Visual effects (commonly shortened to Visual F/X or VFX) are the various processes by which imagery is created and/or manipulated outside the context of a live action shoot. Visual effects involve the integration of live-action footage and generated imagery to create environments which look realistic, but would be dangerous, costly, or simply impossible to capture on film. Visual effects using computer generated imagery has recently become accessible to the Independent filmmaker with the introduction of affordable animation and compositing software.
Visual effects are often integral to a movie's story and appeal. Although most visual effects work is completed during post-production, it usually must be carefully planned and choreographed in pre-production and production. Visual effects are designed and edited in Post-Production, with the use of graphic design, modeling, animation and similar software, while special effects are made on set, such as explosions, car chases and so on. A visual effects supervisor is usually involved with the production from an early stage to work closely with production and the film's director to achieve the desired effects.
Visual effects may be divided into at least four categories:
- Models: miniature sets and models, animatronics, stop motion animation.
- Matte paintings and stills: digital or traditional paintings or photographs which serve as background plates for keyed or rotoscoped elements.
- Live-action effects: keying actors or models through bluescreening and greenscreening.
- Digital animation: modeling, computer graphics lighting, texturing, rigging, animating, and rendering computer-generated 3D characters, particle effects, digital sets, backgrounds.
- Digital effects (commonly shortened to digital FX or FX) are the various processes by which imagery is created and/or manipulated with or from photographic assets. Digital effects often involve the integration of still photography and computer generated imagery (CGI) in order to create environments which look realistic, but would be dangerous, costly, or simply impossible to capture in camera. FX is usually associated with the still photography world in contrast to visual effects which is associated with motion film production.
See also 
Further reading 
- The VES Handbook of Visual Effects: Industry Standard VFX Practices and Procedures, Jeffrey A. Okun & Susan Zwerman, Publisher: Focal Press 2010
External links