In Depth: Fireworks Extravaganza with Fun New Content
In this Article
Happy Independence Day! Each year we update this article, originally published in July 2015, and add a few new items and tutorials. If your neighborhood is anything like my neighborhood, you’re probably already experiencing fireworks fatigue. But, as fireworks displays are being canceled due to Coronavirus, you can still make your own digitally.
Fireworks can be created by using a particle generator and taking some time to get the physics right. There are some plug-ins available that are specifically for creating fireworks too. That said, they don’t always look natural. One of the toughest things about creating fireworks is getting them to look realistic. They need glow, smoke, the proper physics, depth of field, etc.. And, adding some sound effects can really help your fireworks come to life!
TRON GFX Fireworks
This one is from TRON 2013 and it really has style.
From the comments:
We used the Adobe design tools, Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, etc. and also used Cinema 4D, a 3D package aimed more towards the motion graphics industry, with its insane MoGraph plugin suite. We used it heavily, and also rendered a bunch of key graphics out of C4D V-Ray for proper DOF and motion blur, dlew was in control. Also, we also used Maya for some pipeline enhancements, and Houdini for the DNA and as a host for Nimoy’s openFrameworks applications, which were ported over to Houdini by “The King,” effects animator Andy King. It was definitely the way forward, getting our stuff deep into the visual effects pipeline.
Fireworks filmed with a drone
These are not digitally created fireworks but it’s pretty fantastic. This video may help you create natural-looking fireworks with your software too.
Creative Video and Photo Ideas Using Fireworks
This tutorial from PremiumBeat explains how to create unique effects, backgrounds, smoky atmospheres and more by recording real fireworks in a variety of ways.
Since a good number of our readers are After Effects users, we’ll start here. There are lots of tutorials out there to create fireworks without the use of 3rd party plug-ins. Here are a few.
How To Animate a Firework Rocket (smoke, fire, stroke explosion) – After Effects Tutorial
Oliver Randorff explains how to make a fun animated firework rocket. I really like his cell animation style he uses in his tutorials. Check out his YouTube Channel.
Firework Particles Text Animation in After Effects – No Plugins
Avnish Parker shows you how to create many different types of fireworks directly in After Effects without the use of any third-party plug-ins.
After Effects Video Tutorial: Fireworks
This one comes from Premium Beat and is very stylized. It uses expressions and shapes.
VFX Blend shows you how to make realistic fireworks in DaVinci Resolve.
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I did a webinar for Boris FX back in 2012. I didn’t write the tutorial, and it is a bit complex with a lot of manipulation of the settings, but the final fireworks looked really nice and believable. (The fireworks portion starts at 18:00)
Boris Particle Illusion for Premiere Pro: Overview by Surfaced Studio
There’s now a free version of the Particle Illusion standalone tool now available! In addition, you can still get the premium filter here: Boris Continuum Particle Illusion.Download Particle Illusion Free Standalone
Note: You must be logged into the Toolfarm Dashboard to download.
Boris TV, Episode 173 – A Fireworks Spectacular
Here’s another tutorial from Boris FX. This time, Paul Ezzy teaches you how to quickly create a fireworks display in Adobe After Effects to add to your hometown skyline. Simply swap out the image after you download the complimentary project files – template and presets included! You’ll create 4 different displays with BCC Particle Emitter 3D − from basic to explosive − that rival the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. Plus, learn how BCC Cartooner and BCC Pencil Sketch give you the freedom of using custom shapes.
Free Fireworks Presets for Boris Continuum
The Fourth of July is next week and we’re celebrating by giving you 10+ new fireworks presets to spread some digital cheer. The fireworks, based on Continuum’s popular Particle Emitter 3D, are available to all users of Continuum 11.0.3.
If there aren’t any fireworks displays near you, make your own! Shoot footage of your hometown, add your new fireworks presets and some sound effects, and then make your epic display dance to your favorite song using Continuum’s built-in Beat Reactor.
Paul Ezzy also has 8 fireworks presets for older versions of BCC. Just drag & drop over your favorite footage.
Download Fireworks Presets Compatible with BCC 9 (and BCC 8) in Adobe, Avid, and Vegas Pro.
Easy-to-use Particle Generator
Particle Illusion is an easy-to-use, powerful, high-end particle generator that gives editors and artists instant access to photorealistic particle effects for motion graphics, visual effects, titles, lower thirds, and background graphics. Available as a free standalone application, a paid premium filter, and as part of the Continuum suite of plug-ins, Particle Illusion is the choice anyone looking to quickly and easily add amazing particle effects to any image, animation or video.
The Swiss Army Knife of Plugins
Meeting tight turnarounds just got easier. The post-production industry’s most complete plugin collection delivers nearly 350 creative effects in 20 categories, 4000+ presets, built-in Academy Award-winning Mocha planar tracking, and masking, a Beat Reactor that drives VFX to music, and the FX Browser. Busy editors and artists rely on Continuum to get the job done.
In this tutorial, Ignace Aleya of Tolerated Cinematics walks you through the procedure of designing your own firework display with Trapcode Particular.
After Effects Tutorial: Firework Animation using Trapcode Particular
This one is from 2019.
Create FIREWORKS with Trapcode Particular
Josh from SonduckFilm explains the process in Particular.
The industry-standard package for motion graphics in After Effects.
Red Giant Trapcode Suite is a set of 11 tools for 3D motion graphics and visual effects. Trapcode Suite brings the power of 3D particle systems right into After Effects, for visually stunning results.
Fireworks for C4D Xpresso.
Shoot ’em off, ooh and ahh!
Noah Witchell posted this nice tutorial about the building of a control board and Xpresso rig for fireworks burst effect.
Click here to see Noah’s original post. Download the Cinema 4D project in the video description.
Noah Witchell is a motion graphics designer and photographer based out of Omaha, Nebraska. “I know that everyone says that being a generalist is suicide in today’s workforce, but I like dabbling in everything: shooting, editing, sound, scoring, etc. The whole process is fun to me, and I just feel lucky to be able to scrape together a living doing it.”
How to make fireworks with Cinema 4D, Tracer, and Particles
There’s no narration on this tutorial but it still is pretty clear on the process.
3D for the Whole World
Maxon Cinema 4D R23 breathes life into characters and animations with outstanding new tools and workflow enhancements. Key improvements to animation workflow make it easier to create and manipulate keyframes, produce fantastic new character rigs, and manage poses, retargeting, and skinning. Enjoy all the UV and Viewport updates from S22, as well as additional refinements to both. Step into the future with a preview of the new Scene Nodes system-the power and performance of Cinema 4D’s future. R23 includes Red Giant’s Magic Bullet Looks technology. In addition, there are Deformer enhancements. Markedly, Maxon has updated integrations for Python 3, OBJ, FBX, and USD.
Maxon Cinema R23 Compatibility – The Definitive List
We’re elated about the release of Maxon Cinema 4D R23, the first subscription-only release. But, as with any major release, the issue of compatibility comes into play. Developers are working diligently to make sure everything will work smoothly with the new R23 release.
We have put together a list of products and information to keep you informed about plug-in and product compatibility.
“This full tutorial from Mike shows you how to create several fireworks systems, starting with the classic Fountain, followed by a Catherine Wheel and finally a Sky Rocket. The techniques shown can be used to create any number of variations and effects, the possibilities are boundless.”
A fully-featured advanced particle and VFX system for MAXON’s Cinema 4D
INSYDIUM X-Particles is a fully-featured advanced particle and VFX system for Maxon’s Cinema 4D. Multithreaded, X-Particles utilizes all of your computer CPUs whenever possible for speed and efficiency. A unique rule system of Questions and Actions enables complete control over particle simulations.
An essential component of an artist’s toolkit, X-Particles is the solution to satisfy all your particle needs: Cloth, Smoke, Fire, Fluids, Grains, and Dynamics. Designers can switch effortlessly between motion graphics and VFX, within a unified system.
Now compatible with Cinema 4D R23! (Requires build 895)
How to model Fireworks in Maya 2017
Apparently, this is Mike Hermes’ last video?! But he shows you how to make a blast of light!
3D computer animation, modeling, simulation, and rendering software
With a focus on empowering artists throughout the production pipeline, Autodesk® Maya® 2020 introduces new tools that not only help animators, modelers, riggers, and technical artists work faster and more intuitively, but also make the creative process more fun.
Posted by Michele Yamazaki