ActionVFX. The Best Visual Effects Library Online (Free & Paid)

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A couple of weeks ago, I needed some visual effects assets for my short film project “The Journey”.

In particular, I was looking for some muzzle flashes and gun smoke from a pistol, and some blood splatter.

So I went to my usual stock photo libraries, I usually license photos and vector graphics from. Sometimes I’ve had luck with finding useful stock video clips on black matte backgrounds here.

But this time I simply couldn’t find anything that would get me there. Either the muzzle flashes or gun smoke was from a machine gun or rifle. Or the blood splatter didn’t look realistic or didn’t “splat” in the right direction.

TIP: When you do muzzle flares and gun smoke, remember the ratio of 1:3, i.e. the muzzle flare should always be approximately the same length as the distance from the mouth of the gun/rifle to the chamber where the bullets are (or a bit shorter than the length of the barrel). The gun smoke, which comes after the initial muzzle flare, should be three times as long.

So I decided to search online for other sources. And that’s when I stumbled upon ActionVFX.

At the end of the article, you’ll find some info on how to get the best deals and later a direct link to some free samples FX from ActionVFX.

High-Quality VFX Ready to Use

If I had just known of ActionVFX when I started looking for the visual effects I needed, I could have spent 5 minutes searching instead of the 5 hours I spent searching, downloading and doing a lot of trial and error compositing in After Effects without any useful result.

ActionVFX had everything, I needed, and more. Way more! All neatly categorized and ready for download. I mean, just look at this insane collection.

  • Atmospheric Smoke and Fog Vol. 1
  • Atmospheric Smoke and Fog Vol. 2
  • Big Gas Fires
  • Bleeding Fabric
  • Bleeding Wounds
  • Blood Hits
  • Blood Mist Vol. 2
  • Blood Pools
  • Blood Splatter
  • Bullet Hits
  • Burning Poles
  • Ceiling Fire
  • Cold Breath
  • Dirt Blasts
  • Dust Explosions
  • Dust Particles
  • Dust Waves Vol. 2
  • Electrical Sparks
  • Electrical Sparks Vol. 2
  • Exploding Debris Vol. 1
  • Exploding Debris Vol. 2
  • Falling Ashes
  • Falling Dust
  • Falling Snow
  • Fire Embers
  • Fire Sparks – Close
  • Fire Sparks – Wide
  • Fire Trails
  • Fireballs
  • Fireballs At Camera
  • Flame Torch
  • Foreground Smoke & Fog
  • Gas Explosions Vol. 1
  • Gas Explosions Vol. 2
  • Grinding Sparks
  • Ground Bursts
  • Ground Cracks Vol. 1
  • Ground Cracks Vol. 2
  • Ground Fire Vol. 1
  • Ground Fire Vol. 2
  • Ground Fog Vol. 1
  • Ground Fog Vol. 2
  • Gun Smoke Vol. 1
  • Gun Smoke Vol. 2
  • Gun Sound FX
  • Jet Flames
  • Large Scale Smoke Plumes
  • Large Scale Smoke Plumes
  • Musket Muzzle Flashes
  • Muzzle Flashes Vol. 1
  • Muzzle Flashes Vol. 2
  • Severed Necks & Limbs
  • Small Burning Debris
  • Small Ground Fires
  • Small Scale Smoke Plumes Vol. 2
  • Small Water Hits Vol. 1
  • Small Water Hits Vol. 2
  • Spark Bursts
  • Spark Explosions
  • Spark Hits Vol. 2
  • Steam Jets
  • Structure Fire
  • The Battle Box
  • Wall & Ceiling Fire
  • Wall Fire
  • Water Blasts
  • Water Splashes
  • Window Fire
  • Windy Snow

And they keep adding more VFX assets all the time.

ActionVFX has quickly become my one-stop goto VFX library whenever I need an explosion, muzzle flash, smoke, fire, snow, atmospheric dust or fog – you name it.

Buying Options

The assets are price very fair. And if you compare them to the traditional stock footage sites, I would say they’re priced extremely fair.

As prices are subjects to change, I can’t really mention them here. So I’ll describe how to get the best deals. And keep an eye out for special deals and sales.

Buy as Packs

One way to buy ActionVFX is to buy in packs. Packs are a selection of effects, within a single category.

For example, you can buy the Severed Necks & Limbs Pack (yikes!), which has 35 clips in shot in 12-Bit ProRes 4444 at 59.94fps on a RED GEMINI 5K.

The packs are available as 2K and 4K, and the 2K version is cheaper.

If you don’t fancy buying a lot of different packs, you can get a mixed pack called The Battle Box, which contains 145 VFX elements in the 8 different categories: Explosions, Fire, Gun FX, Debris, Blood & Gore, Smoke, Particles, and Water.

You can easily pay between $50-$400 for a single stock footage video clip on other sites, and still, you won’t get this quality. So purchasing in packs is a good way to go, e.g. if you need a lot of explosions from different angles and of different sizes.

Buy as Single Clips

If you just want a single clip – say “Severed Neck 7” – you can also do so. In the long run, this will be the most expensive option, but if you just need a few effects now and then, this is the way to go.

I’ve used this option now and then, and even though it’s the most expensive option, I still think the pricing is really fair. Especially since you often only need the 2K version (unless you need the effect to be in the extreme foreground in a 4K or 6K video).

Often though, I find myself scaling even the 2K clips down. But I’ve used things like atmospheric fog and dust before, which I’ve needed to fill the whole screen, so here the 4K version definitely comes in handy.

Buy the ActionVFX Drive

The cheapest way to buy is to buy in bulk.

And if you buy the ActionVFX Drive, you get everything! And I mean everything! And though the price of entry is higher, if you work with visual or special effects on a regular basis, this is definitely the way to go.

In other words, you get the entire ActionVFX Drive with over 3300 high-quality visual effects elements.

Plus you’ll get all future releases at the same discounted price, as you received with the Action VFX Drive.

The price for The ActionVFX Drive depends on the number of users.

A single-user license is the cheapest option, but you can also buy the ActionVFX Unlimited License for studios and teams and schools.

If you’re working regularly with VFX assets, these prices are a bargain.

Free VFX Assets For You

But before you might decide to take the plunge with ActionVFX.com, why not try out some of their free VFX assets?

If you follow this link, it will take you directly to the free assets library, with lots of cool free effects you can test out in your projects.

For example, you’ll find free VFXs such as lighting, blood, bullet holes, dust waves, burn marks and sound effects.

I hope you find, what you’re looking for. And feel free to share some of your cool VFX work in the comments below.


About the author:

Jan Sørup is a videographer and photographer from Denmark. He’s the owner of filmdaft.com and of the Danish company Apertura, which produces video content for big companies in Denmark and Scandinavia. Jan has a background in music, has drawn webcomics, and is a former lecturer at the University of Copenhagen.

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