Updated: Feb 17
Blood is a tricky thing.
It needs to be the right color, opacity and viscosity— it also needs to be safe to use on skin and sometimes mouth and costume. And of course, it has to look real enough that audiences believe it when they see it.
Real blood clots, dries, separates, form scabs and flakes once dry. An Special FX artificial blood won’t do that, so to create all these different possibilities, there are blood effects products like the standard liquid, flowable blood that comes directly out from an opening in the skin to ‘clotted’ blood, scab, wound fillers and pastes.
Often these are made from corn syrup base thinned with water or thickened and then colored with food grade pigments to an appropriate shade. However, as convenient and mouth safe as that may be; it attracts flies especially when shooting in warm climates. Drying bloods (sugarless) which are alcohol based, provide a high quality, realistic blood that tends to be the standard on a Film and TV set.
Types of Special Effects Blood
Stage Blood - Personally, I only use stage blood in a pinch, it's mouth and skin safe so it can be used for mouth blood if you don't have any on hand. It also tends to stain.
Flow Blood- a great blood to use in a blood rig. Also tends to stain so be careful when choosing. You may want to test first.
Mouth Blood-very sweet mouth safe blood. Even though it's safe to swallow, I wouldn't recommend swallowing more than a little due to the sweetness. It tends to make people nauseous after a while.
Drying Blood-I would say 9 times out of 10, I'm using drying blood for all of my prosthetic work.
Blood Paste-blood pastes are a great addition to any wound to give it more dimension. Closely resemble coagulated blood.
Scab Blood (gel)- similar to blood paste just a bit more gooey (my personal favorite)
Eye Blood-they have all kinds of colors available now a days. Just be sure your actor is ok with having this in their eyes. You should be sure they don't wear contacts. And also check the expiration date on your eyeblood.
Powdered Blood- I actually love powdered blood, Unfortunately I never really have the opportunity to use it but I have always loved the idea of it. This powder activates when liquid is introduced.
And honestly, I'm probably missing some. There are so many options. And they all have a place and time to use them.
Luckily, we have so many wonderful brands to choose from. We'll be going over different techniques and brands of blood during our Out of KIt class, so be sure to sign up for our newsletter to be notified for class dates.