How to Create a Flamethrower

Discover how to create a realistic flamethrower using the smoke simulator and particles

34 minutes
Blender 2.57b
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.9/5 (158 votes cast)

In this tutorial you will discover:

  • How to use the smoke simulator
  • How to turn smoke into fire
  • How to make fire glow using the compositor

It’s something I’ve been wanting to create for a while but never got round to it: Flamethrowers.

Whilst it would suck to come across one in real life, watching them on video is somewhat mesmerizing. It’s like a water hose that shoots fire! :D

Whenever I play Team Fortress 2 I nearly always choose the Pyro class (I like it when they run). So it makes sense that after a long TF2 session on Saturday morning that my first instinct was to boot up blender and mash away at the smoke simulator. It wasn’t long before a somewhat realistic flamethrower was achieved.

Finished Result

At a Glance

Screenshots from the video:

Further Inspiration

Not sure where to go with this tutorial? Check out these links for some firey inspiration:

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Post your animations in the comments below :)

Download finished .blend How to Create a Flamethrower, 4.9 out of 5 based on 158 ratings

About Andrew Price

User of Blender for 9+ years. I've written tutorials for 3d World Magazine and spoken at three Blender conferences. My goal is to help artists get employed in the industry by making training accessible and easy to understand. I'm an Aussie and I live in South Korea ;)
  • Thegreatnerd

    Great tutorial. I might be repeating something here, but I found out why the lamp name couldn’t be found when you tried to copy it to the particle system. When it was named, by default, it names the lamp data itself rather than the object name. You have to click on the object cube in the data tabs to change its name. Then, you’ll be able to find it without creating a group. Hope that helps!

  • Jettero Fletcher

    Everything worked fine up into the smoke addition, and the color. Then nothing. Did notice at least two instances where you clicked something that you didn’t TELL us to click (One way the emission checkmark on the first texture, you said to unclick it yet you didn’t, at least not up to 20something minutes.
    Anyway, was looking forward to this one. Guess we’re suppose to add stuff in that we should already know intuitively, versus just following the tut step by step. Ya know, like a TEACHING tutorial is suppose to do.

    • RodDavis

      Which version did you use? 2.69 or the recommended 2.57b?

      • Jettero Fletcher

        I’m using 2.69. Was 2.57b recommended somewhere in the video or elsewhere? If that’s the case, sorry I missed it. Doesn’t invalidate anything else I said, but probably would’ve helped the results.

  • Brandon

    I haven’t used the compositor yet, but in the first picture, I have smoke and when I render it, it does look more like fire, but it’s very grainy and noisy and all the noise is grey. I know that there is still suppose to be some smoke, but it really looks wrong.

    What should I do?

    • Brandon

      It switched the images around, but anyway, there is a lot of grey noise in the fire that I don’t feel should be there.

      What do I do?

  • Zakee Khattak

    Why can’t I see it when rendered? I followed every step in the video…

  • matt

    That is so badass!

  • Farkas

    I think the current version of blender has a bug ( 2.68a ). As I have tried to make the texture for the flames (the second texture), the color ramp think dose’t seem so be working as it supposed to : the lower density parts, which supposed to be transparent, has a white color and is emitting light.

    I feel really disappointed about it, cause the tutorial is extremely good. Maybe someone might make an update to it.

  • Han Subelack

    Nice tutorial.
    Also have some trouble that the smoke doesn’t look as thick as in the video. But result is nice :D

  • Matthew

    I can’t do it. It doesn’t work :(

  • Matthew

    My smoke doesn’t look like his at 14:30. Why?

  • Julian

    I can insert keyframes using i and then selecting rotate then pressing r and rotating it but when I animate it using alt A it ignores the keyframes and stays in it’s default position. It won’t allow me to delete keyframes either using alt i. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Help

    • Julian

      Found out what I was doing wrong. With the plane selected you have to first left click on the timeline then press r and rotate the plane that shoots the particles then press i and select rotate.

  • Logan Pederson

    I would have too say you have earned our love <3

  • guest

    when i render with the domain cube i have a box without anything in it and and it looks like a cube that didn’t become a domain this is a screenshot

  • Zak

    I watched this tutorial and found it very useful. Where do you think I should go with this? Because I am not too good at looking at my pictures from the eyes of another. I tend to criticize too strongly.

  • Izaque

    when I apply the domain cube is all black and he starts to lock the blender, what do I do?

  • Rombout

    PS why do you have a comment system and never answer, i see tons of questions i just watched the tut and doesnt work in blender 2.65-2.64-2.63-2.59-2.85a tried everything. I get a black box and system also slows down tremendos when i enable high res smoke. Your finished file wont work in blender 2.65 but i see i can see inside the box in your version.

    • Guest

      its a very old tutorial from 2.57
      he doesnt always answer, especially not on these old videos
      fire simuation since 2.65 has been added so there is a way to do this without smoke and particles, instead the own fire simulator can be used.

      You can still try this with 2.57, but thats a very old version…

      • Rombout

        Jep probably, but still. When the vid was just online even than he didnt comment that much on the load of questions that where asked. But as asked before perhaps he can restyle this one with the new fire feature but thatn with cycles

  • Mel Y-CHENG

    How do you do this in the cycles rendering engine.
    I ask this because I want to create a kind of an intro for fun.

    Like one torch kindles lots of lines and than the cam zooms out and shows the whole thing.
    Somewhere in there I want to incorporate some vertical flamethrowers and fountains.

  • Utopiaarules

    next tutorial should be lighting a match animation. So first it strikes but does not light then second it does light

  • disqus_cVCOlmw1tY

    when I do the ramp on the color the smoke is not there any more. Why? I followed the video step for step.

  • Alefefernando

    I’m from Brazil and I saw your video but I wanted to make a dragon type animation soutando fire but I wanted first to give a camera spin on the animal and then the fire goes out, but when I go try out the fire early on the animation so I do not know what to do please help me!!!

  • Alefefernando

    Eu sou do Brasil e vi o seu vídeo mas eu queria fazer animação tipo um dragão soutando o fogo mas eu queria que primeiro a câmera desse uma giro no animal e só depois o fogo sai, mas quando eu vou tentar o fogo sai logo no começo da animação então eu não sei oque fazer por favor me ajuda!!!!!

  • Justin McConnell

    Andrew Price,
    You should do another tut on the new fire and smoke simulator. (please!)

  • chris

    did something change with 2.64? my smoke sim is rubbish, i get more steam from my cold tea than i am with this sim even though i have the exact settings as the tut, and the smoke won’t take a texture

  • fergus

    could you mix this with dynamic paint to make a more realistic result? you could make the plane on the left hand side of the scene the canvas and the smoke the brush, and then make the paint a blackened, burned wall, so that where the flame hits the wall, the flame burns it and leaves it a blackened, burned wall.

  • VICKTOR1985

    This is a really cool tutorial but i get the same problem on this video and the “create an explosion” tutorial basically when you first put smoke on the scene when i push ALT+A the smoke does not appear…any ideas?

  • Matt Pietsch

    I have been doing the tutorials with cycles and I am wondering is this possible with cycles or does smoke depend on the volume shader to work with cycles?

    • fergus

      It depends on the volume shader.

      • fergus

        As in there is none. Yet.

  • Hardcore79

    Hello from Ukraine! Version 2.64a. All the settings are the same. But everything looks different. Why?

  • mxbush

    You might want to visit the Discovery channel show Sons of Guns. They repaired a WW 2 flame thrower getting it to work. I had thought I imagined there was something wrong with the flame distribution in the tutorial but I had not. I don’t think anyone who had not seen a real one would know the difference.

  • Paul Kind

    Nice effect, great tutorial and thanks! I’m very new to blender (Lightwave/Max guy here) and am looking seriously at transitioning to blender. I just worked through your tutorial and had very good success. My only problem that I cant figure out why its happening is that the fire seems to hover over the floor plane. It splashes into it in the view-port but when rendered it seems to bounce above it and not on it. Any idea why this may be happening? I plan to mull through your other tutorials over the next few weeks and see what else I can pick up from you. Really, thanks! I cant seem to figure out what is better, Blender or the people who use it and help others along. BTW do you have a tutorial on how to make a jet flame?

  • alf

    This was nice and simple, but with amazing effect, now I want to recreate “Fire Flower”!
    If you could do a ‘Fire Flower’ tutorial I’d be pleased/impressed.

    • Not sure though

      I’m pretty sure fire flower was done using after effects and trap code particular