Rayfire studios are the developer of Rayfire – a 3DS Max plugin for fragmentation and dynamics that we love using. Based in Kaliningrad, Russia and run by Mir Vadim – a personal friend and an all-around great guy!
Rayfire’s development started back in 2007, inspired by the work from Daniel Ferreira and James Haywood on tools to easily do shooting and destruction effects. Mir Vadim took that to new heights with Rayfire – easy to use interface, great performance, a big bunch of features to cover the many special situations you find yourself in when dealing with these effects. I still remember the jolt I got from seeing it in action for the first time – it’s something really special, a sublime CG geekiness moment! The trick with these FX software tools is to stay strong after that initial kick has worn off and Mir Vadim does make sure that happens. Plenty of innovative features came out in Rayfire in the following years – painting fragmentation, adding edge detail, layering, multitude of break patterns – lots of cool stuff.
Mir Vadim is providing support himself – as personal as it gets. Over time, it becomes more a relationship between friends than anything else – goes quite beyond any dry definition of ‘support’, doesn’t it? His videos showcasing the avalanche of features that usually appear in a new Rayfire version are fun and attractively presented, which does add to the allure!
Here at Bottleship, we tend to use Rayfire mainly for fragmentation. In big projects, it’s great for these first layers of fragmentation, where you need very precise control on the location, shape and density of cuts. Rayfire delivers that without making you dive into painstaking manual cutting when it’s not necessary, but giving you the option to, when it is. The layers provide great flexibility in trying out patterns, finding ones that work and rejecting the rest. On smaller projects, or separate details in bigger ones, we use Rayfire straight ahead, fragmentation and dynamics. The multitude of breaking methods, fantastic retiming capabilities and Asperity, the edge detail enhancer, work quite smoothly and very fast when you need simple dynamics.
Hristo Velev, co-founder and FX lead, Bottleship VFX