How to create a forest fire with VFX?

So next year I got a project that I want to have a forest fire, the characters would be in the forest, how would I go about doing this? Would I just greenscreen my actors, then put them in some stock footage of forest fire? or have a clean plate of my shot, then have them act out with a greenscreen behind them? Is there any tutorials on this, or good stock footage of forest fire? Thanks in advance!! trying to plan ahead!!


  • edited December 2017

    @HIS_Films ; ActionVFX has some pretty good fire stock footage that can be overlayed.  Myself, I would shoot my actors in the forest on an very cloudy day; grade it with lots of red and orange.  Use the fire VFX to show flames on the side of tree trunks etc, and put some in the foreground too.  There are some shots of fire racing on the ground and exploding into a bonfire like pyramid that would replicate a forest fire advancing as well.  Of course, stock footage of a real fire with green screen use would also be appropriate for some scenes.

    Edit: Oh, and don't forget, like I almost did, to throw in a liberal amount of embers and sparks VFX.

  • @tddavis, yea I was going to use ActionVFX, and I know how I would composite all the effects, just trying to figure out how to get shots of them in the forest that is on fire, and make it look like it is behind them and all around them realistically.

  • @His_Films

    I watched a great BTS video a few years ago.    In this video the one aspect that really helped  sell the fire effect was the control of lighting and shadows on the actors.   Fire is not a constant.  There is a ton of flickering and color changes from white to orange and red etc.  

    this may help

    Of course  several friends with colored lights and dimmers could possibly choreograph this effect for the price of a few pizzas 

  • I should also add that some practical  smoke,  sweat and grime would also help sell the effect.


  • @BobDiMarzio Awesome!! Thanks for this I will check this out, and thanks for the tips!! Got to plan it well!! thx!!

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