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  10 October 2004

Hey, hows it going. Im an independant filmmaker... or well i like to think i am. Soon enough i shall buy a Prosumer Camcorder so i can actually be a FILMMAKER!!!

anyways, back to the topic. The current film i will be working on is about lots of action and gun battles. So, since i have a very very limited budget i CANNOT purchase replica guns that actually fire... and use emptys... meaning in the end i cant get guns that SHOOT like real guns. So my plan is to get TOY guns that look like the real thing. Have a gun specialist (my good friend) be with me at the recordings and help explain to the actors how these guns (IF THEY WHERE REAL) would actually work in your hand.

So my plan is...

1. Record the shots with the actors pretending they are using real firearms.
2. Take those shots and put them on a PC for editing and compositing.
3. Match angles with the shots and insert rendered GUNSHOTS (MUZZLES FLASHES) with scenes
4. Match the composited shots better, giving them a grimmy look.

so lets discuss how we can more effectively work out compositing like this with gun shots. IF anyone at all has any ideas on how to make GUN SHOTS from fake guns... in ANYWAY... im all ears.

I have some nifty ideas for the 3d part.. but it may result in spending more time in post production on the PC then actually Filming... and i dont want this to be a stretched out long production.

any ideas or suggestion would be GREATFULLY appreciated.
  10 October 2004
Hello EntityGhost,

I have just posted a Muzzle Flash Macro in the Fusion Forum that you might find useful.

You can check out the Macro here


Adam Zolis
eyeon Software
  10 October 2004
Remember, if it's dark, you'll need to figure out a way to fake the light flashes on their faces as well. Make sure the actors undertsand what a firearm does (take them to a shooting range or something) so that they know the true kick of the weapon. Otherwise they'll look stupid.
John Athayde
Meticulous | www.meticulous.com

Mesh Warping in Shake Macro
The Sandbox - all CG short film from 2005
  10 October 2004
The macro that Adam mentioned certainly takes care of the flashes on faces, etc too... Looks like a fantastic tool...

I was shooting something like this last summer - although we were fortunate to have various blank-firing pistols, as well as a few replica (a much nicer word than 'toy') assault rifles...

Anyway, a few thoughts on routes to think about taking...

If the actor is pretty still when the fire the gun, get a shot of them in exactly the same position, with a bright light positioned where the muzzle flash would be. (Don't just shine a torch at them - this isn't even enough - something like a MagLite with the end taken off, leaving the bare bulb, would work well...) - you can then use a single frame of this shot to create the frame of flash on them. (Obviously not just cutting to it - I mean use it to paint over a single frame of the actual shot footage)

If they're moving, then you're going to have to think about it a little more... It might be worth doing something similar, although you could only really use what you get from that as a reference....
Hugh Macdonald
  10 October 2004
I suggest you use a real light of some kind, flashing in the actors face AND the sorroundings. Easy and best result.
  10 October 2004
Yup, I second walfridson's suggestion. Look at True Lies - strobe lights going off everywhere, everytime someone fires a machine gun. If you dive into it, you can see the strobe lights don't even always match the timing of the muzzle flames, the direction is different, and sometimes you can even see the reflection of the strope lamp in a shiny wall. -But it doesn't matter, as long as it gives the effect of flashing when somebody fires a gun.

- jonas
  10 October 2004
Thanks alot for your ideas guys. I will take a look at that link, thanks.

But see realistically, guns dont have much flash these days, you barely even see a muzzle flash let alone a full facial light up in that split second. Mostly the majority of never age guns (late 90's) only have a slight puff of smoke.

But hollywood always takes it to the extreme.
  10 October 2004
I suspect that's because the real guns you have seen have all been with your eyes...

When I was shooting my film last year, we took some blank firers over to a range to teach the actors how to hold and use them properly. When we were there, I would have said the same thing. I didn't see much of a flash... I suspect that was a combination of flinching/blinking from the retort and the fact that it is so fast that it can be hard to register...

However, when we actually shot the film, there was definately a flash. Okay, so it was only one frame's worth, but it was definately there....
Hugh Macdonald
  10 October 2004
you can easily do this is premiere pro, just take the muzzle flash and put it on the video track above your footage and then apply the luma key, and adjust motion etc so you can decide where the flash goes
  02 February 2005
i can definitely recommend replicating the muzzle flash on set with a real light rather than trying to fake in cg. Check out my link in my signature and you will see what i mean I would have been heaps better off flashing a light during filming. ANyways, i guess that is the way we learn!!

If you are using max, I found afterburn to be quite good at this and you have great control over the materials and shape of the flash....

  02 February 2006
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