Special Effects and Graphics – Research and Creation

For pre-production I took on the role of SFX/Graphics. As our film is meant to centre around a video game addiction the script calls for some graphics that makes the audience feel as though they are in a video game. To achieve the video game feel I researched how first person shooting games look and feel to the player and will try and replicate this with the use of Adobe After Effects and Photoshop.

Ghost_Recon_2 metroid_1

To create my initial concept I looked at examples of real video games. We discussed using video game footage in our film but this would cause a problem with copyright and we wouldn’t be able to use our own ‘game’ footage underneath which is important in moving the story forward.

There were also a number of templates online for computer game Heads up Displays (HUD) but these again would infringe copyright and also had copyrighted logos involved from real computer games.

I decided to use these HUD’s and the templates online to learn how to adapt them for our project.


I used photoshop to create static images such as the text backgrounds and targets, then animated them with text and motion effects in After Effects. I overlaid a grid effect, cartoon and a colour gradient to try and replicate the game colour and high contrast look.

chat screen 2 chat screen audio premier

To create the ‘screen chat’ graphic that is displayed on screen I created a screen from scratch again in After Effects and Photoshop. I used images such as Army men and satellites to emphasis the games violent genre and used motion toles to make slight movements to give a more professional feel and make it more interesting for the audience. I incorporated audio effects that hopefully will be used in the final version of the film that sound like a home screen of a video game. roto

For our gun scene we wanted something highly exaggerated to finally get the ‘Unreal’ message across to the audience. I used rotoscoping to cut enable me to place explosion visual behind the character and again included the HUD effect.

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