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Old February 11th, 2009, 09:44 PM   #1
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Need smoke for free

I have a project that will need some smoke added to it to look like a fire is in apartment. I want to add this after I shoot the video, rather that renting a smoke machine. I also would like to do it for free. Does anyone know of a good smoke plugin for Premiere Pro that either has a free trial (and doesn't have a big X through it) or a really inexpensive plugin. Or do you have one I can borrow. I just need it for this one project, so I don't want to invest a lot in this effect.


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Old February 12th, 2009, 11:51 PM   #2
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You could hunt for some stock footage websites for smoke clips and overlay those over your timeline in screen mode, provided you have CS4. I don`t think there is a free "smoke filter" for premiere, and unfortunately, you probably wouldn`t get realistic results. Things like this aren`t that simple.
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Old February 13th, 2009, 03:45 AM   #3
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First of all, here's a usefull link for free smoke stock footage:


Under the section TIPS & TUTORIALS, these generous guys also explain how to composite the smoke over your footage in your editing app. The blending modes introduced in Premiere CS4 are very useful for things like this, but are not a necessity.

Smoke plugins are something you would find in compositing apps like AE and usually not in editing apps like Premiere. In fact, if you have AE, it already comes with some built-in particle plugins that you can work with, although I agree that most particle plugins require experimenting and experience to generate good looking results.
Combustion has a great particles system bundled with it.

good luck :)
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Old February 13th, 2009, 07:32 AM   #4
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If you've got Premiere, then chances are you also have After Effects. You could probably do a nice smoke effect in AE. And if you don't know how to use AE, then do yourself a favor and invest in Learning @ Your Own Pace - and watch the training videos. The most helpful tutorials I have EVER used for anything. Ever.
David Beisner
Media Specialist, Bryan College, Dayton, TN --
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Old February 13th, 2009, 08:43 AM   #5
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-Large PVC frame, ~$30 ( I know, I just made a 10x10 frame for this amount).
-Black fabric to cover, with a little over lap, your frame. Keep in mind, you can get green fabric to use as a green screen for the same frame later.
-Clamps to attach the fabric to the frame.

Soak some firewood in water for a couple of days, then let it dry for a day or two, this will get you wood that is wet inside and dry outside.

Get a little outdoor patio portable fireplace/firepit/chimnea thingies.

WITH ADULT SUPERVISION IF YOUR'E A MINOR, start a smallish fire in the fire pit with dry wood, once it's going, add one of the wet logs.

setup your black screen behind the fire (far enough away that it won't burst into flame).

make sure the smoke has more light on it than the screen so you can decrease the exposure in your camera, shoot the white smoke (you may need to side light the smoke a bit to get the contrast you need) against the purely black background.

if you need it to come out in a specific shape, make a metal piece that fits over the fire pit with that shape cut out of it.

You can now screen the footage over your project and you've created your own smoke footage, even fire can be filmed this way.

Remember, safety first kids, this can kill you and that would be bad!
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Old February 14th, 2009, 10:06 AM   #6
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This is not free, but significantly cheaper than anything else I know: :: Products :: EffectsLab Pro :: Video Gallery

Note, the demo version does have a huge watermark on the frame.

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Old February 19th, 2009, 04:11 PM   #7
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Hello everybody,

I am sorry to be getting back so late to you all. I am also a print journalist, and have been very busy buring the candle at both ends of the media.

Before I try those pluggins, I want you all to know I figured out that I can do some smokey lighting effects by importing some opaque black blotches that I made in Photoshop. I layered them, then varied their motion and opacity with with keyframe effects. The result is smokey lighting. Now I just need to make it a little more smokey. So I am going to go back and work on it some more by including a layer of splotchy white and a layer of splotchy grey. As soon as I get it done, I will drop you guys a link. And I will be checking out the sites you sent me. But I am pretty happy that I am already almost there with this effect, and I have made it myself in Photoshop. Adobe intergration is awesome.

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Old February 27th, 2009, 12:56 AM   #8
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Okay. So I was able to make a haze type smoke by importing various splotchy layers from Photoshop. I used black, gray and white layers, all at various opacities. Then after importing, I layered them, and varied their movement, scale and opacity. The result was a haze type of smoke and light that seemed to move around the room. Not furls of smoke, but a good haze smoke effect, which was what I wanted for this story. Thanks for the help guys. If anybody is interested, I will give more detail or just send you the PSD. From that you should be able to figure out the rest. Here is that link. Hopefully it will work. The smoke starts at about 1:15 into the package.

Al Diaz

PS: The reason I didn't respond sooner is I have been frustrated with how long it is taking to move around the this forum. I don't think it is my computer or server. It's been frustrating.
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