How to make Fake Homemade Breakaway Glass

Learn how to create homemade Breakaway / Sugar Glass, just like they use in Hollywood stunt and action movies.

Practical Glass stunts

In every Hollywood movie you at least have one scene where some glass shatters. Now what if the main talent smashes that glass or goes through a entire window? Couldn’t that be dangerous and cause injuries? Well yes, if they would use real glass.

But every stunt with glass is done in complete safety. The glass that they use in movies is especially designed to minimize the risk towards the actors.

Breakaway Glass

For smaller glass stunts like hitting a bottle on somebodies head, they use breakaway glass. A brittle variant of real glass, but made with resin or sugar.

Dark Side of the Ring: Bottle Smash
Dark Side of the Ring: Bottle Smash

By using resin or sugar they can determine the strength of the fake glass. Also it will be less sharp, however it can still cause cuts. Something we experienced ourselves.

The procedure of making Breakaway glass is actually quite simple if you are using the resin variant. As it’s a two component mixture which you just have to mix and wait till it’s hard.

The sugar variant is a little bit more work, which we explain completely in this video.

Tempered Glass

For the bigger stunts, where the talent flies through a window or another big piece of glass, they use tempered glass. This is actually real glass, but 4 times stronger. And if tempered glass shatters, it will do so into small relatively harmless pieces.

The Slow Mo Guys: Running Through Glass in Slow Motion
The Slow Mo Guys: Running Through Glass in Slow Motion

And also the stunt coordinators will use a small detonation inside the glass to fracture it a fraction before the talents hits the glass. Making sure that the talent doesn’t hurt himself.

Storyblocks

Big thanks to Storyblocks for the support on this video. Their community driven library always help us to find something perfect for that particular VFX shot. They really help us to bring our Visual effects to life, without compromising on anything.

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