TSFireTutorial
  • 1. Things needed.
  • 1.1 Sphereglow transparency
  • 1.2 MBAcloudmarble or texture
  • 1.3 Particle generator or script
  • 2. Lets Get started.
  • 2.1 Make the particle
  • 2.2 Set measurements
  • 3. Smoke&Fire column.
  • 3.1 Particle
  • 3.2 Python or Particle generator
  • 3.3 Play script
  • 4. Material
  • 4.1 Smoke
  • 4.2 Fire
  • 4.3 Texturing
  • 5. Shadows 
  • 5.1 Blend
  • 5.2 Fix it
  • 6. Lights
  • 6.1 Make ground object
  • 6.2 Shadows 
  • 6.3 Fire ring lights
  • 6.4 Fire center light
  • 7. Brought to you by.
1.Things needed

1.1 Sphereglow transprency -this may be substituted but I find this works best.

Now available on sourceforge: Sphereglow

1.2 MBAcloudshader or an appropriate texture for smoke and fire. Available through download from here. MBAcloudmarble

1.3 For the column any particle generator will do or python script. (Note) Ive include a python script that makes an ok column.

2. Lets Get started

2.1Make the particle

A sphere with latitude of (5) and longitude of(5) will do fine. This is to keep polygon count down. Referr to Fig.2-a

2.2 Set measurements

Make the object and world properties to either millimeters or centimeters in object info panel. This makes sure the particle column doesnt get too big. Refer to Fig.2-b

3. Smoke&Fire

I've included 2 python scripts we use the column one for this tutorial. They can be found here. Column / Clouds

3.1 Particle

Select the above made particle. 
3.2 Python or Particle generator

Open python scripts up and then load up the python script that I included under scene. Or use your own generator. 

3.3 Play script

This will create a suitable test column for us.
This one only works with stills Id really like to see it tried out with animated particles.
(Note) Experiment here alot this is where you can get from column,clouds, to atom bomb effects.

3.4 Adjusting

Lets resize it if you did like I did and used centimenters. Go to object info again and divide size by 8 for x,y,z and in the location enter 0,0,250. Then rotate the perspective view so you can see the column. Also delete the original particle. 

4. Material

4.1 Smoke
Lets get MBA out or a texture make a texture that works good for the smoke.
Heres a setting you might try. Brown,1 Black,1 Darkred almost black,1
Id make one redish-dark grey. Use matte with full diffusion and 0 ambient.
For transparency we will use one of our secret ingredients. Sphereglow transparency
With these settings. attentuation of 1.80
(Note) experiement with the transparency settings 
also experiment with like steam columns.
Save this to a new material library.
4.2 Fire
Same as above Except for the color but Ive found a fair solution for fire with MBA.
First color orange set at like 5, next one red set at 1 and finally yellow set at .5
Save this to a new material library.
4.3 Texturing
Paint the whole column with the smoke material you made.
Then step through the particles by first pressing the down arrow key then pressing right or left. The particles at the bottom we want fire so paint them with the second material you made. Step up through the column painting the particles with fire until about 1/3 of the way up. And at this point you want to varying like make some fire and some smoke. Then leave the top 2/3 smoke.

5. Shadows
5.1 Blend
If you render now with a shadow casting light you may notice something about the particles being to dark in some places. Where it might be catching shadows.(Note) I didn't put enough fire into the smoke. It should be like in the scene with the barrel. Or even more.
5.2 Fix it
Another secret ingredient.
Select the whole column.
In object info under render options make sure Receive shadows is not checked.:)

6. Lights

Finally lets do a bit of lighting for the fire.

6.1 Make a ground object - this is so we can see our lighting better.

6.2 Fire ring lights.

Make 4 locals with these settings. Arrange these around the middle portion of the flame.

6.3 Fire center light. 

Make 1 local with these settings.

And place it bottom center of the flame.

Here it is used in a couple of scenes. :)

Down below.

7. Brought to you by.

Jonathan Koehn.

Special thanks to Terry Halladay for all the much appreciated help.

Thanks Darren Waschow and Kevin Barnett for giving me the much needed feed back on the tutorial.

Thanks IRC #truespace for looking at all the test renders and for all the feed back :)

Thanks Ann for the html help with the tutorial.