Ghost VFX

I recently did some VFX for my buddy Ryan Connoly! Just in time for Halloween!

There was only 6 visual effects shots but they had some very tricky challenges! I’ll go into some more details later on so I don’t reveal anything yet. But I will say that it was fun to use Element 3D in a unique way and sneak in some unreleased Action Essentials 4K Elements. Check it out!

With FX Console around the corner, it’s nice to start seeing more of these ongoing projects get finished!  It’s definitely a relief to lift a few projects off my shoulders so we can really speed up our release schedule and yes Intercept too! The traffic is beginning to clear up!

And editing of our new blog show is coming along great and we go back in the kitchen! Here was a fun moment from and old episode:


Particles! #Throwback

A video posted by Video Copilot (@andrewkramer) on

5 months ago
I'm Sorry Shape Layers! I love you!
I must confess… I was never a big fan of shape layers…  we just didn’t get along.  I was used to using masks but suddenly (around AE CS3) the same mask tool began creating Red vector shapes. At first, they seemed cool enough but after accidentally adding shape layers to my comps, instead of masks, I lashed […]
Visualization Experiment and new Renders
Just playing around with a new After Effects experiment without using any 3rd Party plug-ins! I need to refine some parts of the effect but I really want to make a tutorial for it ASAP! Here are some other projects you may have missed! Using Element 3D bump mapping to create some Gold coins and […]
New Tutorial: Realistic Rain Drop FX!
In this tutorial we’ll use After Effects to create a realistic water effect without any 3rd party plug-ins! Great for adding atmosphere to a rainy scene or title. This effect is fully customization and can be used to create many cool FX! In this tutorial: Create a dripping water displacement map Simulate realistic camera DOF […]
Destruction Experiment!
What is this thing! I’ve basically combined a bunch of stuff into one experiment! I might have been inspired by the amazing planet explosions from The Force Awakens but wanted to see if I could get a cool version inside Element 3D. Few Notes on this experiment; I added smoke elements, shockwaves using CC Sphere, and even […]

Uchenna Ogbonna
5 days ago
Video copilot is the Best i Have Ever seen...
3 weeks ago
very goooooood.
3 weeks ago
Great tutorial, i really enjoyed it.
Thank you dear Andrew <3
1 month ago
What about a new tutorial about rendering a bullet?
1 month ago
LOL I completely forgot that I was on Video Copilot for a sec. The sound, the feel everything was great!!!! all except that extremely long scene with the guy and the woman holding a box, that scene could have used a few more camera angles to draw attention from her being so nervous.
2 months ago
Can you make a Tutorial how you made the ghosty Smoke /Particles?
3 months ago
Edit.... "There were only 6 visual effects..." But I enjoyed the tutorial.
3 months ago
Ha! good one. Problem: haunted house Solution: burn it... in after effects. I didnt expect it to be a funny with the effects involved i thought it was a scary clip so well done with that one mr. conolly and mr. kramer.
I kinda wanna watch a movie now and not do after effects lol
4 months ago
Oh Thats Cool Ryan Connoly.....The FilmRiot Guy....Kinda Like His Tutorials Too.
4 months ago
That fire cgi at the end was the bee's knees, look forward to see what Action Essentials 4K looks like, how about a brief overview to let us see what is coming Andrew
4 months ago
All I can think is... now they're stuck with a massive mortgage payment and an arson conviction. Sad times.
Trey Trimble
5 months ago
"some unreleased Action Essentials 4K Elements."

Oh yes. I remember our conversation on some of this action! Don't forget about the ticket I handed you!
5 months ago
"I'm gonna go hang out in the basement."

Best. Line. Ever.
5 months ago
Hey any general ETA on action essentials 4k? I'm working on a big project right now that I could solidly use that for but wondering if I should pursue some other elements in case my deadline hits before the release. Thanks!
5 months ago
Remo Fiore
5 months ago
P.S. especially like the shifty eyes...! Hahahahahaha
Remo Fiore
5 months ago
You da best....! love everything you do, by the way, that new work flow plug in is awesome...!
Ethan Romesburg
5 months ago
Please do an in-depth tutorial on the CGI portion of the demon please. That would help me with a project I'm currently working on. Thanks Andrew. You're a huge inspiration! ~Ethan
frank strayer
5 months ago
Curious question. How does someone conveniently have an open half gallon can of gas in their home at 11 pm and not smell the fumes that could cause hallucination in the first place? Just saying.
5 months ago
The depth and emotion of Connoly's direction continues to evolve and explore amazing performances and depths of character emotion like few other contemporary directors, and embracing technology to assist in that storytelling is an outstanding example of modern cinema production. I see a Batman movie in the future...
5 months ago
Hello, where can i get this background sound effects?
5 months ago
Nice idea and amazing video ;)

Waiting to see more movies!

Digiphic Studio
TJ Koker
5 months ago
The burning house effects were seamless. When you do the tutorials please throw that one up first.
5 months ago
It's great to see you calaberating with Ryan and his team. It's been a while since I've had time to follow them on youtube due to my own workload. Thanks for the nudge.... I'll get back to their channel to see what they've been up to :0)

And great work from you for sure.... but that's a given right? Lol

Christian Michael
5 months ago
nice job
thank you for all videos
5 months ago
The one with the Ghost in the Mirror has to be one of the six shots. (Camera Pan + The Ghost)
5 months ago
5 months ago
Hey Andrew! i really hope you go into detail with that ghost you made! I would do anything to get a shot like that! thanks
Johnny Martinez
5 months ago
Hi Andrew Kramer; Is it just me wondering what your 6 special effects were used well I thought I'd take a stab at guessing so here goes.
Scene 1- 3D tracking on 'for sale sign, lamp posts and lions. (1)
Scene 2- In house 'night for dark' sequence with 3d windows using 3D light rays. (2 / 3)
Scene 3- Intro to Action Essentials 4K Elements: featuring blood splatter, sub surfacing skeletal body, and dark smoke. ( 4 / 5)
Scene 4- Action Essentials 4K Elements: featuring fire, dust and clean smoke.(6)
I know I'm wrong, but it was fun to try anticipate your moves.
An excellent job by Directo/editor Ryan Connolly using clean titles. The crew at along with actors Graham Powell, Hannah Ward and Emily Connolly delivering a solid performance (lighting, coloring, audio, camera) on the Video Copilot short film - GHOST HOUSE. Thank You great inspirational work!!!
5 months ago
Creatif Sanju
5 months ago
waiting for Intercept ..:)
5 months ago
Great collaboration guys!!! Andrew, You should have shown this the other night at the C4D event !!!
5 months ago
We should have known it was you that did the effects Andrew!
5 months ago
Totally awesome. Love the concept and cinematography. Rocks out 100%
5 months ago
hey andrew... can u make tutorial or blog video about 3D tracking...i have tried some 3d compositing using element but i couldnt track footage properly :/ ..when i shoot the footage i thought i can do it.i have several issue like too much reflctive things -mirror,too much moving things in scene and motion blur -_- any tips before shoot and other ways to get 3d tracking data expect default ae 3d tracking for complex footage.i watched your other tracking videos but im expecting more complex footage.if u can pls give us some tips :P

sorry for my eng :P
5 months ago
Its great work. One distinguishable factor in making movies is the dialog.

When an actor laughs, chortles or sniffelizizes, it is many times more powerful than the sounds they made immediately prior. Its human nature.

Interesting thing is this, just like how 16 color not only gives you more color choices, but it also gives you protection for not loosing your pixel values as maxed values.

Audio is the same, but just like you use the curves command to create dynamic ranges and compressed ranges, you must do that with audio. Think of maybe r g and b being like base mid and high.

The problem is this, unless a specifically LOW noise floor is used to record an actor, you have already RAN out of the head room you would have needed, to have compressed their dialog and not HAVE raised the noise above the lowest acceptable noise floor for those types of work and theaters etc.

Audio was always my passion, but Andrew; your work flow practices, thought processes, and constant thoughtful attention to a group of people(us) you have earned the respect and admiration from...have been a full package exemplary way of showing men and women what it looks like to be awesome, thoughtful, and lead...It is what life is about, when best enjoyed.

Interesting side note, a 384 bit audio file would be able to contain the scaled sound of the acoustic equivalent of the big bang. And it would also be able to record the sound of a SBD wind break. There is that much dynamic range in 384 bits.

If you have the chance to visit a re-recording mixing stage, notice the silence, ... because when it comes time to mix the final work.....without that compressor, the dialog sounds harsh, brittle and bears the mark of being indie.

But if you compressed the dialog, and the resting noise out of those speakers is now higher than the safest standard, then your team missed the mark. You need to compress the actors by 6 decibels or more at all times. I have some good techniques involving de essers, gates, and multi pass compressor passes.....just think of it like when you go...ok now type control d, and duplicate and were just going to add detail :0

5 months ago
andrew please tell us when intercept will be released!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
we are still waiting for it !!!!!!!!!!!!
very nice work
5 months ago
Great reaction.
5 months ago
Hi y'all still doing that Intercept short or did you decide to move onto other things? I just remembered it.
5 months ago
I'm just profoundly curious to see how the Intercept release will be handled graphically on the Film Riot part...That'd be great to have palm trees and the same speech from Ryan to introduce your short film...In December...
But don't be mistaken. Can't wait to see Intercept too!
5 months ago
star trek forever :)
5 months ago
Looks nice, but there is a black frame at 01:29:19 ;)
Well thats awesome Andrew! I wish I had a chance to make something cool with corridor, filmriot, videocopilot and me to make a mixture like Avengers!!!
5 months ago
I'm saving up for the 4K action essentials. Looking forward to the FX Console and the blog show! Appreciating your hard work and generousity!
5 months ago
I see those fire elements looping with a cross fade ;)
Stephen Oliver
5 months ago
Great little story, nicely understated. Loved the twist at the end. Mind you, I was expecting them to fade away at the end, but this ending was better.
Sanjay Kumar Vegi
5 months ago
Wow nice
waiting for intercept ..!!
5 months ago
Something about the fire being too crisp and no smoke from a burning house that felt off. I don't think it would have been too much of a problem had the last shot not been extended as long as it was. The ghost was really cool, would love to know if that is possible with just AE and Element 3D?
    Lee Finn
    5 months ago
    or the gas can in the house? The ghost was awesome...THAT was Kramer's work
Simon Thorley
5 months ago
That was seriously impressive, thanks for sharing.
5 months ago
Great job with the VFX on the short. I really enjoyed it, and hope that you show everyone on Video Copilot how you created the ghost because that was super cool. It looked to me like a combination of Element 3D and Particles for the smoky atmosphere surrounding the ghost. Either way, it was both creepy and cool. Fantastic Job!

Also, is it possible to create those things in Fusion? Now that Fusion is free to the public (w/ $1K Studio version) I'm trying to learn it as another tool to use with After Effects, and am finding it quite awesome for VFX. AE is still the best for graphics. Would love for you to start doing tutorials on how to use Fusion since so many newbies can use that as an entry level gateway into VFX.
    5 months ago
    You should also check out Natron. I used Fusion on a short film over a year ago and didn't care for how it's node graph lays out the nodes in relation to the noodles. Natron is a free and open source clone of Nuke and really is only missing a few key features. But for 90% of most VFX work, it's great. I'm actually putting together a training series that will be out soon teaching Natron so that artists and filmmakers can learn techniques that will carry over to Nuke when they're ready to make that jump.
5 months ago
5 months ago
Nice! I loved the ghost effect. Not surprised to hear it was your handiwork.
5 months ago
Great video!
As always you have created a nice video ;)

Good luck Andrew ;)

Digiphic Studio
Joey Morelli
5 months ago
Nice work Andrew...looking forward to some refreshed Action Essentials!! I did a VFX shot for a short recently - all VCP goodies. Will post a link when released...
5 months ago
Simplemente Genial "Andrews" ya me imagino como seran los proyectos..
5 months ago
Well done! The black particles emanating from the ghost definitely gave that extra creep factor. As always... awesome stuff. #Bloodtober
5 months ago
wow excelent
5 months ago
can't wait to get this new plug in the action essentials, well done andrew..
5 months ago
Nice work bloke! Love the atmospheric fall-off from the ghost figure, very keen to know what you used
Harshal Bprkar
5 months ago
😵 Ťríçký shørť wìţh çòól vfx✌
5 months ago
that was pretty good,
5 months ago
Nicely done!
5 months ago