Houdini HIVE – Paris 2023 : Replay of The Art of Burning by The Yard VFX

  • 2023-07-11
At the occasion of Houdini HIVE Paris event, Fabian Nowak, Head of FX at The Yard presented The Art of Burning, a keynote on creating photorealistic CG fire. Catch up with the recording below !

SideFX brought the Houdini HIVE to Paris on June 9, 2023 with a full program of educational presentations.

On this occasion, Fabian Nowak, Head of FX at The Yard, was invited to present how he approached CG fire simulations and how he used Houdini software to create content for film and episodic projects.

Fabian first underlined the importance of understanding the physical laws in action. From the « fire triangle » also used by firefighters to real-life references, it is key to remind the characteristics of fire (bright light, heat and smoke) and the behavior of the different elements according to the settings and environment.

Then Fabian explained how he and his team worked on fire simulation for Notre Dame on Fire (Notre-Dame Brûle). He provided a lot of details on the initial R&D he ran on his personal computer to recreate the narration of what could have happened under the roof of the cathedral, and emulate the completion and flash over that led to the blaze.

Extract from The Art of Burning, by Fabian Nowak, Head of FX, The Yard VFX - initial RnD for fire simulation on Notre Dame Brule directed by Jean Jacques Annaud prior to live shooting.

Notre Dame on Fire (Notre-Dame Brûle) has been a great use case for fire simulation and was full of lessons learnt. Fabian then shared a lot of inisghts on how to create photorealistic CG fire by coming back on the fundamentals of fire (temperature, velocity, divergence, and density) and the different elements (fire, smoke, embers, ashes, heat haze as nice to have).

This experience led to develop a procedural setup for fire « The Yard Simple Fire » and he provided a complete presentation of the tools, with an in-depth analysis of the Pros and Cons in a production context with examples of custom fields to go further and be more artistic, better support the narrative and director’s vision.

Fabian’s presentation contains tons of tips and highlights concrete examples from Notre Dame La Part du Feu, The Princess, Murder Mystery 2, Greek Salad

Divide and Conquer !

Fabian NowakHead of FX
Fabian Nowak, Head of FX at The Yard VFX, presenting The Art of Burning at Houdini HIVE Paris 2023

Don’t wait to learn everything about the art of burning and creating CG fire by watching the recording of his presentation.


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