Laser Beam Aftermath – Gore VFX

For my scene I am hoping to create a more fantastical/exaggerated visual effect shot of an aftermath of a laser piercing through a character’s stomach and to replicate this I started to research similar shots that have been used in a filmic environment. In a scene in the film Fantastic Four (2005) there is a particular shot where a character has a hole blown through him using an electric beam. A small amount of gore is seen here but a noteworthy factor is how quick lighting is used to help conceal any bad visuals. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) is a great reference as it shows how the depth of the hole interacts with the lighting at the exit of the hole. Using the Fantastic Four scene as heavy reference, I set about excavating a gory hole through a body. On the day of the shoot I didn’t have much time to prepare the shot itself but also didn’t want to make my job any harder than it had to be so I ripped a piece of paper into a jagged circular shape and stuck to the actor to use as an improvised alpha matte. This turned out to be a wise decision as creating the alpha for the hole took only took a simple luma key, inverted and then crushed to black in combination with a shuffle copy resulting in the nicely keyed hole with only a small amount of rotoscope work to be done.