Using toys, miniature models, and random objects around your house, you can have some fun creating visual effects with little to no budget.
In this series of videos from Adobe and No Film School, Todd Blankenship shows you how he used miniatures combined with our 6K Fog and 6K Dust to create epic invasions, dinosaur filled forests, and apocalyptic cities.
Want to try and copy this look? Grab free samples of our Fog and Dust packs here.
Turn Cheap Miniatures into Awesome VFX
Big scale, tiny sets. Todd wanted to create a mix of practical FX and cg VFX to experiment with looks for an upcoming short film he is directing. This was his opportunity the try a few different methods, and even combine them to create original looks.
Here is the big overview showing all of the lessons learned, and then you can deep dive into the individual sections down below.
From just plain miniature VFX to composting elements, and even photo-scanning miniatures into 3D models, he found quite a few ways to pull of a good looking shot.
There is a whole series of videos from Adobe covering the whole process of doing these DIY effects inside of Premiere Pro.
The whole episode is a wonderful look into the way you can use things around your house to create some really cool looking shots.
Making a Background City with Models, Toys, and Trash
In this first Adobe tutorial, Todd breaks down his process for making an out of focus city background with a helicopter search light. The goal was to make something that looked like a city, that when comped with footage of an actor it would play as a background plate.
To build the city, it was a mix of miniature train model buildings, toys, and frankly some garbage. Then the junk was painted and assembled to make a cityscape.
Once lit with a variety of small lights and flashlights, the city really started to take shape. The goal was to create silhouettes that your eye would recognize as buildings.
For the helicopter searchlight, Todd just towered over the mini city with a flashlight sweeping over a hazed up set.
Creating a Dystopian City with Miniatures
In this video, Todd and I put together a collection of model train buildings and weathered them. Then it was all about experimenting with different techniques like filming the buildings from different angles and compositing them together to build a city.
While this would have been easier to composite in After Effects, we tried out Premiere Pro’s effects to see if we could still pull off some classic VFX all inside of Premiere.