Thread: Bullet Impacts

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    Bullet Impacts
    #1
    Senior Member Eric Coughlin's Avatar
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    What is a good way to do bullet impacts? CGI or practical? Is the idea basically that CGI is often cheaper and practical looks better? With practical, it's generally explosive squibs? Let's say you want to shoot a car window, or bullet holes in the metal of the car, how would you go about that? Holes in a house? Would you build a set wall over the house's real wall, fill it with squibs, and paint over that?


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    Senior Member David W. Jones's Avatar
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    You're in a major production center town. I'm sure there are plenty of professionals you can hire who have done this before. You'll get a much higher quality result bringing in an experienced pro than attempting it yourself. And way safer too.
    Mitch Gross
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    #4
    Dark Side of the Camera Postmaster's Avatar
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    Depends on your budget and your material.

    The real thing looks better most of the time, but you not only have to hire a pro, you will also destroy the car/window/building, which can add an immense amount of cost.
    CGI is pretty much free if you DIY it, but doesn't look as good (unless you are a VFX wizard) and if you move the camera, you have to deal with roto and tracking.
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    #5
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    On the low budget side Ive always thought about shooting from inside a scrap car*. Clever positioning and DOF hide that it is not the hero car. You can then smash the windows in at low/no cost.


    *or abandoning a crash cam in there.


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    #6
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    I would second working with a professional of you are planning to rely on practical effects with live rounds. There are so many things that can go wrong that it probably isn't worth risk to go it alone. It would be terrible to have a ricochet or stray bullet hurt someone else and end your career or worse yet result in criminal charges.

    You could probably do something practical with blanks and CGI that would be realistic. Years ago I did an agonizing frame by frame object removal in Photoshop for a personal project for fortunately there are much easier ways to do it now. At the high end of the market the pros use tools like Mocha Standalone for tracking to composite effect like bullet impacts, but there a number of lower cost options available. If you have access to After Effects, there is a version of Mocha that might fit the bill since it's integrated into AE.

    The team at Coremelt released a set of plugins integrated into FCPX several years ago that leverage the Mocha engine and if this is personal project it might be worth looking at them. There is a tutorial below that deals with compositing bullet and blood effects with there TrackX plugin. It's looks a bit amateurish but in their defense the said they made it that way for effect to make what they were doing more obvious. It's only $99 so it's hard to go wrong.



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PJT_Z0tr98


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