Making exhaust with smoke or particle engine

Hello all,

First time post for me. I have been using Blender for a few months now, and I am having the hardest time trying to get a very light trail of exhaust to come out of a jet engine as a plane flies through the sky. The plane has four engines so this obviously complicates things. The plane has no afterburners so I do not require any flames to come out. Any helpful links or YouTube videos would be greatly appreciated. I am using Blender 2.7.

Here is a file that I’ve quickly put together: smoke_trails.blend (847 KB) I’ve inserted some keyframes in the values that I’ve changed to help figure out the basics of doing this. You might want to experiment a little more.

KWD, could you briefly explain what this blend-file does, for those who don’t want to download it?

Also … in the shot as you now envision it, where’s the camera, where’s the plane, and how and where do you see the exhaust trail? For example, in a real jet-engine you often don’t see the exhaust at all, although sometimes you can look up at a contrail and see a dirty-cloud around it which is the kerosene smoke. Some simple compositing-trick involving an animted noise texture might also be enough to persuade the viewer’s eye that “this is exhaust” without the computational overhead of a particle-sim . . . How realistic does it need to be? How much of the viewer’s attention is likely to be devoted to “the smoke?”

I can post my render in a couple of hours. That may help me show the vision that I have. The render has other small issues like noise on the main body, and the engines don’t have the same material as the main body, but I am repairing those later after I get the smoke concept down. The kerosene smoke idea sounds close to what I want. I have never worked with an animated noise texture. It may be what I am looking for. Thank you both for your responses. I will probably be trying the file tonight after work.

Thank you both for your responses. I will be trying the file after work today. It sounds like the kerosene smoke idea is pretty close to what I want. Do you have any examples? I am trying to get four consecutive exhaust trails to follow the four engines as they move through the animation. The animation is basically a 2D double helix when you look straight down on it. One path is the camera, and the other is the airplane. The camera keeps its focus on the airplane through the whole shot. I have never worked with an animated noise texture before, but I am willing to try every route. This is really more of a personal project to help me practice some of Blender’s many robust features.

I am not sure I am posting correctly. I may have a few replies floating out there somewhere so I will keep it short just to test. Thank you both for your replies. I will be trying the file after work. The kerosene smoke idea sounds close to what I am looking for. I have never tried an animated noise texture. Do you have any examples?

Well my file just create a smoke trail as such:

for something minor you could just use halo particles set to near 0 velocity. if it’s too chunky you just reduce the alpha and/or halo size and up the # of particles. that’s what we did back in the day, and it’s not too bad. and very simple.

So I am pretty new to this forum and didn’t realize there was a delay in my posts so there will be repeats, I tried your file KWD and it looks like the direction I want to go. I will just have to reverse engineer it so I can reproduce it. I am still open to other ways of accomplishing this though if anyone has anymore ideas. Thank you all for your quick responses.