Firestorm Clone Trooper

Hello there!
A few months ago I did a quick fan art experiment with PhoenixFD a software for Fluid Dynamics. The main idea was to render a close-up shot of a stormtrooper with the fire simulation as a backplate. My main tools were: 3DS Max, Vray, PhoenixFD, Photoshop, and After Effects. This is a quick overview of the project:


The scene modeling was really basic, I used a free 3D model of a stormtrooper from Sketchfab, this way I was able to expend most of the time playing with the PhoenixFD settings.


About lighting, I played with five different lights. A cooler tone for the environment using an HDRI, a Vray Sun very low in the horizon, and three Vray lights with a warmer tone to simulate fire.

Here is a sample of the HDRI I used, my source was this is a website with free HDRIs produced by the amazing artist Marek Denko. I have to said that I meet Marek about 8 years ago in Mexico City, we both had the role of lecturers on Render IT and I have the chance to see his tremendous modeling process and attention to detail in the 3D realm.


This time, I tried to optimize my effort in other tasks so I just grab the texture from the model and changed it to grayscale in order to add an extra layer of details in the normal bump node.

Phoenix FD

The Phoenix set up was fairly simple, I followed the basic tutorials on the main chaos group website:

An this was the result:


As many people know, I like to use After Effects instead of 3Ds Max since 2010 maybe. What I like is the flexibility of process and time optimization. For instance, every time you make changes to the 3D rendering, you can update the postproduction in After Effects in automatic. I wrote a little bit more about this in the book “Digital Mayhem 3D Landscape Techniques” published by Duncan Evas in 2014.

Well, to finalize this post I want to say that I feel so comfortable with the fire simulation result, however, this experiment worked pretty well in a still shot but not in animation. I tried to render an animation, however, the speed of the particles was really fast, later I realized that I used an “explosion preset” and not a fire preset so I will come back to PhoenixFD and run more experiments. Fluid simulations are very long and tedious if you want to have more control over the results, in conclusion, it’s a great software worth it to be learned.

I hope you liked this project review, please share and comment. Have a nice week, stay safe, stay strong!

For prints visit:

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