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Forums Adobe After Effects Muzzle Flashes

  • Muzzle Flashes

  • Linton Davies

    September 26, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Hi, I’m trying to add some muzzle flashes to a few shots of a short I’m cutting, but they’re coming out a little fake even though I’m following the steps from Andrew Kramer’s tutorial from Action Essentials 2.

    I’m abit of a novice to AE so any advice would be greatly appreciated. I can’t do any additional lighting or stuff like that so any changes have to be on the flash itself. I’ve put up one shot as an example of what i’m doing here: (sorry it should be 16:9, don’t know why vimeo squashed it)

    The filters I put on were an AB colours orangy glow and a 42% white tint as AK suggested.

    Thanks for any help!


  • Todd Kopriva

    September 26, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    There are tips for compositing muzzle flashes linked to from this page of After Effects Help.

    I found this using this After Effects Community Help search for ‘muzzle flashes’.

    Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
    putting the ‘T’ back in ‘RTFM’ : After Effects Help on the Web
    If a page of After Effects Help answers your question, please consider rating it. If you have a tip, technique, or link to share—or if there is something that you’d like to see added or improved—please leave a comment.

  • Samuel Hall

    September 27, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    I’m currently finishing a project ( that has involved a ton of muzzle flashes. If you haven’t already, you should check out They’ve got a large selection of real muzzle flashes to choose from. Having real footage of gunshots is really the best way to start. You can add them to your shots, usually for no more than one frame with the layer mode set to Screen.

    One thing that I discovered on this project is the importance of smoke in adding to the believability of digital muzzle flashes. You can really turn a dumb looking shot into something quite compelling with just a little bit of smoke remaining after the gunshot.

    Bullet shells are also good to add, and can be done rather easily by keyframing rectangular shapes flying out of the gun with motion blur turned on. Most of the time though, the effect is barely noticeable.

    Adding light effecting nearby objects can be helpful but it’s usually not needed and can be quite tedious.

    A great reference for this kind of film-making is Stu Maschwitz’s DV Rebel’s Guide. That book is an absolute must-have.

    Hope that helps.

    Samuel Hall

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