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Action effects, inc. slow motion muzzle flashes? [ANSWER]

Posted: Sat, 28th Jan 2006, 2:37pm

Post 1 of 8

alpha54

Force: 830 | Joined: 26th Jan 2006 | Posts: 323

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Pro User Windows User

Gold Member

G'day everyone! smile

As you've probably noticed, I'm new here - and I only just purchased EffectsLab Pro. I've been using Adobe Premiere for video-editing for years, but I'm currently working on a school project that requires some more complex special effects and I couldn't really get my head around After Effects or Combustion; which is why I ended up here!

At the moment, I'm editing a ~30min long action movie that requires several explosions, tons of muzzle flashes and a handful of slowmotion bullet time scenes.

I'll outline the issues I need help with below, urgent replies are hugely appreciated because I've got 2 weeks max to finish editing. Keep in mind I'm a complete newbie when it comes to EffectsLab, so try not to confuse me. wink

The first thing I need some help with are the muzzle flashes - there's two specific problems I'm having. Firstly, I know that EffectsLab doesn't support audio-editing. I was however wondering whether it was possible to have the audio of the imported movie clip playing along with the video component, as this would make it a lot easier to synchronise the muzzle flashes. Another thing about synchronising the muzzle flashes with the sound is that I need a flash every 4-5 frames or so. Sadly, I can't find a way to do this without manually creating a flash every 4 frames when I need it; as the Rate of Fire option seems way too random.

Continuing with the muzzle flashes, there are also several scenes where I need the flashes to occur in slowmotion. Is there a way to animate them so that they stay on screen longer, or will I have to animate them in normal motion and then slow them down in Premiere?

All my footage was filmed with a DV camera, so its obviously interlaced. This seems to be causing problems in EffectsLab, as the timeline breaks the movie down into fields. When I then export the muzzle flash effect, it looks extremely low quality as every even scan line is missing (so only half of the total flash is actually shown). Is there a way to fix this? Because otherwise I will have to deinterlace and then reinterlace the footage as I move it between EffectsLab and Premiere, which would cause a huge loss of quality...

I hope somebody can help my out with the muzzle flashes, because they look great! Its just that I don't seem to be able to synchronise them, or have them work once I've exported them.

For the slowmotion bullet time scenes, I will be using 3D animated bullets that will be produced seperately. All I need to do for them in EffectsLab is to create the bullet trails. Now I was looking at some old premade bullet trails for AlamDV2, but none of them have the right angle for me to use them. When looking at the EffectsLab website, it seems as if it would be easy to create dynamic bullet trails using the displacement map or distortion effects? I'm not sure how these are created though, so any help would be appreciated!

The last effects challenge I need to conquer is the explosions. The movie features two big explosions, one of which will be shown from different angles. Stock footage is not really an option, due to the variety of angles as well as the extremely low budget nature of this film. Apparently EffectsLab comes with a powerful particle engine, but there are no explosion effects in the particle toolbox; and I'm not sure how to create them myself. Any help/advice/tutorials on this would be great!

So, those are my questions and issues - thanks in advance for your help!
Posted: Sat, 28th Jan 2006, 5:16pm

Post 2 of 8

Axeman

Force: 17995 | Joined: 20th Jan 2002 | Posts: 6124

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 5 Pro User MuzzlePlug User PowerPlug User PhotoKey 3 Plug-in User FXhome Movie Maker FXpreset Maker MacOS User

SuperUser

Two weeks is not very long to learn to do all of that.

Animating the muzzle flashes to last longer is easy. Use the crop tool in the timeline to stretch the effect out. Then you can either keep it the same shape and just rotate it for bullett-time type shots, or using the controls you can change the size each frame to create more of a proper slow-mo flash.

For the interlacing problem, it sounds like you ned to switch your field order from odd to even, or the other way round.

I have an idea for the bullet trails using particles that I need to try out first.

For the explosions, I still think stock footage is the way to go. budget shouldn't be an issue, since all of the explosions in the AlamDV plug-ins section are free. Look here to download them. When you say a variety of angles, are they just static shots form different sides of the explosion, or does the camera move? Particle explosions are possible but would take some time creating custom textures to be really convincing, I think.
Posted: Sat, 28th Jan 2006, 5:42pm

Post 3 of 8

alpha54

Force: 830 | Joined: 26th Jan 2006 | Posts: 323

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Pro User Windows User

Gold Member

They're just static shots from different sides of the building.

I'll try what you said for the muzzle flashes, sounds good! Right now, first thing I'm going to do is to try switching the field order, hopefully that'll solve the problem because otherwise I won't be able to use any of the effects I produce...
Posted: Sat, 28th Jan 2006, 6:12pm

Post 4 of 8

alpha54

Force: 830 | Joined: 26th Jan 2006 | Posts: 323

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Pro User Windows User

Gold Member

Ok, I just tried setting the fields to the opposite option; this made my whole footage jerky as hell so I think thats definitely the wrong setting. Any other ideas on how I could fix this?
Posted: Sun, 29th Jan 2006, 6:49pm

Post 5 of 8

jrg2134

Force: 2491 | Joined: 11th Oct 2003 | Posts: 288

VisionLab User FXpreset Maker Windows User FXhome Movie Maker

Gold Member

Stock Media. As axeman says. Would be the best for explosions and some force powers (etc) tht are to complex for presets.

By the way...isn't fxvault supposed to be here soon. Cuz i thought they said it was coming february.... i could be wrong it could be some other time this year but still.....

Stock footage is what you need! biggrin
Posted: Wed, 1st Feb 2006, 11:10am

Post 6 of 8

Cogz

Force: 16050 | Joined: 18th Jun 2002 | Posts: 674

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 5 Pro User MuzzlePlug User PowerPlug User FXpreset Maker Windows User MacOS User

FXhome Team Member

Certainly a lot of questions there smile I'll try and answer as many as I can.

alpha54 wrote:

I was however wondering whether it was possible to have the audio of the imported movie clip playing along with the video component, as this would make it a lot easier to synchronise the muzzle flashes.
I'm afraid our programs don't support sound in that way, since they are effects applications, rather than NLE (non-linear editing) programs.

alpha54 wrote:

I need a flash every 4-5 frames or so
I'm sure if you fiddled around with the rate-of-fire setting, however you can add keyframes to the flash by moving to the frame you want the flash to appear, then make sure the emitter is set to 'on', on the next frame, turn it 'off', and carry on like that. So you can use the same effect object, but have the flashes exactly when you want them.

alpha54 wrote:

I need the flashes to occur in slowmotion. Is there a way to animate them so that they stay on screen longer
Again, you can just keep the flash on constantly for as long as you need, then turn off the emitter when you want it to turn off. Also if you add a transparency grading filter, making the transparency=full tweening down to transparency=none, you can fade out the whole muzzle flash in slow-mo, or at least give the appearance that it is.

Regarding you interlacing problem, I don't understand where you might have gone wrong, indeed the footage from your DV camera will be interlaced (unless it does progressive), in which case you create a new project within EffectsLab with interlace even or odd, depending how you have captured it. Could there be a possibility that when exporting from your NLE to put into elab you might have deinterlaced it, or used the wrong even/odd setting?

alpha54 wrote:

When looking at the EffectsLab website, it seems as if it would be easy to create dynamic bullet trails using the displacement map or distortion effects?
One of our users is trying to do this very thing at the moment, so watch this space.

alpha54 wrote:

The last effects challenge I need to conquer is the explosions.
Hmm, for explosions to look realistic you do really need some stock footage, if you do a search of the forums I'm sure you'll find links to some low cost alternatives.

I hope most of what you want to know has been answered, if you need to know anything this else, don't hesitate to ask.
Posted: Wed, 1st Feb 2006, 12:59pm

Post 7 of 8

Oeyvind

Force: 3040 | Joined: 6th Jun 2005 | Posts: 568

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Lite User FXpreset Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Hey! The muzzle flash engine works great for slowmotion as well, but this plug-in is awsome:
http://fxhome.com/alamdv2/plugins/info_cache/plugin1156.html

It might help..!

Oeyvind
Posted: Thu, 2nd Feb 2006, 7:49am

Post 8 of 8

alpha54

Force: 830 | Joined: 26th Jan 2006 | Posts: 323

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Pro User Windows User

Gold Member

Sadly the plugin you linked to above won't work for me - wrong angle, but thanks anyways! I managed to get all the slowmotion muzzle flashes done just fine; and I've just started using some stock footage for the explosions.

I'll let you know how i goes, please get back to me ASAP if someone gets those bullet trails working! smile