V5I: Lava Flow

Sunday, June 18th, 2006
1 Comment

An updated version of this article is now available on my website at
Creating a Bifurcated Lava Flow in Vue Infinite.

I’m working on a picture of a volcanic eruption. The explosion part is coming on well, the smoke not so well. Today though I wanted to get something that might be a lava flow working.

Lava Flow Render

It is still very much a work in progress but I’m surprised at how well it works after only a few quick experiments. Here’s how I got the effect:

  1. Create a mountain terrain and use a filter to give it a volcano profile
  2. Create a small sphere
  3. User Scatter/Replicate to produce 1000 small spheres with a rectangular region with no z distribution at all
  4. With all the spheres selected I moved them over the terrain and rotated them to where I wanted the lava flow to be
  5. Hit drop
  6. Leave PC alone while it thinks about dropping 1000 spheres
  7. With all the spheres selected hit metablob
  8. Leave PC alone while it thinks about metablobing 1000 spheres
  9. Select glowing lava material
  10. Bake to Polygons with the quality of the baking set to high
  11. Render

Baking to polygons really speeds up the render.

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One Response to V5I: Lava Flow

Gabriela Sunday, June 18th, 2006

I love volcanoes and this one looks pretty cool.

Good job!

XoXo
Gaby

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