View Full Version : How to make hot air effect (mirage?)

09-18-2008, 06:58 AM
You know that hot vibrating air effect you often see in Formula races, jet exchaust fumes, or scorching desert?
How can I get started to create it in LW? I'd love to hear some pointers from experienced users.

09-18-2008, 09:24 AM
Ogo taiki has that option to get the air to vibrate of heat.


I believe there was a plugin somewhere too called heatwave.


09-18-2008, 11:56 AM
Create some transparent objects and use an animated procedural in the texture channel of the index of refraction.

Mr Rid
09-18-2008, 12:34 PM
Most easily handled and tweaked as a post process. Advise avoiding the headache of plugins. If possible, should render your animation first without the effect then tweak it in a separate process. If you dont have a post app like After Effects, you can set up a separate LW scene to post process your animation by basically front projection mapping your render onto a plane, then using refracting meshes in front of it with animated displacement or bump for the rippling effect as Larry suggested.

09-19-2008, 08:12 AM
Thanks for your replies! Actually I just took a simple subdivided plane - used very slight displacement map - made it transparent with some refraction. Then I added some keys to the envelope of the displacement map to animate it.
Actually, this is exactly the effect I was looking for and it was very easy to configure. The result is very good actually. Most important appears to be the speed of the effect.
I think similar technique can be used to make the hot air blow from jet engine, of course the transparent object doesn't need to be a plane..

10-07-2008, 10:32 AM
i recommend using surface voxels and a particle emitter. make the surface transparent and add refraction to it. :)

Mr Rid
10-10-2008, 03:34 PM
Have preferred using a displaced mesh over a plate as I can see realtime exactly what the distortion waves look like, the scale, speed and such, before having to render or preview anything. I can see it in 3D and know whats going on, instead of entering cryptic values and hoping for something.