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How to simulate smoke with pre-roll in Blender

Category : Animation, Tips and Tricks · (6) Comments · by Jun 30th, 2015

The simulation preroll

In this small tutorial we will create a smoke simulation with pre-roll, that is a cache on the negative frames in order to run the simulation for a specified number of frames prior to the beginning of the actual animation. Because of that the smoke/fire will be already initiated when the animation starts.

  no_preroll with_preroll

I’ve found those questions online and decided to write a tutorial about it, so if you are interested about the original istructions you can find them here:

Simulation issues

Blender is a great tool but sometimes it will disappoint us, not because it lacks some functionality, but because for some features there is a functionIsThereButWorksOnlyAfterBlackMagicActivation feeling…

I’ve worked with simulations in the cloth, fluid and rigid body field and the ongoing revision of the physic system is a really great and challenging task for the Blender foundation (did you said tornado in project gooseberry?)
Well, my new kryptonite was is the smoke simulation and its parameters.

How to create a smoke simulation with pre-roll

In order to do a bake of the smoke domain with a pre-roll of 100 frames(that is sufficient for my purpose, change it for your own task) you have to follow those few simple steps:

  • Set the cache of smoke domain to “External” and starting from frame -100 (desired pre-roll) to frame x (your total simulation)
  • If the smoke is particle generated set the beginning of particles also to -100 or you won’t have anything to simulate
  • Start the bake all dynamics. At the end of this process be careful because you can’t touch the timeline or scroll through time. This because if you move the time blender will rewrite (and lose) that part of the cache.
  • Now from your file system navigate into the cache folder that should be beside your blend file and delete all your negative frames (from -99 to -1)
  • Into blender refresh the cache by choosing the cache folder from “File Path” in the cache settings. This process will update the frame range excluding negative frames (starting from 1)
  • Save and reopen the file to confirm the reload and finally enjoy your pre rolled simulation!


Let me know if you encounter any issue!

This guide is tested with Blender 2.71-2.74

[Blender Cycles] Costanza Lamp 3D model

Category : Cycles, Exteriors, Models, Render Engine · No Comments · by Jul 4th, 2013

LampadaCostanzaLuceplan_blender_CyclesHi everybody!

Here it is another freebie 3D model downloadable for Blender Cycles.

This time I give away a good model for architectural visualization: the Costanza® Lamp, from Luceplan® studio.

[Blender Cycles] 8 Indispensable cycles node configurations

With this article i’d like to cover some interesting and indispensable node configurations made for cycles.
Here you can find topic like realistic foliage/leafs, dupliverts random materials, realistic rusty configurations, vertex color configurations, fake glass and and many others ready to use node configurations for cycles.

[Blender Cycles] Garden metal table for external

Category : Cycles, Exteriors, Models · No Comments · by Jul 31st, 2012

This 3D model is a garden metal table that i’ve modeled to add detail to an outdoor architectural render.
It’s free to download and rehuse!



Click the image to enlarge.

This model is based on a design from ETHIMO (, more info in the description.

[Blender Cycles] Garden folding chairs for external

Category : Cycles, Exteriors, Models · (1) Comment · by Jul 19th, 2012

This 3D model is a garden folding chair that i’ve modeled to add detail to an outdoor architectural render.
It’s free to download and rehuse!


Click the image to enlarge.

This model is based on a design from ETHIMO (, more info in the description.

BAT – Blender Architectural Tips #3: IES fake lights with cycles

Category : BAT, Cycles, Render Engine, Tips and Tricks · No Comments · by Jun 18th, 2012

Some time ago, i’ve found into a “BlenderArtists” post, a wonderfull video that shows an architectural animation rendered entirely with cycles in Blender from the user turqueque. I’ve asked for explanation of the beautiful looking IES architectural lights (visible at ~ 1:22) and of how to manage this effect into cycles renderer.

Here it is the animation:

For better comprehension of what IES Lights are, follow the link to CGArena:


The user answered my question with a clear and well explained video that’s teach you how to obtain a fake IES light effect with Blender Cycles