Fireball trouble

Hey guys!

I’m currently trying to model special effects to my animation projects and I realized that I need an animated fireball-effect because my ship will fire some cannonballs. I found this video with an incomplete tutorial of it and I really can’t figure out how the guy finished the fireball. I’ve struggled with this problem for several days now and I really need help with this. How can I make a fireball effect like that in blender without volumetrics? I’d be really grateful for any useful advice you guys have!

Here’s the video and the tutorial.
http://vimeo.com/2221226
http://salvador.mata.com.mx/blog/2006/1 … a-blender/