Here’s a fiery tornado-like effect I created in Maya to learn about fluids. I hadn’t worked much with fluids outside of tutorials, so I spent a lot of time figuring out what everything did. So there’s four nParticle emitters at the base, with a strong vortex field causing the swirl. I offset the vortex just a bit so that the spiral moves slightly from side to side, a bit like a real tornado would as it travels. A gravity field is also pulling the particles upwards. I’ll post a video of just the particles later to show how the movement was planned out. Then two of the emitters were turned into fluid emitters to get a deeper, more layered effect even though I didn’t have much time. The most important fluid contents were temperature and fuel, which controlled the shading. Then another fluid was added, just wider than the central column of fire to get the wisps of stray flames. Then it was rendered using mental ray using the Production preset.