Click Tools → Firework Editor to open the firework effects editor. A window will appear in which you can select different effect types. You can select one of the suggested effect types, but you can also select “New Empty Firework” to start from scratch.
The Firework Editor uses a component-based system, where you arrange different building blocks.
In the middle, you see your effect (click on the 3D view to play it). On the right, you find the building block structure of your effect. Below, you can adjust the properties of the currently selected building block.
Similar to real firework effects, different components are connected to each other. For example, a peony shell consists of a lifting charge, a bursting charge, and stars. In the FWsim effect editor, this shell would look like this:
We have a tree structure of components which contain other components: The shell contains a bursting charge (“Explosion”), which releases stars
This system allows to create very complex effects. For example:
To build a multibreak shell, simply add several explosions with different times.
To build pistil effects, add two “Star” components to an Explosion. On one of the stars, set the “speed, relative to explosion” to 50%.
To create palms and similar effects, add tails to stars. If you want only tails, with invisible stars, then select the black color on the stars.
A spherical shell with lifting charge. You can select pre-defined calibers, or define launch speed and diameter yourself. Based on the diameter, FWsim calculates an approximate weight of your effect. This weight is independent of how many components you add, and is only used internally to calculate the flight path.
Below, you see the maximum height your shell with reach. If your shell explodes before reaching this height, then the actual height may never reach this height.
A base component for mines, single shots, comets, and so on. You still have to add an “Explosion”.
To generate star tails, add a “Tail” component to stars. Each star will be trailed by a tail, which you can configure as follows:
Can be added to a shell. Creates a tail trailing the shell as it rises. The parameters are the same as for Tails.
Adds a star which is attached to the shell and burns while the shell flies. The timing (when it starts to appear, when it reaches full brightness, when it goes out) can be precisely adjusted.
With this component, you can create roman candles and fountains. “Eruption” emits stars, one after the other.
Can be used like a shell, but is simulated as a rocket. Therefore, you get different sounds and a different flight path.
A simple 2D simulation of a catherine wheel, emitting sparks as it turns.
Allows you to create your own cakes. These cakes can contain arbitrary effects.
In the fireworks editor, click File → New → New Empty Effect. Then, click “Add Component” → Cake.
Then, select which effects you want this cake to contain. There are two possibilites for that: You can either add components in the effect tree, or you can click “Add existing effect” to add an effect from the library.
These effects will now be displayed in the effect tree, directly beneath the cake:
After having added effects to our cake, we now go back to the “Cake” component itself, and change the ordering:
In this example, we have the following ordering:
The last row is empty and can be used to add more lines.
Using the slider below the list, you can change the interval for all rows.
Under “Shape”, you can configure a fan-style cake.
Under “simulated inaccuracies”, you can configure the amount of the simulated inaccuracies. FWsim simulates differences in total length (“interval variance”) and in the timing of individual shots.
Using a “shell of shells” component, you can make a shell emit further shells after explosion.
In this example, the large shell flies 2.1 seconds, explodes, and emits 7 smaller shells, which spread out and explode themselves after 1.9 seconds. The parameters (number of shells, shape of distribution) can be changed.
These special effects can be added to an explosion, just like stars. Afterwards, number and shape can be changed.
These components can be added to stars. As soon as a star goes out, crackling or crossette will appear.
You might want to bring a large number of real-world effects into FWsim. FWsim Pro gives you two extra tools to make this process easy and fast.
In most effects, tails are the most complex element. To create really realistic tails, many people layer several tails on top of each other. You might want to create one type of tails, and then re-use that for many different effects.
FWsim Pro 3.3 introduces Custom Effect Components. You can create one or several tails, and then bundle them together in one Custom Component. This component can be attached to other effects. It is not copied, but it is linked. That means, when you change the component later, all effects that contain this component will change as well.
To create a custom tail component, please follow these steps:
To create a custom ascent effect component, please follow these steps:
To use the same component for another effect, please follow these steps:
To edit a component you have already created, please follow these steps:
To delete a component you no longer need, please follow these steps:
Often, you will want to create the same effect in several colors. FWsim offers two ways of accomplishing that:
In the show editor, whenever you select an effect, you have the option to change its color. This is very easy to do, however it has two disadvantages:
Disadvantage 1: When you add price, manufacturer ID or other data to your effect, and then you colorize it in the show editor, this extra data will not change. Suppose you have a red peony at a cost of $20. The green peony costs $30. You only create the red peony in the effect editor, and whenever you need the green peony, you simple use the “Colorize” option in the show editor. Then your calculated price will be wrong. You can work around this by clicking “Change Effect Data for this Cue” in the Edit menu. But this is not very efficient, as it needs to be done for each effect individually. In our example, you would need to select every use of “green peony”, click “Change Effect Data for this Cue” and change the price to $30.
Disadvantage 2: In the example above, the name will be displayed as “Peony Red - modified green” in the timeline. This is not very easy to read.
Before FWsim 3.3, the best method of handling color variations was to create separate copies of your effect. This can be a little bit cumbersome. When you change something, you need to re-create all those copies by hand.
This tool is integrated in the effects editor and helps you create color variations of your effects easily.
How to create one effect with many color variations:
Your effect files will be stored under “My Documents” → “FW-Sim”, stored in one folder per “author name” (you can select the author name when you save an effect).
Using Windows Explorer, you can organize these effects into folders, and FWsim will keep that folder structure. Please make sure that FWsim is closed while you do that.
Please note that the name of an effect is stored inside the file. Therefore, renaming an effects file has no consequence.
To rename effects, use File → Rename. Warning: FWsim uses the name to identify the effect. If you rename an effect that’s already used in shows, then these shows will no longer play correctly.
To create videos showing individual effects, there are two possibilities:
Alongside your self-created effects, you can save arbitrary data (e.g. price, manufacturer).
Click Tools → Preferences, and select “FWsim Pro”. Under “Firework Database Columns”, you can setup the data fields to be used (one per line). When you change these data fields, all existing data in effects will be kept - you will never lose data you already entered.
Now, we can open the fireworks database in the “Tools” menu. Here, we see columns for price and manufacturer, and we can enter data into these columns.
While designing your show, you might want to display the overall price of the show on screen. To do that, you need to insert pricing data into your effects. You can only add pricing data to effects that you created or downloaded. No pricing data can be inserted for the effects that come pre-installed with FWsim.
To achieve that, please follow these steps:
While designing your show, you might want to display the overall net explosive content (NEC) of all the effects in the show. To do that, you need to insert NEC data into your effects. You can only add NEC data to effects that you created or downloaded. No pricing data can be added to the effects that come pre-installed with FWsim.
To achieve that, please follow these steps: