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A Note on Visualizing Smoke and Fire



Glenn P. Forney


Realistic visualization methods are important for applications where one wishes to observe data effects rather than examine data quantitatively. This note documents how the radiation transport equation (RTE) and associated numerical algorithms are used by Smokeview to visualize smoke and fire realistically. This equation models the interaction of light and smoke due to absorption, emission, and scattering. By noting that typical smoke due to fire has low albedo, the RTE may be approximated resulting in simpler solution procedures. Two methods are discussed for visualizing smoke both using a form of the RTE. The first method, slice rendering, uses a series of partially transparent slices to represent smoke and fire. The second method, volume rendering, solves the RTE over the entire domain. Several areas where the visualization methods may be improved are given.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings, Fire and Evacuation Modeling Technical Conference 2011
Conference Dates
August 15-16, 2011
Conference Location
Baltimore, MD


fire modeling, visualization, scientific visualization, radiative transport


Forney, G. (2011), A Note on Visualizing Smoke and Fire, Proceedings, Fire and Evacuation Modeling Technical Conference 2011, Baltimore, MD (Accessed April 24, 2024)
Created August 15, 2011, Updated June 2, 2021