Both Action Essentials and Action VFX are quite popular among the visual effects community. Why? Because these two offer top of the line Visual Effects elements for professional artists and filmmakers.

Action Essentials and Action VFX pack contains action related high-definition and pre-keyed (transparent) stock video clips.

Both Action Essentials and Action VFX stock footage packs offer elements from various categories:

  • Explosions
  • Guns Muzzle Flashes
  • Blood Splashes
  • Bullet Hits
  • Smoke
  • Dirt, Debris
  • Shell Casings and more.

With such VFX assets, filmmakers can create impossible to shoot movie scenes which otherwise would have not been possible.

Back in the early days of filmmaking, it was not possible to get such good VFX results we in today’s modern films. That is because of the lack of technology and computing power.

But as the years go by, filmmakers took the modern approach of adapting Computer Generating Imagery (CGI) combined with Live Action Imagery.

Things are so easy now that you can create photorealistic explosions in 3D software programs and composite them over live action videos with a compositing software like Adobe After Effects, HitFilm or Nuke.

And products like Action Essentials and Action VFX are a step forward towards creating life-like VFX shots without spending a lot of time and money.

Action Essentials VS. Action VFX – A Direct Comparison

Before getting into the in-depth details of Action Essentials and Action VFX, I have created a small yet useful direct comparison between both the stock footage packs.

Take a look:

Action EssentialsAction VFX
20 categories of VFX elements – Atmospheres, Blood, Charges, Couch-Hits, Debris, Dirt Charges, Dust Elements, Explosions, Fire, Glass, Muzzle Flashes, Particle Hits, Smoke, Sparks, Wall Hits, Shells, water and Textures like bullet holes, burn marks, cracks, ground holes, etc.10 categories of VFX elements – Blood & Gore like bleeding wounds and blood hits, Debris & Impact, Explosions, Fire like ground and ceiling fire , Guns which include Muzzle Flashes and Bullet Hits, Particles, Smoke, Water Slashes, Weather, Sound FX and a lot of free elements as well.
500 Elements3400+ Elements
Available in 2K and 720p resolutions.Available in 4K and 2K resolutions.
Compatible with MAC & PC.Compatible with MAC & PC.
Software Compatibility – After Effects CS6 & above versions, Final Cut Studio, Premiere Pro, Vegas Video and other QuickTime based video compositing software.Software Compatibility – After Effects, Foundry’s Nuke, Premiere Pro, HitFilm, Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer, Vegas Pro 15, Blackmagic Design Fusion.
60 minutes of training videos included that cover topics like how to use the elements, compositing muzzle flashes with shell casing, street explosion with fireball, glass and dust elements, building collapse with debris and sparks, and much more.Tutorials can be found in Action VFX official blog page. Topics covered are compositing burn wounds, compositing muzzle flashes and other gun effects, bullet shell ejections, compositing ground crack elements, adding explosions and much more.
Price – $249.95 USD for complete Action Essentials 2 pack.Price – Different pricing options based on bundles.

Which Stock Footage Pack Is Better?

A quick look at the direct comparison table in the previous section gives you a basic insight of the two visual effects stock footage packs.

But to decide which one of the two is better, we need a much broader view.

Therefore to reach a conclusion, let’s take a look at both the packs individually.

Video Copilot Action Essentials

Video Copilot is known was its amazing work in the Visual Effects industry. Their Action Essentials 1 and 2 are the widely used vfx stock elements pack in both film and tv.

The Action Essentials 2 features 20 categories of effects and 500 pre-keyed high definition elements.

With built-in alpha channels, it offers faster compositing.

You can lay any element on your footage as the background has built-in transparency.

In addition to 20 action sound effects and detailed video thumbnails, the Action Essentials 2 features over 90% live action footage.

It also comes with a special After Effects CS3 project file that enables you to down scale 2K files to 720p to use as proxies.

The Action Essentials 2 comes with training videos (60 min) hosted by Andrew Kramer himself. He is the founder of Video Copilot.

The training covers topics such as using the stock elements in After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Vegas video.

Compositing muzzle flashes with shell casing, building collapse scene with sparks and debris, and street explosion with fireball, glass, and dust elements.

Pricing

There are 2 versions of Action Essentials available, both have the same number of elements, same content but different resolutions.

Action Essentials 720p version is available for $99.95 USD and the 2K version is for $297.45 USD.

Action VFX

Action VFX started as a kickstarter campaign. It was funded by 446 artists from all around the world to build an undisputed best and largest VFX assets.

The number of categories are less in Action VFX in comparison to Action Essentials but it has more number of elements per category.

A total of 3400+ elements.

Above all, Action VFX assets are shot on the latest cinema cameras and are available in multiple formats such as PRORES, MXF, R3D, etc.

What I like the most about Action VFX is you can purchase individual elements for as low as $15 USD.

Buy what you need instead of the entire pack.

Another purchase option you get is in the form of Action VFX Drive. It’s a physical hard drive with the entire library of Action VFX Stock Elements.

Although priced heavily, it gives you access to everything you need to composite any kind of action scene with stock elements.

The main features of Action VFX Drive are:

  • 3400+ VFX Elements (Our entire library)
  • Single-User License
  • All resolutions from 2K, 4K, and 6K provided
  • Delivered via Hard Drive & Download
  • Save $6,289 off the library

Pricing

You can buy the entire collection of over 3400 elements in the form of Action VFX drive for $9400 USD. Sounds expensive but it is worth every penny.

Or you can purchase individual files for as low as $15 USD.

Other bundles are also available, visit Action VFX official product page for full pricing info.

Conclusion

Now that you are familiar with both Action Essentials and Action VFX stock footage pack, you must be wondering which one to go for.

I have been using Action Essentials 2 from a very long time. And it’s great.

Both the packs are made for completely different type of users.

What I feel is that Action Essentials pack is for those who have started learning compositing. For just $99 USD, you can get the entire collection of 500+ elements.

For more serious filmmakers, editors and compositors, I highly recommend Action VFX.

Why?

Because the overall quality of their stock elements is high. There are more assets per category thus making a total of 3400+ files. They even update their library time to time with new elements.

There are various purchase options – Bundles, Individual assets or the entire library in the form of physical hard drive.

“ActionVFX elements are the best in the industry, combining significant dynamic range, high resolution and frame rates.” – says Colin Feist – VFX Supervisor/Compositor at Zoic Studios.