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About the Archive

Anyone is free to browse the site but you will need to register to be able to download clips and use some of the more advanced functions. Registration is fast and free.

There are fixed collections for you to view under each category, or you can use the search function to narrow your field of enquiry. Each clip is displayed with descriptions and technical information.

Once you are a registered user, you can download clips for private reference or to use as placeholders in an offline edit. You can also save your own collections of clips. There is a facility to edit shorter sections from the clips to save to your collections or download. This is accessed by clicking the "Create a Clip" button.

Editing handles will appear under the clip which will enable you to select a shorter section. Clicking the "Create a Clip" button again will render that section and you will be able to find it under "My account". Since the clips are all unedited footage they can sometimes be quite long and this is a particularly useful feature. However, this will only be available if you are registered and logged in.

When your edit is complete please contact us to order your chosen master clips. See licensing.


The archive is organised as a heirarchy starting with categories. A category is sub-divided into a number of subjects. Some of these subjects may fit into more than one category and will be found in both. Subjects are sometimes narrowed further to a collection of topics.


When you access a topic, the site will give you a list of shots from a pre-programmed search. There are boxes with filters to the left of the search list which contain search words that you can use to narrow down the list further. Clicking on a thumbnail will bring it up in the record viewer.

Of course you may always do your own search from scratch using the search box at the top right of screen. just enter some keywords and then use the filter boxes to narrow your criteria.


The information supplied in the metadata is supplied in good faith and is accurate as far as we know. However, we take no responsibility for the information given in the descriptions. It is for guidance only and you should independently check the information and the suitability of the clips for your use. Use the words in the description, technical information and keyword fileds to search for other similar clips.


Please remember this is a special effects archive. The purpose of the clips contained here is to provide images that can be used to illustrate various phenomena or processes that would be difficult for most film makers to shoot for themselves or else they might be unfilmable by any conventional means. This is where special effects comes in. Some material may look real but should not be represented as scientific fact. There is usually a comment either as part of the "Description" or in the "Notes" section of the metadata to tell you.

There are four types of image present on this site:

Certain categories such as Landscapes or Microscopy can be considered to be "real". They are obvious because you will probably have seen similar material already.

Models, especially developmental ones, are designed to cover a range of uses and any facts (e.g: age) given in the metadata are approximate. Models are identified as such in the metadata description field.

Internal environments such as blood vessels, hearts or lungs, are created to provide illustrative footage of internal physiology but should never be represented as anything other than a simulation. The effects use real tissue but it is not usually human tissue. However, the tissues are selected because they are very similar to humans and do illustrate human physiology. Often the "Notes" section of the metadata will say "Biological Simulation" to indicate this. None of this type of filming is ever carried out on live animals.

All computer graphics elements and textures are supplied for use in your own composite effects or as backgrounds. The descriptions given suggest an imaginative view of what they could be considered to look like, not necessarily what they are.

If you need more information about any of the images, you should contact us