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Introduction to Fire in Blender



Jonathan Lampel gives an extensive overview of fire and smoke in Blender in this two-part video tutorial.

Jonathan writes:

Simulating and rendering convincing fire in Blender can be tricky business. But thanks to last year's GSOC project by Miika H., we can now easily create good looking flames.

In part 1, I go through all of the smoke sim settings that pertain to fire so that you can understand what to tweak and why:

In part 2, I show you how to make a nice material that can create both realistic and stylized fire by adjusting a few simple settings. I also cover a compositing setup that transforms our bland render into an eye catching final image:

I hope this helps, and I would love to see what you can come up with!


    • The fire itself can't, but there are ways to simulate the light source; it's not perfect, however. The smoke emitter can be set to also emit light, and you can (manually) keyframe the emitter to change the light levels coming from it based on the visible amount of fire in that frame. The angle of illumination, however, will likely give away the trick, as shadows will not flicker back and forth with the fire.

      • Speaking of keyframing, another way to simulate the flickering of the flame is to spawn, move, and hide (point) lights in the tongues of the flame; the way to do this is to create several lights in a non-visible layer, place them at the right location, and then keyframe them to the main layer to act like the flickering lights of the fire. Once the tongue of flame dissipates, move the light back to the hidden layer.

        This may involve a lot of work, but the output can be much more believable as a result.

        Oh, how I anticipate Volumetric texturing in Cycles!

  1. He mentions this breefly. It seems like it's possible by using paint canvas on vertex groups. At least that's what he said.

  2. Great tutorials, I have not done much with fire and smoke until now, but will probably spend the rest of the day playing around with it.

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