We recently had the pleasure of interviewing ActionVFX, an up and coming studio specializing in realistic stock FX footage for use in Visual Effects. ActionVFX products are used by professional VFX artists and studios throughout the industry to complement their compositions. Check out what ActionVFX CEO, Rodolphe Pierre-Louis, had to say about how their footage can be integrated into your pipeline:

CGS: Can you tell our users a little bit about what ActionVFX is about?

Rodolphe: ActionVFX is a stock footage site created specifically for the Visual Effects industry. We focus on action-related effects, so if you’re looking for high quality VFX assets to cause mayhem, ActionVFX is the site for you. Our products not only help our clients save time and money when working on a shot, but they also help them get a more realistic end result.

We capture mostly 100% real elements, so when artists use ActionVFX, they can be sure that they're getting as close to the real thing as possible. Our library, which currently has over 1300 individual elements, is the most diverse 4K VFX elements library on the market. Our Collections currently include Explosions, Structure Fires, Smoke Plumes, Gun FX, Debris, Textures, Particles, and much more.

CGS: Who is ActionVFX for? Studios, hobbyists, or both?

Rodolphe: Our main focus is definitely professionals, which is why we take the necessary steps to insure that all our products meet the quality required for use in a studio environment. Our elements are currently being used by studios from all around the world to create better, and faster, VFX. We’ve only officially launched 6 months ago, so we’re glad that “the industry” is already taking notice!

We still love hobbyists, though. Our website gives users the option to either buy whole Collections, or individual clips. So someone who’s on a limited budget can just purchase only the assets they need.

CGS: What inspired the creation? And why the focus on FX? 

Rodolphe: We really felt that there was a lack of diversity in the VFX Stock Footage market. It seemed obvious that everyone was using the same elements in all their projects, so after a while, that not only irritated me as a Filmmaker, but also as an avid movie watcher. One can only see the same explosion used so many times before starting to lose their minds!

The goal with ActionVFX wasn’t just to diversify the market, but to also create VFX elements that were better than what was currently available. Thankfully, we received amazing feedback from hundreds of VFX Artists and Filmmakers that helped us create something truly unique.

CGS: How does your stock FX footage integrate into an FX artist's pipeline?

Rodolphe: Our stock footage are for compositors using software such as Nuke, After Effects, HitFilm, Fusion, etc. Let’s say your shot requires you to burn down a house. Creating CG fire simulations is not only very time consuming, but simulations are usually not as convincing.

That’s when it would make sense to use ActionVFX. Since our fires are real elements that we shot, they’ll look and behave like the real thing. Watch the video below to see our Structure Fires in action.

CGS: Can you walk us through the process of how the footage is generated?

Rodolphe: Short version: We rent RED Cameras, blow stuff up, film it, spend weeks going through the footage, and then release them for your VFX pleasures!

Of course, that’s an oversimplification. The real first step is to consult our users before developing new products. After all, if the users don’t sign off on a product, what’s the point? Next we start putting together the team that will help us achieve the quality desired. We’re not pyro-technicians, so we usually work with professionals to handle the more dangerous effects, like 50ft explosions.

We make sure to shoot everything properly using professional cinema cameras in 4K resolution. We shoot on black backdrops or green screens, which is what allows the effects to be brought into our clients’ projects.

CGS: We'd love to know more about the minds behind the magic. Who are the owners, and are you VFX artists yourselves?

Rodolphe: ActionVFX is a brand of my company, RodyPolis LLC. I founded RodyPolis 6 years ago as a way for me to share my very limited knowledge on VFX with… anyone who’d watch, really. I quickly realized the need for quality stock footage among my user base, and I’ve been creating VFX assets ever since.

We mostly see ourselves as Filmmakers who also do VFX. This is great because we not only know enough about the filming process to properly capture the effects, but we also know enough about post-production to understand how it all fits together.

We are currently a small team of 4. Myself, Luke Thompson, Joe Camarata, and Renaldo Pierre-Louis.

CGS: How do you envision the growth of ActionVFX, and do you foresee branching out into other parts of the pipeline?

Rodolphe: That’s a great question! Currently, our main focus is to keep growing our library of 2D effects. Our goal is to be the place to get stock footage for Visual Effects, and there is a lot more left to do in order to secure our place at the top.

I think eventually branching out from 2D assets is inevitable as we keep growing, but we choose to stay in that lane for the moment and give it all we got!

CGS: Where can our users go to find out more or purchase some of your awesome FX for their projects?

Rodolphe: You can find everything on our website. In addition to paid effects, we have plenty of free collections as well, so be sure to go download all of them!

We want to thank ActionVFX for taking the time to chat with us. Don't miss the opportunity to add this awesome resource to your arsenal!