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Fire VFX - Why Smoke Is So Important when Compositing Fire

Posted by Mark Miko on
Fire VFX - Why Smoke Is So Important when Compositing Fire

Are Smoke elements important when compositing fire? - Yes! Very important actually. Although, it can take quite a while to learn how to composite smoke realistically.

Here's a breakdown before and after added smoke elements:

As you can see in the breakdown above, the smoke not only adds the realism (as smoke would naturally occur from fire), it can also help to give your fire more cinematic and natural colours.

So how to work with the smoke assets?

It's important to note that the smoke emitting from the fire has different  colours depending on what's burning. It's also important to know what lighting could be affecting the smoke's colour.

  • Dark Grey Smoke elements

In the example above, as you can see, the smoke that's emitting from the fire is quiet dark grey, as the fire is emitting from burning wood and the furniture that can be found in the room. There are several assets used to create the desired look.

  • Light Grey Smoke elements

You can also see some light grey smoke elements with a little bit of orange tint. This is the smoke that has moved away further from the house and is lit mostly by the natural daylight. As it's further away from the window and was emitted a little while ago, the colour of it is lighter. You can also see, the shot was composited with that smoke larger, this is again to emphasize the fact that the lighter smoke element is further away from the window.

Finally, one last thing to make sure you look out for when compositing fire and smoke elements is the final grading. The final grading will heavily affect the final look of your shot. Check out the before and after colour graded versions below!


We, of course, recommend our Smoke - Vol 1 collection. For £35.99 (single user) you get 16 smoke high quality smoke elements. These assets can be used in various of compositing scenarios. We are proud to say, these are probably the most affordable professional stock footage you can find!

Smoke - Vol 1

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