Test Shot: Muzzle Flares

Here’s a before-and-after look at one of our early test shots.  We wanted to test muzzle flares and gun blasts, so we rounded up some airsoft guns and shot a gun-battle scene between some masked men and a Chinese delivery guy.

Effect-wise, the muzzle flares and the gun blasts turned out to be easier than we thought. It was just a matter of overlaying the blasts and flares over the original footage using Adobe Premiere.  The trick was to find the right video and sound packages for all our gun play.

The last shot turned out to be the hardest.  We had to figure out a way to keep the bullet holes “glued” to the metal door (which were essentially just .gifs) in the same relative position, even as the camera panned up and down.  Jack, our “special effects guy”, finally figured out how to do it in After Effects CS5, by using a plugin called Camera Tracker by The Foundry (it’s an awesome plugin).  I have no idea how he did it, but I’ll be pestering him to make a tutorial.

By the way, if you like the video filters that we applied to our footage (or even if you don’t), you should check out Magic Bullet Looks and Mojo from Red Giant.  They have a huge collection of cool, cinematic filters and color correction effects that can help your footage look like film.


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We're just four guys, trying to figure out how to make better movies and get them out to the world.

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