Tips and Tricks
This section provides an assortment of miscellaneous advice to help you get great results while avoiding possible problems with FumeFX.
FumeFX cannot work with namespaces in Maya as the separator ":" is also used internally in Maya in different context.
Shadows and "spiky" opacity curve
The image below shows an example of a "spiky" curve. If the overall smoke opacity is also high, it may produce unpredictable results with Illumination Maps and Multiple Scattering. To fix this, soften the curve a bit and reduce opacity. If the light strength in the smoke diminishes to 0 in less than a few voxels, you may experience unpredictable results, such as sudden changes of illumination in some areas.
As smoke drops to 0, opacity increases to maximum, and suddenly to 0. This may be desirable for the fire, but use cautiously with smoke
Here the problem is the same, except the spike is offset to the right.
If you need to follow FumeFX movement, export the FumeFX Velocity channel. Record caches and then play them back.
Adaptive Grid Practices
Adaptive Grid #1
If there is a source (Simple, Object, or Particle) that has no effect over a specific time range, set its Active key to off in that range. If you don't, then in every frame FumeFX will repeatedly stretch its adaptive grid over the area, only to immediately shrink it back again when no values are applied. This obviously results in a waste of memory and time.
Adaptive Grid #2
If you are using Object or Particle Sources, and that source's bounding box stretches beyond FumeFX' bounding box, FumeFX will, at every step, stretch the adaptive grid over the source and then, if no values are applied, shrink it back again. This results in a waste of memory and time.
Adaptive Grid #3
How do you enlarge the adaptive grid through forces or turbulence? Set the grid's adaptive sensitivity to 0,0. If there are no active sources in the grid, you will have to create one FumeFX Source. Set the source to Free Flow and set all its values to 0 (so it won't change anything). Attach the source to FumeFX and the adaptive grid will start growing from that source's location.
Q: Linux Error "_ZN7QDialog16staticMetaObjectE" shows up during the mental ray Satellite rendering.
A: The problem is that the ffxDyna.so file is linked against Qt but the Satellite renderer doesn't load Qt whether it's in the linker path or not. Below is an example for Maya 2014 on Linux. Thanks to Daniel Ott for this solution.
Add the following lines to /usr/autodesk/mrsat3.11.1 - maya2014 - x64/rayrc:
Then copy the Qt libs from the maya lib folder to the satellite lib folder.
cp - a /usr/autodesk/maya2014 - x64/lib/libQtCore.so* /usr/autodesk/mrsat3.11.1 - maya2014 - x64/lib/
cp - a /usr/autodesk/maya2014 - x64/lib/libQtGui.so* /usr/autodesk/mrsat3.11.1 - maya2014 - x64/lib/