Creating Smoke with Shuriken Particle System in Unity

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Create Realistic Smoke

In this Unity┬átutorial we’ll show you how to create smoke in unity3d’s shuriken particle system. The shuriken particle system is Unity3d’s most up to date particle system, hence reason we’re using it. In this video we’ll go over the settings in the properties panel for creating our particle system.

Settings include the color over lifetime, which will give us our fading effect, our size over lifetime, the speed by size and so on and so forth. We’ll discuss what each of these does and what impact they have on our particle system. This is a quick down and dirty tutorial that covers everything you need to create a realistic white smoke effect in Unity3d.

The texture used in this tutorial is provided in a link below, but you need to make sure that the edges of the texture are completely black. You can do this by using a simple gradient falloff brush (soft looking brush) in Photoshop or any type of image editor and slowly add in black portions. Make sure you don’t create any distinct edges otherwise it’ll look weird in your particle system.


Smoke Prefab

Smoke Prefab on the Unity Asset store


Jonathan Gonzalez

I love all things in game development and want to contribute by teaching others how to create games. I'm always looking to help others create awesome digital worlds. I've been a hardcore gamer since I was a kid and now it's my turn to create awesome digital experiences.

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  1. Hey! It looks awesome! Thank you for the tutorial. I can’t download the package, though. Could you please check the link?

  2. Looks great ! I have a Mac and i downloaded the zip file but all i get is a folder with 3 strangly named subfolders and i don’t really know what to do with them. can you help ?

  3. Sorry but the zip file does not produce a unity package just 3 folders. I copy them in the Assets but then nothing works. What am I doing wrong ?

    • Don’t use Mac’s default method of unzipping the files. For some reason mac doesn’t recognize Unity packages and creates three separate folders that make no sense. I use “the unarchiver” for mac and it’ll unzip correctly. The zip file just contains a Unity package of the prefab. I couldn’t upload the prefab directly so I had to zip it.

  4. Very nice. What would you change if you wanted a dust storm or just sand cloud behind a vehicle for example?

    • I would probably utilize Emission over a distance to have it emit when a car is moving. For the dust storm I would just create a bigger particle system that is attached to a player camera, along with sub-emitters that display sand grain like effects, also adding some type of effect to the main camera to really sell it. I’ve never done it myself so it’s just me explaining what I would do.


  1. […] In this two part Unity 3d tutorial we’ll be going over how to create a realistic smoke trail using the Shuriken particle system. We’ll be modifying a previously created smoke prefab so that we have a nice realistic smoke base to work from. This tutorial will only cover how to create the smoke trail and the next tutorial will go more in depth with created a homing missile that will use this smoke trail as well. The original smoke tutorial can be located here: […]

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