Candle flame effect

Hi all, first time posting. I’m working on an e-card at the moment that features a bunch of cupcakes with lit candles in them. I’d like to have the candles lit like this one:

As you can see, this is pretty exquisite stuff - heads and tails above most “realistic candle flames” out there. The creator of the example, Peter Joel (, says in his blog that:

“The example relies on a few of Flash Player 8’s new features: [LIST]
[]BitmapData object, which lets you manipulate raw pixels
]BitmapData.perlinNoise() method, for creating natual-looking random textures
[]Blend modes (uses “screen” and “multiply” modes)
]Gradient enhancments: the shape of the flame is controlled via a radial gradient, whose focal point has been moved to one end
[*]ColorMatrixFilter[/LIST] Essentially, the flame is created by blending a radial gradient with some animated perlin noise, then adjusting the colours. The brightness of the colour effect, applied to the candle body, is determined by finding the size of the part of the flame that is brightest.”

He makes it all sound so simple!

I have no idea what he’s doing here, honestly. I’m totally unfamiliar with the BitmapData class; I haven’t ever heard of the ColorMatrixFilter thing. The research I’ve done hasn’t turned up much, either, at least not much that I can readily comprehend. Anyone have any insights, up for a challenge, etc.?