Flamey sword

tasuja19 Posts: 7 Just Starting Out

Howdy everybody! I wanted to ask if there's a better version to make a sword in flames and which is more realistic than the technique i tried (using the lightsaber vfx)? To shape and track the simple ''fire'' effect onto a sword with a shape or use particle simulator? Would be much appreciated


  • Andy001z
    Andy001z Lord EarthPosts: 3,635 Ambassador

    Hi @tasuja19 it just so happens that Borris Effects is offering its FREE standalone particle maker and the new version I remember seeing some sweet flaming swords that just drip flames. Remember all particle so when moved should act like real flame. Worth a look. Check out my link here to see the discussion on some of the issues with the new software, but still worth a try.


  • Dimipapa
    Dimipapa Posts: 449 Enthusiast

    I think I just stuck for the fire effect on the sword at the start of this video. I don't think it's super realistic but it looks ok.

  • the_dw_
    the_dw_ Posts: 8 Enthusiast

    Hi there,

    The best way would be to use the particle simulator, using a flame asset as a texture. You would have to track/roto the blade in order to use it as a layer emitter in the simulator. That way, you get realistic flames from the asset whilst following the blade's movement.

    I can't post links unfortunately but here is a screenshot of the video by Productioncrate

    , you should be able to find. It is done in after effects but you can easily translate/compensate to Hitfilm's interface.

    Hope this helps!

  • philipwesson
    philipwesson Posts: 492 Staff

    I was doing some testing of this for a concept about half a year ago.

    I had a duplicate sword prop made, but made the blade chroma green. That way I was able to key it out, use the matte as a source for the procedural fire effect, and also was able to use the alpha for a particle system. It looked pretty cool. I'll see if I can find a still of it.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,420 Power User

    Way I see it, using the Lightsword effect to define a matte is a great starting point. Using the built-in Fire effect is a great idea as well.

    @Donny_Don is also correct that the particle sim would help - and the particle sim has a "Layer Emitter" that can read your Lightsword effect as an emission source!

    A thing to do: Make your Lightsword layer an embedded Comp Shot. You want a white blade on transparent background. The Fire effect will still read the Matte and, when you set up the Layer Emitter in the Particle Sim you'll be able to check "Use Layer Alpha" so the sim only creates particles where the Lightsword shows.

    (Side note: a "Layer Emitter" is actually a Quad emitter that can take color and alpha information from the source layer. This is an important thing to know. It's why you want the Lightsword on a transparent BG. If you put it on black it will create particles over the entire Lightsword layer)

    Otherwise the key is to stack up multiple layers of effects. One Fire generator will look fake. Layering up multiple Fire effects with different settings will look good. One particle system will look fake (unless doing a stylized anime/cartoon look). Multiple sims of flames, smoke and sparks with different settings will fill every thing out and look natural.

    Here's an old HF2 tutorial that should inspire you. No layer emitters (those didn't get added till HF4), but you'll see how the effect builds up - how the first fire effect looks meh, but how after layering instances it all looks fantastic.

  • philipwesson
    philipwesson Posts: 492 Staff

    So here's a test I did with a still image. The blade was green, so I was able to isolate and animate it igniting. I used the matte and the light sword glow for the blade, then two particle systems for the sparks and energy coming off of it. I wish I could find that footage...