Quake(Agents of Shield) Effect

What's up Hifilm community? I run a YouTube channel(https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3nj_yYVoct2tkMj8YjaniA?view_as=subscriber), where I create tutorials. I was given a suggestions to create an effect from Agents of Shield. The effect is used for Quake, an inhuman who can essentially shoot out shockwaves, here's some examples: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPVQzGKxJxI&t=45s I had initially thought about keyframing a shockwave assets to be rapidly shooting through the air, but I'm not quite sure how great that would look. I was posting here to see if anyone had a method to create this effect that might help me out. Thanks!


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Express or Pro? Either way, the core of the Quake effect is Displacement. The tricky part is finding an easy way to create the distortion map. In Pro I'd probably go to the Particle Sim. In Express... I'll think about it, but maybe radio waves? You could probably get a quick and dirty version by putting Heat Distortion on a Grade Layer, masking the grade to where you want the effect and changing the wind direction to match the way you want the blast to go.

  • @Triem23 @thedragonfilmmaker88 ; +1 to Triem23's observation; I was going to suggest that it looks very much like the heat distortion under the flying saucer landing that Hitfilm did a while and that recently was referenced in another question thread.

  • @Triem23 @tddavis Thanks for the suggestions guys, I'll do some test runs with the effects you both recommended and see what comes from it. However, I do have one question, I have Pro, and I am curious as to how the Particle Sim could be used to create this effect, please elaborate if you don't mind.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Well, @tddavis mentioned the tutorial. Here it is. 


    Basically you'd be using the particle sim to generate the Displacement Map. For a shot where camera or actor is moving this is probably easier than doing roto on a mask. Also, you could define custom shapes for particle textures. Look at some of the Agents shots. When Daisy is Quaking towards the camera her blasts are clearly a series of pulsing rings. Getting that look is easier with the particle sim.

  • I think you can get that effect by kinda playing around by following this tutorial 


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @maui9 that tutorial would indeed work. In fact, that's a fantastic example that works well alongside the saucer engines. 

    Note both tutorials are basically using the Particle Sim to generate a source matte for a Displacement effect.

    Again, Displacement is the core effect. Where variation occurs is different possible methods to create the Displacement map! 

  • @Triem23 @maui9 Amazing suggestions guys! I really appreciate your help, I think I could definitely utilize aspects of both tutorials to create a unique and accurate effect. Like I said, I really appreciate all the help!

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator


    As an aside, this doesn't apply to making a Quake effect, but this tutorial shows how using more precise maps can let Displacement create psuedo 3D effects. This tutorial also covers/defines all the controls in Displacement, which should help you experiment with the Quake effect.


  • @Triem23 This is super interesting stuff, although I don't think I'll be using this tutorial for the Quake effect, I'll definitely have some use for it. I truly think that the UFO and the bullet tutorials could provide a faithful effect, I just need to adapt some parts. Thanks for your help!

  • Your welcome, it always amazes me how much you can do from your computer now a days. 

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