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Squibs

Posted: Thu, 31st Mar 2005, 11:09pm

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bhwfprod

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does anyone out there have a good technique for efficent, but safe squibs. my script requires rapid fire and single shots. so a technique that could effectiveley pull off both. would be great. thanx
Posted: Thu, 31st Mar 2005, 11:10pm

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cantaclaro

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Rating: +2/-1

http://www.supersquibshop.com

They have all the answers to your questions!!!!11!1!!!!one!!1!1!!!eleven!!!1!!
Posted: Thu, 31st Mar 2005, 11:14pm

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cinemafreak

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In answer to your question: there is no such thing as a "safe squib." They are all explosives and using them with professional supervision or not, they are still dangerous. If you have the dough to hire a professional pyrotechnic and the money to buy squibs, by all means try it. If you don't, then I suggest the compressed air squib method, which poses virtually no danger to anybody. What I do NOT think you ought to do is make your own home-made squibs and use them. That is likely illegal and quite dangerous.
Posted: Fri, 1st Apr 2005, 9:29pm

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TimmyD

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Theres always firecrackers... if thats your thing... wink
Posted: Sun, 3rd Apr 2005, 12:09pm

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Bryan M Block

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Hello-
I actually had a little something to do with a film called "Bullethead" that was released in 2002 (?). It canbe found on IMDB.
Anyway, the "squibs" the director was using, despite having liscences for everything else including real AK-47's and other fireams (he never got the special insurance etc.. for explosive squibs) were the old Robert Rodriguez method squibs- You take a condom and fill it partially with your blood mixture, then you tie it tightly into a little ball with high stress. Using a slingshot ( one that you can find at a sporting goods store for hunting small game or target practice) you stand just off camera and fire away.

Then when you edit, you have to cut the video clip to the frame right as the condom hits- usually it looks pretty darn good! But be careful!!!! you can still really hurt someone!

ANyway- that's one method...


B
Posted: Sun, 3rd Apr 2005, 4:25pm

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cinemafreak

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Bryan M Block wrote:

Hello-
I actually had a little something to do with a film called "Bullethead" that was released in 2002 (?). It canbe found on IMDB.
Anyway, the "squibs" the director was using, despite having liscences for everything else including real AK-47's and other fireams (he never got the special insurance etc.. for explosive squibs) were the old Robert Rodriguez method squibs- You take a condom and fill it partially with your blood mixture, then you tie it tightly into a little ball with high stress. Using a slingshot ( one that you can find at a sporting goods store for hunting small game or target practice) you stand just off camera and fire away.

Then when you edit, you have to cut the video clip to the frame right as the condom hits- usually it looks pretty darn good! But be careful!!!! you can still really hurt someone!

ANyway- that's one method...


B
Wouldn't you have to have pretty good aim with the slingshot? Sounds like it could hurt if someone hit the wrong spot.
Posted: Sun, 3rd Apr 2005, 4:45pm

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Bryan M Block

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cinemafreak wrote:

Bryan M Block wrote:

Hello-
I actually had a little something to do with a film called "Bullethead" that was released in 2002 (?). It canbe found on IMDB.
Anyway, the "squibs" the director was using, despite having liscences for everything else including real AK-47's and other fireams (he never got the special insurance etc.. for explosive squibs) were the old Robert Rodriguez method squibs- You take a condom and fill it partially with your blood mixture, then you tie it tightly into a little ball with high stress. Using a slingshot ( one that you can find at a sporting goods store for hunting small game or target practice) you stand just off camera and fire away.

Then when you edit, you have to cut the video clip to the frame right as the condom hits- usually it looks pretty darn good! But be careful!!!! you can still really hurt someone!

ANyway- that's one method...


B
Wouldn't you have to have pretty good aim with the slingshot? Sounds like it could hurt if someone hit the wrong spot.
Yes and no- I mean the guy they had doing it was literally only a few feet away. Sure there were misses though and anytime you do something like this someone COULD possibly get hurt. The interesting thing was that when you got hit with one,, you couldn't really feel it- it wasn't like a paintball or anything, it burst on impact so it had no real sting or anything. They made a bunch of the "bllod paks" and put them in a bucket, because sometimes people missed several times. This method may work for you and may not, or it may work for certain shots and not for others- the editing is also key in the believability of the effect, but I believe Rodriguez used this techniqe in "El Mariachi" as well as the director for Bullethead (Mark Burson)
As for exploding bullet "hits" on walls and other things, I've read some things people have done, but I can't personally vouch for seeing them used in person.
Posted: Sun, 3rd Apr 2005, 5:23pm

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TimmyD

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Condoms are hard to come by for the younger fraction of FXhome...
Posted: Sun, 3rd Apr 2005, 5:45pm

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cinemafreak

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timmyd wrote:

Condoms are hard to come by for the younger fraction of FXhome...
Ain't that the truth. It would look a little funny for a thirteen year old kid like me to buy a box of codoms in a public store.
Posted: Sun, 3rd Apr 2005, 5:48pm

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The video machine

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ummm... not really
Posted: Sun, 3rd Apr 2005, 7:03pm

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Serpent

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No they aren't... I could get one if I rode my bike up to a local Eckerd, the employees could care less... And sometimes they sell them in bathrooms.
Posted: Sun, 3rd Apr 2005, 7:18pm

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TimmyD

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Then theres the parent angle, however.
Posted: Sun, 3rd Apr 2005, 8:25pm

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Serpent

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My parents would understand, but different strokes for different folks. I understand though, all parents are different.
Posted: Mon, 4th Apr 2005, 11:36am

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Rawree

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I do so love the way people are most worried about buying condoms and firing stones via elastic at eachother to get this effect but seem to have no problem with the possibility of strapping firecrackers and other explosives to their chest. In conclusion I have nothing very important to contribute.
Posted: Mon, 4th Apr 2005, 6:11pm

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Bryan M Block

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Rawree wrote:

I do so love the way people are most worried about buying condoms and firing stones via elastic at eachother to get this effect but seem to have no problem with the possibility of strapping firecrackers and other explosives to their chest. In conclusion I have nothing very important to contribute.
i agree- I find that amusing as well.

For the record I am 35 and have worked in the professional video and film industry for about 6 or 7 years now in various capacities- although my main gig now is as a musician (Yes i score) I was not aware that many of the posters were perhaps so young, but come on guys- condoms as far as I know do not have an age limit for purchase and if you really want the effect, it's MUCH cheaper and safer than strapping explosives to yourself. Having checked out the links for the "compressed air" squibs (which look great IMO!) I would also like to point out that the "condom method" cannot really create the effect while the camera is focused on the victim and does not cut away. In the film I worked on and from what I remember of 'El Mariachi' the condom method works best with quick cuts to the victim trimming the frames just before impact so you don't see the condom before it hits. So it is not a complete solution, but it works in some instances and has been used in these professional films.

Good luck and be safe.
That compressed air method looks pretty good.

B
Posted: Tue, 5th Apr 2005, 10:45am

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Bryan M Block

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Reading that last post, let me clarify that you do NOT shoot "stones" at someone with the slingshot- or any other projectile!! You could SERIOUSLY HURT SOMEONE LIKE THAT! THe slingshot is used to launch the actual "blood paks" at the "victim" so it is more like hitting someone with a high-powered water balloon. The paks should be small enough to launch but big enough for a decent splatter- about the size of a small plum works well.

Again- NEVER fire any type of hard projectile at someone with a slingshot.

B
Posted: Tue, 5th Apr 2005, 11:02am

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monty

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I am currently working on an idea based on the original gas system.

I am using a CO2 cannister from a paint ball gun connected to a number
of mini solenoid valves and a cheap remote control setup. I strap the lot round the waist feed the tubes from the valves to the various places around the body, and voila, multiple gun shot hits.
Posted: Tue, 5th Apr 2005, 12:13pm

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Arktic

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Ok - first off, I’d like to reiterate what’s been mentioned so far -

IF YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING, DO NOT TRY TO USE SQUIBS

And if you’re looking for “how to” guides for squibs on the net, you clearly don’t know what you’re doing - so don’t be stupid. If you get hurt because you’ve not got the sense to be careful, then you’ve got no-one else to blame but yourself. And anyone posting guides on how to blow explosives up that are attached to your body should seriously think about that information, and if it is suitable for this kind of forum, where the majority of the users are quite young. (Besides which, are you really going to trust a guide written by someone who doesn’t even know the name of the parts he suggests using?!).

That said, I’d encourage you to use the “eejit’s guide” style compressed air hits, or Bryan’s excellent method posted above. Though each of the two systems has it’s problems, they can be used to just as good, if not sometimes even greater effect, than unreliable squibs cobbled together out of equipment from hobby stores. As Bryan already pointed out, many films use non-explosive bullet hits - one that springs to mind other than El Mariachi is from the end of Die Hard, where Gruber’s henchman gets shot in the face. Clearly it’s too dangerous to have squibs on someone’s forehead, even for pro guys - so they use the ‘paintball’ type hit, and it looks bloody superb (excuse the pun). It’s all to do with the direction of the scene and the way that it’s been edited - which can take some time; but probably a lot less time that it would do to say, come to terms with being blinded by a home-made squib that went wrong.

But I know there will still be a minority of people who think that compressed air hits look rubbish - well, to you guys, I have this to say : a lot of the realism of these effects comes down to pure editing skill. We’re in the art of taking things that aren’t real, and making them look believable. And if you’re convinced that there’s no way that you can use compressed air hits and make them look believable, then I think it says a LOT about your skill as a film-maker.

Cheers,
Arktic.
Posted: Tue, 5th Apr 2005, 1:15pm

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Madmanmatty

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HEY! The only reason I couldn't remember the name of that part was because I lost the part of my brain that remembers names when we did our "head shots".

Actually, I'm kinda sorry I posted that little post, but thankfully the moderators cleaned it up for me. I have a nasty habit of just telling everything I know without thinking who I'm telling it too (I'd make a horrible spy..). Yeah- try compressed gas with tubing or something... or don't worry about squibs.

Saftey first.

-Logan-
Posted: Fri, 8th Apr 2005, 7:35pm

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Sting939

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I know that some movies really make a point of showing the bullet wound, but remember that many times it is not neccessary to even have one. Take the movie Collateral for example. In the scene were Cruise shoots too thugs stealing his briefcase, there were no squibs or anything used, but the scene still makes a big impact. Like people have been saying, it's all in the editing of the scene.
Posted: Sun, 10th Apr 2005, 10:20pm

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dvvidpro

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Unless you have an NFPA license don't even think about using explosive squibs.

Also... well, lets take a trip in the wayback machine to the year 1986. Some friends of mine and I took about ten pounds of gunpowder and assorted fireworks over to Canada (from Michigan) to shoot an Indiana Jones fan film at Pinery Provincial Park. We planned to use the gunpowder for ground and tree hits, and firecrackers for body hits, with what we thought would be proper safety measures. Well, I can tell you this... My character was the first (and last) to get the firecracker treatment. To be blunt, I was lucky. The "safety plate" dented on the exploding of the firecracker and caused me a great deal of pain. The shot was "killer" almost literally. Badly bruised in the center of my chest, I was glad that my character was dead so I wouldn't have to do any more fighting. The rest of the body hits were done using a variety of techniques using string, gaffers tape, etc... and finalized in the editing process.

I like the condom approach, and think that a clever mind could make improvements or at least variations on this technique. Also, those of you lucky enough to have Commotion Pro, or Icarus 2.09 can either use the wire rig zapper (commotion) or filtering (Icarus) to possibly remove the flying condoms (sounds like a circus act biggrin), so you can use a longer shot of the person prior to getting hit.

Be smart and safe. Use the least dangereous method you can. Remember, if it can't be done safely, DON'T DO IT.

P.S. This doesn't change the fact that if we had been caught with that
much explosives, (especially crossing a border) we'd probably still be
in the slam.
Posted: Sun, 10th Apr 2005, 10:24pm

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Serpent

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Guys, everyone check out this page: http://www.exposure.co.uk/eejit/blood/

Found it while searching Google for something on my English paper. smile Anyways, they have example clips and step by step instructions, how to create the blood, etc. Please check this site out.
Posted: Sun, 10th Apr 2005, 10:29pm

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PhLogan

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Serpent wrote:

Guys, everyone check out this page: http://www.exposure.co.uk/eejit/blood/

Found it while searching Google for something on my English paper. smile Anyways, they have example clips and step by step instructions, how to create the blood, etc. Please check this site out.
Yeah ive known about this site for a while now and have been meaning to post it in this thread, but Im lazy.

We made one of these squibs and it does work well, but you CANT skimp out on the incesticide bottle. A cheap one will not make enough pressure.
Posted: Mon, 11th Apr 2005, 8:01am

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EelcoG

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Serpent wrote:

We made one of these squibs and it does work well, but you CANT skimp out on the incesticide bottle. A cheap one will not make enough pressure.
I think I know a solution for that, super soakers. Even small super soakers should be able to give you more then enough power. Especially when pumped with just air, super soakers create a very short, high pressure blast. Most soakers have a nozzel which can easily be attached to a hose.

And to outstrip Tarantino: Use the air from a CPS 1700 to emulate the person being hit by a vulcan M-61.

Regards, Eelco

Last edited Mon, 11th Apr 2005, 6:14pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 11th Apr 2005, 4:38pm

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Bryan M Block

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That compressed air method site was posted earlier in the thread and I really don;t think a "super soaker" would give near enough pressure to create the kind of hits shown on that site.

Also, I really didn't think about the fact that you could totally mask the flying condoms out in your editing program.

On a static background (if the camera itself isn't panning) this would be very easy indeed!

My advice would be to shoot what is called a "background plate" which is a scene of the background without the actors in front of it. This blank background clip or still can then be used beneath the shooting clip so that any masking would reveal the empty backgroundclip beneath it, thus appearing as if the condoms weren't there at all. Vegas has what is called the "cookie cutter" effect fromt he FX menu which "punches a hole" in a clip revealing the clip beneath it- it also offers a bazillion ways to mask things (including belzier mask drawing right on the frame!) as well, so achieving this in vegas through any number of methods would be very easy- and they are all 100% keyframable so you can track the object, but the same principle could be applied in just about any app.

The second part of my advice is to shoot the thing STATIC to facillitate the masking process as suggested and then use the pan/crop/track motion tools in your editor to move the camera on the rendered clip (or if you editor allows you to link clips into a cohesive unit like Vegas does, then on the parent track) to create drama or fast edit techniques- of course these methods have limitations as well.

Check out www.creativecow.net forums for info on masking in your editing app.
B
Posted: Mon, 11th Apr 2005, 8:35pm

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Serpent

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Bryan M Block wrote:

That compressed air method site was posted earlier in the thread
No it wasn't...

Post 2000. o_0 I have no life. smile
Posted: Mon, 11th Apr 2005, 9:18pm

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Arktic

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It was, Serpent.

I think one of the posts that had it originally was removed, because it also talked about using firecrackers. Then several people mentioned 'compressed air hits', and I suggested using the "eejit's guide" style. So even if the link wasn't there anymore, it'd been mentioned several times over.

That makes two of us with no lives wink

Cheers,
Arktic.
Posted: Mon, 16th May 2005, 2:56pm

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Gravy

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El Mariachi was made using explosive squibs within and behind condoms...

You'll notice that all bullet hits in El take place around the chest area because they used a weightlifting belt as backing to protect bare skin from the explosive. In fact, if you freeze-frame some instances in the film, you can see bits of condom flying out from the actor's chest. Groovy.

Guacamole guns are also a favourite of Rodriguez, firing a general splat at a body part, then digitally adding an impact point. Very effective.

For the condom lob technique, you'd be surprised sometimes how much force you have to chuck with to get that splatter! Having an actor put his fist up against another's face, throwing the condom and then mimicing the follow through upon impact can also be a pretty good punching effect.
Posted: Mon, 16th May 2005, 5:14pm

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EelcoG

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Bryan M Block wrote:

That compressed air method site was posted earlier in the thread and I really don;t think a "super soaker" would give near enough pressure to create the kind of hits shown on that site.
"I find your lack of faith disturbing." But seriously, have you ever played around with a supersoaker?
If it can launch 1 liter water in about 3 seconds over a distance of 8 meters, it sure can imitate a blood spray.

Regards, Eelco
Posted: Mon, 16th May 2005, 6:00pm

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DPUMA8

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I like the insecticide sprayer method. I have been looking online and the bottles are less than $5. But I don't know which is a good one. Any links to a good one?
Posted: Tue, 17th May 2005, 2:35am

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BuckskinBelly

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There is no age requirement for buying condoms, atleast where I live. They have to sell them to you, it's not like the clerk is going to start telling you the story about the birds and the bees.
Posted: Tue, 17th May 2005, 3:01am

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Hybrid-Halo

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Instead of looking over various methods of recreating the effect of having a persons blood spurt over your scenes, why not make a happy movie about flowers or bumblebees?

Or How about learning to do them Digitally, EffectsLab is more than capable of this. Look at Zatoichi for example, it's pretty much all digital blood and it looks great.

wink

-Hybrid
Posted: Wed, 30th Nov 2005, 2:36am

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90hitpoints

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Although I hate to keep droning on about this whole "condom" disscusion, I just have to say one thing. Although theres no age requirement to buying condoms, must kids would feel uncomfortable buying them. But I think that you could probebly just use a finger from one of those rubber dispossible medical gloves instead of a condom
Posted: Wed, 30th Nov 2005, 3:00am

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rogolo

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90hitpoints wrote:

Although I hate to keep droning on about this whole "condom" disscusion
Yes, droning on...five monthes later. unsure
Posted: Thu, 1st Dec 2005, 1:06am

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90hitpoints

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rogolo wrote:

90hitpoints wrote:

Although I hate to keep droning on about this whole "condom" disscusion
Yes, droning on...five monthes later. unsure
Yea well, I was searching the forums. =)
Posted: Thu, 1st Dec 2005, 2:33am

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rogolo

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90hitpoints wrote:

rogolo wrote:

90hitpoints wrote:

Although I hate to keep droning on about this whole "condom" disscusion
Yes, droning on...five monthes later. unsure
Yea well, I was searching the forums. =)
Meh...whatever. No harm, no foul, eh?