Visual effects are often used in the film industry as a way to create actions that would be hard to replicate in real life. An example might be a large explosion that would otherwise damage the set if set off in real life, or perhaps the dinosaurs used in Jurassic World that wouldn’t exist in our present time. Some effects can easily be replicated in real life, but are instead used because it’s cheaper to create them then to use them on the set. Visual effects have revolutionized the movie industry, and here are some of the most common types of effects used today.
Digital animation is a common use of visual effects in today’s movie industry, especially for kid movie companies such as Pixar and Disney. However, digital animation isn’t just animated cartoonish characters, but has many other uses as well. CGI, otherwise called computer generated imagery, is often used in sci-fi movies and is considered a form of digital animation. Even transitional effects used in the credits of movies are considered digital animation. Most people have worked with some form of digital animation if you’ve ever created a powerpoint or video.
Matte paintings are used for background imagery in the film industry. They make it look like there is a large scenic background, so that the world looks vast and isn’t focused on one central location. They have been used since the beginning of the film industry, but are used a bit differently today. Now, most matte paintings are digitally rendered.
Live-action effects are another common form of visual effects used in movie making. The actors are placed in front of a blue or green screen, which can then be taken out and replaced with a different background or imagery. This makes it possible to film an action on a small set, and then place the actors in front of a large scenic background.
BusinessWire writes that one of the most well known visual effects artists today is John Textor. Much of his work comes from his digital humans, recreating people such as Tupac and Michael Jackson. His current project is producing Art Story, a new movie being developed by Disney that focuses heavily on animation. Beforehand, John was CEO and Chairman for Digital Domain Productions as well as it’s parent company Digital Domain Media Group. Combined, these companies have worked on more than 80 large featured films.