View Full Version : heat distortion effects

03 March 2003, 12:34 AM
hi there ppl,

im looking to do some heat distortion fx
coming from the engines of rocketships.

does anyone have any ideas or links to
specific tuts please ?

i have Max - Photoshop, and
AfterEffects...but not much time.


03 March 2003, 02:12 AM
theres a trick you can do with max, create a whole lot of splines coming out of the jet engine. Assign noise modifiers with differing seed values to each one (it should look like a whole lotta waving tentacles) Then if you make them renderable, & turn on object motion blur for them, the motion blur effect will distort the background like a heatwave effect (my memory is a bit fuzzy though - it may be that the splines need to be set _not_ renderable to work - one or the other anyway)

If you need to do it in post, try rendering out a mask for the effect (say a white cylinder on a black background where the blurry bit should be) then use that as a mask in After Effects to do some kind of turbulance displacement effect. (In combustion I would assign a turbulance effect to the mask & use that as the source for the displace modifier)

03 March 2003, 02:05 PM
if i am right, the foundry released a plugin someday called "tinderbox" which has a "heat rays"-option, which exactly does, what u are looking for, but i am not sure. check here:


03 March 2003, 04:27 AM
Tinderbox for SHAKE -- Plugin name is HeatHaze.


03 March 2003, 07:39 AM
thx for the help guys !

i dont know why i thought it was achallenge...
kinda easy really...

we got a good effect from
facing particles each with thin wall refraction...

bit slow to render up close though...

i'll play with the splines though - sounds interesting...

03 March 2003, 10:56 PM
I dont know if this post is too late, but I found an easy way to achieve a heat distortion effect. I rendered out some smoke particles coming out of my jet and rendered it as a seperate pass, then in AE I used the particles emitted from the engine as a displacement map on the background plate. From there you can tweak the settings or animate them to make it more realistic, but it is the quickest method I found.

Hope that helps.


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