How to animate fireworks in 3D

using FWsim Fireworks Simulator

How to create a realistic fireworks animation in 3D

Animating fireworks can be fairly difficult. Most 3D software can be used to create fireworks animations. However, the result is often unrealistic, and it takes a long time to tweak the settings until it looks right.

If you want to create animated fireworks for your 3D projects or video projects, a simpler solution is to use FWsim. FWsim is a specialized fireworks animation software. All the fireworks included in FWsim are realistic, so whatever you create will look very real. And you’ll be done much faster than if you use standard 3D software.

Step 1: Download and install FWsim

You can download the trial version free of charge (and you don’t even have to give us your email address). You will need Microsoft Windows to run FWsim.

Step 2: Import Music and start creating your animation

Watch our video tutorial to learn the basics on how to use FWsim. It just takes a few minutes to get started designing your fireworks animation. You can find the first part below, or watch the complete FWsim tutorial as playlist on YouTube.

Tip: Enable Camera Frame

Open the Preferences and enable “Show Camera Frame”. This option will show you exactly what portion of the 3D view will be exported in a video - so you can avoid having fireworks being cut off.

Step 3: Setup Background and decide how you will use the animation

FWsim can put fireworks on a background image. It also allows you to import 3D models and create your own 3D scenery.

You can include the background image in FWsim - or export the video with a black background and then use other software to composit foreground and background together.

If you would like to use the fireworks animation in video editing or 3D software, we recommend creating your video with a black background. When you put the video into other software, make sure you select “Additive Blending”. This means, the black background gets removed and becomes transparent.

If you would like to use the fireworks animation directly (without using other software), you can include a background image or even import your own 3D models. Our tutorial on FWsim environment settings explains how to do that:

Step 4: Adjust the Camera

If you use the animation in other software, then you should keep the camera static. You should also make sure that fireworks do not come near the borders of the camera frame. (If they do come near the border, you risk the fireworks glow being cut off, which would not look nice).

If you plan to use the animation directly, without involving other software, then feel free to include camera moves.

FWsim Camera Moves Tutorial:

Learn how to configure the camera and animate camera moves around your fireworks.

Step 5: Export

Click File -> Export Video to generate a video file from your fireworks. Use this video file directly or import it into other applications.

For optimum results, you should also adjust the framerate to match the target project. FWsim by default exports 30fps videos. If you want to combine fireworks with other media running at a different framerate (for example, 24fps), you will get slightly jittery motion. To fix that, please follow these steps:

  1. Close FWsim
  2. Using Windows Explorer, navigate to the folder “My Documents\FW-Sim”
  3. Find the file “user”
  4. Right-click it, and select “Open with” and “Notepad”
  5. Find the line that says “<FramerateOverride>0</FramerateOverride>”
  6. Replace 0 by your project framerate. For example, 24 or 60.