I know how to make solid glass deform refractions in Blender Render, using Raytrace transparency and the correct IOR value. But there’s a similar thing I’ve been wondering about: How do you simulate refraction deformations caused by the movement atmospheric gas?
In real life, this effect is frequently seen when an object is very hot, and causes air to flow upward so quickly you see everything in the vicinity deform. If you heat up a metal plate positioned horizontally, you’ll see the phenomenon above its surface. Most modern FPS games implement this, making rocket explosions deform the air around them.
For now I’m still using Blender Render, but I’d like to know for both for it and Cycles.