Create atmospheric effects

Business Sectors (Suites): Physical Special Effects
Developed by: ScreenSkills
Approved on: 01 Mar 2017


This Standard is about your ability to produce an atmospheric effect “ these include rain, wind, snow, ice, fog and smoke. You will need to possess a thorough understanding of the different materials and equipment used to create atmospherics, which ones are suitable for which locations and have experience in their safe and effective use. This Standard is for you if you create atmospheric special effects.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. create atmospheric effects in line with production script

    breakdown and budget constraints

    1. use equipment and materials appropriate to the atmospheric

    effects being produced

    1. comply with the health, safety and environmental protocols and

    legislation which apply to the effects

    1. maintain documentation denoting that health,safety and

    environmental measures are in place and legislation is being

    adhered to in required formats, providing it to others when


    1. take all aspects of risk assessment into account and provide

    documentation as required

    1. employ competent crew with relevant skills and experience for

    the job

    1. liaise with relevant people to ensure that all details of effects are

    communicated to all concerned

    1. maintain the safety of the cast and crew at all times

    2. liaise with the relevant third parties, bodies and organisations to

    ensure that there is minimal disruption to utility services

    1. provide alternative solutions within budget and schedule when

    effects cannot be produced to original design or budget

    1. ensure that sets are restored to their required state, providing

    documentation when necessary

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. the script breakdown, budget and schedule for the atmospheric

    effect required

    1. how to use equipment and materials to create an atmospheric


    1. the correct materials used to simulate snow, ice, fog and smoke

    2. the wide range of health, safety and environmental implications

    when producing atmospheric effects

    1. scale and how this will look on camera when creating an effect

    2. the impact the atmospheric effects with which you are working

    will have on the environment location and existing utilities


    1. how to minimise disruption to environment and location

    2. how to employ competent individuals or third party specialists to

    work collaboratively within a team

    1. who the appropriate crew to liaise with to ensure effects are safe

    and monitored as required

    1. protocols and legislation to comply with when producing

    atmospheric effects

    1. how to clean up and dispose of materials used in atmospheric


    1. what can be achieved by post production and visual effects

    2. who to liaise with in production to ensure set is restored


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

01 Mar 2020





Originating Organisation

Creative skillset

Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Arts, Media and Publishing, Physical Special Effects Professionals

SOC Code



Physical special effects; Design; Plan; Workshop practice; Atmospheric effect; Practical fire effect; Explosive effect; Breakdown; Budget