Thanks go out to Filippo Veniero for this Blender tutorial. You can see more of his work at ifilgood.it
You may recognise this tutorial from issue 50 of 3D Artist, which is out today in print and digital forms! We’ve posted it on the website because the original tutorial was written for Blender 2.64, which was superseded by Blender 2.65 after we went to print. As such there are some new features we thought you should know about that we wanted to also cover here. We’ll hand over to Filippo to explain the details. Enjoy!
Good news for lovers of open source software; version 2.65 of Blender is available, and it’s full of improvements. New nodes for cycles are available, and it now supports Open Shading Language, motion blur, anisotropic shading, improved modifiers, improved bevel and a new engine for fire and smoke simulation.
Following the smoke tutorial for Blender 2.64 in issue 50, it only seemed right to complete the article with details relating to the new version of the simulator. First of all, people who want to try the “old” tutorial on the new Blender version, don’t worry. It will still work fine, but the simulation can be improved with new features.
In 2.65 we can choose if we want to emit only fire, only smoke or both fire and smoke form the mesh; the flames are visible in the 3D view preview; and Blender now supports a different kind of voxel data, one for smoke and one for flames. The Domain resolution and size adapts now to only cover areas where smoke exists, which means more speed simulation and less ram used. Animating the Domain’s location is also supported now, we can customize smoke color (different colors in the same domain) and use surface and volume (without particles) as a smoke / flame emitter. In this Blender version they have also added combustion parameters such as the amount of fuel and temperature of the flames.
So, in this tutorial we’ll create a smoke simulation using Blender version 2.65, and as usual we’ll use Suzanne as main character 🙂
Open Blender 2.65 , add a cube (the domain) in the scene, add a Suzanne mesh inside the cube and a light. Switch view in wire mode (Z-key) to see inside the domain and place the meshes in place. Add the subsurf modifier to Suzanne and set smooth shading.
First of all, we will create a texture for the emission of the flames. Select Suzanne and add a texture. I used a distorted noise, white pixels correspond to maximum emissions, black pixels correspond to no emissions.
Select the domain, enable the smoke simulation in physics panel and check “smoke adaptive domain”. Select the mesh Suzanne, enable “flow” in the physics panel, select Flow type as “fire” and “flow source” as “mesh”. In the panel “smoke flow advanced” tick “use texture” and select the texture created earlier. In the “offset” panel create an animation to make the emission more realistic (move the mouse cursor over offset field, press “I”, go to the end of animation (eg frame 250), type 5 in offset field and press again “I”). Press the Bake button.
Select the domain, add a new material type “Volume” with “Density” set to zero, “Density Scale” set at 9 and “Emission” to 5. In the “integration” panel lower “Step size” at 0.002 (to eliminate noise in the flames in render time).
In the panel texture create a new texture called “smoke”, type “Voxel Data”, set “Source” as “smoke” and in the influence panel tick “density” and “Reflection Color”. Create another texture and call it “fire”, set type as “voxel data”, set “Source” as “Flame” and in the panel influence tick “density”, “emission” and “emission color”; in the “colors” panel create a blend color from red to orange.
Select a frame from the simulation and click “render” Now it is very easy to choose the right frame because the flames and smoke are visible in the 3d viewport.
If you want the coloured smoke, select Suzanne and in the physics panel select “Flow type” as “smoke” and in the Smoke color panel choose a pretty color. If you want only smoke, the texture “flame” is not necessary.
You can read more like this in issue 50 of 3D Artist, which is out today! Grab your copy at any good newsagents, through imagineshop.co.uk, or online through greatdigitalmags.com. You can arrange a subscription for 3D Artist through imaginesubs.co.uk