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The animation I’m working on is illuminated by about 20 torches. Currently 1000 frames.

I’d like to use a fire animation, via fluid physics, for the torches, in a efficient way, keeping cache sizes to a minimum.

The technique seems to involve baking and the use of a folder for cached data. However, I don’t really need 1000 frames of torch data. Once a torch is on fire, I want to somehow just use the same 100 frames of cached data repeatedly.


Following vklidu below, these steps seem to work:

  • First I make the fire animation in say fire.blend. The cache, in my case, is at the same location, in the directory fire-cache.

  • The scene where I want to use the fire loop is say use-fire.blend.

In use-fire.blend, from the 3D viewport ...

  • Add>Volume>Import Open VDB

  • Navigate to fire-cache/data, multi select and import all the vdb files. I ignore the fire-cache/config files, which in my case still have a *.uni extension, as they aren't visible in the import dialog.

Those steps create a fluid_data_0001 item with what I guess to be a puff of smoke icon.

In use-fire.blend, I also append the material 'Smoke Domain Material', used for the fire domain in fire.blend. I set fluid_data_0001 to use that material.

Blender 3.3.1

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Create a fire loop animation ... bake cache as VDB.

enter image description here

Add Object > Volume > Import VDB.
Under Properties > Object Data Properties > OpenVDB File change Mode to Repeat

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ seems to work ok but is it correct to multi-select and import all the fire-cache/data/*.vdb files? After the import, only the first one is listed in the fluid_data_0001 properties. $\endgroup$
    – twisted
    Oct 26, 2022 at 22:41
  • $\begingroup$ Blender works like that :) Same for image sequence ... path contains name of a first file in sequence ... if sequence starts with number 365 a path is ... 0365.vdb ... but yes, at some cases could be more user friendly to mark sequence like ####.vdb to let you know it is sequence, but you can know that from second field "Frames". $\endgroup$
    – vklidu
    Oct 27, 2022 at 12:49

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