When creating visual effects that involve fire, there are usually 2 options: use fire stock footage or do a volumetric fire simulation using a 3D program and composite it back onto your footage. HitFilm 2 includes an effect to procedurally generate fire directly in your video editing software. While it may not look as realistic as some effects you see in the cinema (which are fully 3D generated or done as special effects), it is a great tool to be included in the plugins pack. You can find the Fire effect under the 'Particles & Simulation' category.
The Fire effect generates procedurally animated fire and replaces the contents of the layer you apply it to. Therefore you don't want to apply the Fire effect to your base footage directly. Instead, create a new solid layer first. I've called mine 'Fire' and set the colour to black.
Then apply the Fire effect to your new solid. By placing the solid above your footage and changing the blend mode to 'Screen' or 'Add', you can reveal the video underneath and set the whole scene on fire!
You can also define which areas of the layer are flammable and which ones actively block off the fire by creating additional layers and assigning them in the Fire effect control settings.
To demonstrate this feature, I have created a new solid layer, set the colour to solid white and masked out only the area that overlays the floor in my shot. It is important that you pre-compose the layer and the mask before using it as a Flammable Region. I called my composition 'Fire Region Comp'.
Finally, disable the visibility of the flammable region layer and then go over into the control settings for the Fire effect. From the drop down menu, select the Fire Region Comp as the layer to define the Flammable Region of the fire effect.
Now only the floor in our scene has been set on fire. Of course you'd want to scale down the fire layer and mask out my legs so it doesn't look like the fire is just placed on top of the footage, but you get the idea. There are a lot of cool things you can do with the Fire effect, you could even create a human torch effect.
Let's have a look at another one of my favourite effects from HitFilm 2 - the 3 dimensional muzzle flash!