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How to reproduce this smoke effect?

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Hey everyone!


It's been weeks since I'm trying to achieve a smoke effect without any success. The reference is available in this video from 0:40. From my computations, this has been shot at 100 fps.


The video compression is pretty bad so here are 2 frames extracted from it with a slightly better quality.





I can deal—probably badly—with making linear smoke trails like it is the case in the first frame but then how to transition to a more cloudy shape, especially in such a short period of time?


I've tried many things including creating a particle sim to use as velocity source and playing around with the dissipation, disturbance, turbulence, confinement, and other shaping nodes, but I didn't get anywhere near this reference and I'm currently clueless as what to try next.


Firstly, and since there is no fire involved, am I right to try to achieve this effect using only the smoke solver, without any combustion?


Secondly, I'm struggling to figure out what's really happening in this reference. When, where and for how long is the smoke being emitted? What kind of velocity is being applied? Or in other words, what am I supposed to input as source volumes?


I've attached a scene with my starting point for the smoke sim. Where should I go from there?


I realize that it's a lot of questions but I'll be happy with any help at all to reproduce this effect. Bonus points for step-by-steps or a scene with a basic setup that I could analyze! :)






PS: I've left a fair bit of my setup in the scene so feel free to criticize it!



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