This is my first post, and as such I wanted to kick it off with something basic - a candle flame. I’m new to visual effects so this was a nice starting point that challenged me. If you want to re-live learning VFX for the first time (or possibly learn with me), join my little adventure. Tips are greatly appreciated!
I tried to match this reference video:
And ended up with this using Unity VFX Graph:
I didn’t really know where to start so I attempted to make the flame using a particle system. And that seemed to work well. I feel I was able to get pretty close. That being said, I struggled with the flame texture. It’s still not as curvy along the bottom of the flame as in the reference.
This was the first time I played with VFX textures in Photoshop and it was a lot of fun to iterate and feel I got a little bit closer each time. I went through 10 iterations before I made the one used here. Would you make it look similar, or would it be completely different?
What I struggled with most of all was the motion of the flame. My initial thought was to use turbulence to give it some movement, but I don’t quite understand how it works. The main issue I had was that the turbulence didn’t update over time (maybe I’m missing something?), and rather stayed in the initial pose until I added some input. I couldn’t find the appropriate input, so my closest attempt was using a sine wave hooked up to the turbulence intensity, though this still looks weird. The reference is a lot more alive and feels like it gets affected by every passing draft. This was really difficult to achieve. I would love to hear how you would have created it.
I chose to make a second particle system (or second output? Not sure what to refer to it as in the VFX graph) for the faint glow that surrounds most of the flame, which I am really happy with.
The glow texture was simple to make. I say that as I now notice that the reference glow is a bit stronger in the center… so maybe not that simple.
On first glance, the flame reads very similarly to the reference and that is more than I was expecting at this stage. Although, I’m sure there’s a dozen ways to make it better. Perhaps you noticed something I missed?