How to make blizzard with particles and smoke ?

I am looking into making something like this:

A strong blizzard comprised of particles and smoke. I’d probably need to render it in “layers” and render it to a plaque to be used later somewhere else.

I kinda have an idea about setting up particles to achieve the effect, but I am not sure what to do about smoke sim :confused:

Any ideas? Thanks.

At a basic level, to achieve this effect in the smoke simulator, you need to have slow rising smoke with lots of turbulence and wind. Now before I give you a run down of the settings I’d use to achieve such an effect, are you wanting to replicate the blizzard in the close up, or the beginning shot?

I actually need to render it into a texture, so I could use that in a game engine for particle system (not BGE).

Oh ok. I’m sorry, but my knowledge on game development is very limited. If could give me an example of how this is done in other programs then I might be able to help, but as it stands now, I’m not sure I can.

That’s simple - render snow over black background (or with alpha) in resolution power of 2 (256 x 256) and add vignette as post-process (like a mask; to make edges of the final image irregular), save that as animation sequence (several TGA files) and it’s done.

My main thing is how to create such blizzard for close-up / mid-range shots. Then I’ll be able to render it for the game engine.

OK, I understand now.

As stated earlier, it mainly consists of wind and turbulence force fields. Here’s how I’d recreate the medium shot:

  1. select the cube and add a surface modifier and deform it to what ever shape you might be overlaying the texture onto(I also subdivided and added loop cuts to give me more geometry to play with):

  2. select your now-deformed cube and apply the subsurface modifier with a level of 1. Press the space bar and type in ‘smoke’. Select ‘quick smoke’.

  3. Re-select your cube (now smoke emitter) and go into weight paint mode with Control + Tab and start painting where you want your snow to emit:

    (I painted mostly in the top parts of the peak because that’s where the smoke usually gets blow around the most)

  4. Control + Tab out of weight painting mode and go to the physics tab in the properties panel. because we’re creating snow and not smoke, we want it to fall and not rise, so change the temperature difference to a negative value(I used -0.5) Next, flip down the Smoke Flow Advanced section and select the only item listed in the Vertex Group drop-down menu:

  5. Hit Shift + A and add Force Field > Wind. Rotate it in the direction you want to blow your snow and change the strength to a desired value, I used 25.

  6. Again hit Shift + A and add Force Field > Turbulence. I changed the strength to 25, the size to 10, and the flow to 1. All these values can be changed depending on how much random motion you want. Next, change the timeline to the dope-sheet editor, and add a rotation keyframe for the turbulence empty at the beginning of the timeline. Then go to end and rotate the empty as much as you want and add a rotation keyframe. The more rotations the faster moving turbulence. Finally, in the dope-sheet hit ‘V’ and change the keyframes to “vector”. This removes and ease-in and ease-outs in the rotation.

  7. Select the domain (the cube that was added around your object) and change the settings as follows:

‘Check’ adaptive domain: dynamically shirks the cube to where only the smoke is.

Change the Resolution to 96 divisions: the higher the value the thinner and whisper the smoke.

Lower the ‘Vorticity’ value to 1: this will smooth out the smoke even more.

  1. At this point you’ll want to save if you haven’t already. Under ‘Smoke Cache’ hit ‘bake’. from here you can change any of the settings to get the effect you desire.


  1. Don’t want the snow going through your emitter? Duplicate it, change it from ‘Flow’ to ‘Collision’ and make sure to shrink it slightly in edit mode(Also, applying the scale would’t hurt).

  2. ‘check’ ‘Smoke High Resolution’ to add finder detail.


Because we used the ‘quick smoke’ feature a material should already be setup for you to render using the Blender Internal renderer. Alternatively you can use Cycles, but keep in mind (at the moment) you can only render using your CPU.

Hope this helps, and make sure to ask if you have any further questions.