Creation of Fire Effects


I’m trying to find out what method is used for creating the fire effects available in the ActionVFX product library, particularly for the ground fires, and small debris fires. Are they sims created in Maya or Houdini or some other 3d package? Are they real time VFX created within niagra/unrea/etc.? Or are they created from real footage?

Thank you to anyone who knows!

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You can usually get an idea from the product page. Sometimes it says in the video on that page or the text.

eg. Ground Fire Vol 2 says

Original 5K unkeyed .R3D files are also included.
Camera: RED Epic-W Helium 8K

So if it says a particular real camera (such as the Red Epic) you then know it was actual shot footage rather than created in some 3D software.

The “Falling burning debris” set says:

27 clips of real burning debris falling to the ground.
Variations include type and amount of debris, as well as wind intensity.
Shot in 5K resolution at 96fps. Elements are properly exposed.
Delivered in 2K or 4K resolution in 12-bit ProRes 4444.
Original 5K unkeyed .R3D files are also included.

So that says it’s real burning debris and it shows it was shot with a camera (Red Gemini 5K), so it’s not made using 3d software.

It was probably shot against either a green screen background or maybe a black background. If you own the set you can probably see the background used by downloading the “5k unkeyed” file(s).

In the “Large Scale Smoke Plumes Vol. 2” set it doesn’t mention a real camera so the fire in them is likely done with 3D CGI as well as the smoke (especially given the different render passes they mention).


Hey, @andy.y2620!

@vfx200 has done a great job of explaining some of the different ways you can tell what assets are real and which ones are CG. I’ll also add that almost all of the collections in the Fire category are real fire that was filmed with a camera and not CG. There are some exceptions just as vfx200 stated such as the fire in the Large Scale Smoke Plumes Vol. 2.