I have a Photograph where I want to edit in some rendered storm clouds and therefore downloaded Blender and started to have a look into it. I'm following this tutorial to build a cloud with Cycles.

My computer isn't really fast with graphics and if I try to bake with 300 divisions and 5 high res divisions, Blender crashes.
I was able to figure out that a bake at 250 devisions and 5 high res devisions works, however it will take about a day. I only need a still render.

To reduce the baking time, I set the scene duration to a total of 15 frames, adjusted the baking frame span from 1 to 15, and I put in a temperature difference in the smoke domain settings at 0.2 because I want the smoke rise a bit to give it some texture. The still I want to render is at about frame 7.

I tried to set in the frame settings for baking 6 to 8 however then frame 7 looks like the smoke was just emitted at this frame only and not the first one.

Is it possible to bake a single frame?

  • $\begingroup$ You cannot (afaik) bake a single frame, but to save some hdd space you can delete all the cache files for everything but the frame you want. $\endgroup$
    – Greg Zaal
    Jul 28, 2014 at 13:04
  • $\begingroup$ Side question: Do you run a 32-bit version of Blender? And do you have a 64-bit OS? If so, I'd recommend installing the 64-bit version of Blender. I would imagine it'll be a lot faster to bake and you would be able to bake higher res. $\endgroup$
    – Humilton
    Jul 28, 2014 at 23:45
  • $\begingroup$ @ Greg Zaal thanks, this is what I figured, unfortunately the baking time takes really long on my Laptop. Would it be possible to take the Blender file to someone who has a more powerful pc have it baked there and then have the relevant bphys files put on my laptop and imported to the blender file? $\endgroup$
    – user5291
    Jul 29, 2014 at 14:21
  • $\begingroup$ @ Laambi I runt the 64-bit MAC OS version on my laptop. $\endgroup$
    – user5291
    Jul 29, 2014 at 14:23
  • $\begingroup$ @user5291 I've never tested it, but I think that should work fine. $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Jul 29, 2014 at 18:35

1 Answer 1


You can't bake a single frame in the middle of a simulation because blender needs to know what the state of the simulation in the previous frame was in order to compute the state for the next frame.

As an alternative, you could try using the cloud generator script for BI (tutorial), or modeling your clouds manually.

  • $\begingroup$ hey gandalf3, thanks for letting me know! yes the cloud generator in blender internal was actually the first thing I tried, however if you fry to implement this in a large scale, lots of verts, it crashes so this was also really frustrating ( I want to build a complete sky with lots of clouds) I think the best is to get access to a computer with better graphics $\endgroup$
    – user5291
    Jul 29, 2014 at 15:01

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