Monday, February 18, 2008

How to Create Muzzle Flashes, Explosions, etc.

Here's a little bit of neat trickery for you fellow aspiring filmmakers. If you're working on something that involves gunfire, explosions, or other types of action effects out of your budget, it's not too hard to create the effect in Final Cut. I did a gunfire muzzle flash in my film and it looks pretty sweet (a "muzzle flash" is when there's a burst of light or fire when the gun shoots...very common in film; not as common in reality).

First, check out this website: Detonation Films. They've got loads of sweet muzzle shots and explosions you can purchase cheap. Thankfully they also have a free page, which is where the link above will take you. You'll find that all of their effects occur against a black screen. After you import the clip into your Final Cut track, simply right click the clip and select composite mode, screen. That'll make the black mostly transparent. Then in image control, you can adjust the brightness and contrast until the black is all gone. Here's their tutorial on the effect, which again, is very easy.

Next you'll need your gun shot sound effect. A great site for sound effects of any sort is Sound Dogs. You can preview any sound right there. You'll be tempted to just use their preview clips since they're free. DON'T. The preview clips are not good quality at all. I bought a firing sound for just under $4. You can choose the type of file you want (.aiff for me), and the sample rate. Now I have a gun shot in my film that I wish I could share here, but that'd be giving away too much.

That's it for this mini-tutorial. Let me know if you like these types of posts and I'll do them more often. Also today, I cast a new character who will be in the pickup shots we do in April. I'll announce it soon.


Anonymous said...

I download similar instructions for Premier (which I only use because I don't have a Mac), which I have not used yet.

Now that I have normal working hours I intent to shoot more stuff as a hobby. 'cause it's cool.

This movie sounds Neat-O Ralph.


Anonymous said...

Some really good tips and tons of links that are really gonna help some up-and-coming filmmakers =) Hey, have you thought about submitting any of your shorts/videos to film fests? I know that they're now allowing online content like webisodes and online films to be eligible for nomination in this years Primetime Emmy's. I think last year they were allowed for the DT Emmy's, so it's pretty cool they're actually considering online amateur/indie footage for nomination this year. If you're interested or want to read more, check out I'm workin with the Academy to help spread the message about the new nominations, so if you get to check it out let me know! And spread the love =)