Animating Fireworks with Blender 2.8

I love fireworks, and I thought it would be cool to try to capture some of that pyrotechnic wonder with Blender, so here we are. This week’s tutorial is about making cool fireworks with Blender’s new Particle instance modifier to make a sort of recursive particles-on-particles system.

  1. We start with an emitter object and spark object. Their locations don’t really matter because they’re not going to show up in the final render anyway.

2. On the emitter object, we’ll make a particle system with these settings:

(And also, remember to reduce the gravity under the field weights)

We’re setting the particles to imitate our spark object, which will show up in the final render.

3. On our sparks object, we’ll setup a particle instance modifier with these settings:

4. The spark material is critical here, and it’s a fairly simple setup that ONLY WORKS WITH CYCLES RIGHT NOW, which is why I’m not taking advantage of the amazing EEVEE render engine.

Here’s the node setup. For a more thorough explanation, you can take a look at my video. Changing the ends of the colour ramp can let you cycle through different colours.

The particle info node is not yet supported in Blender EEVEE.

5: And our setup is pretty much done already! Now, for some effects:

Add depth of field with the defocus node, and by checking the Depth of Field tab in the Camera settings and setting the focus. You might also want to move the camera to a better perspective, far away and below the firework source, looking upwards:

Glare works wonderfully in this scene as well.

6. Object motion blur only works in Cycles as well, so we’ll be using that too:

You can turn the sampling waaay down if you like (1 sample would probably look no different), there are no reflections or anything being calculated as all my materials are emissive.

The shutter curve is important! It should slope upwards and drop off, to make the emphasis on the ends of the blurred object.

You can now duplicate the fireworks and change some colours (as long as you make them individual so they don’t share materials) which is easy and can lend variety.

Enjoy the fireworks everyone, and try to keep all your fingers on. See you next week.

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