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Foley Tutorial

Foley Tutorial

Posted by: San Francisco Film Society

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Foley is the art of creating realistic ambient sounds in post-production by creatively using a wealth of materials to enhance the quality of audio for films, television, video, video games, and radio. Since props rarely recreate the sounds of their real-life counterparts exactly, Foley artists use unusual objects to reimagine and construct reproductions of background noises. Without these sounds, films sound unnaturally and uncomfortably quiet. However, audiences hardly notice Foley soundscapes because they are well integrated into the film. Foley art is often broken down into three categories: feet (footsteps), cloth (subtle sounds involving clothing), and props (anything from doorbells to gunshots).

Examples of Foley include:

  • Frozen romaine lettuce makes bone or head injury noises
  • Coconut shells cut in half and stuffed with padding make horse hoof noises
  • Cellophane creates crackling fire effects

Watch this short video about Foley art. 

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