5 practical effects for spicing up your vfx banner

5 Practical Effects for Spicing Up Your VFX

5 Practical Effects for Spicing Up Your VFX

As we enter a more digitized age, we're going to show you why practical effects still matter!

Special effects (SFX) artists put a ton of work into planning practical effects that are convincing and impactful. While digitized visual effects can have a lot of power and flexibility, pairing both SFX and VFX together can maximize your scene’s effectiveness.

If you’re on a budget and looking for some ideas on how to raise the production value of your project (without raising the cost), read on for some great DIY resources to incorporate practical effects into your project.

Why Practical Effects Still Matter

First, it’s a good idea to think about the value practical effects can bring to your production. Not only do practical effects give VFX artists a great foundation to work off of, but it also affords the actors the ability to respond more accurately to what’s happening around them.

Practical effects are often accompanied by some type of computerized visual effect, but the VFX work is greatly enhanced by the level of realism that comes along with utilizing practicals in-camera. It yields a more believable shot.

Practical effects also have an experimental component to them in finding what looks best in-camera, which makes working with them especially interesting.

What’s unique about the assets you can get at ActionVFX is that many of our effects have been shot practically. They all behave in the most realistic manner possible because they were actually captured in the real world.
When you use our effects, it’s almost as if you’re capturing them as practicals on-set. Any additional practical special effects you put into your shot is only going to make your final composite look even better!

With that in mind, let’s take a look at five practical effects you can pair with ActionVFX assets to achieve some fantastic results. 

Practical Effect: Bullet Wound

ActionVFX Elements: Blood Splatter and Blood Hits

Our latest collections contain all the VFX blood you’ll ever need! Blood Splatter features 107 practical blood elements, and Blood Hits gets you 45 practical hits and bursts.

As with almost all of our stock footage, both collections have been captured in-camera at multiple angles, so you have the flexibility to make the VFX fit in perfectly with your shot.

A great way to enhance our blood effects is by creating your own practical wounds that can be attached to your actors (soon, you'll be able to get both here!). The video below demonstrates how quickly and easily bullet wounds can be added to your actors for some truly believable shots.

Practical Effect: Rain Machine

ActionVFX Elements: Water Collections

If you’re looking to add some depth to your water scene, our Water Blasts, Water Splashes, and Small Water Hits Vol. 1  and Vol. 2 collections offer some outstanding ways to make your water scenes look great.

If your scene calls for rain, you can build an incredibly cheap DIY rain machine to simulate the rain effects onto your talent. Your talent will already be wet from the rainy scene, so when the VFX water impacts start, it can help add to the realism of the scene.

Practical Effect: Wind Blast

We have a huge selection of explosive VFX in our Explosion Collections, as well as some epic environmental hits in our Debris & Impacts Collections.  

While you can put your talent into some exciting situations with these VFX assets, you can further emphasize the actor’s presence in the scene by adding a blast of wind. Instead of worrying about renting an industrial fan or other specialized equipment, you can check out the tip in the video below for a great solution on achieving a quick wind blast.
You typically don't need a large and consistent barrage of wind when simulating the effects of an impact or an explosion, so this quick wind blast tip can make for a very cool scene-enhancer. 

Practical Effect: Concussion Blast

Similar to the wind blast effect, you can also use a cheap fog machine and a large cardboard box to add a concussion blast into your scene. If a door is breached with a detonator or a grenade explodes through a hallway, this allows you to add a practical blast of smoke to the scene, flying through your actors the moment the blast initiates.

It could also look great in slow motion. Not only can this effect work well with our Debris & Impact Collections, but it could also work nicely with Smoke & Fog, Explosions, or even a combination of multiple VFX assets.

This is a very cool practical effect that may take a little practice to find what works, but the results are worth it!

Practical Effect: Fire Flicker

ActionVFX Elements: Fire Collections and Explosion Collections

Last but not least, this list wouldn’t be complete without incorporating our Fire Collections. Adding some type of practical lighting effect to your scene is a key element in getting the best results possible with fire VFX assets or even an explosion radiating light onto your cast.  

If you don’t own a flicker box, you can get a few ideas on how to easily create your own in the video below.
Are there any other cool DIY tips for using practical effects you’ve learned? Share them with us in the comments below!

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