I know this has been done many times already, but i still think that the current work on explosions is still uncomparable to the other “proffesional” 3d gfx programs. Please post some ways to make photorealistic (or as realistic as can be) explosions.
Soon we will have volumetrics,w hich ought to help.
It can be done in Blender, but only with effort. I have seen some fairly convincing fire and explosion effects created in blender. However, instead of being packaged in a plugin as is often the case in commercial packages, it comes down to artistry.
Tony Mullen’s new book Bounce, Tumble, and Splash illustrates one technique for flames using billboard particles. http://www.blendernation.com/2008/01/09/bounce-tumble-and-splash-video-by-tony-mullen/
Here’s an excellent explosion, but the scale may be more than you desire. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_Kkav0ibCI&NR=1
As Modron said, the development of volumetrics will make a whole new class of explosion effects available in Blender. http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=121687&highlight=volumetrics
I do think that given the constant need for explosive effects in CGI animation that Blender should have a python script based solution available for common cases such as combat explosions, fireworks, and other incendiaries where you will need many explosions and don’t need to tailor them much. The option of hand creating a perfect solution for your shot would still be available.