Chapter 1Core Concepts

DOI: 10.4324/9781003289371-3

Special Effects or Visual Effects?

The terms “special effects” and “visual effects” are often used interchangeably in the media and even by some professionals. Historically it made sense. In the pre-digital days and before visual effects were primarily computerized, most effects work was done in-camera and on location, using miniatures, practical techniques, and various camera and optical tricks. There really wasn’t a clear line of separation between special and visual effects. But things are different today, and these two terms are used to describe two distinct and very different crafts. Special effects (SFX) are practical, real-life effects performed on the set and captured by the camera. ...

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