I am recording a scene in which a "gun" is involved, but I do not have the budget for a realistic gun, so I am using a nerf gun. I am wondering how I would make the nerf gun look real

2 Answers 2


You could create one with parts from a hobby store or craft store, and paint them the correct color of gray. Model your gun replica off of a specific existing gun that you find photos of online. Figure out ways to shoot the scene so the viewers don't see the gun too much:

  • keep it in shadow
  • only have it on screen for 1/2 second at a time
  • keep it moving, especially if this is an action or chase sequence
  • show it from a distance
  • keep it out of focus (while something "more important" is in focus, like a person saying a line of dialog)
  • train the camera on the face of the person with the gun and the reactions of the potential victim

Also use visual effects (as suggested by bret7600 in his answer) and sound effects. A Foley artist once said he uses a door deadbolt to simulate the sound of a cocking handgun.

  • You mentioned paint, do you happen to know if there is a paint that washes off plastic?
    – JSASCS
    Nov 16, 2016 at 15:40
  • I don't know if there's paint like that. Were you thinking of painting the Nerf gun? If so, maybe you could cover it with gray/black tape instead of paint, so you could remove it later. Or you could paint it black/gray, and after the shoot paint over that with orange or whatever color it was before. Nov 16, 2016 at 18:14

Please try an application like Adobe After Effects. With this app, you should be able to make a realistic gun flash, as you can mask different objects and key frame them accordingly. See link for tutorial. http://www.surfacedstudio.com/tutorials/how-to-make-great-gun-fire-muzzle-flash-effects

  • This does help, but is there also a way to make the blue and orange nerf gun black and gray?
    – JSASCS
    Nov 14, 2016 at 15:43
  • If you map a colour filter with a mask, you should be able to do.
    – bret7600
    Nov 14, 2016 at 17:15

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