Create miniature effects

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


This Standard is about your ability to create miniature effects. It will require an understanding of camera equipment, including lenses, formats and mounts, and close liaison with the Director of Photography to understand how miniatures will be filmed. It will also require you to understand construction, digital manipulation and visual effects. It assumes you have an understanding of pyrotechnics and are able to work closely with members of the pyrotechnics team to deliver the effect safely and efficiently. It will require you to liaise with the appropriate manufacturers and in some instances use Computer Aided Design (CAD), Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM) or 3D printers to produce required models. This Standard is for you if you create miniature special effects.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. create miniature effects in line with production script breakdown,

    production requests. constraints and budget

    1. consult with appropriate heads of department to confirm

    completed miniature effects meet requirements

    1. liaise with relevant production personnel and enforcing authorities

    to ensure effects are safe and legally compliant

    1. provide documentation to relevant people in appropriate formats

    detailing how miniature effects will be designed and achieved

    1. ensure that miniatures are manufactured and scaled to meet

    the production requirements

    1. ensure that any necessary documentation is created and kept in

    accordance with regulations

    1. source materials appropriate for the miniatures being produced

    2. maintain the health and safety of cast and crew at all times

    3. collaborate with pyrotechnic technicians to create pyrotechnic

    effects that meet production and safety requirements

    1. liaise with CAD, CAM or 3D printing technicians to produce any

    required models in line with production requirements

    1. document all aspects of risk assessment and management in

    required formats,

    1. provide alternative solutions within budget and schedule if effects

    cannot be produced to original designs or budget

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

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

    physical special effects

    1. health and safety legislation and industry standards for creating

    miniature effects

    1. film speeds, frame formats and ratios

    2. the differences between television and film cameras and their

    advantages and disadvantages

    1. how to use cameras and their auxiliary equipment

    2. lens angles and the basic principles associated with these

    3. camera mounts and how they differ

    4. the importance of scale and perspective and how these are used

    to achieve different effects

    1. how to read computer generated images, digital manipulation and

    technical drawings

    1. suitable materials and how to source them, for use on miniature


    1. how digital prop models can be created and output to the

    manufacturing process, whether in-house or external

    1. pyrotechnics, water and fire and how they are scaled for use in


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


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, Special Effects Trainee, Special Effects Technician, Special Effects Supervisor

SOC Code



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