Volumetric scattering with smoke without node editor

Hello, I have been finding a way to simulate the interaction between light and substances like dust and smoke without using the node editor.

Given the volume option in the material editor, it is possible. For referencing, there is only the maya tutorial in youtube which can be done in blender, and the blender wiki manual. It was pretty much a process of trial and error.

The two images below show that it can be, when setting certain parameters in the material editor.

Here are the steps to add the smoke to the volume lighting.

The first step of course is to setup the typical scene with the light. The first light is the spot lamp to directly light the room. The second is for reflecting the light off shaded areas (can be point or hemi). What you should add next is an object that occupies most of the room itself, for this object will have the volume material.

For the spot lamp, you obviously should click on the ‘halo’ button and increase the ‘step’ size. The halo intensity determines how hard or soft the edge of the light beam should be.

For the object to be a volume, you have to press the ‘volume’ button. But to create a dust or smoke effect that will not cover the room, the density has to be reduced to zero. The scattering has to be to reduced to a very small size but not to zero, because without it, there would not be any volume for the light to scatter through. But to make certain parts of the volume scene, the option under the lighting should be set to ‘shadowed’ and the ‘reflection’ scale has to increase to at least ten. This determines how visible the smoke effect is.


But that will not be enough without adding a texture to create the smoke effect. a ‘cloud’ or ‘distorted noise’ texture is best, and the ‘density’ option under influence should selected and set to at least a hundred. The brightness and contrast can be adjusted but it isn’t as important to make the effect visible as the ‘reflection’ scale. Of course, you can change the texture with unique settings like size and depth.

I hope that this would be simple alternative to the compositing and a faster alternative to volume scattering in cycles.