Here's a Handful of Fast and Easy VFX You Can Add to Your Next Film
Not all VFX require a ton of time, money, and expertise.
There's no doubt that visual effects can add a lot to a film; they can not only make them more fun to watch but also more fun to make. But perhaps one of the most common reasons new filmmakers shy away from including them in their work is that they believe the misconception that all VFX are expensive, time-consuming, and difficult to create. All VFX are not expensive, time-consuming, and difficult to create—just some—or most—but not these!
In this tutorial, Jordy Vandeput of Cinecom shows you how to use Adobe Premiere Pro to pull off five pretty fast and pretty simple VFX, from Harry Potter's invisible cloak to Zach King's famous "digital slight of hand." Check it out below:
Harry Potter's Invisible Cloak
Get yourself some green screen fabric (any green fabric will do, just make sure to iron it) and a dark piece of fabric. Place the green screen fabric over the dark fabric and then have your subject wrap it around themselves. Once you head into post, place the Ultra Key effect over your clip and use the Color Picker to remove the green screen color from the shot.
Sometimes the look of the sky just isn't cutting it. You don't have to settle for this! To replace the sky with something more pleasing to you, head into post and use the Ulta Key effect and the Color Picker to remove the color of the sky. Then, all you have to do is place your sky replacement image below your clip, and BOOM! Epic sky! Quick note: Make sure you expose your sky evenly when you shoot your footage. Use an ND filter, as well as plenty of light so you can get a proper exposure on both the sky and your subject.
Shirt of a Million Colors
This fun effect is pretty simple to pull off. All you need is a T-shirt (or whichever article of clothing you want to do this with) whose color doesn't appear anywhere else in your shot. Bright, highly saturated clothes work best for this. In the Lumetri Panel, pull down the HSL Secondary tab and select the color of your clothes with the Color Picker. You'll probably have to move your arrows around a bit to make sure your mask is just how you want it. Then, all you do is use the color controls to change your clothing's color.
Premiere Pro's lightning effect isn't the greatest, but Vandeput shows you how to use it anyway. After dropping your main clip to your timeline, add a black video on top of it and set the blending mode to Linear Dodge (Add). Once that's done, you can add Premiere Pro's lightning effect onto your black video layer. Once you arrange this effect where you want it in the frame by dragging its endpoints, animate its position using keyframes. You can also add stock assets, like explosions, sparks, dust, and smoke to give your visual effect more depth.
Zach King Effect
Even if you don't recognize his name, you most definitely recognize his video magic tricks. Zach King became a star on Vine and YouTube for his "digital slight of hand," and Vandeput shows you how a simple cut and some careful choreography can turn you into the David Copperfield of video. (Literally, it's just about having your subject perform movements that are as identical to each other as possible, finding the right place to cut, and then masking the jump cuts to make it appear fluid.)
Now, there are certainly other ways to achieve these visual effects which may actually give you a better, more polished and professional product. However, if you're new to Premiere Pro and/or don't have a whole lot of time or money to dedicate to creating VFX for your project, these are certainly a worthy option.
What are some other simple VFX worth trying? Let us know down in the comments.