Compositing Combustion Elements

This project illustrates the role of fuel additives in cleaning deposits from GDI engines and fuel injectors. The completed animation is a mixture of 3D hard surface modeling and mechanical rigging, multiple particle dynamics simulations representing fuel spray, vapors, and exhaust smoke, and composited 2D live action video of combustion events in the cylinder.

Since the live action video doesn’t really conform to the shape of the cylinder, and the position of the camera changes throughout the sequence, a rotoscoped alpha mask is animated within After Effects. (In some cases, an alpha mask could be generated within Maya by creating geometry that conforms to both the shape of the cylinder and the periodic movements of the piston.)

The opacity of the explosion is also keyframed in AE, along with additional subtle glow effects. Within Maya, a dedicated point light is keyframed to provide combustion illumination on the surfaces near the explosion. Approximately a dozen separate explosion clips are used in order to prevent the combustion events from looking too repetitive.



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