Fire Simulation - VDB import

Fire Simulation - Blender VDB test from Daniel Vesterbaek on Vimeo.

Hey! I am currently trying to learn how to do fire simulations in Houdini and I just noticed that a new branch of Blender supports VDB import. Finally! It’s so awesome. The branch is still pretty unstable, but it works. Motion blur does not work yet and if you try to render with Motion Blur enabled Blender will crash. The VDB also works in Eevee, but I had to increase the samples to 256 to get a decent result with the emission material. I suppose this is due to a color ramp I am using to add fake detail to the fire.

Eevee viewport preview

I see a lot of potential with this feature and it’s opening a lot of doors when it comes to production. Blender is a great tool for a lot of pipelines and when people start to respect the software even more, I am sure we will see it pop up for tasks or even as the main 3D package in more studios world-wide.

For anybody who would like to try it out I have uploaded the VDB cache of the 72 frame sim I was using to test VDBs in Blender. You can download it here:
VDB fire sims [8 GB]:
Blend file:

Download the experimental branch with VDB import here:


Hey Daniel. Thanks for your blend file. Using a color ramp into the blackbody intensity was a breakthrough for rendering the flame detail in my sim. Much appreciated. :+1:t2:

1 Like

Hey Leath!
You are welcome - Happy you could use it. I learned this technique from a Houdini/Mantra rendering tutorial, but it works very well in Blender too, and it gives you all the nice details and swirls of the fire.