Playing around with custom velocity fields and VOPs.
Using Houdini 12 I created a particle sim with customized velocity in VOPs. I then used the particle sim to drive a Pyro sim. I also added some additional curl noise to the sim. Shaded with Pyro shader, lit with basic light set up, and rendered in mantra. I don't really have experience using mantra, due to a proprietary rendering solution at work. So this was a good opportunity to try it out.
Tutorial for this effect can be found here: http://ilangabai.tumblr.com/tagged/tutorial