I have a scene with a straightforward fluid setup that seemingly works fine until rendering. After baking the sim I can see that the sim looks normal in Wireframe and Object view:

Wireframe view after baking

However it doesn't appear at all in rendered views:

Same frame in Rendered view

I've used 2 versions of Blender (3.5.1 and 3.4.1), used a variety of materials (emission and Principled volume) for the domain, tweaked the lighting, tweaked the Domain parameters, switched to Eevee, messed around with scaling, baked and rebaked, and nothing has changed. I can only think there must be some basic render setting I'm overlooking (but yes, everything is enabled in renders).

No idea what steps to take next, getting a little loopy. Any help or ideas would be much appreciated. Test file with the issue here https://we.tl/t-GcmHWmBwkC


1 Answer 1


First of all, I do not know what exactly you did, because in the Shader Editor the Material Output node has a red border which indicates some kind of error, but it goes away after I click it. I'm no developer so I'm not going to investigate this. Probably it's just because the file is from a different version than my Blender.

In your file the Emission node is plugged into the Surface socket of the Material Output node. The smoke simulation produces volumetric data. You have to plug it into the Volume output.

But directly plugging the Emission in the Volume output does not work that well either because it needs some information about where the smoke is. To provide that information you can add a Volume Info node and plug the Density output into the Strength of the Emission. Or you simply use a Principled Volume node to make the smoke appear in render.

smoke materials

  • $\begingroup$ Amazing. Thank you very much Gordon, that makes perfect sense now! $\endgroup$ Jun 8, 2023 at 21:24

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