3dsmax and fire


I have done little research how to make fire in 3dsmax.
And here is the best tutorial to make fire which I found.
Allan Mckay Fire Tutorial
Allan Mckay’s fire looks very good, but it isn’t what I’m looking for.

I have also tested AfterBurn, but its much better for explosions than for camp fire, of course I’m not very good with anyway. So it would be nice to how good results some little more experienced can get with it.

Another plugin for fire I know, is Phoenix. Its very simple to use and I like it much, but it isn’t realistic.

ChaosGroup is making another plugin for realistic fire called AURA, which looks much better than Phoenix. But that ain’t ready or even in public beta testing stage (as far as I know).

Here is some pictures I found with Google to explain what kind of fire I’d wanna get.

Fire 01
Fire 02

Now, I’d like to see what is the best fire You have ever done with 3dsmax, using plugins or without. I’d also like to hear detailed explanation how you did it. Fire should be animatable and 3D, not just a plane with fire animation.

Here is my best fire, I used 3dsmax5.1 and Phoenix.
My Fire Test

It has only one problem. It doesn’t look good on any other object than plane, with teapot it came out far too chaotic, flames going in every possible direction and so on… Heheh, so not very usefull. Its animatable and 3D. Bottom part looks good, but upper part of fires are bit weird, never got it fixed.

I hope others have made something more usefull and even better looking fire. :slight_smile:

EDIT: Fixxed link names… :rolleyes:


By tweaking Phoenix parameters you can obtain more than decent results.
Another solution is to film real fire on a black background and attach the video to a particle system, very CPU consuming though.
If you have the plug go for Phoenix, the help inside is pretty good.
Hope that helps. Don’t necessarily look for something that’s not out yet, explore what you’ve got…
With Allan Mc Kay particle tuts you will obtain fantastic renderings.
He was more than kind to share a small bit of his huge talent.
Explore what he’s done.:slight_smile:


it isnt out yet but it look promising!!



Tims0l, man! I was just about to cry for that link, I’ve heard about Aura a while ago back at 3dluvr’s news, and was stunned from the develoment animations…

That system truly kiks ass, Phoenix was also amazing, but this seems just too realistic to be true! I’ll bet they’ve just filmed some real fire in a greenbox… :wink:

  • A.


Phoenix doesn’t work with Particles… but if AURA would… What kind of amazing effects we could do with fire and paricles together?

I hope they’ll get it soon out but there haven’t been updates lately on their site.

Pickman, yes. I could use Phoenix but I think it isn’t enough. Attacthing video to particles would be intresting. But I can’t get that video anywhere so its no sollution for me. I know they used this in LOTR…


MasterBercon, Im afraid I cant contribute for your search for a fire in which you want, but would there be any chance of me having a look at the settings you have in phoenix, or even better maybe the preset file?

Thanks, Aurorae.

PS AFAIK, phoenix DOES work with particles, I just tested it :slight_smile:
but NOT particle flow :hmm:



you say phoenix does’nt do realistic fire??
maybe you should explore deeper the functionnalitys offered
Sample animations I have seen were excellent.



Remember that Phoenix AND Aura = Chaosgroup…

Maybe AURA = (BetterFire)Phoenix+Smoke+CoolShadow…


I think u can do every type of fire u need with phoenix…


So far the best results I’ve got are with Allan Mckays particle fire… With some tweaking it came out good. Still, it only looks real when looking from far. When coming close it ain’t realistic at all.

Yes, Phoenix can do great looking fire but it still isn’t real.

Any other sollutions?


As far as Max goes I think your out of options.

Nothing beats the real thing. If you can get your hands on some real fire elements and comp them in you’ll probably be ok. So far the most realistic CG fire has taken the CFD approach. Aura shows a lot of promise but it’s not done yet. Maya has the whole fluids componet now which can give you good results but you really have to turn up the voxel grid res to get the scale correct but that slows down the tweaking process. Also network rendering is a nightmare. Once your fluid cache went over 2GB you were screwed(the cache file wasn’t split per frame). With the 5.01 patch Alias included an unsupported script that will divide the cache file up.

We could all probably help better if you told us exactly what it is your going to be burning.



Hey man,
thats awsome !
But… i cant seem to dl anything from
the website that the tutorial was from.
you see. the blurlib and electric plugins
are gone because of the new 3ds max 6.
the beta plugins are for max 6 now and i dont have that.

can you post all the plugins for making the fire ?
somewhere ? or just send it to me ?
Please ?

Share the knowledge and technology, my friend.
And thats a good test !



Plugins which make fire are Phoenix and AfterBurn, links to both are on the top of this thread. About the electric material you can get it from HERE .

About Phoenix and AURA, they are totally different.
Phoenix uses paths/particles to create fire.
AURA uses new fluid engine which has nothing to do with Phoenix’s method.

I’m not ready to give up on this. I’d maybe try few new methods with Phoenix, but it doesn’t work with 3dsmax6. At least not yet.

AfterBurn would be good way, if somebody have scene with realistic fire I’d like to get my hands on it.

I did some more tests with Allan Mckays particle method and got even better results. Too bad that max corrupted the scene and I didn’t have backup of it. Here is picture of new tests anyway, they are pretty similar (look at attached image). It looks quite good from far away and is totally animatable, but if you rotate the camera then it looks a bit stupid. For scenes with static camera this method can be used.

The fire I’m looking for would be good in any situtation, I’d use it mainly on torches, fireplaces and such things. Maybe I’d put few houses on fire also. So any other sollutions?



Yeah i went to that website and i couldnt dl it because i didnt have max v6. i need the plugin for 3ds max 4 or 5. and they dont have it there. were should i go ? can you post it if you have ?



This was done with 2 pheonix emitters and a very simple particle system, closely followed of AllanMackays particle type.

Whadd’ya think?


Having the same problem as davidko, was wondering if anyone has any recommendations?


There was a GREAT article about 3d fire in 3Dworld Magazine a few months ago. it was a huge tutorial. it was the cover story…anyone read that?

I think I still have that issue…I’ll search for it…


Yorgo12345, haven’t read it. Is it possible to see it online somehow? Could be intresting…

About blur plugins, I guess you just have to ask from users if somebody stilll have them.


you can get the new max6 blur plugz and scripts here http://www.blur.com/Tech/blurbeta_plugin_old



Can all of you stop tell us that it is at this site


Because v 3, 4, or 5 isnt in this list.
its all max v.6
and LOTS of people dont have max 6

can someone spot this plugin for max 3, 4, or 5.
preferable for 3ds max 5.

Please ?
thanx guys.



I dug through some of my backup files and found the old version of electric.dlt & Blurlib.dlu. I have both ver5 & 6 of max and verified that it worked in version 5

Has anyone tried contacting Blur to see if they offer a link to the old version? Is it unlawfull for me to post the file here rather than downloading it from Blurstudios?

EDIT: Just read this on Blur’s website,
Reproduction and Distribution: You may not reproduce and distribute copies of the Software without the express written concent of Blur…