The attached screenshot is from a program I wrote for Borland's January
game programming contest, titled 'Set the World on Fire'. The goal of this
contest was to write a component that renders fire. I wrote mine in Delphi,
and I used a particle-based approach. No bitmaps were harmed, or even used,
in the making of this effect. The flame can be viewed from any angle, and
looks very volumetric.
The component, along with the sample program this shot came from, can be
downloaded from my site at www.gamedeveloper.org/delphi3d.