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Making Digital Home Movies, Part 1

Particle Effects

Wondertouch's ParticleIllusion

Wondertouch makes ParticleIllusion , which gives home users professional level particle effects such as smoke, explosions and water sprays. Adding a little pizzazz to your movies couldn't be easier.


Digital Juice makes Jump Packs , which are collections of high-quality animated backgrounds. While a little pricey for the budget conscious, they do save you the time of having to make your own animated backgrounds.


Most editing programs have a basic title engine built in. If you are looking to make exciting three-dimensional titles, then you will have to buy a separate titling program. On the low budget side, we have Blufftitler , which gives you tremendous features for only $40. For those on expense accounts, Borisfx offers Graffiti , which promises to do everything but wash your clothes.


You don't have to buy all this stuff at once. Most people buy the bare essentials and then slowly acquire the other stuff. B and H has been around for ages and has almost every product imaginable. They also have huge catalogs (the size of phonebooks) that also serve as great educational guides.

Academic discounts for students and teachers may take the sting out of some of the software prices. Savings of 50% or more can be had, if you can prove educational affiliation.

So we have shown you what to buy, but how do you actually make the home movie? In part 2 of this guide, we will take you step-by-step through the whole process of making a home movie with special effects. Maybe George Lucas will soon face some tough competition.