How to simulate a volcano

How would you simulate a volcano? The explosion part is simple - just place a fake top on the mountain, and apply a force to it. Then some sort of fiery spheres with smoking particle effects would look good. But what about the magma flow? Like some form of fiery river? How would you do that?
And if anyone can think of a good way of things being set on fire afterwards, then bonus points for you.

Well, break it down into the individual effects you want. Off the top of my head:

  1. Blow the top (model the mesh to fracture/explode)
  2. random flaming balls of debris (instantiate and add random forces to simple meshes w/particles)
  3. lots of smoke (particle effects)
  4. a river of lava (harder, because you’ll have to come up with a way of simulating a fluid and unity doesn’t have its own)
  5. random things catching fire (just model the items regular and then swap that out for the on-fire flavour when your pseudo lava collides with them)

There isn’t an easy answer (no matter how cool it would be to have a Make Volcano button…) and it’s likely to take a lot of work, but if you take it piece by piece, it won’t be so bad.

Also, probably worth your time to check out the asset store; maybe someone’s already done it for you :smiley:

if you want a more realistic volcano eruption (assumine the volcano is a composite volcano as these are the iconic form of them) then i wouldnt suggest lava flow as these erupt lava in the form as pyroclastic flows (ash clouds) and falling volcanic rock, if it is a shield volcano then there are two commen types of lava pahoehoe and aa, pahoehoe is is like the flowing goo lava most ppl recognize aa is more like hardened ash and rock but is really fragile semihardened lava, if it is a fizure eruption it will shoot out lava in a line, yes there is the third type of volcano but as these are formed at eruption i assumed this isnt the type you are going for

I just made an awesome yet simple volcanic eruption by editing the waterfall prefab, and switching out the water material with one of the fire materials… A little tweaking and wallah! You have yourself an erupting volcano, pouring hot lava down the mountain side! Simple but effective :slight_smile:

Simple Erupting Volcano with waterfall prefab

Could you do this? With the lava flow could you put shape the lava flow, then put water in it and change the texture to a lava look.Then put in a stream script.

Look up Flow Free on the asset store. I have used it to make a volcano before.