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Old April 16th, 2007, 03:18 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Posts: 50
Muzzle Flash Tutorial

This is a muzzleflash tutorial that I wrote for the Pana3ccduser forum about a month ago. Thought I might share with you guys...


As you know already, I do muzzle flashes. When I first started doing them, I was confused too.. Most tutorials didn't cover like how to begin...They just said what to do, without explaining it. So I made a video tutorial for ya.

Here is the video tutorial (written steps are below resources):

(*Note: In the video tutorial, i forgot to hit record so the tutorial didn't start recording until after the 3rd step of the tutorial.) And sorry about my mic, it sux...I need to get a new one.

Muzzle flashes

Sounds <-rightclick save as.

__________________________________________________ _________

Here are the steps(This took forever to type):

1. Film your footage and make it look believable. You should make sure you look like you are firing a real gun. Guns are not toys, so they shouldn't look like toys when you are fireing them. They are like explosions going off at the end of your arm. So when you are "pretend" firing a gun, you should blink a little/ flinch. If you don't look like you are firing a gun then it wont work. (In my tutorial, my friend didn't look like he was firing a gun, so it ddnt look to good)

2. Import your video. Next you need to captue your video through premiere. (You shouldn't mess with it in here....Just capture the footage) after capturing, import your footage into after effects. File> import> File... THen it should show up in the untitled project box, this stores all your files for easy retreival and viewing. You drag your footage over the little button,at the bottom of that box, that looks like a little picture. (to the left of the little trashcan...your left)

3. Make it more Powerful! This step is a tip from Philldwill off of youtube. He does muzzle flashes too...But anywho, this step is VERY important. It makes the gun kick more. To make this happen, you can either do it in premiere, or after effects, I prefer doing it in premiere, that way i don't have to switch up prgrams too much. So this is what you do. To split the file you drag the "time marker thingy" to the frame before the gun is fireing. Then you go up to Edit>Split Layer. This will split the layer into two parts, the layer on top is the footage after the timeline marker thingy and the one on the bottom is before it..Obviously.......Then you drag the one ontop ONE frame back. Then move your time marker to the fram where the gun kicks back.

4. Import your muzzle flash. Now you can start workin on the muzzle flash part...The fun part....So import the muzzle flash the sameway you import the footage... Drag it(from the coposition box) and drop it on top of the footage, right where the barrel of your gun is. Then after you drop it, adjust it. Select the rotate tool to adust the rotation of it..If your tools arent there, go to Window>Tools.

5. Clip the Muzzle flash. Now that the muzzle flash is where you want it on your footage, you can clip it so that it is only one frame long. To do this, you apply the same procedure from step 3. (Im sure there is an easier way to clip the files, but i do it this way because its faster)

6. Presto! Now you have to get rid of the black area of the muzzle flash. To do this you have to make sure you are in the right mode, so look down at the timeline and look right beside the source name panel, To the right of that panel there should be a panel with switches. On the bottom of this panel there is a button that says switches/ and modes. CLick it. This will allow you to change the blending mode of your footage. Now there should be a button that appears in the panel that says "Normal" and there should be an arrow right beside it. Click it and a huge drop down should come up/down...Select either add orscreen, which ever agrees with your taste. Now the black is gone!

stop here if you arent that advanced into after effects, or don't know much about masks. There will be little explaining here.


7. Lights! Now to create a a flash you have to add a new adjustment layer, so go to Layer> New> Adjustment Layer. Then make sure that that layer is ontop of EVERYTHING. Now to add the light that the flash gives off, you have to create a mask. So select the pen tool and you have to examine your footage. Look at direction in which the gun is pointing, and what is in front of it. What ever is facing toward the gun you create a flash for....(This is like common sense, so try to use your noggin). So click around where you want your flash of light to be with the pen tool and create a mask.

8. Brighten it! Now you have to brighten it up so that it looks like a flash of light. So select the adjustment layer and then go up to Effects> Adjust> (You can either do it in brightness and contrast, or do it in the levels panel, today i will do it in the levels panel, but if you are new to this, do it in brightness and contrast.) Levels. Then a window should pop up...Fiddle with the settings to create a brighter image than your original footage.

9. Feather it. Now that you have your light, and its all blocky and square you have to feather it to look more smooth, so open up your adjustment layer and open up the masks, then adjust the feathering of the mask....Depending on how you like your lighting, just mess with the feathering to get the look you are going for.

So there is my tutorial for muzzle flashes, this took FOREVER, but I didn't so others wouldnt have to go through what I went through.

If you have any questions, just post a reply.

Tatsuya Graham
Tatsuya Graham is offline   Reply

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