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Missile VFX Tutorial!

While most special effects created practically do look incredible, not every studio has the budget to launch an inter-continental ballistic missile. But fear not! Your perfect shot of the nuclear apocalypse kicking into action can be created harmlessly using our missile VFX assets that you can download for free!

This tutorial will work in pretty much any compositing software, whether that’s Nuke, Premiere Pro, Hitfilm or After Effects (which I will be using).

First we will somewhere to launch our missiles from. I’ve found this stock image which you can download for free here at Pexels. After you have found your perfect spot, go ahead and download some of our missile launch VFX assets, some of which are free! 

Dread it, run from it, rotoscoping still arrives. This unavoidable step won’t be too troublesome since we’re using a static image though. Yay!

Now we have the chance to throw in as many of our missile launches as we want. I’ve gone for the “all hell has broken loose” style, similar to what we saw in X-Men: Apocalypse. I’ve also masked out a few of the smoke-trails where the missile passes through the cloud, increasing the feathering to make it appear more as though the missile is inside the scene.

For some extra-special stylised touches, I also split some of the smoke plumes into two segments. One where the light hits the smoke, and the other where the landscape casts a shadow over it, giving the highlighted areas an orange tint and a screen blending mode. This isn’t necessary in all shots, but works here since we’re in the sunlight.

And it’s as simple as that! Apply your final touches, grade it a little and you have just created an awesome realistic missile launch shot using our ProductionCrate VFX assets!

Missile VFX to Download

There’s plenty more to learn and discover on our website, so why not learn about our less dramatic puddle maps? 

 

 

 

Adding Magic VFX to your Film

Magic and wizardry is some of the most enjoyable forms of VFX for an artist, and are often the first thing new users are eager to try out when learning. Conjuring these effects into your videos do not require any dark magic, just a ProductionCrate account and willpower!

We have an entire catalogue of spectacular content that you can apply to your videos with ease. Lightning powers, energy beams and even Doctor Strange’s personal favorite spark portal. The overwhelming number of choices give you more power than you will ever need.

VFX Magic Cinemagraph

Our downloadable magic VFX in action!

We have already covered a plethora of ways in how you can edit these effects into your video on our YouTube channel, all of which offer a great insight into the workflow a VFX artist can expect working in the magic realm. If you want to check some of these out, take a pick from:

If you want to read more on adding these magic VFX to your video, learn about how you can become like Scarlet Witch here!

 

 

Dust and Smoke VFX Collection

Download your HD Smoke and Dust VFX here

One thing that completes any VFX shot is dust and smoke. They bring a truly gritty atmosphere to any action sequence, and shall forever be a must-have for any serious film producer!

There are two ways you can become a pyrotechnic expert and blast your shot into the next level. The first is to do these effects practically, whether that is setting off fog machines on set, or even using a smoke-grenade. While this may sound like the fun option, it is not always the most practical due to cost, time to set-up, and making sure you operate this equipment safely.

The second option is cheap, quick, easy and only a click away! We have a gigantic collection of dust and smoke VFX assets for your video, all ready to be deployed into your film-production workflow to make your scene look stunning.

Our smoke plumes in action!

So what do we have?

Our bundle includes atmospheric smoke, fog, gigantic plumes, volcanic ash clouds, bursts and dozens of other variations! All of these effects are ready to download, after which you can composite them into your video through software such as After Effects, Hitfilm, Nuke and any other with multi-layer features. We have pre-keyed all of our footage to make it as simple as possible for you to drop them into your composition.

We recommend that you apply a subtle tint effect to your smoke effects so that they match the color of the lighting around them. Another useful tip is to once again tint the overall color to very lightly lean towards the colour of the sky, with a greater tint for further away smoke. 

Download HD Smoke and Dust VFX here

If you want to learn more about how you can improve your VFX quickly, read our article on adding rubble to your video.

Birds and Bees VFX

We have some new effects for you, Birds and Bees!

This isn’t a euphemism, we literally created some bird and bee effects for our latest Animals & Creatures category.

A common issue with matte painting and compositing is that everything just looks too static. Reality isn’t static. These new effects help add some life to your digital-masterpieces. Whether you’re making a skin-crawling horror film or a matte-painted period piece, these new assets will come in handy.

We will be adding to this category regularly, with some upcoming 3d builds and some live-action footage!

Predator Effects! (Heat Vision & Cloaking)

Predator effects are awesome. The Predator cloaking and thermal-vision VFX have been used since the original premiered in 1987, and we decided to finally tackle these iconic FX ourselves. Check out our #SaturdayMorningTutorial below to learn how to make these FX yourself in Adobe After Effects!

You can find our HUD Video Assets Here

And the HUD AE Template Here

Enjoyed the tutorial? Check out our #SaturdayMorningTutorials episode guide

Using our Puddle Maps!

If you’re reading this, there’s a chance you’ve stumbled upon our puddle map collection and wondered, “What on Earth are these for?”. You’re not alone!

If you’ve had some experience with 3D design, you may be familiar with “glossy maps” or “reflection maps”. These are textures which can tell rendering software how “shiny” an object is. Think of a white texture being for a mirror (very shiny), and a dark gray texture used for concrete (very dull and matted). We discovered we can use these in After Effects to create utterly-realistic reflections to help composite VFX into your scene, or just make it visually incredible. You may have seen Andrew Kramer’s Video Copilot tutorial which involved a similar process.

We have dropped one of our fire VFX assets (found here) into our street, but anyone can see it is looking pretty dull at the moment! Our mission is to make this look both realistic and more visually interesting!

Puddle Tutorial Part 1

We will then need one of our puddle maps. There are different varieties (such as asphalt, tiles, road surfaces and more), so choose which one best fits your shot. Drop it into your scene, make it 3D, and align it with your ground:

Puddle Tutorial Part 2

Here is where you might see where this is going! Duplicate any of the layers you want to reflect in the puddle. In this case, the fire and the backdrop. We’ll name them the same but with “Reflection” at the end. Pre-compose the puddle map as well.

Puddle Tutorial Part 3

For each of the “Reflection” layers, flip it vertically and position it in a place where it would approximately match what it would look like if the floor was a gigantic mirror. Here’s my attempt (with the walls roughly masked out):

Puddle Tutorial Part 4

(Same process with the fire)

Puddle Tutorial Part 5

You then want to pre-compose these newly reflecting layers, all into the same composition. We’ll now be looking at something like this in our layer panel:

Puddle Tutorial Part 6

Now for the magic moment! Apply the “Compound Blur” effect to our reflection layer. The compound blur effect is similar to a traditional blur, except it blurs an image with its blur strength dependant on another texture (so brighter areas are blurred more than darker ones). Set our blur layer to our Puddle Map, and turn up the Maximum Blur parameter. You’ll quickly see everything fitting into shape!

Puddle Tutorial Part 7

Puddle Tutorial Part 8

It may take a little bit of experimentation since no project is the same. For example, setting this layer to an Alpha Inverted Matte might fix some issues you may have to your scene. You can even try using different puddle maps from the range in our collection.

You can then mask out any areas you don’t want a blur to appear on, such as these posts which are trying to make our life difficult.

Puddle Tutorial Part 9

Lastly, as we have a fire in our scene, it’s mandatory to add a glow effect (we can go deeper into this in another tutorial!).

Puddle Tutorial Part 10

Hopefully, this clears up any questions regarding these puddle maps! These things are powerful tools for any compositor in VFX or design, and will always give your scene an extra breath of photorealism. We hope you enjoy using them!

Puddle Map and Fire Tutorial in After Effects

Did you enjoy this guide? You might also like to read about our bullet hole collection!

 

New Bullet Hole Assets!

Download HD bullet hole impact VFX assets here!

Too often do we overlook one of the must-have features of a gunfight in our VFX. Bullet holes!

I’ve seen a lot of fight scenes involving a shootout simply focus on the muzzle flashes, but seemingly jumping over the fact that for every bullet shot, there is some form of damage inflicted on the scene (unless they’re shooting into the air, perhaps at some unlucky ducks). We wanted to change this, by making it more accessible for VFX artists like you to create these effects quickly and easily.

Our collection of bullet hole graphics have been made specifically to fit any compositors needs, in a superbly large resolution. The pre-keyed alpha matte means it is already ready to be blended into whatever surface it is being applied to, whether that is metal, concrete, or even glass!

Our smashed glass collection is essential for any fight scene. These are the easiest to apply, just drop it over your glass, apply a screen blending mode to it, and voila!

We hope these HD bullet hole assets are a perfect addition to your VFX workflow. Download them all today!

Thinking of how you can make your scene even more explosive? Let us introduce you to our rubble collection.

New Rubble and Debris VFX!

Many artists try to avoid the deep end of the pool with their projects. Setting yourself up with an overly demanding goal will always push you to your limits, a goal such as turning your scene into a war-ravaged battleground!

But now, you can dive into the deep end will full confidence! We’re happy to present to you our latest collection of 25 rubble VFX assets to help you build the apocalyptic scenes you’ve always wanted!

Debris and rubble have always boosted the production value of movies. What would Transformers or Infinity War be without their absolutely breathtaking destruction (pretty underwhelming I guess)? With our rubble, paired with our gigantic collection of debris effects (available here on footagecrate), you can impress everyone with your cinema-worthy VFX and editing.

VFX Rubble Asset Preview

All of the included assets have been built with the highest quality possible, with a variety of sizes, camera angles and material options to help you truly have control over the look of your composite. We have also taken the time to pre-key these assets, and even include realistic shadows, meaning they will blend into your scene without any trouble at all!

Download the HD pre-keyed rubble and debris VFX, and start creating today!

If you found this helpful, you may also be interested in learning about our debris burst collection!

Throw a Moon like Thanos in After Effects!

This was one of the most spectacular scenes in Avengers: Infinity War.

On paper, the idea of throwing a moon at someone sounds too over-the-top to attempt outside of an anime show, but somehow the film pulls it off beautifully. We decided we wanted to attempt the same effect! Check it out below.

Learn to throw a moon like Thanos did in Avengers: Infinity War in our latest AE Tutorial!

All download links to the Visual Effects used are below!

Giant Meteor Effect

Thanos Portal Effect

Aerial Explosion Effects

Ground Plough Debris Effects

Large Debris Effects