I know it is hard to shoot your own green screen plates sometimes to practice on, or perhaps you don't have a good camera to mess around with for 3D tracking, or integrating CG with live action. Well I have found a bunch of different resources from around the interwebz to help you to get some footage on your screen, so let the experiments begin.
Video Copilot's Tutorials
Some tutorials online offer their material used within the tutorial for download, out of all those, Video Copilot stands above the rest in that respect. For almost all the tutorials on the website, you can download the source files to work along with Andrew, or just use it for your own projects.
Artbeats is one of the leaders in royalty-free stock footage distribution, and kind of set the standard when it comes to the similar sites littered throughout the net (some seen below). They are generous enough to give you a link to a free HD clip every month in their newsletter they send out, absolutely free for you to keep. It might not be much, but you might be able to use them as backgrounds, or use some stock footage for a title open. Stay on their mailing list for a couple years, and you will have yourself a nice little collection.
Green Layers is another one of those stock footage companies that likes to give away free footage to their subscribers, except Green Layers specializes in keyed out green screen footage. Similar to Crowd Control from All Bets Are Off Productions (subscribe to that newsletter too, I'm sure Aharon will be giving some clips away too soon), They have a nice little library of downloads for you to peruse and play around with in your spare time and see what the quality is like.
Umesh's Free HD Footages
Umesh Patel started this nice little site about a year ago, and although the quality of the footage isn't that great, it gives you a little something to challenge yourself with. Yeah, the green screen doesn't cover the head, or the footage is a bit grainy with some motion blur in it... but its free! You can't complain about free.
Footage Firm works a little different in the "free" department than the rest of these on the list. The content is free in the fact that these guys aren't making a dime on the work that they have put into these products, but you do have to pay $8.41 shipping and handling to get the collections. Now, if you think about it, less than ten bucks for a DVD chuck full of stock footage ain't bad, especially if it fits into the project you are producing.
Stock Footage For Free
This is a website put out by the above company, Footage Firm, and takes selected clips from their numerous collections, and lets you download them instantly, and completely free. Most of the stuff available is motion backgrounds, but it's probably going to save you a few hours of work if you can find a way to weasel these into a project. They provide all the details about the clip you need as well as what formats, dimensions and codecs you can download them in.
These have been the go-to guys for when you need a quick little explosion, muzzle flash, smoke, or whatever. They have all the stuff you need, but they don't have a prettier site? Hmmm, oh well, the fact that they have a ton of free explosions and whatnot is reason enough to overlook the bland design of the website and get to the pyrotechnic goodness. Scroll down a ways and you will find around 50 clips for you to add to your VFX pyro library.
Visual Effects For Directors
Hollywood Camera Work has one of the most thorough visual effects training DVDs I have ever watched, and just for all of you freebie hoarders, they have provides some matchmoving green screen plates free of charge for you to mess around with on your own, before you buy the DVD set. But take it from me... this set is well worth the money to have on hand.
These guys have a few different categories, Vector Art, Motion Graphics, and Green Screen. Vectors we really don't care too much about in this article, but the graphics pieces are really high quality, and the green screen section has a few pre-keyed as well as "key for yourself" clips so that you can practice on.
Ribbit Films has a deal that after you sign up for their site, you have a little library of six clips that you are allowed to download for a window of 14 days after you register, after that, they're gone. They have some pre-keyed as well as full green screen shots to practice on.
Another one of the popular stock footage sites, they also give away free stock footage elements every week or so. According to the name, everything is always HD, and they give you all the details that you need to know about the clip you are downloading, so you will be able to figure something out to do with it.
Another sweet stock footage site that has weekly free clips that you can download absolutely free, just by signing up for the site. If you have Toolfarm or AEFreemart in your RSS you have probably seen these free clips pop up from time to time.
Archive.org basically scans the entire internet and its files from way back in the day and lets you hunt those down and use them in your own projects. Mostly everything is in mpeg-2 format and its kind of hit or miss on what you find, but its kind of fun just to see what you can find.
Lastly we have Nature Library, which, well... specializes in nature videography. Just like AlwaysHD and Artbeats they have free clips that they offer every so often, always dealing with nature stuff, like plants, animals, fields, landscapes... that sort of thing.
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