I was just playing around with Blender, and I came up with a really cool effect. I thought to myself, “Hey, that looks pretty cool! Now what can I turn it into? Well, what does it look like? I know – it looks like the head to a sparkler!” And so, I played around a little more, and came up with a pretty neat sparkler.
Since it was such a cool effect, I thought I’d share it with you guys, and tell you how I made it. So without further ado…How to Create a Sparkler in Blender.
Note: I am using Blender 2.47, which is the newest version of Blender at the time of this tutorial’s writing. If you don’t have the newest version of Blender yet, go over to their website and get it now!
The finished Sparkler:
To start off, we will create the head, or flame of the sparkler. Open up Blender, delete the default cube (x), press space and go to Add>Mesh>UVsphere. In the little dialog that pops up, enter 5 for Segments, 5 for Rings, and 1.00 for Radius. Press S, type 0.3, and press Enter to scale the UVsphere down to 0.3 of its original size. You should now have this:
With the new UVsphere selected, go to the Shading Buttons (F5) and then to the Material Buttons. Press the button that says Add New in the Links and Pipeline tab – this will bring up a whole lot more material options to play with. Click the Halo and ZInvert buttons in the Links and Pipeline tab, and then set the Halo color (under the Material tab) to R: 1.0, G: 0.678, B: 0.545. Go to the Shaders tab, and change the Halo Size to 2.0, the Add to 1.0, and press both the Lines and Star buttons. The Material Buttons panel should now look like this:
We’ve finished the head of the sparkler. Now let’s position the camera so that it is facing the right way. To do this, first select the camera, and press N to bring up the Transform Properties panel. Then set RotX, RotY, RotZ, LocX, and LocY to 0, and set LocZ to 10.0. To make the render background black, go to Shading Buttons, and then World Buttons, and change HoR, HoG, and HoB to 0. Now that the camera is positioned and the render background is black, you can preview your sparkler head by pressing F12. It should look like this:
Now that the head of the sparkler is done, we will make some sparks shooting out the side of it. This will make it look like someone is waving it in the air. So press Space, go to Add>Mesh>UVsphere, set Segments and Rings to 32, and Radius to 1.00. With the new UVsphere selected, go to the Material Buttons, and click Add New. Press the Halo button, and change the Halo color to R: 1.0, G: 0.818, B: 0.742. Under the Shaders tab, press the Flare, Lines, and Star buttons, and drag the Boost value all the way down to 0.1. Set the Halo Size to 0.1, the Hard to 127, the Add to 1.0, the Lines to 3, and the Stars to 5. This is what the Material Buttons tab should look like now:
To make the actual sparks, first go to the Object Buttons (F7), and then to the Particle Buttons. Press the Add New button under the Particle System tab to create a new particle system for the UVsphere, and set the Amount to 500, and the Life to 100. Under the Physics tab, set the Normal and Random to 0.5, AccX to 1.0, and AccY to -0.3. Finally, to actually see the sparks, hold down the right arrow key until you get to frame 64. If you render the project now, you will see this:
We’re now done with the flame of the sparkler, including the sparks. You have to admit – it’s looking pretty cool!
To finish off, we will make the actual sparkler handle that is being burned. Press Space, and go to Add>Mesh>Cylinder. Press S, type 0.1, and press Enter to scale the Cylinder down. Go into Front View (Num 1), press S and Z, type in 25, and press Enter. Then press R, type in -90, and press Enter to rotate the Cylinder -90 degrees. Go into Camera View (Num 0), press R again, type 45, and press Enter. Now just move (G) the Cylinder so that the top left end of it is in the middle of both of the UVspheres that we made earlier. Here is what your 3D View should look like now:
To make the sparkler handle black, go to the Material Buttons, press Add New, and change R, G, and B to 0.
For the final step, go to Top View (Num 7), duplicate the only lamp in the scene (Shift+D), and position the new lamp like below:
And that’s it! Render your scene, and you get a very cool sparkler-like effect that you created all by yourself. Here is my result: