Pro Tips

Kryolan Fake Blood Q&A

Almost 70 years – that's the long history of the legendary Kryolan fake blood. In particular, the types of blood produced since then, some of which have even been made individually for actors and major (Hollywood) productions, have made Kryolan world-famous.
When company founder Arnold Langer produced the first artificial blood for a theatrical production in the 1950s, this also set the starting point for the continuous development of an extensive product line.

To date, the artificial blood repertoire at Kryolan has been expanded to over 20 different types. From children-friendly products to realistic blood effects, including special lines for use in the mouth and eyes, Kryolan has it all. The unique thing about it: products are always developed in collaboration with professionals from film, television, and stage. Precisely because film sets don't look like, for instance, regular apartments but are usually glaringly brightly lit, fake blood for film and television must have unique qualities. And when new camera technologies come onto the market, Kryolan is often quick to also come up with product innovations.

So, it's definitely time to give Kryolan blood the honor it deserves and dedicate an in-depth Q&A to it. Our SFX designer Gregor Knape has already done make-up for film productions and explains in more detail which blood is best suited to use.

Is Kryolan's fake blood safe to use?

Kryolan products are manufactured in compliance with worldwide cosmetic guidelines. This means the products are perfectly safe when used according to their instructions. In contrast, many smaller "pro companies" put products on the market that work well but are often not safe and are distributed in an uncontrolled manner. Therefore, when buying fake blood, always make sure that the production meets specific guidelines.

Why does fake blood from Kryolan look so real?

Even a non-specialist can tell at first glance whether blood is real or fake. Real blood oxidizes in the air and turns from red to brown-black. However, this exact situation cannot be imitated one-to-one with fake blood, which is why there are different products for different situations. In the Kryolan range, you will find flowing blood, fast-drying blood, and imitation scab. Glycerine acts as a base ingredient when you want it to flow realistically. Dissolved dyes such as azorubine red color the blood transparent.

Which blood looks remarkably realistic when viewed with the naked eye?

Supreme Blood External 200 ml and Drying Blood 200 ml look remarkably realistic in daylight. HD Blood 15 ml looks a bit more yellowish but still realistic when viewed with the naked eye.

Which blood looks particularly good when shooting in HD/4K?

Blood types such as Supreme Blood External 50 ml, HD Blood 15 ml, or Drying Blood 50 ml are best suited for high-resolution cameras. Opaque blood types such as Special Blood IEW 100 ml would look too opaque in front of film cameras and like melted lipstick. In addition to the camera, however, the lighting is crucial: the darker the scene is lit, the better it is to work with opaque types of blood. It's best to do lighting tests before deciding on the kind of blood.

What kind of blood is best for taking photos?

Blood that flows slowly, such as HD Blood 75 ml, is best. The natural pathways it forms as it runs down look great in pictures. In low light and even on dark clothes, the fully opaque Special Blood IEW 100 ml works well.

A good alternative to conventional blood is gel-like blood types such as HD Blood Gel, Blood Paste IEW, or our Woundfiller 30 ml. HD Blood Gel is very shiny, and due to its transparency, lighter and deep red, almost black areas are being formed all by themselves. Opaque Blood Paste IEW is perfect for shooting creepy scenes in semi-darkness. Woundfiller is an airy mousse that helps loosen up the denser gels to create larger areas.

Which blood can I put in my mouth without hesitation?

Supreme Blood Internal 50 ml is based on special sugar solutions and can be swallowed without hesitation. Also super suitable, but with less good taste, is the Special Blood IEW 100 ml. The blood pads are also filled with it.

Which blood can I use on the eyes without hesitation?

"Bleeding eyes" on the screen are usually created with digital effects. That's why they look so realistic. However, it would not be possible to produce artificial blood that is so opaque and thick, which is also compatible to use in the eyes. However, it is imperative for us to make safe products, which is why we have a special Kryolan Eyeblood 20 ml in our repertoire. It gives you a strong, red tint – at least for a short time. Keep in mind to use it almost directly after buying it. When opened, it has only a short shelf life.

What are fake Blood Capsules?

Blood Capsules TF are gelatin capsules containing a special powder. They are specially designed to be used in the mouth, and when bitten, they foam up slightly and form a bright red blood effect when reacted with saliva. An alternative is to transfer Supreme Blood Internal 15 ml into a gelatin capsule. This will last a few days, and the blood will flow out of your mouth nicely.

What are Blood Sachets?

Blood Sachets 2x1 cm (or blood pillows) are filled with Special Blood IEW 100 ml and are in a transparent plastic foil that can easily be made to burst. They are mainly used when a "live" attack is shown. Due to the opacity of IEW, the blood effect works even with dark clothing. Even if the blood gets into the mouth, this is harmless. Nevertheless, the Blood Sachet should not be explicitly applied for use in the mouth.

How do I avoid smearing fake blood on the skin?

Fresh Scratch 30 ml is particularly easy to apply to the skin with a spatula or sponge to imitate minor cuts, crusts, or abrasions. Once dry, it is smudge-proof. Drying Blood 50 ml is wonderful for filling fresh stab wounds, for example. It can be applied as a liquid and dries quickly to an abrasion- and water-resistant film that shines like it’s fresh. Due to its opaque quality, F/X Blood 100 ml is also visible in dim light, which is why it is suitable for shooting in semi-darkness or on dark fabrics.

How do I remove fake blood?

When removing fake blood, make-up remover or baby wipes should not be used, as the caring lotions in the wipes only push the dyes deeper into the skin. Real, solid soap removes fake blood from the skin better than wash emulsions or gels. The soap must be lathered vigorously with gentle agitation as the foam pulls the pigments and soluble dyes out of the pores. This process should be repeated until nothing discolors during foaming. Afterward, it is best to apply a skincare product.

Is artificial blood on clothes easy to wash off?

Kryolan artificial bloods are primarily cosmetic products - they must be safe and well-tolerated by the skin. Unfortunately, however, high-quality cosmetic ingredients are not automatically easy to remove from clothes. Nevertheless, Kryolan does everything it can to produce safe products with optimal effects while ensuring washability. Here are a few tips for you:

  1. Rinse large amounts of blood from fabrics with plenty of cold water before washing, such as in the shower.

  2. Apply a suitable detergent directly to the "bloodstain" and let it soak in before rinsing. If a yellowish or pinkish shadow remains, repeat the process. This can also be done in the washing machine.

  3. The more synthetic fibers the clothes contain, the better! The dyes cannot adhere so well to the smooth fibers.