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Helicopter VFX Tutorial

Download HD Helicopter VFX assets here

Our brand new helicopter assets have landed in the FootageCrate library, giving you the power to create your own stunning action movie VFX!

Over 30 exciting elements are available for you, with some of them being free to download. We’ve made sure the selection covers all of the intense helicopter sequences you’ll need to build the perfect narrative for your project.

The collection includes take-offs, flybys, static graphics and even a spectacular helicopter crash.

Helicopter Crash VFX for your Videos

It’s time to get started with the tutorial, so you can learn how to add these helicopter VFX into your own videos! We’ll be going over the general workflow which covers the steps you need to take to composite all of our helicopter assets. I’ll also be using After Effects today, but you can replicate the steps in almost any compositing software such as Hitfilm and Nuke.

We’ll first need a background, which today will be this beautiful aerial mountain scenery from Pexels, but feel free to use your own!

Helicopter VFX Tutorial Background

Once you’ve created a composition featuring your background, find a helicopter asset that best suits your shot. There’s many to choose from, so you’ll have no trouble finding one that you want. I recommend that you also consider the lighting when deciding which effect you want for your VFX. Here I’ll be using a looping shot from the side:

Download Helicopter VFX Assets

Drop the effect into a new layer of your composition, and position it where you need it. Since the background and the helicopter don’t have matching sources of light, I flipped the landscape horizontally in order to have the light coming from the same direction. This goes a long way when it comes to making sure your effect fits naturally into your scene!

Helicopter VFX Tutorial

The shot is already looking pretty good, but we’ll perform some colour correction to make it perfect. I used a curves effect to lightly decrease the red as well as increase the blue, which matched the chilling tone of the environment.

Download Helicopter VFX Tutorial

No action scene is complete without some background motion blur, which also gives the illusion that the helicopter is moving at great speeds. It also helps highlight the main feature of our shot, so that it stands out from the rest.

Download Helicopter VFX Tutorial

This is the third tutorial in a row which has made use of our ProductionCrate Lightwrap generator, so if you haven’t checked it out already download it here! This tool is an absolute game-changer when it comes to compositing inside After Effects. It takes the colour of the environment and blends it into the edges of the asset, making it seem as though light from the scene is bouncing off our helicopter and into the camera. The default settings will do for most scenes, so hitting “Generate” should do the trick, but feel free to adjust the settings if needed.

Download Helicopter VFX Tutorial

You’ve made it to the end! We now have a photorealistic helicopter VFX effect in almost no time at all thanks to ProductionCrate’s helicopter library. It’s time to add our final colour corrections to give it the cinema-quality tone we want to see (here I had increased the contrast and saturation).

Download Helicopter VFX for your Movie

If you want to learn even more compositing tricks, take a look at our Nuclear Bomb VFX tutorial:

Zombie Tutorial!

Download HD pre-keyed zombie VFX assets here

Continuing from a recent post showcasing our zombie effects, it’s time to put them into action with a quick tutorial!

For the readers who have just joined us, welcome! FootageCrate has a bundle of truly extraordinary stock footage of green-screened and pre-keyed HD zombie effects. This means that you won’t need any fancy make-up artists and actors for your own zombie movies, instead, you can easily composite them into your videos with a few clicks for an unbelievably realistic effect and low budget!

I’ll be showing you an example of how you can add these zombie apocalypse visual effects to your footage to make them look like they are truly part of the scene in After Effects.

If you want to follow along, I’ve taken a stock image from Pexels.com which you can download here.

Download and composite zombie VFX to your video

As for our zombie VFX assets, you can find them all on our category page here. Many of these are free to download if you want to try it out with no cost at all, and Pro members can download the entire collection of pre-keyed 4K assets. Let’s get started!

The easy part is to drop your zombie VFX characters into your footage. I used a feathered mask to cut out the lower portions of their legs so that it appeared they were standing in the middle of the tall grass and fog.

Download and composite zombie VFX to your video

If we take a closer look, you will notice that these zombies look rather “flat”. Perhaps as if they’re paper cutouts stuck onto an image. Luckily for us, we have the solution!

Download and composite zombie VFX to your video

Recently we released the truly-incredible Light Wrap generator. You won’t believe how important this After Effects script is for creating stunningly realistic compositions. It creates a feathered halo glow around the inner edge of our foreground, giving it the appearance that the light is interacting with our zombie VFX foreground. And it’s free for all users! (Thank you, Nate!)

Pre-compose all of our zombies together, and run the Light Wrap generator script. Select the zombie composition as the foreground, and the photograph as the background. Suddenly, once you change a few of the settings in the controls, you’ll have a stunning result. I find that the radius and brightness controls play the most important part in finding the right look for your scene.

Download and composite zombie VFX to your video

And without any trouble, we have an insanely realistic looking zombie in our shot! Apply some final colour corrections, and you can proudly admire the work you’ve created.

Composite zombie VFX with a Light Wrap

If you want to have a go at some more compositing, take a look at our Nuclear Explosion tutorial!

Zombie VFX Extras

With Halloween approaching, it’s time to make your videos extra spooky!

ProductionCrate has now made it possible to create your own zombie apocalypse movie with a near-zero budget. You don’t need hundreds of extra actors, in fact, you don’t need any at all. Instead, we have a huge collection of 4K pre-keyed (and green-screen) zombie character effects.

Download HD Zombie Effects Free

We recorded several different actors performing hundreds of different actions that you would expect to see from the typical walking-dead. Standing, stumbling, reaching, and even attacking. To help make your heroic protagonist interact with these characters, we’ve included reaction-actions, such as getting hit by a bullet. This will give your project a life-like appearance without any trouble!

Duplicate, scale and spread your zombies around across your scene to create an entire horde of them. The fantastic Adrian Jensen goes into the steps on how you can do this in this tutorial using After Effects and Trapcode Particular.

Zombie VFX Extras are available for download here.

 

Nuclear Bomb VFX Tutorial

A few days ago we covered creating a missile launch VFX shot. But now it’s time to take a look at the receiving end of the attack and build out one stunning looking explosion!

If you’re new around here, welcome! ProductionCrate is your friendly-neighbourhood source for creative assets, ranging from VFX, sound, music and motion graphics. We have thousands of professionally made effects ready for you to download today, and one of them is our much-loved nuclear bomb explosion which you can download here. We have plenty to choose from, many of them are free to download, so pick your favourite and we’ll jump into the tutorial.

From past experience where I’ve tried to composite nuclear bombs and other large explosions into my video, one of the most difficult steps is correctly creating the lighting. Usually, this is done by masking out dozens or even hundreds of different surfaces which will reflect your explosion. This can easily take up hours of your time just perfecting it, especially if you have movement involved.

So I offer my secret solution to the perfect lighting; shoot during sunset!

 

This will create the lighting you need in no time, casting a fiery glow across the sky. I’ll grab my scene from here, which looks perfect with the skyline being silhouetted by the brightness of the sun. You can use this too unless you have your own!

I’ll be using Adobe After Effects (should have used Nuke!), but the same processes can be applied to any compositing software, even Premiere Pro or Hitfilm.

Create a VFX Nuclear Explosion Tutorial

If you downloaded the sample image, you might notice I’ve made a few changes (mostly because I didn’t want that gigantic building in the way of the explosion). Feel free to Photoshop it around a little to best fit your artistic needs. We’ll first need to quickly create a foreground mask, but thankfully we can use a luma-key or the Extract tool to only keep the dark areas of the shot, which are the buildings.

Create a VFX Nuclear Explosion Tutorial

Download our nuclear explosion VFX asset (available for free users too), and drop it into your scene roughly where the sun is.

Create a VFX Nuclear Explosion Tutorial

If you’re thinking that this doesn’t look natural at all, then you’re perfectly right. We need to match our smoke to the colours of the sky and what better way to do it than with our favourite tint effect. Use the colour pickers to select the horizons colours, preferably where the object you are selecting is black in reality, but obscured by the atmospheres glow. This should perfectly blend it to match the ground.

Create a VFX Nuclear Explosion Tutorial

To bring back the flames, duplicate the layer and clear the effects. We then need to use a simple extract/luma key to remove the smoke. Set the layer’s blending mode to Screen, and our blast will already looking great!

Create a VFX Nuclear Explosion Tutorial

And as always, bombard our flames with a bundle of wonderful glow effects!

Create a VFX Nuclear Explosion Tutorial

The next step is optional, but I love the extra intensity it gives the brightness of the explosion. Duplicate the foreground layer of the buildings, and apply a Light Burst effect to it, centring the origin to the explosions centre. It will cast these immense volumetric shadows through the atmosphere and looks fantastic!

Create a VFX Nuclear Explosion Tutorial

It’s up to you know to stylize the scene as much as you would like, but in the end, we should have a magnificently epic explosion!

Create a VFX Nuclear Explosion Tutorial

 

 

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?