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Special Effects

Special Effects can be defined as a technology and a skill, which studies and applies the various tools to fool human audio-visual sensory system, which understand the events around us. Special effects focuses on making the unreal look similarly real, or developing a non-existing event through a systematic procedure.

Motion film and television industry have been through a lot of vigorous development stages during the past few ages. Out of these Special Effects and Visual results are to name a few. But the impact of special results in both areas is great and fantastic. They played a very crucial role in making these two entertainment mediums popular and amusing than others. The recent term, -"Virtual Reality"ќ was initially introduced in Film, when they portrayed displays and characters that happen to be impossible to exist in the real world. For example the Gorilla in the movie King Kong, and the robot transforming to a individual in the Terminator 1st part etc. They were very amusing during these movies. Normal people cannot imagine a world in which a Gorilla and a Dinosaur fighting. The first ever activity was Steven Spielberg"s Jurassic Park, in which a huge selection of Dinosaurs were made artificially and animated.

There are various arguments and principles about the special results in the motion picture and television industry. As a source for my thesis, I've studied various journals, magazines and literature. The Journal called Elastic Cinema, boosts few questions about the special effects and its software in the movie theater and tv. The recent improvements in cinema show that the industry won't slow down in conditions of special effects and virtual actuality. The amount of special results we utilization in the movie theater today is increasing everyday and becoming a lot more complex in mother nature. Whether these advancements are financially affordable? Are they heading to help the industry in a positive way? Can they still donate to the population in a great way as the way the classic films have? They are the questions elevated by the movie buffs and the movie fans. But, as the technology and the research grow bigger, their responsibility towards the contemporary society also gets bigger. After all cinema and television set can be an entertainment medium, the questions which are increased above become less relevant. Theatre"s primary purpose is to entertain its audience. They some times amuse people in various ways. Special results are considered to be the tool for creating this amusement.

The literatures that i have gone through clearly state the different levels and the development phases of Special results/Special Results (VFX/SFX). In addition they discuss the way the technology and the immediate development of Special effects changed the face of the movie theater and television. The way cinema and television programs were developed and created have been transformed by the technology and execution of SFX. SFX has actually helped them to produce the -"real"ќ effect in the movie theater. My analysis about the Special results not only investigates the origin, development and the future of special effects, but also, its execution in the industry and the software found in the development and development.

Special results have always helped the film and tv set industry to attain what they have always desired for. These were in reality the cutting edge tool for efficiency. They may have helped the filmmakers to portray the near future reality. We are able to now see what the near future supports for the Special Effects. SFX has been through strenuous development for more than 60 years now. Its background is written in fantastic scripts. SFX acts as tool to bridge today's and the near future fact in film making. SFX has evolved the films" vision of earning reality even more powerful. SFX has been successfully applied in Science-Fiction cinemas. Their range not only includes Sci-Fi videos but every areas of film development. Even the most normal and common movie or a tv set program we watch today will involve a great deal of SFX implementation. Don't assume all landscape can be taken in real and SFX comes handy in these sorts of situations.

There are two key principles in SFX. You are Visual result and the later the first is Physical Effect. Visible results are -"any aesthetic manipulation of film frames, whether completed in surveillance cameras, projectors, optical printers, aerial image printers, leading and rear display screen systems"ќ (Smith, 1986, p. 270). Alternatively Physical effects can be explained as -"mechanical results or practical results that take place on the collection during filming, such as explosions, wire tricks, bullet visits, etc. "ќ (p. 264). Aside from these there exists one more term which is very commonly found in order to point the -"cinematic-illusion-of-reality"ќ, which is -"reality effect"ќ These are created by visible effects.

The aftereffect of Visual effect on the audients differs. They actually artificially produce occurrences which can be impossible the truth is. The options are even more. The main point is that, they are very successful in convincing the audience about what they are experiencing. Special effects require more competence and skills than the physical effects like a car explosion or a teach derailment, which are actually taken in a guarded physical space. On the other hand the visual effects create something that never occurred in the genuine world, like the car bots transforming directly into automobiles, or the significant war in the movie -"Lord of the rings"ќ, which portrays greater than a million artificial military devoid of even departing an animation feel in the audients" brain.

Visual results in the early age range, for example, Superman (1978) has used an assortment of both physical and visual effects, they have used pre-filmed backgrounds with live action. However, in today"s world, visual effects will not only produce non existent illusions but also improve the real-life-scenes. They help the filmmakers to reproduce or enhance the movie or a job with more information. Including the latest version of Adobe After Effects and Adobe Top Pro feature a whole lot of goodies in it like motion tracking and 3d coating editing and enhancing etc. (www. adobe. com)

Computer images in movement film and tv is becoming more and more complex daily. -"Considering effects films over the past few years, you can say that visual effects are carrying out a kind of Moore's Regulation, doubling in quality and amount nearly every year"ќ. (Phil LoPiccolo (Editor-in-Chief), Computer Images World, January 2005, in the editorial note) What we see in the screen will become outdated in the next day when next movie turn out. A great deal of enthusiasm and skill is required to do the special results in the manner the director and the writer imagine it in their head. As Phil LoPiccolo areas, SFX is following Moore"s legislation. The complexness and techniques keep doubling every day. The movie Lord of the Bands for example, casts almost 70000 animated military in a fight in the first part. The difficulty and the amount of effects has quadrupled by the 3rd part where they portrayed nearly 225000 animated characters plus more than 1800 results featured.

Computer images and 3D imaging has become more prevalent and sophisticated and also helped the movie to become more popular. The technology and the execution of 3D imaging have revolutionized the Special results and the movie industry. Nowadays, movies with out special effects are extremely less and are considered odd. They are really fuelling system for commercial theatre. As we all know, not every world is pretty much possible to take live, even in handled environments. Special effects come handy in such cases. After the 1980s, digital imaging and special effects have started revolving around three major area, these are digital personas, digital world and digital incidents.

Technical experts in the first years had predicted that the technical advancement in the motion picture will replace the use of photographic techniques and the utilization of film eventually, but as of now, their passion seems very immature and unacceptable.

History of Special Effects

There are various solutions to create a special effect. They could be generated through animation, miniatures or matte photographs. Cartoons are a good example of animations, they can either be computer produced or shot by a stop motion camera. The -"illusions-of-reality"ќ in the first stages were produced by using paintings, miniatures, and wrong again grounds. Miniatures are being used everywhere. Whether it's a small scale production or a big scale one, they are really a very important factor of special results. In early age ranges of special effects, filmmakers used live action combined with a false qualifications or another play-back-scenery, which is performed by another rear-projector. This system is named -"rear projection"ќ. But as the age of shade film initiated, these systems demonstrated instability in conditions of the light and shadows, they were difficult to attain in the same amount. Therefore the system called -"front projection"ќ was applied, where the camera is placed in the same place as the projector is positioned.

Then came up the technique of fast and slow-moving motion. These results are achieved by adjusting the frames per second aspect of the film shot. Normally a film is shot in 24 fps, anything grater than this will decelerate the motion in the display and vice versa. We are able to clearly see these above mentioned techniques are achieved by manual operation, quite simply these are camera techniques.

Computer aided film development and special effects were invented in a later stage. The combination of both computer and the film technology has given the filmmakers the advantage of -"illusion-of-reality"ќ. They could easily change and enhance the movie by using computer technology. A new period of sci-fi movie has begun with the technology of the technology. The technology helped bring them the ability to create physically impossible situations in the big screen and in the television.

Graphics and animation can be easily created with the aid of a pc. These computer made images are then coupled with live video footage with the technique called -"Analogue Image Synthesis"ќ. Film is once scanned and exported to computer graphics, they are really then manipulated by design and action authoring software like Consequences, combustion, 3DS Max, Maya etc, also they range from more animated and non animated items in this computer produced film. After the editing and enhancing and compositing is completed, these are then exported to film again.

Another process include in the digital manipulation include -"Digital Compositing"ќ. It is used to provide the non-live objects into the film like dragons, fire etc. They uses miniatures and then record its activities and turns them into real moves in a software applications. Such innovations have fuelled the computer aided special results in movies.

George MЖЄlЖsera, a Parisian magician is recognized as the inventor of many techniques in special results until the date. Many of his techniques are still use such as action stop camera, substitution shot, dual publicity etc. He has also agreed that many of these techniques are inadvertently happened. For instance, the substitution technique has happened when he was shooting a moving mob. He ended the camera for quite a while and restarted it from the previous point. When he projected the final film, he was astonished to see that folks disappearing from the display screen. Later he used this system in many videos. This incident is recognized as the first special result ever.

During the first years, movies were only few minutes long, especially in between 1890 and 1910. They were 10 to quarter-hour long. They included simple common displays like people moving or a market place, a town centre, a place etc. Audients only wanted to see the moving pictures in those days; they were very much satisfied with the idea. Sooner movie makers started telling reviews. These tales included real individuals and film units etc. Through the First World Conflict, they started out making feature period films (90 minutes long), which is forefather of today"s film.

A movie called -"The Great Coach Robbery"ќ which came out in 1903 directed by Edwin Porter. The movie used a matte painting effect to make the train passing cast via a window. They taken the train moving in the first series and they rewind it and recast the home window matte. Everything was blacked out except the home window. When the ultimate film was projected people could start to see the train trough the windows. This effect is said to be the first ever before special result using matte.

As enough time handed down by special effects become more complex and they began creating more and more reasonable as the audients become more sophisticated. Because the 1926, the special effects were called as trick shots. Through the 1920s European Film studios have began equipping special departments for special results. Special effects had turn into a very important element of any motion picture by that time. As enough time passed by and the audients have become more superior, it experienced become extremely difficult for film makers to fool audients with the standard techniques therefore that they had to create more ideas. Then they invented the approach of the travel matte.

In the middle of the 20th century, with the invention of digital techniques and computer solutions, special effects have become more sophisticate and powerful. It has already reached a level that even the whole movie could be produced devoid of any exterior vulnerability or shooting. This era of movies includes more than a large number of special effects and shots in a single movie.

Special results have a rich and a huge background which is dated to the first 17th hundred years, where magicians have grown to be a part of the population. They used to make use of many techniques to fool the general public; they used to do optical illusions to entertain their audients. Their techniques are reported to be the bottom of special effects. One of the earliest effects is reported to be the -"summoning of the dead"ќ, where in fact the magicians used the semitransparent mattress sheets of historic visitors to project a ghostly type of motion. The gadgets which they i did so this optical illusion have grown to be very famous in the later 1970s. The first motion picture ever was made in 1985, sound have grown to be an integral part of the movie only after 32 years. Film had to visit through a lot of revolutionary changes until it come to midst of the 20th hundred years, only then special effects have found its way to the films and television set.

In 1896, Robert W. Paul has developed a commercial film projector with Thomas Edison"s Kinetoscope. He has generated Europe"s first film studio with all the current necessary gadgets like Dolly monitor and trap entrances etc and produced his first action film with few special effects in 1905.

20th hundred years has seen many of the revolutionary advancements in the special effects world. With all the computers mixed up in editing and enhancing and the manipulation a new era has started for the movies and television set. They could create nearly anything with the help of computers; allow it be a building or people, or even a sequence of actions or events. Special results have finally found its extreme heights by using computers.

Digital Technology

The computer aided building, sound editing and authoring, special effects etc have revolutionized the movement film industry in the late 1990s. Among such movies that have implemented the intensive use of computer technology ever is Forrest Gump (1994), which cast an professional whose thighs are blown off in a battle. They used the computer technology to erase his legs following the footage was shot. This movie is reported to be the first movie which has successfully combined both blue screen approach and computer design.

Role of Software in Special Effects

Software like Maya, Adobe consequences, Avid and 3DS Maximum etc have revolutionized the special effects galore in videos and television industry. They helped special results creators to produce, change and animate the 3D models and create exclusive scenes to produce the virtual certainty. Software like Consequences and Combustion Studio have helped the creators to modify and combine the photographs with the practically created views, while maya and 3DS potential stood for creating the backgrounds and small models and giving them the 3D aspect. These softwares being the commercial standard for special results and 3D authoring, there are many more tools emerging daily. As being a successor to all these visual editing and creation tools, acoustics editing and enhancing and authoring in addition has be a part of industry in addition to a area of the special effects. They may be both mixed and used alongside one another in an effective way. Now, live-shots and editing could be achieved side-by-side using adobe consequences and such tools using the new timeline feature which they provide.


As an MSc scholar, my targets are to narrate the history and the development of Special results and saying its influences, motivations and developments in different periods of its development. Also, identify the existing scenarios and anticipate the futuristic advancements and depict some of the techniques used in today"s world. The software that i mainly use to depict the techniques in this dissertation are 3DS Utmost and Adobe after effects. I take advantage of 3DS utmost for creating 3d items and giving them moves and creating the environment.


For most of the part, television set is not regarded as real, all that people could see easily fit into that tiny little box. It is a little little world everything we see and the audients imagine it. Tv sets simulate the ideas; they don't shoot real events like the motion picture. Actually they can change those to real-like occasions because the shape is really small. Being so unreal, television also will suffer from real life as well. It can be said as the mixture of both real and unreal.


The visual effects which we see today are mostly produced from a combination of both modern and traditional methods. Obtaining the right effect on the right time requires more planning and managing. Visual results people's job starts off right before the actual development of the movie or a Television set commercial. They need to plan things and images. They also discuss the possibilities and the credibility of this shot and the special impact to be used. The techniques range from reproduction of sequences to compositing multiple frames and creating smaller digital models and movement checking the machines etc. There are certain problems though, creating special results with the moving camera is not an easy activity, it is unless we use a locked off camera, but after the camera starts moving, the special effect crew will have to monitor the camera movements too, and then only they could actually recreate or manipulate the specific action or the event. Such problems and hurdles should be mentioned before the production of the film or the feature.

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