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Creating Realistic Fire in Blender 2.5

33's Andrew Price has released a tutorial on realistic fire as an ebook. To get it your hands on it, you have to sign up for his maillist (which informs you of his new tutorials). I realise that this is a barrier for some, but I found the ebook to be very nicely made, and I trust that Andrew won't do funny stuff with my address.

Andrew wrote:

I've finally finished my tutorial on Creating Realistic Fire in Blender 2.5:

I’ve been working extensively with the smoke simulator over the past few months to find out the best method for creating fire. It’s been a long road but I believe I’ve finally got the formula right.

I'm releasing the tutorial as an eBook... and it’s completely free.


About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. That is NOT realistic. Is anybody fooled by this? For one, fire (like in a campfire) doesn't shoot up out of the ground like that, at least not that fast.

    Real fire isn't RED, it's ORANGE, and there's a heck of a lot more of it than just a few specs.

  2. I think it's awfully darn good. Not perfect but I don't think you'll get perfect outside of spending $3000 for Max or Maya. Quit whining about the free ice creme.

  3. You won't need to spend $3000 dollars for Maya or Max to get realistic fire.

    I will have to think about this. I don't see any problem in signing up for marketing. I actually registered an account specifically for things like this. But am I likely to get a book I probably won't ever look at...hmmm.

  4. Guys, rather thank him for hard work than to be a critic.

    If you can do better, write your own tutorial.

    Anyway, thanks for the tutorial. It is the best fire I have seen in blender.

  5. One does not need to be able to do better to offer good constructive criticism. Keyword is constructive.

    I personally would not call this realistic. It works very well as a stylized fire, but not a realistic one. My advice would be to get some good reference. A nice video of a real camp fire, and spend some time tweaking it all in. There are a lot of layered elements to a fire, such as big flames, little flames, smoke, black smoke, light wrap from the smoke, sparks, glowing embers, and the all important interactive lighting (just to name a few).

    I applaud you for putting a lot of work into this. The pictures of the ebook looked very good. I would just be careful of what you call it. Realistic advertises it as something most people think it's not. The more tuts you do, the better you will get at it.


  6. Nice fire. Certainly much better than what I could do. Smoke looks good to me too. Thanks Andrew! :)
    How fast the flames flicker depends on the conditions, obviously. The windier and colder it is, the faster the flames are due to more rapid air flow.

    Only thing that I'd change with this fire is that I'd get rid off those big flames that rise and detach too high from the main fire. I think that to get that kid of effect you'd need to burn something else than wood - plastic bags or something... Now it looks like the burning substance disintegrates and particles of it rise with the hot air. Furthermore, I'd probably add more rising cinder. That is, if it is supposed to be wood that you are burning. ;)

    Hope that is somewhat understandable... :P
    English is not my native language, which is no doubt apparent.

  7. Just subscribed and grabbed my copy. Very nice tutorial Andrew! Keep that up. You have one of the most professional sites, containing Blender tutorials!

  8. i signed up for this pdf back in feb, Andrew has only sent me 2 emails, one with the link to the book and the other a link to exclusive content for those on the mailing list. so its not a "marketing campaign".

  9. As Ianvdl said
    If you can do better, write your own tutorial and help us improve Like Andrew does.
    Thanks for the efforts ... I signedup too
    Keepup da goodwork

  10. Wow! I'm shocked at some of the responses here. Andrew has been very helpful to the Blender community for a while and presents quality tutorials. If you don't like what you see, you don't have to sign up, but please don't ruin it for the rest of us.

    And just to be clear, I'm not referring to any constructive criticism here. Presenting critiques in a meaningful manor is always helpful.

  11. well it looks like a nice video and thank you for your hard work but i dont want to sign up to any mailing list just to get a free ebook, but nice work!!!

  12. thanks for the tutorial man! too bad i get stuck at step 07 of part two. It tells me to select an FFT noise method. But it's no there =S i know this is because I don't have the latest build from graphicall but these mostly don't work for me (vista x64)
    So I hope there will be a good build out soon so I can do this tutorial :P

  13. One should NOT have to sign up for any mailing list to get a free tutorial. Helpful and nice I'm sure, but the way it's advertised feels real funny to me.

  14. @Odell : I perfectly understand why one should want to create a mailing list on a subscription basis : this way, you can actually know how many people are interested by the tutorials.

    It is not a marketing campaing, because Andrew isn't attempting to sell anything to us. His only purpose is to help us better.

    For my own I try to make tutorials from time to time, and I know how time consuming it is. In feedback, I only get around 3-4 e-mail a year from people using them. So I could be tempted to stop writing tutorials. A mailing list seems a good idea to be more in touch with readers, and to know if your works is useful or not.

    Great work Andrew, and thank you !

  15. I think the fire isn't 100 percent realistic, but it's a nice start.
    That's not a problem, but I get a little upset when people say they make a realistic fire tutorial and make an announcement like "the days of unrealistic fire are over" and then the result is one more tutorial that doens't keep up with expectations.

    But in the end he's right when he says the days of the impotence of blender to create realistic fire is over, because some youtube videos just show that Blender 2.5 can do it now. But this tutorial doesn't do it 100%.
    But thanks for the efforts to take it this far and make a tutorial out of it.

    With a little more tweaking it could become realistic. I would try to do it myself, but for the next 6 weeks I'm up to cheekbones in exams. But after that...

  16. i was quoting directly from the privacy link on the site: "This website belongs to someone who uses AWeber to responsibly manage their email marketing campaign"
    thanks for your work Andrew.

  17. Oh yea? Well I say, if you can do better, throw yourself off a cliff. Nobody threw themselves off a cliff? Well I guess nobody did any better. Where's the flaw in that logic?

    What I meant was the fire doesn't START that fast. Until it turns into smoke, this fire doesn't look all that different than something created with a particle system. You need to start it off with NO inflow velocity. Also, make sure there's a bit more large turbulence in the smoke. Right now it's a straight up column, and that doesn't look good.

  18. LOL at the complainers. How dare someone try and build a following, or possibly make some money with blender, right? Get over it and just don't sign up if you don't want to!

  19. Stop complaining people. Really, just because Blender is free, it does not mean that educational material has to be free as well. Being on a mailing list is not a high price to pay for such high quality tutorials. Andrew Price takes his valuable time to prepare amazing tutorials for us free of charge, and you have the impertinence to criticize him for that. I, for one, am very satisfied with this ebook. I found the steps easy to follow, everything is well illustrated, and I am very satisfied with the results. Those of you who think that you can do better than Andrew should first write a free tutorial about it before criticizing him.

    Thank you Andrew for a great tutorial.

  20. My goodness.
    Great tutorial. I haven't followed it yet (middle of things) but the layout seem very clear and easy to follow. As far as the subscription goes, I set up a cautionary temp (just in case the email gets leaked or anything) and I'm very happy with what I've go so far. So what if Andrew is self-promoting through his tutorial. Anyone wondered how they can get recognition as a freelance 3D Artist which might lead on to further work of the 3D kind they like to do? Just look at what Andrew is doing... it's great! Good on you Andrew, and good luck!

  21. Hey guys,

    Thank you to those who like the eBook! If you've got any tips on how to improve the layout or wording, let me know!

    If you've subscribed but haven't yet received the book, check your spam folder.

    To answer those who are worried about the email list, I'm using it to inform people of new tutorials and articles that I have published. Tomorrow for example, I'm publishing a tutorial on volumetric clouds. People on the list will be the first to see it.

    I do plan to release a paid tutorial in the future, and I will probably send an email about it. But if at any time I get too noisy there's an 'unsubscribe' link at the bottom of each email. No hard feelings :)

    Hope you guys enjoy creating fire :) If you discover any tips or tricks on how to make it better, be sure to leave a comment.


  22. redbyte quote:

    Hope you guys enjoy creating fire :) If you discover any tips or tricks on how to make it better, be sure to leave a comment.

    end quote:

    Oh yeah they enjoy making fire! Have you seen the flames they made over your email list? :)

    Seriously, thanks for the great tutorial. I was very much wondering how the gradient in the smoke worked to create the flames. I am looking forward to your new cloud tutorial!

    Thanks again!

  23. sorry if i caused any flames here. i think the fire looks great and i'm sure the ebook is very nice. i only mentioned the email thing because it was mentioned in the main article as a barrier and for me, it is a barrier, as are paid tutorials. but thanks again Andrew for all your contributions to the blender community, i didn't mean to imply anything other than it was not for me, I probably should have kept it to myself.

  24. Always sad to see a flame war ignite as a result of one's generousity and hard work. While the fire is not perfect, it provides a great point for jumping off so that one does not have to start from scratch. For beginners in search of a way to get experience with another part of Blender, this is a good tut.

  25. Great tutorial. I'm sure there will be lots or realistic flamers out there in no time! Thanks for the Ebook.

    Also for anyone who hasn't checked it out. Heres a link to the durian fire work. Its not using the smoke simulator though. But check out the .blend file.

  26. Hey - as far as flame wars go - at least blender users stay cordial with each other! Still a great community, and I'm sorry if I offended anyone! :)

  27. super :-)

    pour ce qui est de la couleur ( orange/rouge ...) ou de la vitesse de propagation de la fumée dans l'air, se sont des détails des réglages qui peuvent se faire par la suite.
    Toute la démarche pour la réalisation d'un feu réaliste est posé clairement .. à chacun de faire son feu et le peaufiner comme il le souhaite.

    Thanks for this good tutorial, all the bases to create a realistic fire are here ;-).


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