if your dream is to make an action packed movie, get a seat cause we are about to look at addons that are going to blow your mind, and not only addons but processes and courses that show you how to make a proper action sequence, from action scenes like john wick, to car chases, explosions and more.
Action sequences involve alot of things, from rigging, animation, camera control, pacing and more so the first step should be finding a comprehensive course that will teach you all this, and that is the cinematic motorcycle race course, this course shows you how to create a john wick inspired action sequence from scratch, from creating the bridge environment, making the character and then the animation.
what turns a good car chase into a great one, is how you move your camera, camera motion can be used to show speed and add tension to your action sequence, but good camera motion is also hard to master, that’s why pre animated camera moves by pros who have mastered the art of camera movement is very popular.
camera movement and animation is just half of the job, you still need to know when to cut for tension, continuity, project planning, editing, sound design, lighting for action and more these are all things the ride a course about car animation covers in detail.
if you want to increase the production value of your shot, ragdoll physics is the way to do it, you can add characters jumping out of a moving car, something like that is hard to animate by hand but addons like ragdoll tools can handle that with ease, it can simulate the body falling out the car quite easily all you have to do is animate the character jumping out, and then from there you let the addon take over, it will handle the collisions and everything from there.
if you have no time or patience to keyframe animate your cars, no worries i dont either, i use the physics based vehicle rigging, you just tell the addon what car or thing to chase, and the car will automatically steer and drive in a convincing way, the addon is also physics based so you can have things like collision and collision avoidance in your animation.
your action scene is likely going to need things like breaking and fracturing objects that lead to dust, debris, smoke, shuttered glass and more, this is what the rbdlab addon was designed for, it makes the whole process of shattering, braking and fracturing objects easy, and not only that, you can control how the object fractures, add secondary particles and dust and more.
production value is simply adding extra detail, detail that may be overlooked by others, like plastic bags or news papers flying by as the action takes place, or birds jumping out of the way or sparks flying on collisions, these are all templates you can find in the particle library addon, its basically a collection of several boids system that add production value to your shot.
if you are making a car chase sequence, i hope you are not modeling the cars from scratch, because one car is going to take you at least a week to model and you are going to need more than one, so save your self the pain and time, use the transportation addon that comes with over 70 photorealistic vehicles, fully rigged and ready to animate.
even action scenes need a setting, an environment where the action is to take place, all environments start with the background and all backgrounds start with the sky, the sky is not just the backdrop of your animation, but its also used to light your scene, so you need a solution that is going to be easy to work with and provide the quality and detail as a backdrop and dynamic lighting needed for a high quality render, and for that physical starlight and atmosphere has been my go to addon for both eevee and cycles renders.
if your action scene is taking place on the streets, you probably need a street with buildings, and since your camera is going to be on about 3 meters from the ground, you need detailed streets and buildings that are designed for closeup shots, with street signs, neon signs, detailed shops and more.
this can all be found in the procedural alleys addon, everything is procedural so no street will look the same.
your action film will look boring if its happening on empty streets, raise the stakes by having your fight or car chase scene around a populated area with people running around, you can do this with procedural crowds, which has just received a new update to include weight painting, now you can easily control the density of the crowd by using weight paint.
action is not just about chase scenes and fights, its about composing the perfect shot, making sure your audience focuses where you want them, you can easily frame your action using gobos, light gobos are shadows casted from off screen objects, they add realism and can help frame your shot, making sure your audience focuses on the right areas of your shot, they can also help add detail to your action, you can have an array of gobos casting shadows onto a speeding car which will add a sense of speed to your shot.
how can you have an action scene without explosions, fires, dust bust, booms and so on, the lazy vfx vdb library is a collection of all types of detailed explosions you will need for your action sequence.