top of page

Post     Production


Visual Effects - Fire

Fire is one of the most difficult effects to simulate.
Here's how we didn't burn down the set.

Fire. To quote Young Frankenstein, "Fire is good. Fire is our friend." That is, until you have to shoot a movie with it. Fortunately, the advancement of virtual fire created in CGI has evolved to the point where adding fire to a set after-the-fact has become realistic enough. In the scene where our protagonist is having a PTSD-induced hallucination, we needed to engulf the promotion booth and surround him with a raging fire. PixelLab to the rescue! This team of mad scientists have created a library of VDB files (Volume Database file format) to render realistic fire, clouds, smoke, et al.

The key to using these VDB files in Cinema 4D was to create simplified 3D models of the set we built. By making these virtual sets, the VDB flame volumes would be able to interact with the environments elements. If I hadn't built these obscuring objects, the fires would have looked like we'd just overlayed stock footage fires atop our scenes. In some places, that would have worked fine, but when the final renders were composited over the set footage, the depth created by the obscuring objects took the effect to a whole new level of efficiency. As a plus, no actors were injured in the shooting process. 

I can't stress enough how the tools and resources available at The Pixel Labs helped make our vision become effective and powerful. I tip my mouse to you all.

A sample of VDB fires available from the vast library at the PixelLab.

bottom of page