Before & After: Shell Shocked!

Here is a side by side comparison of the original footage and the final output for our recent VFX short: Shell Shocked. By viewing the original, it may help those interested, see how I planned the shots for the final FX. The sound may be slightly out of sync due to layering in AE so please watch the original if you haven’t already.

When it started to get dark, you’ll notice the color temperature was shifting badly as the sun disappeared. To fix this, I was able to use Curves and Hue/Saturation to bring the tones back to match the previous shots. I’ll try to put together a basic overview of my color process, (which is not that complex) along with the main FX tutorial of the Grenade flying.

If anyone wants to try and practice color correcting, you can download the clip and start playing around!

Watch Comparison Video

January 4th, 2012 @ 6:47 pm

pretty good, i want this new tutorial.
    January 5th, 2012 @ 12:54 am
    I want it too, i love the color modification!
    January 5th, 2012 @ 11:31 am
    Yeah , me too . It's going to be awesome :):):)
    January 7th, 2012 @ 11:17 pm
    wait..wait...wait...did Sam loya say "f" word in the last part of the video? NICE :P :P
January 4th, 2012 @ 6:53 pm
i want this new tutorial
January 4th, 2012 @ 6:55 pm
are the granades made with element?
January 4th, 2012 @ 6:55 pm
Awesome. I plan on doing something similar in the near future.
January 4th, 2012 @ 6:59 pm
Very nice color grading! Can't believe the original footage was red. Do you work on the RAW footage or convert/encode it differently to make it work in AE? Nice job!
January 4th, 2012 @ 7:15 pm
Awesome, love seeing side by sides. Especially to see the color grading in the shots. Thanks Andrew!
January 4th, 2012 @ 7:23 pm
Really nice! Keep up the good work Mr.Andrew!
January 4th, 2012 @ 7:26 pm
Awesome! It's very cool to see the videos side by side. The color correction looks amazing!
January 4th, 2012 @ 7:29 pm
Pretty good! In a few weeks I hope I can share some productions we're working on... with some effects learned here! Congrats Video Copilot team, nice job!
Liam Vickers
January 4th, 2012 @ 7:31 pm
Are you sure you didn't shoot this with a "red" camera? Ha! :)
January 4th, 2012 @ 7:55 pm
....that wasnt side by side....
    January 4th, 2012 @ 7:58 pm
    Heh... I thought about it but I told myself, the top is a side and so is the bottom. So it IS side by side!!
    January 4th, 2012 @ 8:23 pm
    A position to the left or right of an object, place, or central point: "a town on the other side of the river".

    XD :P
    Nathan Willis
    January 4th, 2012 @ 8:41 pm
    He's got you there Andrew.
    January 4th, 2012 @ 8:51 pm
    Oisin McGrath
    January 5th, 2012 @ 9:51 am
    So when someone says "See you top-side".....They're wrong?
    January 6th, 2012 @ 9:26 am
    Or perhaps when you cook something in the microwave it says "This side up" ... ?! Lol
    Jeff O
    January 6th, 2012 @ 4:42 pm
    Side all depends on your inertial point of reference. There is in-side, out-side, up-side-down. There are those dice in Vegas that have 6 sides, or the funny D&D dice with 21 sides. Or you can get your burger with a side of fries. But turn you monitor 90 degrees (portrait mode) and Andrew's video is indeed side-by-side.
    January 7th, 2012 @ 3:35 am This is a useful discussion, here's some more definitions of side, in the meanwhile you guys are discussing it I'm gonna make an awesome video in AE :P
    January 9th, 2012 @ 7:27 pm
    I think Andrew has this habit of working with his head tilted at 90 degrees. it actually helps when you are color correcting. therefore his "side by side" is our "top and bottom"!!
    Jon Denner
    January 11th, 2012 @ 11:11 am
    Hey, all the great people of the world have had their own special thing. Maybe i should start working with my head titled. Sure seems to be helping Andrew. :)
January 4th, 2012 @ 8:23 pm
Thank you Andrew and Sam for making all these videos and Tutorials. I see that on the right side of your web site navigation bar there is just enough space for another section of your site. How about calling it putting a button there called, "Film School".

From the forum I am noticing that many people (including me) greatly appreciate that you are showing us not just After Effects, but planning out shots and short videos for greater effects and a more professional story presentation. Thank you very much. But It would be nice to have these tutorials broken away to a whole other category of Video Co Pilot that people can search to and build a following on. From the forum it seems that most people are gravitating to these two kinds of areas anyway, those that are looking for video tips and those that are looking for effects tips. Maybe even sell some "film school" products as well?

Thanks again for everything.
    L A Webley
    January 4th, 2012 @ 11:30 pm
    I myself appreciate your sentiments, but I savour the effects based techniques illustrated (so well) here that I can't help but feel one may detract from the other. It's a hunger indeed, but in my personal opinion I feel observing the filming techniques of others and emulating, expanding and indeed, inventing and reinventing such techniques can be garned by exactly that: Observing. Whereas the effects techniques expounded here are often beyond if not outright "borrowed" from the very film-makers we see in cinemas.

    To that end, all the techniques and equipment used are usually highlighted in the blogs/tutorials. Cranes, cameras, lenses etcetera, all listed meticulously.

    I would posit that you, Rick Allen Media, Start up such a film school website with the like-minded (myself among them) to rival any that may already exist. Should it be successful then we might marry it alongside Video Copilot.

    Film Copilot anyone?
    January 5th, 2012 @ 6:54 am
    I do not know the tricks of the trade. I know camera and filming basics. But I would not even begin to think that I can teach anyone anything beyond that at this point. When I post on the forum it is almost certainly answering peoples questions who are just starting out like me and they haven't even bought a camera or lens yet. So, I may be able to offer basic information to others new starts in the future, but not until I learn a lot more myself. But I am still working on my own web site right now, so, I have a long way to go.

    For now though, I have offered to submit stock images and video to VCP for other people to use to learn from. I didn't know of any other way to “give back” to VCP outside of buying products myself (which I have not done yet) but I have not heard a response back on that.
    L A Webley
    January 5th, 2012 @ 7:37 am
    I've just tried looking for a comprehensive website that focuses purely on film-making as opposed to effects and found it difficult to find anything as comprehensive and of a quality as high as Video Copilot. So there's definitely a gap in the market for those in the know who are willing. Rick Allen & myself would highly appreciate it.
    January 5th, 2012 @ 12:57 pm
    Rick Alle Media, totally agree. I am no more than a minor hobbyist myself, and have many ideas in my head, but find it difficult to plan out shots and short films.

    Film Co-Pilot gets my vote (As if Andrew and crew dont have enough to do already)
    January 15th, 2012 @ 1:23 am
    YEAH ANDREW how bout adding more to your plate!
    Gustavo Pacheco
    January 19th, 2012 @ 9:17 am
    English isn't my main language. So, if I understand well, the idea is to provide videos that we could use to train and make our own effects based on the tutorials and tips which are at this website.
    I think it would be great.
January 4th, 2012 @ 8:42 pm
I love your tuts bro! Mine are good but yours are GREAT! Can't wait for this one!!
January 4th, 2012 @ 9:52 pm
i think is last word that sam loya start with F ...right??hahahahah !i just guess!hahah
Dead Flesh
January 4th, 2012 @ 10:52 pm
it was awesome andrew....and the most interesting thing that i like it the shadows of the grenades ....this is the most complex problem i face when i create 3d object...can't create any footage were done looks fake...but is it 3d matte shadows or ae shadows?
    L A Webley
    January 4th, 2012 @ 11:40 pm
    Hello Dead Flesh.

    I found the meteor crash tutorials utterly helpful in this respect. The sections detailing the shattered road surface and the use of skylight in 3D Max especially.

    I'm sure you've viewed them previously but I find it endlessly helpful to look back and refine techniques that one may have trouble with or may simply have overlooked.
    Dead Flesh
    January 5th, 2012 @ 12:38 am
    i check this out...but there's something wrong about 3d that i can't figure it out until now.. dun know what's wrong? texture or light match or compositing?
L A Webley
January 4th, 2012 @ 11:19 pm
As ever, dwarfing Hollywood in what shrewdly seems a few master-strokes. All the while keeping the VFX community at large inspired. I continue to applaud Video Co-Pilot and all who sail in her.
January 4th, 2012 @ 11:21 pm
hey Andrew can u make some more tutorial on Camera Tracker. it will be good to see,........
January 4th, 2012 @ 11:30 pm
Hey Vc thanks a lot
January 5th, 2012 @ 12:22 am
Nice Andrew... Thanks for this before/after effect!
January 5th, 2012 @ 12:24 am
awesome So nice and so funny i liked it
January 5th, 2012 @ 12:47 am
Hey Andrew can you do something with slow motion muzzle flash/fire. It would be very helpful. Thanks much. Cheers ( I love all your work, it is very helpful)
    Loud mouth
    January 5th, 2012 @ 5:11 pm
    If you take a look at the Bullet tuts that are sold here at VC he shows how to do that :D
January 5th, 2012 @ 12:47 am
Awesome stuff. Was the footage graded too?
    January 10th, 2012 @ 7:44 pm
    Why would you grade footage? :D
January 5th, 2012 @ 1:07 am
Good!! As usual... :-)
January 5th, 2012 @ 1:54 am
In fact there are many sites online that offer free lessons in the field of graphics
But in your website you offer lessons that we can not get it

Thank you very much for all members of videocopilot
January 5th, 2012 @ 2:36 am
Hi Andrew,
This is a very cool video. But we want ELEMENT. tomorrow???
Krishan indora
January 5th, 2012 @ 3:00 am
your My GodFather
January 5th, 2012 @ 3:17 am
its Amazing stuff Andrew and Sam is a great actor!
Mustard Seed
January 5th, 2012 @ 4:09 am
I actually thought the flares at the beginning were VC Optical Flares...
January 5th, 2012 @ 4:11 am
Sam Loya must finally win this years Razzies
January 5th, 2012 @ 4:35 am
very god Andrew
January 5th, 2012 @ 4:38 am
Great work Andrew. Love it!
January 5th, 2012 @ 4:45 am
hi Andrew

The Maya built with grenades ?
January 5th, 2012 @ 4:47 am
Did u see at the end...

Directed By

Sam & Grenade

Man you guys funny and creative
Jaikumar - India
January 5th, 2012 @ 4:48 am
Thanks for this!
January 5th, 2012 @ 5:18 am
Just wondering... maybe those grenades arent 3d? Maybe theyre real. Yes the first one is obviously. But the rest look so good. Makes more sense too. Right? Also it gets better acting out of sam knowing they could blow at any second
    January 6th, 2012 @ 5:07 am
    The grenades (most) are definitely CGI. Just a simple comparison to the first one which is a real prop, where he picks it up from the ground to throw back. If you compare that one to the one being thrown AND the subsequent barrage of grenades they are CGI because the top is not perfectly shaped as the prop. (I mean it is just a tutorial, what do you expect :)) So, back to the Prop. When it hits the ground, it's real and you see the disruption in the gravel. Then the later ones, if you look closely, do not disrupt the gravel. My assessment is that he used his technique from the gunshot, water splash tutorial he made a few weeks ago for this. That's where he uses TC Particular and motion sketch. Very, very cool in my opinion and at normal speed, dust, all the elements, top f'ing notch!
Belal Yasser
January 5th, 2012 @ 5:38 am
I'm Belal Yasser and I'm 12 Old and I'm a great Fan Of You and I like All Of your Videos and Tutorials and keep going by the way I'm Egyptian
January 5th, 2012 @ 5:44 am
You use the cinestyle?
Collorista 2?
It would be cool to do a tutorial on color correction, as you mentioned the question of changing lighting with the sunset.
January 5th, 2012 @ 5:57 am
Does anyone know of any tutorial that teaches how to do these effects with text?

    January 5th, 2012 @ 7:05 am

    I may be mistaken, but this just seems like basic text overlays and layers on top of video. It is just that these are 3d layers? Posted and rotated to appear to revolve around certain people in the video by masking, yes? It actually seems a basic effect to me. As Andrew says in the video, “This is all kind of simple”.
January 5th, 2012 @ 6:00 am
Nice :) Very interesting...

This tutorials are going to be very cool :D
Rusty Shackleford
January 5th, 2012 @ 6:36 am
Holy stank awesome job color grading that last bit!!
January 5th, 2012 @ 7:03 am
As Always very Helpfull..
January 5th, 2012 @ 7:42 am
I want to thank you for all the time you put in your tutorials, you are the best! thanks to them I was able to increase my knowledge on after effects!
January 5th, 2012 @ 8:33 am
why is the original footage so red tinted near the end? was that part filmed during sundown?
    January 5th, 2012 @ 12:16 pm
    "One thing you’ll notice is that when it started to get dark, the color temperature was shifting badly as the sun disappeared."

    Quoted from the post.
January 5th, 2012 @ 9:30 am
I was surprised to see just how little you needed to massage the colours to get the look you wanted. It's certainly not as extreme as some sequences VCP has produced (the SWAT team tracking Sam down to the rest room comes to mind) but it highlights for me the importance of shooting decent footage in the first place, preferably as neutral as possible to give maximum latitude and creativity in post. Thanks again!
January 5th, 2012 @ 9:32 am
hahaha, in teh credits says, A. Granade
January 5th, 2012 @ 9:43 am
AMAZING! love it! cool and still funny!:0
January 5th, 2012 @ 9:55 am
Erm, where can i download the footage?
January 5th, 2012 @ 10:16 am
Ron in Calgary
January 5th, 2012 @ 11:07 am
Awesome again Andrew, I love that you are giving Sam dialogue now!
January 5th, 2012 @ 11:32 am
Andrew did it again!
January 5th, 2012 @ 12:24 pm
Awsome! i just watched a tut over at on how to model a i can get the best of both worlds!
Dead Flesh
January 5th, 2012 @ 1:02 pm
andrew why the vfx artists in all movies like twilight and tron using maya? and no body using 3ds max.....and same to after effects ..they are using really after effects unable to do some visual effects that nuke can do it?
please i need answer ASAP !!!!
January 5th, 2012 @ 2:20 pm
So what kind of filter did you use for the end shots Andrew? Since the original footage is pink, I'm assuming you used a FLD filter?
Loud mouth
January 5th, 2012 @ 5:14 pm
Epic!! Think you!! Can't wait!
January 5th, 2012 @ 7:02 pm
Mr.Andrew we need you to make 3D stuff in 3D MAX such as Fume FX and Bulding Collapsing etc...
January 5th, 2012 @ 7:51 pm
I really need to start colour grading my work. Looking forward to seeing your work flow!

January 5th, 2012 @ 8:28 pm
Amazing work~?
January 5th, 2012 @ 10:09 pm
are the grenade rain rendered with ELEMENT? ;)
    January 6th, 2012 @ 5:12 am
    Hi Eric,

    I made an earlier comment above but my take is that he used his technique from the gunshot, water splash tutorial he made a few weeks ago for this. That's where he uses TC Particular and motion sketch. Very, very cool in my opinion and at normal speed, dust, all the elements, top f\'ing notch!
January 5th, 2012 @ 10:09 pm
I'm assuming this will be an AE/3DS Max tutorial? well i was wondering, how different are maya and 3ds max? I'm a new maya user(also a mac user, so no chance of gettings 3ds max) and i was wondering if the tutorial would be followable using maya? thanks!
January 6th, 2012 @ 12:40 am
Andrew, thanks for your work, I've started to work with Action Essentials, it seriously rocks.

Can't wait for a color grading tutorial :)
January 6th, 2012 @ 4:04 am
Andrew... you are the 'Steve Jobs' of the post production and not only!
Thanks for all!
January 6th, 2012 @ 9:00 am
This should be interesting! I tried it out using levels, curves & hue/sat. I had a hard time getting the shot with the grenede on the gravel to get perfect.

More things like this!
January 6th, 2012 @ 11:19 am
Awesome stuff as always. Very educational, A. Sam, always fun watchin ya thespian it up.
January 6th, 2012 @ 12:55 pm
A tutorial on color correction?
Mr. Kramer does this in about 80% of the tutorials on this site.
January 6th, 2012 @ 10:49 pm
I can Feel So Sorry for Poor Sam
January 6th, 2012 @ 11:42 pm
Great to see some comparison video's! Thanks. Awsome work as usual. I Think most of this has been covered in the tutorials, and the grenade drops actually by the last one...Sams a good sport :)
January 7th, 2012 @ 11:37 am
Andrew you are the best AE tutor. Along with that you teach so many other things as well and couple it with your great humor. I jusy love it. You are the best.
Video Copilot= The Internet Film School
January 7th, 2012 @ 12:19 pm
I want a T-Shirt.
January 7th, 2012 @ 12:55 pm
very fun :D
Spencer T
January 7th, 2012 @ 1:45 pm
Um... Where can I get the clip? Am I missing the link somewhere?

- Spencer
January 7th, 2012 @ 2:38 pm
Andrew How do you do that it is always so perfect?
January 7th, 2012 @ 8:29 pm
For all of the grenades being tossed in at the end, did you use Element? It seems it would be a lot easier that way.
January 7th, 2012 @ 8:44 pm
i wonder how many times sam loya has died?
January 7th, 2012 @ 11:03 pm
Why isn't Sam in any movies yet? He is a pretty good actor and I am sure he is acting pro bono in these tutorial. Hope Sam has a great and prosperous new year with lots of acting stints in real movies.
simcha yaffa
January 9th, 2012 @ 12:20 am
yes ! i can't what to see how to do video - you rock
January 10th, 2012 @ 11:10 am
@selvapersonal "In real movies"? Ouch.

Seems to me that, thanks to AK, more people know Sam Loya's actual name than most of the actors in "real" movies whose name don't appear in the opening credits! Which makes him more famous than those in the "real" movies... though for free... OK, maybe you should pick your friends more wisely, Sam... I'm just sayin'... LOL

GREAT VID, ANDREW! In fact, I'm purchasing more VC downloads and discs this week!
Justin Fernandez
January 10th, 2012 @ 6:43 pm
Yes please Andrew! I would love a tutorial on color correction. PLEASE DO ONE! Great video by the way, simple but fun, another win for videocopilot :)
January 16th, 2012 @ 2:17 am
Something seems to be wrong with the white balance... didn't you got an image out of the camera to some kind of control monitor? Nevertheless, the CC looks pretty good.
January 16th, 2012 @ 4:37 am
Hey Andrew can you make preset of this color tone u used in this Shell Shocked footage or can you show level setting by posting image or some thing if you don't have time to make preset really liked it :) ... waiting for reply
January 17th, 2012 @ 2:15 pm
Andrew, can you do an expanded tut on the process prior to getting into ae, for example, what you plan out prior to shooting? how your process works for what you develop. Also maybe some comments on the equipment you use, color settings etc during the filming state. thx
Vlady Oliver
January 18th, 2012 @ 9:45 am
Andrew, my friend.
I would like so much to offer some help for this great project. I work in Brazil, in portuguese language. I worked with Hans Donner team at Globo TV network, the fourth most important tv network in the world, outside North America. I have about ten years of experience in After Effects and 3DS Max together. Software integration too, like ZBrush, Poser, Real Flow and so on. I will launch my first DVD tranining about near next feb. I would like to send one to you, to your appreciation. Nothing special, because I need to make it in the basic level, for the 3D1 community students. It´s in portuguese. Do you have any interest to translate yours trainings in this language ? Expand your bussiness, my friend; Who knows ? If you can, you ´ll see some of my last works on Vimeo. , including a tribute to Sam, that I left there just for fun, not used for commercial purposes obviously. It´s in - Rebrand 2001 - Modern Times Tribute to ben Craig ( BC 2010 ). Oly for web - Well, this text seems like crazy thing, I think. But we need to try, don´t we ? A hug, friend. Regards.
Sili Igor
January 21st, 2012 @ 1:55 pm
Ok, I follow every tutorial since day one and how many times have you killed Sam?!
January 23rd, 2012 @ 10:37 am
farhad shafaq
January 26th, 2012 @ 12:38 pm
Andrew , what do you did to make video color like this ? curves or color correction or film preset ? how can i make my video form like original scene just like final result ? sorry for English
March 2nd, 2012 @ 9:20 pm
Thanks to your instruction I can now recreate every clip on this site. And thanks to "Demonic Face Warp" and my cousin Mike I don't even need Sam Loya!
March 17th, 2012 @ 7:08 pm
Umm...I can't view the video :(
Arthur (From Russia)
June 7th, 2012 @ 9:10 am
Hey, Andrew! How can you get rid of the strobe effect on the dynamic moments? I use a Canon Mark II, but with sharp movements of the frame does not smear, which is in the film. On your video about the grenade's all very fast and smooth. How to get this?
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