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gi-jones
05-24-2005, 01:09 PM
I know that, this subject has been discussed before, but I am hoping that someone may have come up with a better solution by now.

The trouble is, as always, a convenient way of doing muzzle flashes. Lots of them. In this case they should be composited onto video and due to the large amount of footage I would prefer to do it strictly 2d.

Does a plugin exist for AfterFX or perhaps Combustion to do this? I have heard of a script for Fusion, but would like to stick to AfterFX or Combustion as I am not familiar with other products.

I have also been thinking about doing it in photoshop by exporting single frames and the using some sort of fancy brush, but I'm not sure it will work. Anyone tried that?

Rapier
05-24-2005, 03:28 PM
I have actually used Microsoft Paint to generate muzzle flashes, with surprisingly good results. But, this was more a testament to AE abilities to warp and blur more than anything else. You can certainly generate flashes with Photoshop, just fill the frame with black, draw in your flash with a white center and slightly yellowish white as it reaches the borders of the flash. Then you bring it into AE, blur it or stetch it to tase, an then set the blending mode to Screen. That's it, though working with frames you export from AE in Photoshop will be helpfull, as will having your actor NOT rotate a hell of a lot so you will not have to fuss with ever changing perspective. Another thing you can do, and I think it would be the best (excluding of course real blanks) would be to use a 3d program and have an object textured with a flash, giving you the ability to rotate freely and match the flash's perspective properly.

gi-jones
05-24-2005, 05:00 PM
In fact the footage is already shot, and I can tell you it's not going to be easy. I was very aware of having the actors perform lively, and I think thats in as good an order as it can be without blanks. I have done muzzle flashes before, by superimposing stock footage or still frames, as you describe. The real problem is the amount of footage. We may be talking around 100 different shots, some with multiple actors firing automatic weapons. That could take a while to do the old fashioned way. The thing I really wish I had was a plugin, where one could specify and animate a "muzzle point" and a direction, and the more or less set a "rate of fire". I did find one, at one point, but it looked rather crappy.

bobzilla
05-24-2005, 06:07 PM
Check this site out:
http://fxhome.com/

There product looks geared towards that kind of stuff. And if you do a lot of it, the price looks pretty good.

tuomok
05-24-2005, 06:17 PM
Hi,

just an idea here. Haven't tried but might work...

Make a muzzle flash animation in AE (say 250x250pix, 7 frames long) and export it in QuickTime format (optionally with alpha-channel). Then import that clip as your own
stock footage and place that over the fight scene where required.

And better yet, import it and set your footage to loop. Then add expressions to randomize the scale and rotation of the muzzle every frame automatically, then animate opacity with hold keyframes to display the muzzle only when needed.

Rapier
05-24-2005, 11:44 PM
Hi,

just an idea here. Haven't tried but might work...

Make a muzzle flash animation in AE (say 250x250pix, 7 frames long) and export it in QuickTime format (optionally with alpha-channel). Then import that clip as your own
stock footage and place that over the fight scene where required.

And better yet, import it and set your footage to loop. Then add expressions to randomize the scale and rotation of the muzzle every frame automatically, then animate opacity with hold keyframes to display the muzzle only when needed.

Great idea, and it should most definately work. with upwards of 100 shots, putting each flash in by hand would be a nightmare. Another idea to work with tuomok's would be to motion track the guns for position and rotation, and with something like a corner pin, you could even have a small degree of "perspective" looking movements.

The loop idea for the automatic weapons is a good idea, sucks that I didn't think of it.:twisted:

buttachunk
05-25-2005, 03:17 AM
Digital Fusion has a macro made by The Orphanage to create muzzle flashes;

http://www.eyeonline.com/Web/EyeonWeb/Techniques/macros/macros.aspx

gi-jones
05-25-2005, 08:03 AM
I tested out the demo of Effectslab from fxhome.com and it seems capable enough. I'm still checking out how it works on a large scale, but its muzzle-generator gave me good results. I will probably have to use a combination of the techniques described here, so thanks. I'll try and post a few results as soon as I have them.

Btw. any more ideas are obviously very welcome.

gi-jones
07-14-2005, 06:15 PM
Ok, the time has come for me to post the first result of all my hazzle. In the end this shot was done strictly in AE using vector paint and Trapcode's Particular (for smoke).

Let me know what you think.

www.eyesdata.dk/muzzle01.avi

VFX Follower
07-15-2005, 09:09 AM
If you have access to Combustion 3.0 or higher ( I am unsure, but I think v.2 has them also), there are muzzle flashes built into the particle system library. Suprisingly, they look awesome. You can also create your own and import them in, but the built-in library has a huge variety. Check them out and they may work for ya.

JB...

gi-jones
07-15-2005, 09:45 AM
Thanx, I'll look into that tonight.

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