Special Effects Techniques In Movies

Special effects (or SFX) are used in the film and entertainment industry to produce effects that can’t be achieved by ordinary means, such as traveling to other star systems. They’re also used when creating the effect by normal means is prohibitively expensive, for example, an enormous explosion. They are also used to improve visual effects that were normal.

Visual special effects techniques (in rough order of creation):

  • Practical Effects
  • In – Camera Effects
  • Miniature Effects
  • Matte Paintings
  • Hitchcock Zoom
  • Optical Effects
  • Travelling Matte
  • Bluescreen
  • Prosthetic Makeup Effects
  • Animatronic – Models
  • Digital Compositing
  • Wire Removal
  • Morphing
  • Computer Generated Imagery

Notable special effects companies:

  • Cinesite
  • Computer Film Company
  • Digital Domain
  • Industrial Light and Magic
  • SGI
  • Weta Digital

Many different visual special effects techniques exist, ranging from conventional theater effects, through classic film techniques invented in the early 20th century, to modern computer graphics techniques (CGI). Often several different techniques are used together in one scene or shot to attain the desired effect.

That is to say, the crowd is not aware that what they are seeing is a special effect. This is the case in historical movies, where the buildings and other surroundings of previous eras are created using special effects.