VFX – Visual Effects

Is this Real or Sensationalism? - The World of Visual Effects

Visual Effects, abbreviated to VFX, are made differently as opposed to special effects in post-productions of movies or videos. For the work of the VFX Supervisors and VFX Producers, there is even the annually as prestigious considered Oscar. However, what makes a good compositing? Which media use VFX and what equipment do you need for this? We clarify!

First, there is a distinction in between Visible and Invisible VFX. Here Invisible VFX are effects that one no longer notices in a final version of a film. For example, if a cable while shooting is visibly in the way, it can be removed by a retouche using the Invisible VFX. Even the usage of green screens counts to the Invisible VFX. On the other hand Visible VFX are very striking, whose characteristic is the visual re-creation of scenes or objects. For example, the transforming robots in the movie Tranformers.

VFX are mostly used for movies, videos, games, computer-generated imagery, models and miniatures, blue and green screens and for the motion design, so movie titles and title animations. Historical films, science fiction films, disaster films and animations in fantasy films are the most widely used forms of representation.

In the processing of visual effects specified 3D graphics programs are used. The currently most important in the market are Autodesk Maya, 3ds Max, Autodesk Softimage, Lightwave 3D, Cinema 4D, SideFX Houdini, Realsoft 3D and free Blender. For the production of slick VFX, multistage steps are necessary.

For integration and combination of images and effects (eg. as real filmed material and rendered 3D elements) so-called compositing software is used. Known packages include the product range of Autodesk (inferno, flame, fire, smoke, combustion) or Quantel (iQ, eQ, Henry, edit box), Adobe After Effects, Shake, The Foundry Nuke and Eyeon Fusion. These offer similar image editing software options for 2D and 3D image manipulation and animation.

The first film, who applied the compositing technique with the computer in 1989 was "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade". Nowadays VFX are an integral part of film and video as well as gaming productions.

Visual Effects