical emitters, which is placed into the scene so as to form a circle.

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Step 3: Extend the timeline at least 500 frames and press play. Emitters begin to generate out particles in all directions. (on less powerful stations use the next frame button to play particles.)

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Step 4: Select all eight clusters of particles (not the emitter) and assign a gravity field. nDynamics> Fields> Gravity> option box. In the table of attributes enter Magnitude -30.

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Step 5: Now press play and the particles begin to flow upward because we have entered a negative value attribute to Magnitude.

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Step 6: Re-select again all clusters of particles and give them additional force field. This time nDynamics> Fields> Vortex> option box and type a value of Magnitude 10000.

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Step 7: Once again to play a few frames and shape of the particles should have to remind funnel now.

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Step 8: Now select any one of a cluster of particles gradually and in attribute editor tab nParticleShape> Lifespan set the Lifespan Mode to Constant and the Lifespan to 2.6. Furthermore, under nParticleShape> Shading set the Particle Render Type on MultiStreak.

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Step 9: Select all emitters and slide it along the X axis to the left or right by 0.5 units.

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Step 10: Press play and you get the animation of tornado. Misalignment in step 9 makes a wavy shape of the funnel.

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