How Visual Effects Are Used In The Film Industry

Ever walk out of a movie screening and hear another viewer talk about how amazing the special effects were? But what exactly are special, or visual effects and how do they work readers ask?
Anyone who has ever aspired to be a filmmaker, film critic or even those who just love going to the movies, should know the basics behind visual effects (VFX) and how its technology has had a tremendous impact on the film industry.

The technical definition for visual effects is as being the general term used to describe any type of imagery that is created, enhanced or altered for a film or any other media within the visual media industry that can not be replicated while shooting the film live. A vast majority of the magic, so to speak, used to create visual effects is done in post-production. Visual effects are generally layered into live action scenes. Some of the common techniques used to apply visual effects include rear and front screen projection, matte painting, computer graphics, or by using recording to create a composite of images.

The recent advances in technology has made visual effects a much more viable, affordable alternative over the traditional way of paying for live actors, stuntmen, explosions, safety experts, etc. This new surge in advanced digital tools has made it much easier for filmmakers and studios to create visually stunning digital sets, composites, and realistic computer generated characters and moving elements at a much faster pace.

Because of the now affordable animation software and tools, visual effects is now accessible to filmmakers of all levels, making it an everyday part to every filmmakers tool kit. At its core, anything that is too difficult, dangerous, costly, or even impossible to capture with a moving camera is added later in post production as a visual effect.

Speaking of the evolution of visual effects, John Textor, is and will be for quite some time in the future, a pioneer within the visual media industry. While his name might not be too familiar, most will have certainly heard of a few of his visual accomplishments.

John Textor first made his presence known as one of the two men who created the visually splendid real life illusion of a singing and dancing Michael Jackson and Tupac Shakir. Mr. Textor was also the Producer and Executive Producer of 2013’s Ender’s Game. John Textor and his former company, Digital Domain Productions, were responsible for the visual effects of over 80 large scale feature films, winning several Academy Awards.