Engine flicker or flimmer


You probably know from some science fiction films that if a space ship or some kind of jet airplain flys by, engine flicker of flimmer can be seen, which dissorts the back of the space ship.

This effect can also be seen on roads ( on very hot days), where hot air moves up and creates a flimmery dissortion of the road.

I want to create a simmilar effect in Blender, where the hot gases from the space ships engines, dissort the back of it and create this flimmer or flicker.

It would be very helpful, if somebody would make suggestions on how it might be achieved.

Thanks in advance!

Haven’t tried this in Blender but in theory this should work.

You need a totally transparent plane (with no specular etc) set to refract. Use graded texture to affect normal or displacement of plane (ie at bottom of plane texture affects 100%. At top of plane texture affects 0%). Animate texture. Turn on raytrace.

Obviously you’ll have to parent the plane to the engine, and orient it to the camera.


There have been a few threads on this before. Search Elysiun for “Heat and haze” or “heat and distortion.” Most solutions are either similar to lunarman’s excellent idea, or use the sequence editor/postpro.