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Blender Creating Fire Animation Geometry Nodes

Blender Creating Fire Animation Geometry Nodes

In this Geometry Nodes Tutorial, I show you how to instance any object (in this case, fire) along a curve in blender.

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Creating realistic fire in 3D animations is a challenge that many digital artists face, and Blender provides a versatile solution through its Geometry Nodes system. This guide will walk you through the process of creating a fire animation using Blender's Geometry Nodes, offering a step-by-step tutorial to achieve a compelling and dynamic fire effect.

Understanding Geometry Nodes

Before diving into the fire animation, it’s essential to understand the basics of Geometry Nodes in Blender. Geometry Nodes is a powerful toolset introduced in Blender 2.92 that allows procedural generation and manipulation of geometry through a node-based workflow. This system gives artists the flexibility to create complex scenes and effects with a non-destructive and highly customizable approach.

Setting Up Your Scene

  1. Starting a New Project: Open Blender and create a new project. Ensure you are in the Layout workspace for a better overview of your scene.

  2. Adding a Plane: Press Shift + A to add a new mesh. Select Mesh > Plane. This plane will serve as the base for our fire effect.

  3. Entering the Geometry Nodes Workspace: Switch to the Geometry Nodes workspace by selecting it from the top menu or pressing Ctrl + Tab and choosing Geometry Nodes.

Creating the Fire Effect

  1. Creating a New Geometry Nodes Modifier: With the plane selected, click on the Modifiers tab in the properties panel. Add a new modifier and select Geometry Nodes. Click on New to create a new node tree.

  2. Setting Up the Node Tree: The default nodes, Group Input and Group Output, are already present. These nodes define the input and output of your geometry nodes network.

  3. Adding a Point Distribute Node: To create a dynamic fire effect, we need particles that can act as the source of the fire. Add a Point Distribute node by pressing Shift + A and navigating to Point > Point Distribute. Connect the Geometry output of the Group Input node to the Geometry input of the Point Distribute node.

  4. Configuring the Point Distribute Node: Set the Distribution method to Poisson Disk. This method distributes points more evenly, which is useful for creating a more natural fire effect. Adjust the Density parameter to control the number of points on the plane, which will affect the intensity of the fire.

  5. Adding Instance on Points Node: To visualize the fire, we need to instance flame-like shapes on these points. Add an Instance on Points node (Shift + A > Point > Instance on Points). Connect the Points output of the Point Distribute node to the Points input of the Instance on Points node.

  6. Creating a Flame Shape: Add a simple mesh, such as an icosphere, that will represent the flame. Press Shift + A and choose Mesh > Icosphere. Adjust its subdivisions to a lower value to keep the geometry simple. In the node editor, add an Object Info node (Shift + A > Input > Object Info). Select the icosphere as the object and connect its Geometry output to the Instance input of the Instance on Points node.

  7. Scaling the Flames: To create a more natural fire effect, add a Random Value node (Shift + A > Input > Random Value). Set the type to Vector and adjust the minimum and maximum values to scale the flames randomly. Connect this node to the Scale input of the Instance on Points node.

Adding Motion and Dynamics

  1. Animating the Fire: Fire is dynamic and constantly changing. To animate the fire, we need to introduce some movement. Add a Position node (Shift + A > Input > Position) and a Vector Math node (Shift + A > Vector > Vector Math). Set the operation to Add and connect the Position node to the A input. Create a noise texture node (Shift + A > Texture > Noise Texture) and connect its Color output to the B input of the Vector Math node. Connect the output of the Vector Math node to the Position input of the Group Output node.

  2. Animating the Noise Texture: To make the noise texture change over time, add a Value node (Shift + A > Input > Value) and an Add node (Shift + A > Math > Add). Connect the Value node to the Add node and the Add node to the Noise Texture node’s Scale input. Right-click on the Value node and select Insert Keyframe. Move to a different frame in the timeline, change the value, and insert another keyframe. This will animate the noise texture, creating a flickering fire effect.

Adding Materials and Rendering

  1. Creating a Fire Material: Switch to the Shading workspace. Select the icosphere and create a new material. Use an Emission shader to make the flames emit light. Adjust the color to an orange-yellow hue to simulate fire. Connect the Emission shader to the Material Output node.

  2. Adding Glow: To enhance the fire effect, add a Glare node in the compositor. Switch to the Compositing workspace, enable Use Nodes, and add a Glare node (Shift + A > Filter > Glare). Connect it to the Render Layers node. Adjust the settings to create a glowing effect around the flames.

  3. Rendering the Animation: Set up your camera to frame the fire effect and adjust the render settings for your desired resolution and quality. Render the animation by navigating to Render > Render Animation.

Final Touches

To achieve the most realistic fire effect, you may need to tweak various parameters, such as the density of the points, the scale of the instances, and the noise texture settings. Additionally, consider adding smoke or additional lighting effects to enhance the overall realism.

Conclusion

Creating a fire animation using Geometry Nodes in Blender is a complex but rewarding process. By leveraging the procedural capabilities of Geometry Nodes, you can create dynamic and customizable fire effects that can be adjusted to fit any scene. Experiment with different settings and techniques to refine your fire animation and bring your 3D projects to life with realistic and captivating fire effects.

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