I'm trying to achieve the effect shown in the picture using footage of an actor diving and then creating the explosion in blender. I can use masking to get the actor to appear in front of the flames or completely behind it, but can't figure out how to engulf the main character in the flames/smoke as he jumps through it and make him appear through it gradually.

What approach should I take to create this effect without having to create a 3d model of the actor in blender?

Should I be creating a duplicate plane of the footage, create a mask around just the actor and then animate that duplicate plane to move towards the camera through the explosion? Or can this be achieved using just basic masking?

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ I'd be using "Foggy" masks for flames and smoke that change shape and move about for this one, so the edges are not clearly defined and get both in front and behind the actor using shape-keys that obviously need to change continuously. An example of masking video characters and or objects for those that don't know is here -> blender.stackexchange.com/questions/117572/… $\endgroup$ – Edgel3D Nov 11 '18 at 1:58
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    $\begingroup$ To add to the above - it would probably be easier to make multiple and shape-changing masks for flame/smoke than keep modifying one (or more) for the actor. You wouldn't need to worry about accuracy for alignment and shape to follow the actor's movements. Flames etc are haphazard so no accuracy etc is required. An interesting project. $\endgroup$ – Edgel3D Nov 11 '18 at 2:11
  • $\begingroup$ That's an awesome post! I really like how you've described everything in detail. I would assume the same effect is achievable in blender cycles instead of blender render? $\endgroup$ – Ares Nov 12 '18 at 4:11
  • $\begingroup$ Placing your effects behind and in front of a moving character in a background video would require some Rotoscoping(?) (think that's what they call it in here) The link above does demonstrate a static form of that, where the mask is tailored to conceal passing objects behind a particular item in the background. With video and a moving character however, the mask will need to be 'shape-shifted' to follow the exact shape of the character as it changes with movement. If he is in front of a green screen, the process is simpler. $\endgroup$ – Edgel3D Nov 12 '18 at 6:57
  • $\begingroup$ Added to the comment immediately above - I missed your reference to Cycles. Certainly the flames and smoke would be best produced in Cycles and perhaps rendered onto alpha layered planes to use with your background movie. I'm unsure if Cycles can do the sort of masking required to get them behind your character however. Blender Render and OpenGL can. $\endgroup$ – Edgel3D Nov 12 '18 at 7:09

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