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The What?

In the process of making movies and video production, there are times when the sounds on set aren’t realistic enough. This is where Foley comes in using real-life objects to create sounds for the film. In this blog article, we will take you through what Foley design is and how Foley sound sounds are made.

Foley is the human interaction of humans with objects in the production of movies. It’s the reason that your favorite movie sounds like it does for example; the sound of a frame shift on a wall, a sword being drawn from its sheath or footsteps on the battleground. This is the work of Foley artists—the people who make sure your movie experience feels authentic and real.

In their work, Foley artists are actors as well as sound technicians. Foley Design requires a very keen eye to detail. They must be able to hear exactly what they’re looking for in their minds—and then they must mimic that sound using everyday objects that don’t necessarily make that sound at all (or, at least, not normally).

In order to make sure their noises are in-sync with what is happening on-screen, Foley artists sometimes have to re-dub parts of dialogue, which can be quite challenging if the scene has multiple characters talking at once. They often use white noise generators or other electronic devices to create audio effects that aren’t available with traditional materials and techniques.

The how?

There are four steps to the Foley Process.

First, the sound engineer will watch a scene and look specifically for any type of small movement that isn’t already covered in the scene’s audio. This is called “spotting” as our Senior Engineer Tonny explains in this detailed tutorial; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0leN5TSjG2M

Then comes layering: This is where actual footage is reviewed and referenced when deciding what sounds will be added to it. The Foley artist will re-watch the footage frame by frame, and determine sounds that match what they see on screen.

Layering

Next, it’s time to record. The sound engineer will then take whatever inanimate objects are needed for the audio track and record all of the sounds for a particular take of a specific scene.

A Foley artist creating sound of a biscuit crunch for an animation.

Finally, these recordings are associated with their corresponding footage and mixed with other elements to create a soundtrack for the film or video.

In Conclusion;

Foley is a technique that has been around for quite some time. It is one of the more interesting aspects of film production and design and one that can often go unnoticed. The creation of sounds within films, in order to compliment the visual aspects, are sometimes more important than one may think. These sounds establish timing, energy and sync with emotion within the film. A Foley designer will take all these aspects into consideration.

Find out more here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0leN5TSjG2M

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