Video FX – What is it?

A Brief History of Video FX

Special effects are visual illusions or tricks employed to create an impression of a fantasy world or story. Special effects (commonly referred to simply as “FX”) are most commonly utilised in theatre, videogames, film, television, and simulator industries. Special effects are commonly divided into two sub-categories, optical effects and mechanical effects.

Optical Effects

Optical effects (also known as photographic effects) are created either “in-camera”, and film frames or images are created photographically. For example, by using techniques such as multiple exposure, Schüfftan process, or mattes, an image or film reel may be enhanced, edited, or changed. Optical effects visual effects that are mostly part of the digital post-production phase of film-making. A Blue Screen in film production is an obvious utilisation of visual optical effects

A stinning optical effect created from light and colour

Mechanical Effects

Mechanical special effects refer to effects that are physical or practical in nature. These are usually utilised during live –action shooting, and may involve physical mechanised props, scale models, pyrotechnics, and animatronics. Atmospheric effects are encompassed by mechanical effects as well: wind, rain, fog, snow, etc., are all created by physical special effects.

CGI (Computer Generated Imagery)

With the rise of computer-based technology, primitive CGI was born in the 1950’s and 1960’’s out of a boom in popularity of the science fiction genre. The growing popularity of science fiction increased the need for realistic effects in film and television. Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968 was a major game-changer in the field of special effects, and the film showcased a visual extravaganza never seen before. The film’s effects were created by an in-house effects team, a first for motion pictures.

CGI Skull

CGI’s advancement and usage has grown exponentially over the years – revolutionising the film industry. The level of creative

expression and freedom CGI offers has changed almost every aspect of motion picture special effects, and it has a unique and important  role in popular fiction and art creation.