Fiery Particles and Text

I was intrigued by this effect  when Simon first utilized it as a preamble to Hitfilm 3 and I figured there would eventually be a tutorial.  well, if there is a tutorial, I cannot find it.   Can someone please explain how it's done?




  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Long story short:

    In the particle sim set emitter type to "Layer."

    Set the layer to a text layer. 

    This simply uses the source layer alpha to generate a 2d quad emitter with particles spawning from opaque pixels. The emitter can be moved in 3D space. 

    I believe it's in Particle Appearance where you can choose to have particle colors taken from the source layer or the Appearance settings. 

    Take a look on the Hitfilm Preset Marketplace for my Simple Text Dissolve project. That uses a couple of embedded composite shots to match dissolve a text layer with a particle emitter driven by a masked version of the text. 

    Looks like this.

    Additionally the same technique could be applied to a keyed actor for awesome disintegration effects, like so:

    It's also how "Essential" wipes in in the Hit-U Essential Hitfilm opener. 

    No one's done a full tutorial (yet), but I think a short walk through is hidden in this video.

  • @triem23 ; thanks.  I will give it  go.

  • Check out approx 30 second mark,

  • I'll take a crack at this.

    Have a composite with your text in a text layer. Make the text layer just big enough for the text. That just minimizes work for Hitfilm.

    Now you have another comp with the particle simulator. The emitter for the particle systems, yes plural, will be the embedded comp layer of the text holder. Emitter shape will be layer and be the embedded comp. Use the, Use Layer Alpha, option in the emitter shape. Trajectory can be random for static particles (no movement).

    Why two particle systems for the one emitter? If the particles are emitted and then are dropping then the text latter shapes will not be so defined unless you really jack up the particle count. This will have an almost curtain of particles falling. If that is what you want then fine but as shown there are far fewer particles dropping than forming the letters.

    So one particle system, call it static, will emit particles with zero movement. They just come to life and go away. Never move. This will give you your twinkle.

    The other particle system, call it dropping, will have much less particles per second and those particles will drop. You can have them move down or have zero movement and drop with a particle sim force/gravity. A force can be used with the emitter using a force/gravity to move the particles. Or just use accelerate, in movement, pointing down to make the particles drop.

    Have a 3D plane as a deflector in the particle sim for the floor.


  • @NormanPCN

    It's beginning to make sense.    Now I can fine tune.   Thanks for your concise and easy to understand instructions.


  • Glad I was clear enough. I whipped something up. Here are some screen shots.

    I added some heat distortion to the letters and a flare for grading.

    Both the static and dropping particles have zero speed. The dropping particles have bounce turned down quite a bit, I used acceleration to drop/move the particles, and I have a gradient alpha setup in the lifetime.

  • Stargazer54Stargazer54 Moderator
    edited January 10

    Yep,  Gradient Alpha is the key to keeping particles from "popping" on and off.   You can set that up so they fade in/fade out.

    But, @BobDiMarzio your test looks pretty damn good.

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