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Lights! Camera! Action! with Ultimate Special Fx

by Ian Black

Now I know what the director of a Hollywood summer blockbuster feels like. Well, maybe only just a little. Still, it’s a thrill to add some cool special effects to your own home video with the surprising Ultimate Special Fx app.

Currently, the app is limited to only three special effects – The Missile Surprise, The Revenge of the Flying Car and Air Destruction. Opening the app starts a driving rock soundtrack to put you in the mood for mayhem. From there, it’s easy: Just select one of the three effects and read the brief “how-to” instructions, which basically say to keep your device very still and record for at least five seconds.

A bull’s-eye in the viewfinder shows you where the center to the effect will take place. Since the effects are all destruction-oriented, you’ll want to put the thing you plan to virtually destroy – a pet, your house, your tax return – right in the crosshairs. The only real downside of the app? It doesn’t let you use a video you’ve already captured. You must shoot a new clip through the viewfinder. It lets you light the scene with your device’s flash if you need it.

The app took about 30 seconds or so to render the effect into the clip on my device and the output was great. In each case, the effect displayed comically well. The Missile Surprise shows a heat-seeking missile fly in and explode right where the bull’s-eye targeted and leaves a realistic flaming hole where it hits. The Revenge of the Flying Car has a tumbling SUV crash into the scene from out of nowhere spraying debris everywhere. And, Air Destruction brings a fighter jet crash-landing into your little video and causes the whole scene to go up in flames.

It’s free so don’t think twice about trying it out for yourself on your next video shoot.

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