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How do you create a realistic gun shot?

Posted: Mon, 9th Aug 2010, 7:26pm

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Vdeogamer

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I've tried many times and I haven't been getting satisfactory results. It is important to me because I'm trying to make a movie with a lot of gun effects in it.

My problem isn't the gun effects themselves. It's the environmental lighting that the flare from the gun is supposed to cast. I don't know how to recreate this in a realistic way. I use Adobe Premiere Elements and some stock footage from FXhome for flares. Any form of help is appreciated.
Posted: Mon, 9th Aug 2010, 9:21pm

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Axeman

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SuperUser

What program are you using to composite the muzzle flashes in? The correct way to do this is with a strobe light on-set, which you can flash on quickly to simulate the light of the gunshot.

It can be simulated digitally, but it is very difficult, takes a very long time, and will never ever look as good.
Posted: Tue, 10th Aug 2010, 11:38am

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Vdeogamer

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Yeah. The strobe light will be something to try later, but I've already got the footage filmed that I need to edit. I use Adobe Premiere Elements 4.0, which I know isn't the best program, but it still has a lot of things on it that I am trying to learn. I'm not sure if APE4 will do it, but could you run me through the digital process anyways?
Posted: Tue, 10th Aug 2010, 6:10pm

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Axeman

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SuperUser

It requires a lot of masking frame-by-frame to do it right, which I don't think Premiere Elements can manage.

In the most basic sense you have to create a bright circle with a heavily feathered edge. Then place it over the muzzle flash so the brightness falls off as it gets farther from the flash. Chang the composite blend mode to Add or Screen to get the right illumination effect. Then, use masks to isolate the brightness to the foreground areas, such as the person holding the gun. If the walls behind them, or whatever environment is behind them, light up as well, it will look fake. Of course, the specific lighting of the scene will affect how much the flash should brighten things.

The farther an object in the scene is from the flash, the less it will be impacted by the illumination. Getting this falloff correct it very tricky in post, especially where the light wraps around objects, perhaps illuminating the front a lot more than the sides, based on the angle the flash is coming from.
Posted: Tue, 10th Aug 2010, 6:25pm

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Garrison

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What Axeman said...
Posted: Tue, 10th Aug 2010, 6:46pm

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Vdeogamer

Force: 10 | Joined: 9th Aug 2010 | Posts: 12

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Actually, Adobe Premiere Elements can manage it with it's lighting effects. I've seen a couple of videos of REAL gunshots and such, and I've seen a few points at which the flare became noticeable, but other than that, it didn't seem to cast that much light. So your idea sounds great.

However, I kind of want to know how much the environment should light up at night time, since my video takes place during night a lot.