Burning paper transition - How do I sell this effect

Hello there,

I am an aspiring film maker just out of high school (or the Danish equivalent).

I am currently making a trailer for a small local play which I play a part in. I am doing this solely as a hobby project and I am therefore not being payed.

The following is the first 'draft' of the ending of the trailer - I have not yet recorded any video so the drawings are only my storyboard: https://youtu.be/g4mTftGcYds

What I am going for, is for it to seem like the video of the two characters catches fire and burns up revealing the logo and title of the play behind it. I want the fire to look like it is burning paper.

I am very new to VFX work, but I am somewhat happy with result, being  the first 'draft' of the effect.

There are, however, two main points on which I want to improve the effect:

1. I would like the fire to have a more vertical spread, creating a  dividing line between the two characters before completely burning away. I would also like it to look a bit more natural than the current perfect circle

2. I would like to have the fire seem more like it is part of the same reality as the video. At the moment the fire simply looks like a layer on top of the storyboard without visually affecting it. I am thinking it would make sence to have a blackened line around the fire, as if the video is charred black just before catching fire.

Can any of you help me accomplishing these two goals?

If it helps to know how I made the current effect, I simply used the Bonfire effect turned 90 degrees so that it is seen from the bottom up. The black hole in the middle is the Bonfire effect's smoke. I have then added a luminance key to the composite shot making the smoke transparent and placing the logo text underneath.


As I explained above I am really a compositing noob, so if you have any ideas for better ways to achieve this effect I would truly be grateful.


I really hope you can help me improving this effect

- Buster


  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,202 Expert

    @ MalteBraelingder A while back there was a discussion about this effect in this thread:


    At the very end CowboyBob has a link to check out as well.  He came up with a couple of pretty close particle sims for it.  Hope you find this useful.

  • CowboyBob
    CowboyBob Posts: 105 Just Starting Out*
    edited June 2018

    Don't know if you still have a need.....Couple of YouTube viewers asked me to please publish my project files for the burning effect. It is all laid out in my tutorial, but if it makes it any easier, no problem. Didn't really know where to host it, so I through up a quick website to host the zipfile.  ROBatLarge.com . If it helps you, go for it! You have to register (free) to just try and keep bots from running up my download bandwidth