Just Add Holes

Yeah, you might recognize this scene as one of the frames I grabbed for the Project Wonderful ads.  What can I say?  I loved what Max-the-artist did with the look.

I also got to have a lot of fun here, sticking in effects. Bullet holes, masonry dust hits, smoke, and of course the muzzle flashes.

I gotta mention that actually filming real muzzle flashes is tougher than you might think.  For one thing, they’re fast, and they are also kind of bright.  So if you want something that isn’t just a white flare, something with some nice yellow texture and enough definition so it isn’t a smear, you have to dial down your camera aperture and have a fairly quick shutter.

Problem is, that means your camera will only catch about one out of four muzzle flashes, and about half of those will be only-just-beginning or already-fading-out.  In other words, they will not be cool enough, visually.

So you end up shooting lots and lots of footage, most of which you will throw away.  And you burn a lot of blank ammo, which – permit me to assure you on this point, for I know whereof I speak – ain’t cheap.

I suppose that’s why a lot of people just create them from scratch digitally. But we’ve always been kinda about real, mainly because it’s more fun.

At least the bullet holes were a little easier. Bullet holes don’t move. We just went out to the middle of nowhere with a bunch of discarded building materials and shot holes in them with real guns.

Then we took pictures of the holes.

We cleaned up the mess and packed it out of there (because we are good citizens) and then removed all the extraneous part of the pictures except for the actual hole.  The result is a nice, real bullet hole on a transparent background that you, if you are an artist using Photoshop, can just drop in and use in any picture that requires a little ventilation. Not that you (or Max) couldn’t just draw a perfectly fine bullet hole yourself, but hey, style and filters and stuff. Endless tweakage.

So just in case you enjoy fiddling with Photoshop like I do and want a bullet hole to play with, just click on the image in this blog post and you can download a ZIP file of the the full-rez pre-keyed bullet hole. Donation not needed but always welcome.


Artist’s Notes:  The spent shell casings, however, were drawn the ol’ fashioned way: with a stylus, on a digitizer, connected to a computer.  -Max