Houdini 20.0 Shelf tools

Simple Billowy Smoke shelf tool

Creates thick cloud-like smoke rising from a spherical base.

On this page
Pyro simulation in the viewport. Colorspace: ACES, Voxels Size: 0.0025.
Pyro simulation rendered with Karma. Colorspace: ACES, Voxels Size: 0.0025.


This shelf tool sets up a simple sparse pyro simulation of a rising smoke stack, with a meter-scale base. Rather than building a DOP network, it uses the SOP-level tools to build a simple network to work with sparse pyro. The setup can be used as a starting point for simulating scenarios such as chimney smoke or cooling tower steam.

Using Simple Billowy Smoke

  1. Click the Simple Billowy Smoke tool on the Simple FX tab.

  2. Select the location of the smoke stack in the viewport.

Working with Simple Billowy Smoke

  • If you have a Houdini FX License, you can dive inside the solver and edit the subnet with custom DOP forces. Otherwise, you can stay at the SOP level and use the exposed parameters on the node.

  • The start of the node chain in this subnetwork (smoke_base) defines the shape of the smoke base. You can switch out this node for another geometry object if you'd like to modify the look of the base.

  • The parameters on the Pyro Solver SOP have the greatest influence on the emergent shape of the smoke.

Shelf tools

Using the shelf

  • Customize the shelf

    How to change the look of the shelf, change and rearrange its contents, and create your own shelf tools.