How to Use Math to Create Fire

A demonstration of mathematically-generated fireThis fire image was mathematically generated using the code available below.

(NOTE: as of February 26th, 2009, version 2.0 of this code is available here.)

Whether working on an old-school RPG or a state-of-the-art FPS, every game programmer needs to be able to generate a fast, cool fire effect at some point in his/her career.  In this example, I’ve opted for a straightforward and easy-to-understand method for generating real-time flames.  No pre-built images or palettes are used, making the code quite small and easy to reuse.  Coloring and flame generation is done using only math and a little cleverness.  :)

To simplify the code, I’ve used SetPixelV for drawing the fire.  This slows the demo down significantly, but DIB sections could easily be dropped into place if speed is a major factor for you.

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