I finished the flame thrower today, and posted the final image, and thought it might be a nice idea to create a blog post about how it all came together and the many steps it took to create it.
We had two reference images which we used for a bit of the design, but it was mostly free handed.
6mm flame thrower MVC-Flame
First we created the tanks the the strips of metal that created them.
Flame Thower All the bumping was achieved using bump mapping, which is just a texture that creates a bumping on the render. The hardest part of this was getting the metal portions that connected the tanks to look nice. I first tried with a curve, but the edges we too sharp, and the ends didn’t have any faces on them, so they were empty tubes. I later created a mesh with many vertices and used a curve modifier to bend them both. I think it turned out fairly well.
Flame Thower1
This model has the updated metal strapping which looks much better as well as straps to wear this on your back, and then valve so you can mix the chemicals, though in real life that usually wouldn’t be done till they were in the gun portion.
Flame Thower2
this is my first attempt at flames. I really had no idea how I was going to do it, other than I would use a particle system which didn’t work well here at all.

Here are a few tries at flames with mesh and texture. None of them looked very good so I had to look further.
Flame Thower3 Flame Thower4 Flame Thower5
I took a great tutorial from Andrew Price, of Blender Guru, and tried to set up a fire coming out on an angle from the gun, but the way the physics are set up in Blender, and how they are in real life, the fire wanted to go up from the barrel, and not out like it was being thrown, so I had to do a bit of photo editing.
Flame Thower6
I created a render without any fire at all, and then rendered the fire in a completely different file.
flame ball2
I know it’s hard to see here, but that’s because of the transparency. I took both of these images in GIMP and made several copies of the flames and laid them over each other to make it less transparent and ended up with this.
Flame Thower8
Now this is some nice looking fire.

Well there you have it, the basic steps I went through to create this image. I will make a guess that It took about twenty hours to get the model made and then flames. If I count the time I spent doing stuff that didn’t end up in the final render, the mesh flames, and the earlier particle system setup, we could be easily be talking about forty or so hours for this project. But it was totally worth it, not to mention next time I will know how to do it, and I already have some cool ideas for new images, but they have to wait till I get some spare time.