How to achieve?



i need your help…again :wink:
i have to do a sphere, which is burning, and throwing at a very high speed. I’ve included a picture showing how it should look like…
My problem is, i dont know how to achieve this goal, could you maybe suggest some techniques how i could do that? its very important, please help me :slight_smile:


oh it seems to be very simpl.

u use an surface emitter for particles on a sphere…

first make the sphere select it and go to particles --> createEmitter and in the options choose surface emitter. use opacityPP with a ramp to fade out the Particles and rgbPP to colorize it with this flame like colors yello to red to black.

take points or multiPoints as particles, and render it with the hardware render buffer, with motion blur. composit and ready.

and it looks that u want to have more fire when its throwing, so u have to key frame the emission.

think thats it.
some more questions ??

cheers heavy

edit: oh and an info u can use a black and white texture to emitt particles on only some parts of the surface, and u can use animated images for that, so u can use a simple animation, made in flash or smthin, where the black parts growing. that meens that first some parts of the sphere are burning and then at the end the whole sphere is burning, cause the particles are only emitting from that growing black parts of the texture.

´try pressing F1 and search for texture emission or smth. or emit particles using texture smth like that.


You’re going to want to crank your emission rate for the particle emitter for the bit where it flys through the air, else you’re sure to get stepping as the particles emit during the toss.

Another method (which could save you a high emission rate and thus a very high particle count) woulod be to set up your emitter and particles and sphere in a group so that when you translate the sphere and the emitter, the particles travel with it. You could then use forces to make the fire look as though it is reacting to the toss.

A bit more set up, but maybe worth it if you really want to keep your emission rate low but still get a nice thick flame.


Thanks for the fast reply. Hm, where can i find the attributes and whats opacityPP ?

~edit~ @Floyd Bishop
thx i replied right after u did :slight_smile:
i am going to try your method too, as you probably see i am new to dynamics, thats why i asked for your suggestions, i think it’ll take its time, but with your helo i can reach my goal =)


u should really check out the maya help and inform yourself about particle attributs.

if you create an emitter and u select the particles, for example in the outliner than u open up the attribute editor and scroll down to where its called -->per particle attributs<-- .
there u have 3 hit buttons -->general -->opacity -->color .

for the rgbPP u press color and than select per-particle, that creates a new attribute in the attributelist above the 3 buttons wich is called rgbPP. if U now click with RMB on this nu attribut u can create a ramp with the color of your wishes.
the same for the opacity Button. hit it, select per-particle and than create a ramp this time from black to white. this ramp on opacityPP fades the particle out over lifetime.
so they disappear slowly.

there is a really good gnomon dvd for Fire with particles hier is the link


Another solution might be to use paintFX for the fire and animate the growth based on the velocity of the sphere. Might take some tweaking but I’d think you could get nice results using either solution.



Is the only way to render particles by hardware renderer? because it says that my graphic card doesnt support it…hm, i know that it is old (geforce 2 gts pro), does that mean that i cant render particles? t_T

here is the renderlog.

mental ray for Maya 7.0
mental ray: version, 06 July 2005
File read in 0 seconds.
Warning: You will need to rewind and play to see your particles. We recommend you then save the file with a startup cache.
Result: C:/Dokumente und Einstellungen/admin/Eigene Dateien/maya/projects/FIRE/New_Project/scenes/untitled__548.mb
Your graphics card doesn’t support hardware rendering. Pixel shading extensions insufficient.
Error: Graphics card capabilities are insufficient for rendering. Batch Render aborted.
mental ray: wallclock 0:00:09.56 total
mental ray: allocated 1 MB, max resident 2 MB


depends on what particles you use…points and multipoints are indeed only renderable with the hardware render. Tried updating your graphic card drivers?


Well, after some tests i was able to come up with something…
lol, its not exactly the result i was going for…i mean, it doesnt even look like fire!
well, here is the file, please tell me what i did wrong…hm, i ordered the gnomon dvd, but shipping time is about 4-7 days…

(u have to copy it and paste it in the adress bar) ~ 1mb

 [b]  [](



Here is an update…worked abit on the particles…, its a very high speed (in 48 frames, 15 rotations…i wanted to try motion blur, didnt work tho)
hm, the result should be more realistic, and i cant get it right with the motionblur, all what it does is balding the firecolor out, but no ‘throwing effect’…what can i do?

as always, copy and paste in the adressbar

[b] ~~~ 0.5 mb

[/b]Please gimme some hints :thumbsup:


so mario,
tomorrow i bring u my example, cuz i tried the same after your inspire, to help U better and to try it out for my own. it looks not perfect cuz i`am also on a beginner level.
i used fields to put the flames around the sphere and made the particle collide so they flow around the sphere.
i will than explain my set up so u can get to the same Result. stay tuned.

what i can definatly say to u is that for motion blur u have to cache the particles to get right
result and put up the render Passes and you should use multiStreaks or streaks to have a flame like look.

bis morgen
…heavy out…


wow, thx heavy
Sehr nett, du hilft mir wirklich aus der Klemme!
Ok, see ya tomorrow :slight_smile:


i am sorry, but i didnt had the time today i had to much work.
so stay tuned again
tomorrow i will post my way of making a fireball.

PS. a video is watchable under

so take a look.


edit: has anybody reference pictures of the x-men Ice and Fireballs from pyro and
these other guy???


heavy, that looks quite amazing…
Hm, i 've got my gnomon dvd now…hope to get some better results from now on!
Cheers, i am looking forward to your tutorial :smiley:



 after watching the dvd (very helpful) i started a new try.
 A screenshot from the video:

And here is the video, about 1.2 mb.

Watch it, i think i finally reached the result i wanted…it needs just abit finetuning, thx to all who helped me!
(copy the adress and paste it in the adressbar)



the fireball…
i did some renderings, to show how it could look like.
i used gravity and a volumeAxis-field plus a turbulence field
to drive the motion of the Particles.

here is a blue version

and a red fire like one

how it`s done:

created a NurbsSphere and scale it up a bit to 3 or smth near by
then go to

particles -->emit from object

now select the emitter in the outliner and open the attribute editor.
set the emitter rate to 500 and make “scale by object size” selected
to see enough particles to work with.
next go to Distance/direction and set min Distance to 0.1 and max Dist to 0.3.
we need this for the collision with the sphere later.

set the speed to something slow like .2 or .3 and a little bit of randomness.

now select the particles in the outliner or play a few frames to select them
with the mouse.
under Lifespan Attributes set the particles to Random with a lifespan of 0.666 with a
Random Value of 0.2.

now go to

Fields --> gravity

at this point the particles falling down but this doesnt matter cuz we will change it.
in the attributes of the Gravity field we have a direction attribut for Y which
is set to -1. change it to 1 and lower the magnitude a little bit to smth around 5.
now the particles raising in the air.

to get a more spherish look, i created a Volume axis field with its center right
above the sphere and made the sphere a collision object for the particles.

for the collision select the particles then the sphere and go to

particles --> make collide

cuz we set the min/max attribute the particles now hit the sphere and move along
when they are pushed inwards wat we want to do now.
go to

fields --> volumeAxis

open the attributes and go to volume Control… change volume shape to sphere and scale
it up in Y to get an oval look.
move it up so the center is right above the partcle sphere. and scale the volume field
in X and Z so that the particle emitting sphere is in the bottom of the volume axis field.
make the following changes.

set the magnitude to 35 and attenuation to 0 u can keyframe that later to change the top
burst shape.
in the volume speed section change “away from center” to a low negative Value.
and ad a llill bit of turbulence.
now the particles move inward to the center of the volumeAxisField wich was slightly
above our nurbsSphere.

now comes the tricky part

open flash and set the stage to 256x128 thats enough.
create 3 layers and paint on each layer on the bottom of the stage with a
black stroke like on this pictures.

now create a second keyframe on each layer at frame 20 and paint the strokes abit

tween between the frames and export the animation to a Gif-Sequenz with 4 colors
to the sourceImages folder in Your MayaProject-Directory.
so the seqence looks black parts growing bigger like shown below

go back to maya and select the emitter, open up the texture emission attributes and check
“Enable Texture Rate” and “emit from dark”. Now hit this checkerButton and select file
from the renderNode selection popping up.
Now go to the sourceImages Folder and select the first image of the gif seqence.
hit “use image Sequence”. cause the image seqence is named with *.0001 we have to made
some changes to the frame offset and the image numbers.
right click on image number and create Expression or edit… i dont know rigth now…
u will see.

we want to have the raising of the flame starting a little bit later so we must insert an condition

if (frame< 35)
file1.frameExtension = “0001”; // this sets the image number to 0001 so that it uses
Picture.0001 while the frame is lower 35
else if ( frame>=35 && frame<55)
file1.frameExtension = (“00”+frame); // this adds to zeros to the frame so our numbered
where found cause maya searches for the file the name
plus the frame extension wich comes without
the zeros. cuz of this fact we have to change
the FrameOffset too, so maya dont searches for a pic
called picture.0035 at this frame and so on.
file1.frameOffset = -35;
else if (frame>=55)
file.frameExtension = “0020” //this must be the last Picture of your imageSequence

the last condition tells maya that it should use the last image of our sequence while the rest of the timeline
is playing.

if U want to see what is happening with this seqence u must add a lambert shader to the Sphere and drag the file

node to the color channel now with hardware Texturing on u can see how the image moves.

thats it for raise up the flames. now we must add color, opacity and
change the render attributes so it looks like flames.

go to particle Attributes and click on color, check per-Particle and hit ok. the same for opacity.
now right Click on rgbPP and create a Ramp with fire like Color from bottom Yellow over red to top black.
at opacity you click right,create ramp, go to edit ramp and delete the middle color and strip down the
Black a little bit to a position of 0.7 or 0.8.

in the render Attributes section u now set to multiStreaks - lower the radius a little and higher the count
set a small negative tailfade and a tailsize around -2 so the multistreaks are smaller at the top.

thats it for the setting… if u now play u will see smth similar to my.

to get thicker flames u can higher the emission rate and play a little bit with it or key frame it, to get
some motion in ur flames.

in the hardware render buffer u have now to set lineSmoothing on, and check multiPass, set the
multiPasses to 16 or above and the motion Blur to what ever u want. render out in the HWB and enjoiii.

i hope i dont forgot somthing. if anything is unclear ask.
and here are some pictures of my settings.

if u have any suggestions or questions, i am very open for everything
that helps improving Maya abilities. thanx


edit: ohhuu i was to late …8(
nevertheless i hope this helps somebody. )



Thanks for the effort, very well done, i like yours!
i cant open the flash-images, there is an error, maybe u can fix that.
OK, danke nochmal,


so i updated the pictures, made some gifs now it works.

but u dont have to use the same like me, cause u can do it in maya the same way.
the only thing u have to do is taking some black bottom part for the sphere and raise
it up on whenever u want in your timeline.

i will try this evening using a black-grey-white marbeltexture with keyframing the positions
and raising the blackParts so flash is not needed for this fireball.

how did u made this spinning around in a few words?
i have never tried it and have some i ideas how to get this spinning fire, think i will try
the same next days, but how you did it will nevertheless be intresting.

cheerz heavy.

pS: can u change the name of Your OPENING POST to “how to achive a Flaming Fireball” or
smth like that so that more guys looking and showing there fireball expieriences??
i think that will change the name in the Haupverzeichniss too.


just a surface emitter with multi streaks. I made a gravity field, which forces the fire to run horizontally. Then u should adjust the color, opacity, speed and amount of the particels. After that, adjust the streaks tail, lenth and spreed. hm, and of course the magnitude of the gravity field. later i set the rotations of the sphere (100 frames, 15 rotations), and the effect was created.

-> changed the topic title

->another question: if u open the ‘harware render buffer - window’, under the render|attributes field, u can adjust your render passes of the hardware renderer. Well, i did that, but when i batchrender my file, there are no renderpasses, but when i do a test render in the ‘hardware render buffer’ - window it works perfectly…whats the problem?

Thanks for your help!


ohhh for the batch render u have other settings, set this in render globals. but i think
HWB is better.

Edit: i am sorry grashupfa but i wrote some wrong.You cant use a marbel Texture,
cause 3d Textures does not work with texture Emission only 2dTextures work. U can bake the 3d Tex to a 2d one, but directly use them is impossible.

i tried it yesterday and to achieve such an growing effect its good to use a Black/white
Ramp texture with a little noise, so u can keyframe the positon. so u dont need this expression for the image sequnce and no flash.

read Ya