Stylized fire - how ?


How would you go about making materials and particles setup for a fire like this ?

You’ll likely want to create a spritesheet in photoshop, animating frame by frame by hand. Rather than doing the entire fire, do smaller flame pieces that can go together. It may take a few times to practice and get the right motion/look going, but that’s kind of the trick w/ stylized graphics.

From there, take a spritesheet and plug it into a flipbooktexture node, set the speed, emissiveness, opacity mask etc, but most importantly, be sure to turn off tangent space normals and plug a 0,0,1 3vector node into your normal slot, that way the pieces blend together a bit better.

It could be useful to make some material instances that have different colors/emissiveness that you can independently control and assign to different emitters within your system.

Once you’re ready to set up your system, create an emitter in the center, and assign a bright, white emitter. Set the lifetime on it to be shorter than the other emitters you’ll set up, but the initial velocities should be fairly close together along the vector leading away from the source of the fire. You do want some variance to give it some natural archaic motion, but along the “travel path,” things should be fairly close.

Once your white, center flame is going, set up supporting flames around the base that have more reds/yellows. Try and keep the same from center-outwards for colors as what you see in your video.

For the sparks, take a look at the fire particle that comes stock with the engine. You should be able to imitate the behavior in your system.

Stylized graphics are extremely open to subjectivity, so there’s no single defined method for creating your vision. Hopefully these techniques will help you get started.


Thanks @hippowombat, I’ll poke at it.

it is completly possible to get that look without creating a flipbook and do it all via animated textures in the shader - that way you won’t have to fight looping patterns too much. i’ll see if i can post what i did at work to create something very similar.

That would be nice to see and study! Thanks

I can’t post the source files, but i’ll try to describe the steps. Still WIP, just as a disclaimer…

I am using World Space UVs aligned with the camera. For that you will want to use the TransformToZVector node on the absolute world position. After animating those UVs and feeding them into a voronoi noise texture i subtract that texture and blend it with the particle alpha, so the border get’s eaten away based on particle time.

Then I’m just spawning particles with that material applied.
For the hot core I have a material instance of the material above that slightly offsets the particles closer to the camera via WPO.


Looking good (the first gif), but setup is over my head :confused:

Any way you could post screenie of the material noodles ?

Very cool divi!

Yes, some screenshots of the material setup would be very helpful.


that is pretty much it. depening on your camera you might have to do some additional things but that is pretty much it. particle system is just 2 emitters of the same material with different offsets towards the camera and different colors, a whole lot of tweaking and some additional ember particles.

if you need transparency for the flame parts i would look into using scene depth for the opacity part to avoid issues with overlapping particles. just a first idea, not actually tested.

could you pls explain what is MF_Sphere ? big thanks

mf_sphere is just a function that creates a spherical gradient.
something like