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THE “GOOD” OLD DAYS: VISUAL EFFECTS BEFORE COMPUTERS

Until fairly recently, the art and craft of visual effects went by the name special photographic effects because the work was accomplished photographically on film and relied heavily on special optical cameras called optical printers. Most of the serious visual effects work took place in postproduction. Nowadays we simply call it visual effects. But even defining a visual effect is far from straightforward. For one thing, some people include visual effects in the general category of special effects, while others may refer to them as special visual effects.

Visual effects have been a part of the filmmaker’s creative toolbox almost from the first time a cinematographer cranked a handle on a ...

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