The Blaze addon for Blender 2.8 allows us to quickly setup a fire shader. Not only that, the shader is quite flexible and has now a realistic fire preset. There is quite a story behind this post because the developer contacted me before. Now that there is huge improvement, and the addon will be included in my own tool-set, it’s time to write about it.

The Blaze addon works best with Cycles, and the shader works with smoke and fire simulation. If you realise that smoke simulations in Blender take quite some resources, then you have the right expectations. (You need to bake, render with quite some samples, etc). And in case you start experimenting with smoke simulation, there is here a few tips.

Tips using smoke simulation

  • If you are lazy, you can place a cube in the scene, and go to Object (menu top in 3d view) and select Quick Effects > Quick Smoke. Select the domain and in the Properties Panel > Physics > Smoke, you enable Dissolve, Adaptive Domain. Under settings you set the resolution division first on 64. Instead of putting this resolution higher, you better bump up the resolution here: Enable high resolution and set the resolution division 1 or 2. Bump up if you want higher resolution.
  • When you scroll down in the properties panel > Physics, you see the Blaze addon. Press the button to add a shader while you have the domain selected.
  • Definitely try out the Real Flames Preset if you want to see realistic fire. There are other nice presets, but what I would personally use the most is: Real Flames, Smoke, Burner Flame and Only Smoke.
  • In case you see artefacts like blocky smoke or fire, it’s most likely related to brightness and contrast settings. Just be cautious with those settings and you are good to go. ( I believe contrast and brightness their underlying formula in Blender, belong to the pixel push area, rather than in the scene referred domain. Correct me if I am wrong).
  • Just a cube as flow won’t give super results. In case you was lazy and used the quick effect, select the cube and go in edit mode. Then make a somewhat more interesting object. You can also look for ways to add a texture. (Maybe look for complete tutorial on how to make realistic fire, they will talk a bout texture.)
  • You can also add forcefield (turbulence) to add more variety.
  • How the fire looks depends also on the lighting setup and background, color management and compositing. (You know what addon is good for that, right?)

Where to Download the Blaze addon?

You can download the Blaze addon on Gumroad.

Installation is quite simple. The download is a .py file and you don’t need to unzip it. In Blender, go to Edit > Preferences > Addons to install the .py file. The developer is very helpful in case you need support.

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