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Blender Geometry Node Fire Animation

 


Blender Geometry Node Fire Animation

Unlock the power of Blender Geometry Nodes with our comprehensive guide to creating mesmerizing fire animations.

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Creating a fire animation using Blender's Geometry Nodes is a fascinating and relatively advanced task that combines the power of procedural modeling with dynamic effects. This guide will walk you through the process of setting up a basic fire animation using Blender's Geometry Nodes system. Note that this approach will utilize several of Blender's features and assumes a basic understanding of the Blender interface and its various tools.

Step 1: Setting Up the Scene

Start by opening Blender and creating a new project. Clear the default objects (cube, light, and camera) to give yourself a clean workspace.

  1. Add a Plane: Press Shift + A and select Mesh > Plane. This plane will serve as the emitter for the fire particles.
  2. Scale the Plane: Scale the plane up by pressing S and moving your mouse to the desired size. This plane doesn't need to be too large; it just needs to act as a source for the fire.

Step 2: Setting Up Geometry Nodes

Now, let's set up Geometry Nodes to create the fire particles.

  1. Add a Geometry Nodes Modifier: With the plane selected, go to the Modifier Properties tab and add a new Geometry Nodes modifier.
  2. Create a New Geometry Node Group: Click on New to create a new node group. This will open the Geometry Node Editor.

Step 3: Building the Fire Particle System

In the Geometry Node Editor, we'll set up the nodes to create a basic fire particle system.

  1. Add a Point Distribute Node: Press Shift + A, go to Point and add a Point Distribute node. Connect the output of the Group Input node to the input of the Point Distribute node. This node will randomly distribute points across the surface of the plane.
  2. Set Distribution to Poisson Disk: In the Point Distribute node, set the distribution method to Poisson Disk. This method provides a more even distribution of points compared to random.
  3. Add a Point Instance Node: Press Shift + A, go to Point and add a Point Instance node. This node will take the distributed points and instance another object on them. Connect the output of the Point Distribute node to the input of the Point Instance node.
  4. Create a Flame Object: In the main 3D view, add a small object that will represent a single flame. A simple Ico Sphere with a few subdivisions will work well. You can add this object by pressing Shift + A and selecting Mesh > Ico Sphere. Scale it down to a small size.
  5. Set the Instance Object: Go back to the Geometry Node Editor and set the Object field of the Point Instance node to the Ico Sphere you just created.

Step 4: Adding Motion to the Particles

Get Started

To make the fire look realistic, we need to animate the particles so they move upwards and change over time.

  1. Add a Point Translate Node: Press Shift + A, go to Point and add a Point Translate node. Connect this node after the Point Instance node.
  2. Animate the Translation: To make the particles move upwards, we need to animate the Translation value. Click on the small dot next to the Translation field and select Driver. Then, enter a simple expression like frame / 50 in the Z-axis field. This will move the particles upwards over time.
  3. Add Randomness to Motion: To make the motion less uniform, add a Random Value node (press Shift + A and go to Utilities > Random Value). Connect the random value output to the Z-axis input of the Point Translate node. This will add a random offset to the upward motion of the particles.

Step 5: Creating Fire Material

Next, we need to create a material that looks like fire.

  1. Create a New Material: In the Shading workspace, create a new material for the Ico Sphere.
  2. Use Emission Shader: Replace the Principled BSDF node with an Emission shader node. This will make the particles emit light.
  3. Add a Color Ramp: To simulate the color of fire, add a Color Ramp node between the Emission shader and the Material Output node. Set the colors to transition from yellow to orange to red.
  4. Animate the Emission Strength: To add some flicker to the fire, animate the Strength value of the Emission shader using a noise texture or a keyframed value.

Step 6: Adding Smoke

For added realism, you can add a smoke simulation.

  1. Add a Domain Object: Add a cube to the scene and scale it up to encompass the area where the fire particles will be. This cube will act as the domain for the smoke simulation.
  2. Set Up Smoke Simulation: Go to the Physics Properties tab and add a Fluid modifier. Set the type to Domain and the domain type to Gas.
  3. Add a Flow Object: Select the plane (emitter) and add another Fluid modifier. Set the type to Flow and the flow type to Fire + Smoke.

Step 7: Rendering the Animation

Finally, we need to set up the camera and render the animation.

  1. Set Up Camera: Position the camera to get a good view of the fire. You can do this by selecting the camera and using the transform tools to move and rotate it.
  2. Render Settings: Go to the Render Properties tab and set up your render settings. Make sure to enable Bloom in the Eevee render settings for added glow.
  3. Render Animation: Once everything is set up, go to Render > Render Animation to render the fire animation.

Conclusion

Creating a fire animation using Blender's Geometry Nodes involves a combination of procedural modeling, particle motion, and material setup. This guide provides a basic framework for setting up such an animation, but there's a lot of room for further refinement and complexity. Experiment with different node setups, material properties, and simulation settings to achieve the desired look for your fire animation. With practice and creativity, you can create stunning and realistic fire effects using Blender's powerful toolset.