AGOGVIVID FX incorporates movie styled special effects techniques into live training scenarios
With 30+ years of movie industry special effects expertise, in design, development, the build and deployment of graphic, realistic effects using explosives, pyrotechnics, atmospheric effects, environment augmentation and live fire weapons simulation.
Agog has utilized this knowledge and now supplies scalable pyrotechnic effects and products; budgeted, tailored for integration into military, law enforcement and other first responder’s training programs. We offer solutions that are adaptable to changing tactics, techniques, and procedures to meet current thinking to threats or even the most challenging of fiscal demands.
Our aim is simply to assist in providing realistic training with the goal of delivering training environments so realistic that the experience is just like the real hazardous event.
Scalable: Ultra-Reel™ training and close proximity effects with supporting products that extends from low-cost to high-end bespoke. Supporting training exercises and scenarios aimed at delivering realism through utilization of close action / proximity special effects designed to simulate the modern evolving threat.
Representative: Controlled energetic effects simulating layers of threat and perceived stress through realism. This is achieved using, pyrotechnics, ultra-high pressure air and flash technologies to test trainees to required limits whilst maintaining ultimate control and adherence to safety through dynamic risk analysis and management.
Theatres of Operations: In coordination with the customer, current threat vectors will be simulated to train the audience to consider the most recent or perceived risks. Effects again are scalable in cost, context and volume.
With offices in Oxfordshire UK and representatives in Amman Jordan AGOGVIVID FX is always striving and delivering innovative solutions, meeting ever-changing demands for military and first responder applications worldwide.
Agog regularly creates explosive, pyrotechnic, fire and atmospheric effects within environmentally sensitive areas including Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Heritage Sites, Listed Buildings, Conservation Areas and Wild Life Reserves and provide robust effects without harm to the local ecology. We provide high-energy effects within public built-up areas without damage to infrastructure, fabric of buildings and facilities, or relationships with residents. We can evidence our experience in layering and monitoring of high-energy effects and our use of biodegradable and recoverable materials which will reduce environmental concerns. This may assist in securing broader permissions for realistic effects work on private and Crown estates to enhance exercises that must take place in publicly accessible locations.
In addition to UK Wide operation, Agog has over 20 years experience in providing movie effects across 30+ countries across Scandinavia, Europe, Asia, Africa, India and the Middle East. Our expertise includes the movement of explosives, pyrotechnics and firearms across borders, and procurement in countries where import is not possible. Our work locations are often remote and austere and access expeditionary in nature; our teams are well practiced in organization of site operations, storage and mobile workshops to allow production of effects on location safely under difficult conditions.
A Special Effects Supervisor (SES) within Agog fulfils a creative and technical management role during the planning and client collaboration phase; combined with a supervisory control role on the training exercise so there are few disconnects between effects, build, planning and execution of the planned scenario within the exercise. Whilst the SES has go / no go decision control and authority over factors that could affect safety, this could be, response to weather changes, positioning of trainees, siting of equipment etc. We implement supplementary effects, positioned around, allowing for continuity to the training or the outcome.
As trainees move through training exercises Agog can increase the depth of effects to maintain trainee engagement as their confidence and ability to handle more complex scenarios grows, creating a more immersive and field authentic experience by layering different effect types and simultaneously initiating effects.
In order to keep as close to reality as possible within asymmetric unconventional warfare. Agog designs, and manufactures its effects to suit the need, complimenting them by a series of products from; forensic evidence, through to a range of inert aides. All products are continually being adapted to reflect the continual changes. Whether it is initiation through remote, pressure sensitive, infra-red, magnetic booby / trip wire traps and we build our effects to emulate these. These varying ways of initiation are designed into the training solution, however for many of the the close proximity pyro effects, these are often for safety and control initiated by command wire through line of sight. This is the predominant method we use within our film work, including all close action involving stunts personnel and actors. Alternative methods such as remote control can be implemented if required or as part of EMF training
The building blocks of Agog’s solution are specially constructed pyrotechnic devices initiated electrically under electronic control, with various ‘soft’ materials placed to be ejected by the explosion.
Safety is such that, we control the energy of the effect by altering the amount and type of pyrotechnic material and its confinement. We control the direction of the explosion and ejected materials by placing devices and ejectable material within steel mortar pots or using directional shields. Larger explosions are created by multiplying the number of devices and firing in close sequence rather than increasing the volume of a single charge. We alter the colour and apparent density of explosions through choice of non-flammable dusts and particle types. In larger explosions we create explosive fire effects by igniting flammable materials using the same control and timing mechanisms we use for initiation of the pyrotechnic material, varying flame and smoke colour, light brightness, heat and apparent energetics though choice and combination of flammable dust and now rarely used, liquids and fuels materials. Sustained smoke and fire effects are created by inclusion of materials for burning, or are often added in by using smoke generators and gas fire rigs for finer control.
We have developed the use of easy to use and apply remote operated, pyro propelled blood packs to simulate the effects of live shooting, with body protection built into the blood pack itself. This close capability itself opens the opportunity for advanced scenario building in hostage and civilian action training, and shock desensitizing in combination with CASSIM.
Event Safety and Control
Our sequencers and firing electronics enable us to initiate millisecond separated explosions giving the impression of one large blast, but also giving fine control so we can significantly reduce effects of ground vibration, air over-pressure, sound levels and particle ejection distance. Our expertise allows us to tune explosions to provide maximum sensory impact with safety, from a single anti-personnel IED through mid-range roadside IEDs to full building IEDs.
All effects will be deliberately initiated by an effects supervisor with line of sight rather than by passive triggering devices such as trip wires, though passive devices may be used to signal task failure and inform the effects supervisor that the corresponding effect should be initiated.
This eyes-on approach allows instant feedback, flexibility and timing control, and could provide fluidity in an exercise to allow us to build true-to-life scenarios where threats are combined for tactical advantage. In example, this would enable scenarios such as ambush actions where insurgents use RPG volley fire to hold or push forces to a kill zone or onto prepared IEDs.
Use of Pyrotechnics
Employing pyrotechnics allows package sizes similar to those that would be encountered in the field whereas compressed air, Co2, Propane and Oxygen MILSIM systems require charging, generally from external tanks, control valves and hoses that must be hidden in addition to hiding the main pressure vessel or mechanism.
Pyrotechnic package size means simulation devices may be hidden, and discovered, using true to life methods. In example, we could reproduce known past scenarios where multiple IEDs have been buried in walls in bait and ambush attacks, or employ daisy chaining of IEDs.
Explosions assault the senses with pressure, sound, heat and light. They are shocking and disorientating with immediate post explosion environmental changes such as dust clouds, raining of particles and the smell of explosive materials and fuels as required. They often create secondary environmental changes such as sustained smoke and fire at the site and noise from nearby alarms. These serve as markers of the event to many people who are not involved persons at some distance from the explosion site, triggering changes in their actions.
Agog use of pyrotechnics will provide true to life experience of threat, assault, explosion and shock to assist trainers to assess capabilities and build confidence and preparedness.
Use of MILSIM products
Agog do design and build bespoke compressed air and CO2 systems to mimic explosions and rapid fire ie our vehicle mounted M2HB SimFire unit. However, absence of appreciable pressure effects, radiant heat, light and smell and changes in sound type in the immediacy of the explosion take too much away from the experience. Military Simulation (MILSIM) devices are valid as markers of explosive events, but not a substitute as they do not deliver a broad sensory load.
Current MILSIM blast simulators using propane and oxygen systems can provide loud (140dB+) sound effects and some vibration but visual flash and sound are both attenuated in a brief report and the sensory inputs mentioned earlier in this section are absent, again making them useful as event markers rather than experience makers.
We offer battlefield effects to engender chaos, shock and disorientation, such as rocket-propelled grenades (RPG), improvised explosive devices (IED) pyrotechnic or incendiary chemical, suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED), suicide bomb, direct and indirect fire, effects layering to provide continuity, context and scale of battlefield experience, using pyrotechnics and or ultra-high pressure air systems.
Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threat incidents. Persistent effects and catastrophic escalating environments for training in IND, HAZMAT (contact, inhalation, injection, ingestion), accidents, fires, spillages and smoke.
Disorientating atmospherics and sensory effects to overwhelm. These include sustained stench, smoke, fire, wind, rain and concussive sound effects.
Traumatic live woundings, bullet hits, close range shootings, entry and exit wounds, shrapnel, blast amputation, hostage torture, prosthetics, makeup and blood effects.
Urban civil and military training can use our high-energy effects techniques within any existing built environment. Our environmental special effects design is used for training that must be undertaken in heritage sites, listed buildings and public arenas.
This comprises the design and construction of realistic, repeatable, destructive damage effects within training environments and standing sets. Blast, missile and bullet damage to buildings, walls and natural cover, vehicle impacts, breakaway panels and residual fire rigs.
Opposing force arms and munitions, actor initiated body-worn explosives. Section 5 firearms, live firing, blank firing, rockets, grenades, mines, IEDs, suicide vests, air percussion mortars, and bladed weapons.
Our stunts feature choreography of all action sequences and reactive interplay. Action directors, scenario advisers, senior special effects and stunt artists are able to embed credible threats into the role-play.
Our product range includes replica action props and IEDS designed to fire, explode and engulf. In-house build of inert and replica munitions, rigged action vehicles, actor fired suicide vests, dummies, RPG flight and missile strikes.