Arrow Impalement Effect! Made In Hitfilm Express...

Hammer Posts: 23 Just Starting Out*

Made entirely in Hitfilm Express is this realistic arrow impalement, enjoy!

P.S. I know the draw back isn't very good, but it was made more for the impalement


  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,403 Power User
  • KirstieT
    KirstieT Posts: 1,272 Staff

    This is INSANE! I went through it frame by frame and could only tell that it was fake because of the arrow at frame 13/14 being just over your fist. But hats off to you, this is possibly the best fake shot I've ever seen!

    Also, your dog is a fab actor. Hire him again!

  • OliThompson
    OliThompson Staff Posts: 167 Enthusiast

    @Hammer This is SO good! We had to go through frame by frame to make sure you hadn't actually killed your friend 🤣 Have you used HitFilm in the other work?

  • pbattersby
    pbattersby Posts: 56 Enthusiast

    The movement of that arrow after impact looked very convincing. Well done.

  • premiere_studios
    premiere_studios Posts: 132 Enthusiast

    Absolutely Gorgeous!!!!

  • Gelqone
    Gelqone PolandPosts: 161 Enthusiast

    Outstanding work! I watched it like 10x and wondering is it real or not 😲

    The movement of the arrow is fabulous!

    How the arrow is made?

  • Hammer
    Hammer Posts: 23 Just Starting Out*
  • Hammer
    Hammer Posts: 23 Just Starting Out*

    Thank you so much! I was actually the one getting hit by the arrow lol, so no one died! And yes, I've only been using HitFilm for a few months now and am loving it!

  • Hammer
    Hammer Posts: 23 Just Starting Out*

    Thank you! I just found a png image of an arrow online, then tracked it to the movement of him, but the fake arrow was only there until I got hit. We just attached an arrow to my chest, then used the wire removal effect to take it out. And to make it look like I flew back, we attached a rope to me, then pulled back to fake an impact. And I masked that out too:)

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,403 Power User

    Well, thanks for the mini-breakdown. A good mix of techniques there. Fabulous result. Like @KirstieT and @OliThompson, I did a frame by frame and didn't catch the swap from the CG arrow to the practical. I thought you'd done some seriously good keyframe animation and tracking after the impact.

    Personally, your rope work makes me a little nervous... That's the sort of stunt that should really be done with a proper harness, at least, and a pad (removed in post) at best. I've seen too many injuries from jury-rigged rope work (and been involved in two - one in which I got dropped on my head, one in which a "super jump" gag went wrong, the actor missed the platform 12 feet up and fell flat on his back), so just be super-extra careful when planning that sort of stunt in the future. Lots of injuries in stunt work, even among the trained professionals (especially the female stunt performers who, all too often, have to do a dangerous stunt in a "sexy" costume with no room for padding).

    Sorry-not-sorry for that little tangent on safety, but, again, I've seen and suffered quite a few injuries in my day, and I'm trained. A cool VFX test ain't worth potential serious injury, so I trust you'll take my concern as valid.

    Tangental note on physics. Films and TV shows LOVE to do big dramatic impacts on things like arrows and bullets, but you don't actually get that in reality. The type of bow you used is probably, what, a 20 to 30lb/10 to 15kg draw? Let's say you're 160lbs/80kg or so. The kinetic energy of that bow certainly isn't enough to throw you back. The danger from an arrow (or bullet) comes from the kinetic energy of the impact being concentrated into a small area. Even with a 200lb/90kg draw against a 160lb/80kg target won't throw the target back - the arrow will just punch through. A .45 caliber bullet contains less kinetic energy than a punch from a reasonably in-shape adult male. The impact of the punch is spread out over the surface area of the entire fist, so you get pushback and a bruise. The impact of the bullet is concentrated in a dense 1mm point, so it makes a big, messy hole. Just for fun, I leave you a link to the old Intuitor "Stupid Movie Physics" site which I always thought was a fun read!

    But, you know, a flyback impact does look cool, so you film what you want to film. Films wouldn't be as fun if they were always totally realistic. Please, just be extra careful on stunt and wire work. 👍

  • Hammer
    Hammer Posts: 23 Just Starting Out*

    @Triem23 Yeah I know what you mean, we did some little tests before hand to make sure it was safe. It was also sped up a bit to look more realistic.

    And yeah, I knew that an impact like that would never happen in real life, but we wanted to see what we could do and have a little fun. It's funny because I've been wanting to do a video called 'Movies vs Real Life' and mock all the ridiculously unrealistic Hollywood action scenes and conversations they have😅 But thanks for the info, I'll keep those things in mind!