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I am budding my head trying to find a good way to create a realistic candle flame. I have tried making a candle procedural texture using gradients and fresnel, from the right angle it looks promising, but it is way to hard to control.

What would you guys do? Is it the smoke way, or is there a better/simpler way?

enter image description here

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Final:

enter image description here

Node overview:

This is method is quite simple, it's basically make gradient as mask add facing mix and repeat. You can use this approach to extend this material even further and add some more colours, rims, and maybe more.

So here it is:

nodes

Mesh:

Flame is modeled from Cylinder, but you can make it as you like. Even from beveled Bezier Curve (easy animation).

mesh

Compositing:

As a final touch you can add some Compositing. I've done very simple colour correction, added Glow and Lens Distortion.

comp

Everything should be pretty clear, but if you have any question don't hesitate to ask in comments.

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