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How to Use Cloud VDB’s in Blender, Cinema4D, 3ds Max and more

Download high-resolution VDB clouds, wisps and atmosphere effects here.

Part of our growing library of 3D assets includes VDB files. But what are VDB files anyway?

Developed by DreamWorks, VDB’s are the CGI industries’ solution to storing three-dimensional grids of data. Each grid cell can contain a range of information, such as temperature, density, velocity and more. This makes it possible to efficiently store complex atmospheric phenomena such as clouds, explosions and even interstellar nebulae.

We’ve created several bundles of professional VDB assets that take your art to the next level. These allow you to join the many artists that are already utilising cinematic atmospheric effects in their projects. In addition to this, you can access our library of over 10,000 VFX, Sound Effects, Music and 3D Models.

Download Cloud and Tornado VDB Pack

This unique file type is not to be confused with polygon-based files, such as OBJ and FBX, which store solid 3D geometry – however, it is possible for these to accurately match the unique appearance of volumetric objects. In CG rendering, when light hits a solid object, the raytraced-path can easily be processed as a single interaction as it reflects from the surface. When entering a cloud, light can scatter erratically, requiring non-trivial approaches to simulate the appearance of the final image, such as ray-marching.

Due to the many ways that these can be rendered, different software and rendering engines have their own implementation of VDB’s. Once you know your software and rendering engine, click on the appropriate link below for their official documentation on how to use VDB files. If your software isn’t listed, there’s a good chance that they have information about VDB’s on their website.

Blender

Cinema4D

3ds Max

Maya

Houdini

We’re excited to see what you create with our cloud VDB assets. If you want to spice up your renders even further, check out our 4K Dust Overlay stock footage.

Ground Atmosphere Effects

We have 8 new 4K atmosphere effects available for our Pro Users!

These atmosphere effects are CG, enabling us to create atmosphere effects that would be difficult, or even impossible, in real life. The ability to have the atmosphere generate from the ground plane makes them perfect for compositing as mist, smoke or snow. See a few ways you can use these below.

Meet Danny Shepherd – Director and VFX Artist

I remember coming across a web series 6 years ago that got me excited for indie creators. Usually, webseries tend to bomb. Even when they’re well made, they tend not to get very many views, especially compared to the one-off videos a lot of creators release.

I get it. Watching a series is a commitment we tend to reserve for television, while Youtube is primarily where we watch our short form content. However, Youtube is still one of the best places for indie creators to find their audience, so if they do pull off the unlikely and make a successful series I give them extra props.

Danny Shepherd and the Ismahawk team did just that. In 2014 they released Nightwing: The Series, the first episode now has nearly 8 Million views. Danny and the team have since gone on to make action-packed viral videos, working with some of the top creators you know and love. He was kind enough to sit down with us and talk about their insane journey. Watch the highlights of the interview here.

How to Create Hollywood Explosion VFX – After Effects Tutorial

Download 4K Explosion Stock Footage VFX here.

Explosion stock footage is the highlight of every artist’s asset collection. That’s why we have released our latest collection of exclusive professional 4K explosion effects for you to add to your video.

Over the 10 years that ProductionCrate has been helping visual creators, we’ve been figuring out what qualities make an explosion effect valuable for our users. We’re confident enough to say that this latest bundle blows our past explosion assets out of the water.

For those who are new here, ProductionCrate is a library of over 10,000+ assets for you to use in your creative projects. Our mission is to give artists the tools needed to realize their full potential. Pro members of the ProductionCrate community can access all of the 4K explosion VFX assets, while free users can access a wide selection of our content for free.

Adrian and Chris are here to give you the finest explosion compositing tutorial in ProductionCrate history.

We provide all of our explosion VFX in several formats.

  • Quicktime PNG – Lossless, includes an alpha channel
  • ProRes – Widely compatible, includes an alpha channel
  • MP4 – Includes a green screen that can be keyed in many editing software
  • PNG sequence – Each frame is stored as an individual image

This wide selection of options guarantees compatibility with most editing software, including After Effects, Premiere Pro, Hitfilm and many others. Simply drag and drop the explosion stock footage over the background video in your timeline.

These explosion assets have been designed to be as accessible as possible, so no matter if you are new to editing or a Hollywood professional, these are the right video effects for you. This has been achieved through careful consideration in how smoke and flames blend in with a background image. You’ll notice the power of this immediately when you test it in your projects.

Download 4K Explosion VFX

Still to this day, it isn’t surprising when an explosion effect takes several hours to add to your project. You may run into issues such as clipping in the flames, inconsistent framerates, unrealistic appearances and lighting. We’ve eliminated all of these issues and more, so you can focus on making your explosion VFX as epic as possible, while also saving valuable time.

Ground illumination and shading is an essential part of creating an explosion effect. Interaction between the explosion and the ground is what makes VFX work. We’ve created a special ground blending add-on to compliment each new explosion effect.

To use them, simply overlay them over the effect. We recommend that two copies of the layer. One of them set to screen transfer mode, to act as the illumination from the fire. The second set to a multiply transfer mode to create the ambient shadow from the smoke. Adjusting the opacity of these gives you unlimited creative freedom in the look of your explosion.

Download 4K Explosion VFX

You’ll be able to download these add-on effects by opening the asset preview and clicking the title on the top of the preview box, and finally clicking the download link.

We’re excited to see the action-packed videos you create with these explosion VFX assets. If you’re interested in more of our content, check out our grenade VFX. 

the Best Free Software for VFX

We know how expensive adding visual effects to your films and videos can be. ProductionCrate started because utilizing VFX  was a difficult and costly process. In our journey to bring you professional and accessible assets for your projects we have come across software that shares a similar vision. Here is our list of the top free software options for video effects.

 


Hitfilm Express

If you’re not familiar with Hitfilm then you’re in for a treat. Hitfilm Express is an easy-to-use professional editing software, free for anyone to download. It’s packed with features, allowing any creator to build complex scenes with convenient tools. We gave Hitfilm Express the #1 Spot because of the overall flexibility and functionality it provides. If you’re looking for one software to add video effects to your projects, look no further.

Hitfilm Express is great for compositing, tracking, masking, transitions, and more. The Hitfilm community is fantastic, and you’ll have no trouble finding plenty of tutorials to get you started. You’ll also notice regular updates to the software, keeping it modern and up-to-date. It’s our favorite free VFX software. Check out this color grading tutorial for getting started.


Blender

Blender has always been the go-to software for free 3D work, but with recent improvements it has become so much more than just the “free-alternative”. Since Blender 2.8 has been released we can comfortably say that the software is as capable and functional as most 3D software out there. The user-community is absolutely massive, with a hardcore following and thousands of helpful artists. You can find tons of tutorials online if you’re just starting out and get on your feet fairly quickly.

We primarily use C4D and 3DSmax for most of our 3D projects, however the exciting updates in Blender were too good to pass up. Adrian decided to see how much Blender he could learn in just one month, see how he did in the video below.


GIMP

Whether for story-boarding, matte painting, graphic editing or concept art you’ll need a good 2D image editor. When it comes to a free option, there is none better than GIMP. GIMP has be around for decades. It is open-source, so you will see a lot of plugins and assets built and provided by the community. They have basic tutorials to get you started, but we always suggest searching on Youtube for the best educational content.

The learning curve is considered somewhat difficult, but once you’re used to the functions and interface you’ll be cruising. We use Photoshop at ProductionCrate, but GIMP is considered the best free alternative, and it’s always awesome to use open-source software. Here’s a great video to get you going.

 


Unreal Engine

We were a little hesitant to add UE to our list, since the software is primarily used for game development, but with the recent advancements we’re seeing from the Epic Games team we had no choice! UE offers the amazing abilities to create hyper-realistic scenes, live in-engine compositing, set extensions, particle systems, dynamics, and entire worlds. The learning curve is far more difficult than any of the previously mentioned software, but there are more tutorials showing up to get you started. Since launching RenderCrate we’ve been diving deeper and deeper into the 3D world, so grasping Unreal Engine and utilizing it for our projects is something we’re hoping to tackle.

Check out this insanely cool video for UE4’s virtual production abilities below (also this mind-blowing demo for UE5)

 

 

 

 

How to create Alien Invasion VFX – Tutorial

To prove the power of ProductionCrate assets, we put them to the test by creating a large-scale city destruction VFX shot.

ProductionCrate is a library of over 10,000+ professional video effects, stock footage, sound effects and 3D models. You’ll be happy to hear that a lot of these assets are free to download, while Pro users can access the entire library, including 4K assets.

We’re constantly updating our library with new and exciting creative content, such as our most recent bundle of 4K dust and smoke accents.

Download 4K Smoke Burst VFX Assets

These have been built in with alpha-mattes using a Quicktime PNG codec so that you simply need to drag and drop this into your project. This, with the different file formats available for you to download, means our VFX assets are compatible with After Effects, Hitfilm, Premiere Pro and more.

Another brand new asset that we used in the shot is our 3D alien spaceship model. This is provided in OBJ format, the most widely supported file type, compatible with Blender, 3ds Max, Cinema4D, Element3D and more.

GraphicsCrate provided a huge level of control for the look of the environment. While video assets are good for explosions and lasers, static graphics can give us the power to add cracks, scorch marks and rubble to our scene.

Here’s the full list of assets we used in this video:

FootageCrate

SoundsCrate

RenderCrate

GraphicsCrate

You can learn exactly how we built this shot by watching our latest tutorial, which covers several valuable compositing techniques that will improve your skills. Enjoy!

If you’re interested in some fantastic new sound effects for your cinematic trailers, take a look at them here.

Meteor VFX Breakdown – Quick Tutorial

No disaster movie is complete without an apocalyptic meteor effect. This Davesplanation breaks down the steps we went through to create our very own asteroid impact using VFX!

This was built using a variety of software and ProductionCrate assets, including:

3D Photoscanned Meteor Model – A high-quality photorealistic asteroid that had been digitally scanned from the real world. You can learn more about these assets in this excellent breakdown video.

Dust and Smoke VFX assets – These were essential in completing the look of the effect, creating a realistic volumetric appearance to the meteor’s impact. Tinting them to match the ground, as well as stacking them several times is all that is required to professionally polish your compositing.

Explosion and Fire Sound Effects – ProductionCrate’s huge selection of sound effects means you will be able to pair the correct audio to your visuals. We layered together several of these to create a dynamic and exciting audio track.

Feel free to check out our 2-minute information-packed video to learn some of the techniques we used.

If you’re interested in learning about how you can create some incredible magic VFX, check out the assets we have recently made for you here. 

New Magic Effects Available

We are expanding our Magic Library with 2 New packs!

 

Our Magical Shielding pack is perfect for creating your own Harry Potter style short film. We have a variety of angles for the longer clashing effects, as well as the faster magic blocking assets. These are all pre-keyed and easy to use.

 

 

The Magic Energy-Ball Kit has 60 different elements. It includes various assets which you can mix and match to create your own custom energy-balls, as well as some fully built energyballs for some quick compositing. You can create Dragon Ball Z inspired Kamehameha effects, Sci-Fi blaster charge up effects and of course magical energy-ball effects with this variety pack.

 

 

We will continue to add more Magic VFX soon, so keep visiting for more!

 

 

Download Coronavirus Video Effects, Overlays and Backgrounds

Download loopable COVID-19 backgrounds, overlays and effects for your videos here.


We have recently received many requests to help editors create their videos covering the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In response, we created a brand new collection of assets and stock footage that will help you create your information videos, PSAs, news reports, infographics and more. We have also created 2 unique 3D models of the COVID-19 virus.

These digital assets have been built to save time, as you only need to drag and drop them into your project. This can be done in almost any editing software, such as Premiere Pro, After Effects, Sony Vegas, Hitfilm, Final Cut Pro and more.

To maximize detail, the assets are provided in resolutions ranging from 1080p to 4K, ensuring you maintain a high-quality professional look in your project.

Many of these stock-footage elements are even loopable, meaning they can repeat for an unlimited amount of time without any “cuts” at the end.

3D Artists can access 2 unique COVID-19 virus models here

Download Coronavirus Stock Footage Videos here

You can also download the coronavirus videos in 4 different file formats to maximise compatibility including:

  • MOV – Maximum quality, with pre-keyed alpha backgrounds for instant application
  • .MP4 – Compatible with most software, with a built-in green screen
  • ProRes – Best format for Apple devices
  • PNG – Individual frames in a file, with pre-keyed alpha backgrounds.

ProductionCrate is a collection of over 10,000 stock video elements, VFX assets, sound effects, 3D models, graphics and more, helping over 700,000 creators like you. Feel free to explore our huge collection of content!

With the help of these stock footage elements, we hope you’ll be able to level-up your projects. We ask you kindly not to spread any misinformation related to COVID 19. Remember to stay safe!

 

You can also enjoy our recent interview with ShutterAuthority here.

Over 200 New Slime VFX

You can now download over 200+ Slime Effects!

These assets are incredibly versatile. Use them to create spider-webs, evil underground lairs, insane motion-graphics, monster-spittle and so much more! As usual we have gone through the trouble of prekeying these VFX for you. Both Free and Pro options are available.

Play with different blending modes to see what works best for your scene. For clear slime try adding a black solid composite and increasing the white levels to fill in the transparency. You can now use that black and white matte to drive an alpha matte of an adjustment layer, drop the original slime asset above both the matte and adjustment layer with an Overlay or Lighten blend mode.

Try various blurs and maybe even adjust the exposure on your adjustment layer to make it look like your slime is affecting your scene.

Our slime collection was built keeping in mind all the possible uses we could come up with. We decided to shoot slime drips, slime hitting the ground, slime pulled apart, slime pulled up, down and every conceivable direction. It got messy.

After cleaning up the first round we realized we didn’t want to just make clear slime, we wanted more options.

 

Colored Slime

Real specular reflections are captured with the colored slime. We have green, blue and pink, but the colors can be easily adjusted to any color.

 

Blood Slime

Our blood slime collection is exactly what you would expect it to be! If you need to dismember a character then this is the first pack you should look at.

 

Clear Slime

Our clear slime collection is the largest collection. Here you can find any type of slime asset you could possibly need!