Missed The Season 3 Premiere of AskGSG? Get the Full Schedule Here!

GSG Flame: Free Candle Simulator for Cinema 4D 131 Comments

I started playing around with a realistic way to build a candle flame effect in Cinema 4D after reading a post over at After a few hours, I got a decent looking effect going. So, I decided to build a quick Rig dedicated to making candle flames. Not sure if too many people will need it, but here it is for you if you do. Feel free to download it just to check out all the xpresso and deformer setup for the rig. I used a bunch of wind deformers combined to get the flicker effect. I added a candle with some Sub Surface Scattering to the scene file as well just for fun. Hope this comes in handy some way.

Download GSG Flame


Download GSG Flame
Cinema 4D r12 and up only

Comment Rules

This is a friendly community. Please treat everyone with respect. We don't all have to agree, but we do have to be nice. Criticism is fine, but rude comments and name calling will be deleted. Use your real name and don't be spammy. Thanks for adding to the conversation.


  1. Looking good. can probably use this to some cool stuff in the future! Thanks.

  2. Eddie

    Thank you very much for this! You are awsome

  3. Pretty cool, although it’s not that realistic as it should be in my opinion. But I’m sure with some tweaking it’ll work out very fine 😉 What’s that NFR version of Cinema R13 you’re using?

    • vector

      NFR = not for release. at least that’s what it meant when i used to work for a mac software company.

  4. Ian Jopson

    Very very nice Nick, love your work and very happy to support it!!! Ian

  5. Devin

    Could this be adapted to make a jet flame?

  6. Elmar

    Nice 1 BTW some 1 is spreading the csg texture pack over youtube

  7. rovino

    very nice.. I like!!

    Now to come up with an Xpresso rig for SENT. Then I can make my tahitian vanilla candle more realistic!! 8)

  8. …Not sure if too many people will need it, but here it is for you if you do…

    I DO !!! Thanks a lot !
    You made my day !

  9. TuhinBagh

    seriously Nick, Vimeo videos takes lot of time to get download n play, n it don’t even has to fastfrwd option or reducing the resolutions..!!
    but was a awesome tut Nick thnx again 🙂

  10. TuhinBagh

    seriously Nick, Vimeo videos takes lot of time to get download n play, n it don’t even has to fastfrwd option or reducing the resolutions..!!
    but was a awesome tut Nick thnx again 🙂

  11. Throb36

    Nice Rig. Having lights move in the flame is very clever.

    • Abdullah

      im wonder if we can make flamethrower with samel technic ?

      • Throb36

        You’d need a serious mesh for that. A simple cylinder isn’t going to work.

  12. 1000000 thanx, master! (This is not realistic, this is HYPER realistic!)

  13. Jason

    Nick, you should incorporate using this in the next 5-second project! That’ll get our creative juices flowing!

  14. Regis

    Hi there,

    Very nice indeed!
    Another solution I think, could have been to make an editable icosahedron sphere with a cloth tag and a belt tag connected to the wick of the candle. Then playing with wind, gravity at 0 and other settings in the cloth tag would allow to achieve the same rssult or near…

    • Regis

      Sorry I forgot to mention to add a good amount of subdivision to the sphere, and to scale it up to look like a kind of flame…

  15. Awesomeeee man!!! thanks a loT!!!!!! we gonna say thaaaanks to you for our xmas renders!!!! 😀

  16. Hi Nick what a brillant plugin nice to share this ….i will use it for the christmas greetings card for family

  17. Richard dobell

    Sweet – although can I just say that I hate it when cats, dogs and mice fight. It makes such a mess, and muggins here has to clean it up…

  18. Hey… that’s amazing! and it’s for free?? I can’t believe it. Now I HAVE to buy every “gorilla kit” you made!!

  19. Mr Rayne

    :)… Nice share, Nick. Very descent of you. And very much appreciated. Top stuff!


  20. Will the flame always face the camera if the camera rotates around the flame?

    • CollinBishop

      If you want that just nest in a null and apply “Look at camera” tag. Disable the pitch rotation and it will simply rotate constrained.

  21. tchsam1

    Merci NICK!I will light it in memory of The Genius we Lost “Mr STEVE JOBS”!

  22. steve

    r12 and up ..sorry 11.5 and under peeps..:(

  23. Graham Cooke

    Thanks for another inspiring tutorial and the chance to play with the file! – Here’s a quick clip using your candle in a cloner on a spline. Not very creative but it works quite well even in R12:

  24. is it me, or does nick look a little more married than he used to?

  25. Awesome stuff! Thanks for making this available for free!

    One question: My render doesn´t look anything like your examples movies. I use R13 Broadcast. Do I need any render features of Studio or Visualize to render this correctly? I get strange outlines around the flame and around that “haze” object (which is completely opaque, too)


      • Steve From UK

        Yep I getting the exact same issue.

        I have been playing around with rendering settings but no luck.

        In the picture viewer it builds it nicely, but the last seconds before completing it appears as in your screenshot


        I have broadcast version R13 as well

      • Steve From UK

        It definitely a rendering setting methinks.

        If you open a complete new project and copy/paste the objects over It then renders with any issues in the new project

        • Thanks! Yes, that seems to work for me, too! Strange – there doesn´t seem to be anything special in the render settings. I guess this is a R13 bug?!


    • vector

      that’s not a bug. nick’s .c4d file of the candle has his render settings embedded in it, and he has alpha channel/straight alpha turned on. just go to Render Settings » Save, and then untick “alpha channel” and “straight alpha”, and the weird aliasing artifacts around the edges will go away.

      as an aside, that’s why the weird stuff goes away if you make a new file and copy/paste the candle into it: new files don’t have alpha channels enabled by default.

  26. Keith aldrich

    WOW! That’s really cool Nick, and very generous of you. Thank you!!!

  27. Steve From UK

    As Marco has mention, I’m seem to be generating a strange rendering

  28. Steve From UK

    Hi Nick

    After playing around I having to copy the the objects (flame, Candle) over to a new project for things to render ok.

  29. wow – nick went from a designer to a coder – never thought that will hapen 😉

    Great work gorilla – and even free…

  30. Nick, this is really beautiful. Nice work – Next up, I’m going to try a melting candle test with this – – thanks !

  31. Nick, or anybody that knows. Can you please tell me your iMac (I think thats what you use) specs. Thanks.

  32. Awesome! Wanted to ask a quick lighting question too. One thing that still kind of confuses me with lights is falloff. I know the basics that inverse square is realistic, and inverse square clamped is realistic but easier to work with but what about the falloff distance. Is increasing this just the same as increasing the intensity of the light? Or is it more just stretching out the illumination from the light (so the actual light intensity at the lights centre point stays the same).

    In the real world the only control on falloff would be making a light brighter right?

  33. Hey guys.. Is there any way we can rid of jawset mark in the background from that jawset plugin….?

    • Geoff V.

      Yup. I got rid of mine via PayPal (jawset website -> Purchase)

  34. Kessir Adjaho

    Thanks for all the tuts and tips

  35. TenFingers

    Great, thank you – less than 70 days to christmas btw.

    • its like everyday is christmas on GSG….

  36. lyonnel

    Very nice.
    Now, we need a GSG pumpkin !! 🙂

    With physic render, I noticed area shadows are quicker than soft shadow to render.

  37. I not had a chance to download yet (on a different machine).

    How do you constrain the lights to the object mesh to move around with it?

    Also interested to see the shader you used for the flame.

  38. Patrick

    This is great! Thanks!

    I’m having trouble with the sub surface scattering though. I’m in R12 Studio version and it’s saying that I don’t have the plugin then giving me a texture error when I render. Do I need to purchase sss or does it need to be checked on somewhere?

      • Sebastian

        Hi Nick,

        Having the same problem.
        This is the error message:

        Several Plugins used in this scene are missing.
        Saving may cause loss of plugin data!
        Plugin ‘Physical’ (ID 1023342)
        Plugin ‘Subsurface Scattering’ (ID1025614)

        Thanks man!

        • Sebastian

          The texture error only says:

          Subsurface Scattering (Candle Material)

          • Sounds like you don’t have the Studio Version of Cinema 4D or V13. Everything else should work though.

          • Patrick

            Does the sub surface scattering only work in R13?

          • Sebastian

            I’m using Broadcast R12. Thought subsurface scattering should work. But OK, thanks for your reply Nick.

  39. AndyDV

    I doubt there is a more suitable application of SSS than on a candle. I wonder if a changing light environment in the background would increase the level of realism…

  40. hey do you guys know when i try to perform heavy tasks that cinema starts not responding, when i quit the program and re open it works fine but every couple of seconds it is not responding. what i found that fixes the problem is restarting my computer but is there another way to fix this. much appreciate it if you guys can help me out here.

  41. Thank you far all. I love all your C4D tutorials, your way to make it and the style of your renders. I love the predilection that you give to the illumination. I love your site, and the use of WordPress too. (i really like your tee on Threadless too 🙂
    This is a great site, with a great team.
    I am a web developer but this site always keeps high my passion for CG.

    • Kutaputa

      could you use two capsule objects and apply a metaball to them both them just have the tow on top of each other and slowly move apart.

      also if you go in the materials window at the lower left and click on
      create > shader > sheen it gives you a cool material that kind of looks like what you are wanting I think

      I sounds interesting i will try to make one and see what i come up with

      • Really Thanks ,but my problems is dividing more than one as i mentioned.divide ,divide and…..more more more .not only on to make this colony big and bigger.

        • Kutaputa

          Not sure may be animate it backwards.

          so you have a lot merging in to one then reverse the timeline?

      • Dear Kutaputa it was great but i need repeat it about 50 times ! a guess we can do it with effector .i am trying but i could not yet.

        • Kutaputa

          just loop it in a video editor the real light is like 100 frames I think
          I was going to add a window and a oil lamp but the render time is rather long.

  42. Random question but does anyone know in r13 how to exit polygon edit mode? I can’t find the button anywhere…

  43. Freddy D

    This is really amazing!

    Thanks alot dude!

    Greez from Switzerland

  44. ChaNinja

    Thanks so much for this its brilliant! Just what I needed =D Thanks GG!

  45. super usefull for this days
    thnks Nick

  46. Andrey Kodencev

    I created a candle flame in Cinema 4D three months ago for my project. I thought I built a pretty good material for flame, but animation was insane, it was very bad and I stopped at this point:

    Now I think I can combine this rig with my candle, and it will be better next time =)

    Thanks Nick!

  47. Again gorilla’s file is hugely off the scale. Anyhow nice idea of 3D, even though flames are more efficient when just comped above the candle (imo)

  48. Mine renders out with a saturation glow surrounding the flame. Is anyone having the same problem?

  49. Brendan

    Awesome Rig! Is it possible to randomize the flame if I’m trying to work with more than one candle?

  50. Hey Nick, Awesome tutorial. Thank you for sharing the project file.
    I have a question. Say If need bunch of candles in one scene… but I dont want the same replicate flame animation for all. When I put them into a cloner it will animate all the same. How to offset the timing or is there any other way to achieve?
    Thanks, Heaps.

  51. I am new to this, and I am slightly confussed on how to install the pluggin. If you could shed some light on this for me, I would be forever in your debt. I was looking forward to using this in an upcoming project but can not seem to get this to work. Any help would be outstanding. Thanks for the help and all that you have done here I use your tutorials all the time. You are such a big help.

    • It’s no plugin. It’s just a scene file. Just open it in Cinema and you are all set.

      • I have tried that, every time I try to open the file I get this message
        Picture Viewer was unable to load file:
        Is there something I am doing wrong? I work more with video than 3d software, I see where 3d could be huge when used with video so I am trying to learn but it is way more complicated than I thought.

      • I have tried to open it with cinema 4d and I keep getting an error message that says…
        Picture Viewer was unable to load file:
        If you have any ideas I would be forever in your debt, I am more familur with video’s and editing of them. But I can see how 3d modeling could increase the production value of even a small budget film. Please help and I love the site I am learning so much Thanks again

  52. I thank God that He made you Nick!!! You are awesome for sharing this! I am using your flame simulator in commercial ad I am creating in Cinema 4D. It should come out great thank to you!

  53. Gianni Roden

    Hi Greyscalegorilla,
    I know you are busy. Sorry for the disturbance
    Maybe I misunderstood. Is the Flame simulator a plugin?
    Where can i download GSG Flame
    Anyway, very nice work.

    Thank you Gianni

  54. Daniel

    very useful tutorial, well done

    and, a i get a weird problem when i open this file in c4d, it says that subsurface scattering plugin (ID 1025614) is missing. i know it has nothing to do with tutorial, but can anyone please tell me what is going on, i would really appreciate it