Adding Smoke to Light
Maya 8.0 Tutorial
How to Add Smoke to Light in Maya
By creating fog and adding noise to the light you can create a smoke effect. You also have the option to add shadows to the smoke.
Open a scene with multiple objects.
Add a Spot Light to the scene (Create > Lights > Spot Light). Position the light above the scene.
With the light selected, open the Attribute Editor and soften the lights edges by adjusting the Dropoff and Penumbra settings. Adjust the Cone Angle if necessary.
Scroll down the light options and open the Light Effects tab. Click the checker-board next to the Light Fog box.
Click the Color rectangle to change the fog color.
Click the checker-board next to the Density slider. In the Create Render Node panel, select the Cloud texture in the 3D Textures section.
Return to the light's main Attribute Editor panel and adjust the Intensity slider. You may also need to scale the light to extend the effect.