Help with 3D muzzle flashes?

HeySiri Posts: 386 Just Starting Out*

I've seen the tutorial for the 3D muzzle flash effect but I have a question:

Would this effect still work for a single shot? Like a pistol shooting it? Because to me it just looks like it would work for rapid machine gun fire but could it be used for a single pistol? It looks like just a flash, but no movement to it... so it doesn't look as good for a pistol to me... is there a way to animate the flash?


  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,410 Power User

    To change the look of the flash you keyframe animate the Seed property. Seed is the starting number for the algorithm used to create the flash, so changing that value changes the look.

    I'm away from my computer right now  but you can just animate the seed for the whole shot then toggle whatever turns the effect on for the required frames. I think that's "Active."


  • HeySiri
    HeySiri Posts: 386 Just Starting Out*
    edited January 2019

    @Triem23 the active property was already turned on automatically...

    I know the seed changes the flag, but what I'm trying to figure out if the flashes are animated? Or are they basically a 3D model of one point of a muzzle flash... I'm asking if they move at all like a single shot.

    Although after going through stock footage, I realized most guns are most like a quick flash than an animated thing——the gun smoke is the animated part coming out in most cases, which I know how to do in Hitfilm.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,410 Power User

    Unless it's a really super slow motion shot a muzzle flash is only one frame. It doesn't "animate," it just pops on and off. Many muzzle flashes aren't even caught. You can see this a lot in 1980's action movies. 

    The muzzle flash is a particle cloud. Changing the seed changes the shape allowing animation. For a pistol you'd turn on keyframing for Active and turn that OFF, switching ON for the frames the pistol fires.

    As you said, it's the smoke that lingers. 

  • WhiteCranePhoto
    WhiteCranePhoto Posts: 923 Enthusiast

    In the film I shot with a couple of shootouts, we ended up successfully recording maybe 2 or 3 muzzle flashes out of  a few hundred. The ones we caught were only one frame. 

    What sold them as authentic though is that the blast of air was completely realistic. :)


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