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Electricity effect


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#1 Danny Rasmussen

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 06:20 AM

I'm in the prograss of attending a film/tv school in Denmark and at the moment we're filming a short fiction film.
One of the scenes involves a man trying to commit suicide, because a few months ago he just lost his wife to a robbing/shooting incident and not long after he lost his job, and his life basically just sucks.
So, he tries to attempt suicide by filling his tub up with water, taking a (plugged-in) radio, and then throwing it in.
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The thing is, the split-second he lets go of the radio, all the power in the entire house goes out. So, nothing happens.. he's still alive... After a few seconds of realizing he's still alive, he gets out of the tub and walks over towards the mirror. Then, the power comes back on. What we want to do, is when the power comes back on, show a bunch of sparks/shocks comming from the radio, which is still turned on and in the tub .. how do we do that?
We use both Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro.. can this effect be done in any of those programs?

Looking forward to hearing back from u experts :)
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#2 Mark Williams

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 09:00 AM

I'm in the prograss of attending a film/tv school in Denmark and at the moment we're filming a short fiction film.
One of the scenes involves a man trying to commit suicide, because a few months ago he just lost his wife to a robbing/shooting incident and not long after he lost his job, and his life basically just sucks.
So, he tries to attempt suicide by filling his tub up with water, taking a (plugged-in) radio, and then throwing it in.
Posted Image
The thing is, the split-second he lets go of the radio, all the power in the entire house goes out. So, nothing happens.. he's still alive... After a few seconds of realizing he's still alive, he gets out of the tub and walks over towards the mirror. Then, the power comes back on. What we want to do, is when the power comes back on, show a bunch of sparks/shocks comming from the radio, which is still turned on and in the tub .. how do we do that?
We use both Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro.. can this effect be done in any of those programs?

Looking forward to hearing back from u experts :)



Sorry posted the first message accidently

How about filming the radio stop the camera replace the radio with a blackened doctored version use a spring or something to make the radio jump perhaps controlled by the actor and add sound fx. Perhaps turn a light on and off to simulate a flash as it happens?
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#3 Danny Rasmussen

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Posted 18 February 2007 - 03:45 AM

Hmm.. actually a very good idea!

Thanks! :)
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#4 Amarjeet Singh Sadal

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 08:52 AM

u cant do any sparks or shocks in those programs.
try and get hold of after effects and tinderbox plugin or any other.
just make sure u have shot the light effect of sparks on location.
its a peice of cake thereafter.
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#5 Danny Rasmussen

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 10:41 AM

What about FXhome?

I don't have the program yet.. but am planning on buying it after my next paycheck... I hear you can create a lot of amazing effects with this program.. can u make the electricity effect, that im looking for?
If so, how simple/difficult would it be?
We only have a few weeks left before this project is due.. can i learn it within that time?
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#6 Michael Hydzik

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 01:14 PM

You may also want to add some sort of lens flare to sell the effect to. You can do it in Premiere
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#7 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 06:27 AM

I personally would do this as a floor FX rather than CGI. It'll be a LOT easier and a LOT more realistic. Making sparks should be a synch. Add a little smoke and some water splashes, watch you camera angles (maybe do it from his POV so you don't acttually see into the tub) and whola, you got it. B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 20 February 2007 - 06:29 AM.

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#8 Dory Breaux DP

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 11:16 AM

Or you could just do the real thing and have a hot radio in the tub...
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#9 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 02:32 PM

Or you could just do the real thing and have a hot radio in the tub...


What if you need to do a retake?
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#10 Dory Breaux DP

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 06:00 PM

What if you need to do a retake?


Just get some beater radios from a thrift store so you can have a few.
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#11 Walter Graff

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 07:42 PM

Get a firework called a sparkler (llok it up online if you call it something else where you live. Or get a piece of fuse. Or get a flint lighter. Shoot one of them in black and capture the bright spark of one of them. Luminance key them into the shot resizing them appropriately and making transparency to your liking. You could also take a frame of where it is supposed to spark and Photoshop a momentary glow around or in some part of the radio or part of it like the dial, etc. It works perfectly and is cheap.
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#12 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 08:35 PM

for the sparks, use stock footage composited over the shot. compositing sparks is probably the easiest thing possible to composite. there's stock of sparks all over online.

shoot the radio in the tub with interactive lighting coming from the yet-to-exist sparks. keep the water moving a little, or shoot it an angle so you don't see the lack of mirrored reflection of the sparks. but then again, if you have the interactive lighting, it's so fast that you can still get away with no sparks reflection.

hope this helps.

Edited by Jaan Shenberger, 13 March 2007 - 08:36 PM.

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#13 Dory Breaux DP

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 02:26 PM

Compositing is a good idea. PM me and I may be able to help with it. I do alot of praticle effects for game dev.
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#14 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 02:59 PM

Just get some beater radios from a thrift store so you can have a few.


I was refering to the electrocuted actor.
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#15 Richard Andrewski

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 05:47 PM

Look at the scene at the beginning of Goldfinger where James Bond throws a radio in the bathtub to kill the guy who's about to shoot him. Very effective. Looks like they had a bright amber light in the tub to sell the flash and perhaps a bunch of dry ice for the steam effect.
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#16 Dory Breaux DP

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 12:17 PM

I was refering to the electrocuted actor.


I thought that the actor wasnt in the tub at the time of the thing actualy going off?
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#17 Lee Maisel

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 01:53 PM

FXHOME is awesome!
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#18 Ian Heggen

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 12:28 AM

Maybe with the sparklers, take frame by frame or a take with the sparkler in different areas, and edit it so that it alternates between with and without the sparkler in the shot. Then you may get a realistic lighting effect from the sparks.

Just an idea, and it may be too late.
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