I’ve already blogged a bit about the fire, but let’s go into it a bit deeper.
As you will know if you read my other Procedural Animation blog posts, we learnt how to make a fire in 3ds Max, and I tried to replicate that fire in Unreal Engine. We also had a tutorial the week before, where we saw a method of making fire in Unity. So I’ve made at 3 different fires already, one when trying Unity techniques in UE, one made in 3ds Max, and the last one when replicating the 3ds max variation in UE. Of the lot of them, I felt most convinced by the last one, and could probably render it out as it is for my assignment. Really though, I wanna try and stretch myself a little bit further than that, and actually make something a bit more interesting out of it. And hey, if I run out of time, I can always fall back on rendering that other one!
I felt a surge of neanderthal joy when reading the assignment; MAKE FIRE! Actually, there may have been some other words in it, but those were the only important ones. That got me thinking about what kind of fire I would like to make. Flames come in a lot of flavours; there’s the small clean flame of a candle, the dancing living flame of a bonfire, or maybe the messy smoky doom of an oxygen starved forest fire. Well, I haven’t really decided yet,but I know I wanna try to make one of each, if I can find the time.
Hitting rocks on other rocks?
How will I go about making these fires? Well these are my thoughts so far. For each one I intend to make some flame sprites in Photoshop, each one will be shaped almost like a waterdrop, when layered over one another I want them to make up the shape of a flame. I’ll make each one as a particle system.
For the small flame the first emitter with use these sprites with a low velocity for the base flame. I will add a second emitter for some random taller flickers, and a third for smoke.
For the bigger bonfire I will try to use the same sprites, but with a much higher particle count and upward velocity. Probably with some small sparks coming out of it as another emitter in the system, and a third one with smoke again.
For the last option, I would use the bonfire system, scaling it down and with an extra smoke emitter for dark smoke. Then I would use the level blueprint to simulate the fire spreading outward from an initial point, by spawning instances of the particle system at random tangents. This requires a bit of blueprinting and is certainly not needed for the assignment, but it would be good practice, and if I can pull it off it would be pretty cool.
I feel like maybe the assignment is a bit too simple. If I wanted, I could literally render the flame I made in my lab exercise last week, and be done with it. That just seems like lazy planning too me. Why should I waste time making anything more, except for my own curiosity? I could instead spend this time on Studio work, or doing tutorials on some other subject I’m interested in. It just so happens I AM very interested in Procedural Animation, and I am interested in making something that challenges my abilities. But I still can’t shake the feeling that the assignment could have been designed to be so much more.
I think I have some pretty good ideas of what I want to do, and if all goes to plan, I will add the fire(s) I make to my show-off-scene. And it will be fantastic, then we’ll all have waffles with a unicorn under a rainbow.
Post Assignment Finishing Reflections
I’m still gathering feedback on this, my final fire.
I had this post queued up, just waiting for me to put a screenshot in, then I was going to make another post for my final result. Alas time has gotten in the way, and what you see it my final flame result. I’m actually pretty happy with it, but I wish I had time to do even more. That’s something for future Sue to dive into though, when there’s more time for such things.