FXWars! Bonfire!: Monichi Leonard, Forensic, SweetMemories


Hi, first time I join a VFX challenge. I figured this was a good opportunity to learn a bit about Maya Fluids which is my software of choice for this entry,

Right now all the elements are still a off but the basic idea is following:

  • ember emits lots of smoke
  • sparks appear
  • ember catches fire again

for the camera movement I will shoot some footage walking around some marker and track that and use the camera data to get a more realistic feel since 3d cams always look so fake.

I hope I will be able to finish this one!

First WIP here:
Bonfire V1


finally some update!

heres the latest sim:

as a 3d generalist I couldn’t help myself and create some environment.
hope render times will not go to crazy, so far the simulation time only took around 15 min, so nothing crazy yet. Maybe I try to increase the grid settings and see how realistic it can get!

C&C welcome!


Whoa, cool. :slight_smile: I really like the camera motion you have in your setup. The only thing that I notice is the fire seems to be behind the wood not emitting from it like it’s on fire. That could just be because it’s a viewport representation though. The scene as a whole is looking good!


yeah thanks, I went out shooting some footage and did a fast track to get a nice camera movement. I like to do it that way rather than using random expressions to get fake camera shake, but hey, whatever works…

nicely spotted, indeed I had to redo the sim. At the beginning I also thought it was just the viewport clipping the fire in a funny way, but when I test rendered I saw that it actually was mostly behing the logs.

Rendering the fire over the weekend. I try to finish by beginning of next week since I got other stuff to do!


I guess I call it a day on this one since got other projects coming in!

heres my (most likely) last upate:




I love the camera motion. Great work


thanks brent!


Ok, heres the final post:

The fire was made in Maya suing Maya Fluids, to get some extra detail in there I used the SouP to double the fluid simulation. The process is quite simple:

  1. Set up the fluid simulation in Maya and tweak until you are kinda happy. dont worry too much about shading at this time, just get the simulation speed and turbulence right.
  2. Once this is done cache the fluid. I used a container resolution of around 90/90/60 at this point. I turned container auto-resize off since it gave me funny results in previous tests and the cache size was too big at certain frames causing my (crappy) comp to freeze.
  3. After caching I selected the fluid container and applied the SouP “UpRez fluid” tool I selected the new resulting fluid container and loaded the cache of the previously cached fluid. At this point you can turn the original Maya fluid off.
  4. Now tweak the “upRezFluid” attributes and turn “envelope” on to see the results. Don’t go overboard with the resolution settings unless you have an uber-awesome pc at your disposal. For this bonfire I just doubled the resolution.
  5. Now go into the “fluid” attributes and tweak the shading attributes, mostly incandescence and opacity.
  6. Now press render and hope for the best!

The plants and grass was done quickly using Maya Paint Effects and the environment and logs was done in ZBrush! I rendered in several layers: background, environment, fire, sparks. Those layers were then composited in After Effects


Direct Download:

Cheers Leonard


Ok guys, the plug goes live on Monday.
Until then I am not looking.

Please do post your final entry here:
FXWARS Challenge:38- Bonfire: Post Your FINAL ENTRY


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