You are viewing an archive of the old fxhome.com forums. The community has since moved to hitfilm.com.

Best-looking practical (not digital) body hit from moonrock

Posted: Mon, 8th Oct 2007, 9:59pm

Post 1 of 24

MrGoodbomb

Force: 0 | Joined: 23rd Jul 2007 | Posts: 153

Member

I could use some advice. I have a scene where I guy is straddling a girl outdoors, and a chunk of rock from outside the Earth's atmosphere plummets down and hits him right in the back, killing him. The piece would be not much bigger than a bullet, probably between the size of a dime and a quarter, or maybe a silver dollar.

I'm not sure if it would create blood and gore or if something going that fast through the atmosphere would coderize as it went, like a lasersword (cough, cough). I don't think it would make as much sense, visually, without the blood, however.

It would tear right in through his shirt and pop into his skin. We had attempted a pully system where we'd score the shirt, insert the "rock," and pull it out from a transparent wire, then play it backwards, but it didn't work out so well, and if we wanted blood and gore, it might not look right.

Any ideas? I'd just make a squib, but I'm afraid of hurting the actor and even the camera. Thanks!
Posted: Mon, 8th Oct 2007, 11:03pm

Post 2 of 24

Mandalorian

Force: 1905 | Joined: 24th Feb 2006 | Posts: 266

VisionLab User VideoWrap User Windows User

Gold Member

If you made a squib, just film it against a white board (not the school kind) and cut out the white. For practical, on-screen stuff, i'm not so sure.

As for the space debris, you could just make it in a photo editing program such as the GIMP or Photoshop, then just animate it in whatever program you're using and apply a motion blur effect.
Posted: Mon, 8th Oct 2007, 11:34pm

Post 3 of 24

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

Realistically a piece of meteor that small would go straight through him and kill the girl as well. Not that that's relevant.

If you shot is relatively close for the actual impact, you could just stuff the shirt with something, so you could set a squib without hurting anyone. Then cut to a wider shot of the guy falling over dead or whatever.
Posted: Tue, 9th Oct 2007, 12:11am

Post 4 of 24

Aculag

Force: 8365 | Joined: 21st Jun 2002 | Posts: 8581

EffectsLab Lite User VideoWrap User FXhome Movie Maker MacOS User

Gold Member

Axeman wrote:

Realistically a piece of meteor that small would go straight through him and kill the girl as well. Not that that's relevant.
This is the first thing I thought of. Hey, it might make a good scene! wink
Posted: Tue, 9th Oct 2007, 4:29am

Post 5 of 24

szczepanski

Force: 346 | Joined: 10th Aug 2007 | Posts: 227

Windows User

Member

Aculag wrote:

Axeman wrote:

Realistically a piece of meteor that small would go straight through him and kill the girl as well. Not that that's relevant.
This is the first thing I thought of. Hey, it might make a good scene! wink
Not really since it's coming from above. It would go through the boy and into the ground.
Posted: Tue, 9th Oct 2007, 5:08am

Post 6 of 24

Frosty G

Force: 540 | Joined: 28th May 2005 | Posts: 640

EffectsLab Pro User Windows User

Gold Member

szczepanski wrote:

Aculag wrote:

Axeman wrote:

Realistically a piece of meteor that small would go straight through him and kill the girl as well. Not that that's relevant.
This is the first thing I thought of. Hey, it might make a good scene! wink
Not really since it's coming from above. It would go through the boy and into the ground.
Well, if he is straddling her... wink

Last edited Tue, 9th Oct 2007, 5:52am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 9th Oct 2007, 5:37am

Post 7 of 24

MrGoodbomb

Force: 0 | Joined: 23rd Jul 2007 | Posts: 153

Member

Axeman wrote:

Realistically a piece of meteor that small would go straight through him and kill the girl as well. Not that that's relevant.
The girl lives long enough for the disease the meteor carries to reanimate the boy, who kills the girl.

Logic doesn't apply much when it comes to violence in film. Ever shoot a gun? It sounds NOTHING like what 99% of film guns sound like, nor does the impact look very much like what it really causes, but film guns are still what people know. It's just more dramatic.

I also need a meteorite to hit the ground a little distance away from them (10 feet or so). It'll "hit" behind a headstone (yes, they're in a grave yard), so the cause of the practical effect can be hidden somewhat behind it.
Posted: Tue, 9th Oct 2007, 6:00am

Post 8 of 24

ben3308

Force: 5210 | Joined: 24th May 2004 | Posts: 6433

VideoWrap User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Sound of a gun in movies was probably a bad analogy, as most guns I've heard in real life sound just like they do in the movies. I would've pointed out, say, the over-abundant muzzle flashes which are little to none as far as presence in real firearms.
Posted: Tue, 9th Oct 2007, 1:38pm

Post 9 of 24

Biblmac

Force: 852 | Joined: 12th Jun 2007 | Posts: 1513

EffectsLab Lite User Windows User

Gold Member

There is a rig Indy Mogul uses to make a blood spirt and then you could add like a bullet trail if you have Effects Lab Pro or Composite Lab Pro with displacement.
Posted: Tue, 9th Oct 2007, 4:35pm

Post 10 of 24

MrGoodbomb

Force: 0 | Joined: 23rd Jul 2007 | Posts: 153

Member

ben3308 wrote:

Sound of a gun in movies was probably a bad analogy, as most guns I've heard in real life sound just like they do in the movies. I would've pointed out, say, the over-abundant muzzle flashes which are little to none as far as presence in real firearms.
That's not exactly true, as far as sound goes. Most people hearing anything but a hunting rifle wouldn't recognize it because they're so used to hearing "movie guns." Real firearms make a simple pop, albiet a loud one.
Posted: Tue, 9th Oct 2007, 4:36pm

Post 11 of 24

MrGoodbomb

Force: 0 | Joined: 23rd Jul 2007 | Posts: 153

Member

Biblmac wrote:

There is a rig Indy Mogul uses to make a blood spirt and then you could add like a bullet trail if you have Effects Lab Pro or Composite Lab Pro with displacement.
That's what we use for bullet hits, so I wanted to seperate the effects a bit, visually, so it didn't seem as if we were reusing the same thing.
Posted: Tue, 9th Oct 2007, 5:01pm

Post 12 of 24

TimmyD

Force: 2646 | Joined: 18th Feb 2004 | Posts: 2507

EffectsLab Lite User FXpreset Maker Windows User MacOS User

Gold Member

REALISTICALLY, i'm pretty sure a bullet-sized meteorite wouldn't make it through our atmosphere and then all the way to the ground. It'd burn up before it entered the clouds. Irrelevant though, it's a movie wink

Effects like this are where the importance of good editing comes in. Cut to the rock coming in, some kind of bloody explosion (it would be bloody), and then cut to a shot of the dude lying in his own blood. In my head, it's relatively simple...
Posted: Tue, 9th Oct 2007, 5:11pm

Post 13 of 24

MrGoodbomb

Force: 0 | Joined: 23rd Jul 2007 | Posts: 153

Member

TimmyD wrote:

REALISTICALLY, i'm pretty sure a bullet-sized meteorite wouldn't make it through our atmosphere and then all the way to the ground. It'd burn up before it entered the clouds. Irrelevant though, it's a movie wink

Effects like this are where the importance of good editing comes in. Cut to the rock coming in, some kind of bloody explosion (it would be bloody), and then cut to a shot of the dude lying in his own blood. In my head, it's relatively simple...
I figure, as far as explanations go, it was considerably larger before entering atmosphere, and the size it reaches once it makes contact is as much as it was able to burn down to.

I understand the editting idea, and I agree, but I want a good, solid shot of it making impact. I think this shot is too much of an opportunity to skimp out on and go the easy way with. I'm sure I'll wind up lending a lot of effects to the way they're editted, but I'd like a few good shots of practical effects where the camera doesn't cut away too quickly. My usual examples of this are 1978's Dawn of the Dead... a lot of great, practical effects that weren't cut and spliced as much as some might have done. I think it really made that film. If worse comes to worst, I'll make a prop of his back out of a similar t-shirt and film a close-cropped shot of it (basically just a large square of fabric) and shoot it with a condom full of blood, or better yet, a real gun (in the safety of my own property, or a firing range). I'm just looking for other options, as well as an option for the ground impact (which I might just make a small explosive full of dirt for).
Posted: Tue, 9th Oct 2007, 5:56pm

Post 14 of 24

CX3

Force: 3137 | Joined: 1st Apr 2003 | Posts: 2527

EffectsLab Lite User VideoWrap User MacOS User FXhome Movie Maker

Gold Member

TimmyD wrote:

REALISTICALLY, i'm pretty sure a bullet-sized meteorite wouldn't make it through our atmosphere and then all the way to the ground. It'd burn up before it entered the clouds. Irrelevant though, it's a movie wink

Effects like this are where the importance of good editing comes in. Cut to the rock coming in, some kind of bloody explosion (it would be bloody), and then cut to a shot of the dude lying in his own blood. In my head, it's relatively simple...
Yeah obviously the meteorite would lose size/mass as its falling from burning away.

Also, if I were to do it, I'd show a high angle looking down and pushing in (or zooming in) on the guys back from above. Cut the guys face and have him react/jolt, maybe even bleed from the mouth. Then cut back to his back and pan out slowly showing blood coming out from the center of the wound and maybe see smoke coming off the spot of the wound and maybe a sizzling sound. And then have him fall off of the girl, girl screams/shocked, ect ect..

Saves time trying to make the hit look real and I think it would still get the point across in not such a cheesy-horror-gory way... Unless thats what your going for.
Posted: Tue, 9th Oct 2007, 6:51pm

Post 15 of 24

MrGoodbomb

Force: 0 | Joined: 23rd Jul 2007 | Posts: 153

Member

Not cheesey, just more convincing. I'm no gore hound, but I'd prefer something eye-catching and memorable as compared to a bunch of quick cuts that hide the fact that the effect didn't look that great or wasn't present at all.
Posted: Tue, 9th Oct 2007, 7:26pm

Post 16 of 24

CX3

Force: 3137 | Joined: 1st Apr 2003 | Posts: 2527

EffectsLab Lite User VideoWrap User MacOS User FXhome Movie Maker

Gold Member

MrGoodbomb wrote:

Not cheesey, just more convincing. I'm no gore hound, but I'd prefer something eye-catching and memorable as compared to a bunch of quick cuts that hide the fact that the effect didn't look that great or wasn't present at all.
Well, just make sure it looks good because a bad effect will be just as memorable.
Posted: Tue, 9th Oct 2007, 8:11pm

Post 17 of 24

mercianfilm

Force: 210 | Joined: 31st Dec 2006 | Posts: 687

Windows User

Member

You could always try the old trick of using fishign wire (Thin as you can get) and making a msall hole in the meteorite prop- then suspend the wire up at the angle you want- then simply letthe rock slide along the wire at the angle you want- it will go fairly slow- but if your actor doesn't move much you could speed up the time in your NLE. (It's how they used to do arrows in some vintage films!)

The problemthen is getting the blood splatter- i think it'd look much better as an exit wound- i.e the explosion of blood on his chest/stomach as it forces its way through his flesh- if you've never used a squib before i suggest trying to find someone who has biggrin

I think the problem you might face on the shoot is the size of teh thing- if it's a pratical shoot an the rocks about the size of a bull- it may be difficult to see- i'm not sure if you've mentioned it previously- but you could always add a fiery tail or soemthing.

Good luck with it! Experiments will help you a lot!

Sam
Posted: Tue, 9th Oct 2007, 11:46pm

Post 18 of 24

Evman

Force: 4382 | Joined: 25th Jan 2004 | Posts: 3609

VisionLab User VideoWrap User FXhome Movie Maker MacOS User

Gold Member

Scribble07 wrote:

You could always try the old trick of using fishign wire (Thin as you can get) and making a msall hole in the meteorite prop- then suspend the wire up at the angle you want- then simply letthe rock slide along the wire at the angle you want- it will go fairly slow- but if your actor doesn't move much you could speed up the time in your NLE. (It's how they used to do arrows in some vintage films!)
There is absolutely no way you'd be able to see a meteorite that small in any significant way. You'd see MAYBE one frame of bright streaked light, and that's it... This thing would be moving several hundred miles an hour (usual speed of similar objects in space is 2500-3000 mph... slowed down some by air resistance). It'd be at least as fast as a bullet, so you wouldn't really see it.

I'd do some kind of squib, and set off a bright light simultaneously with the squib, to imitate the light from the meteorite... Then add a one frame shot of a streaking light to sell the impact.

Needless to say, the meteorite would pass right through him, barely slowing down... So I'd angle it in a way that that can happen, perhaps have it come in at a low angle, pass right through him, and hit the ground a few feet away from him/the girl. Would be far more dramatic, cause then you could show the actual impact, which would be a small flash, with dirt being thrown in the air, and a lot of smoke.
Posted: Wed, 10th Oct 2007, 9:22am

Post 19 of 24

Demonicy

Force: 114 | Joined: 20th Sep 2007 | Posts: 123

Windows User

Member

If anyone has seen the film "Smokin' Aces" they used tons of squibs during their production as they hated doing the smart, easier, and a bit less effective way of doing quick and precise cuts rather than showing full blown impact.

In one of their bonus extras, they talked about how they made it all work and such. Just saying, if you can get hold of that DVD it may be a little extra help for many things, from the actual squib setup to the way it looks, and even the actual scenes it's used in to make it have more effect when it's needed.

You may think i'm just a fan of the film, but it would be a good reference to anyone wanting to make impacts of bullets/knives/playing cards (don't ask) etc.
Posted: Wed, 10th Oct 2007, 3:43pm

Post 20 of 24

MrGoodbomb

Force: 0 | Joined: 23rd Jul 2007 | Posts: 153

Member

Demonicy wrote:

If anyone has seen the film "Smokin' Aces" they used tons of squibs during their production as they hated doing the smart, easier, and a bit less effective way of doing quick and precise cuts rather than showing full blown impact.

In one of their bonus extras, they talked about how they made it all work and such. Just saying, if you can get hold of that DVD it may be a little extra help for many things, from the actual squib setup to the way it looks, and even the actual scenes it's used in to make it have more effect when it's needed.

You may think i'm just a fan of the film, but it would be a good reference to anyone wanting to make impacts of bullets/knives/playing cards (don't ask) etc.
Yeah, I watched that, too. I really appreciated that director for being brave enough to do it the old and dirty way, just because it gives the actors something to react to, and it looks better in some people's opinions (mine included). However, I didn't see much I could use, personally.
Posted: Fri, 12th Oct 2007, 7:31pm

Post 21 of 24

MrGoodbomb

Force: 0 | Joined: 23rd Jul 2007 | Posts: 153

Member

I think we're going to try and shoot this Sunday, so I need to decide how we're gonna pull it off.

So far, I know I need to pick up:

- a male's button-up longsleeve shirt, to put the squib under, and another so he has a clean copy of the same shirt when we shoot the scenes prior to this one (shooting out of order)
- two shirts for the girl, as well
- whatever I'm going to use for the meteorite that hits him
- whatever I'm going to use for the meteorite that strikes the ground (basically, an exposion of dirt without a flash or fire, or a minimal one... any ideas?)
- liquid latex for the neck rip and wound

Please help.
Posted: Sat, 13th Oct 2007, 10:12pm

Post 22 of 24

MrGoodbomb

Force: 0 | Joined: 23rd Jul 2007 | Posts: 153

Member

Hey guys. I know bumps aren't allowed here, so I'll just say that tomorrow is when we intend to film, so tonight is my last night to go out and buy the stuff we need to make the effects and to actually make them.
Posted: Mon, 15th Oct 2007, 9:15am

Post 23 of 24

Demonicy

Force: 114 | Joined: 20th Sep 2007 | Posts: 123

Windows User

Member

Looks like you didn't get anymore help in-topic >_<

Did you do the filming? If so, did it go well? Let us know of what happened as i'm personaly intrigued if whatever you did worked or not.

A bit late replying, but that sucks about the Smokin' Aces thing, i thought it would help more to be honest. And again, i know it's late, but i could probably find something on the internet about Smokin' Aces and get some proper behind-the-scenes stuff.
Posted: Mon, 15th Oct 2007, 11:51pm

Post 24 of 24

MrGoodbomb

Force: 0 | Joined: 23rd Jul 2007 | Posts: 153

Member

Demonicy wrote:

Looks like you didn't get anymore help in-topic >_<

Did you do the filming? If so, did it go well? Let us know of what happened as i'm personaly intrigued if whatever you did worked or not.

A bit late replying, but that sucks about the Smokin' Aces thing, i thought it would help more to be honest. And again, i know it's late, but i could probably find something on the internet about Smokin' Aces and get some proper behind-the-scenes stuff.
Hey. Na, we wound up postponing the shooting date for the scene because EVERYONE except myself, my girlfriend, and the camera man went 2.5 hours away to see our friend's band play, and they all got real drunk, so they felt like shit and didn't wanna shoot. Seems the biggest trouble I'm gonna have is getting all my actors in one place at one time. Yeesh.

Anyway, I can't seem to track down liquid/rubber latex for the neck bite. No costume or halloween stores for an hour's drive, either.

The more I think about it, the less I wanna do the meteorite-to-skin hit with the blood pump or anything like that. I wanna do a distance shot, so most any tube, pulley, or anything like that would show in the shot. Two people laying on the ground, a guy ontop a girl, and the guy gets it in the back. That'll be hard to do from a distance.

The most reasonable thing I can find for the ground hit is a see-saw, but every time I try it, the dirt and stuff comes TOWARDS me, not up, but off to the side. I thought about using light fireworks and encasing them in dirt and such, but I doubt they'd go off at the same time, and they might create a flash.

Most of the stuff I saw in Smokin' Aces was actual squibs.