VFX, or visual effects, is a concept we are all familiar with in this day and age: it is the process of integrating generated or created imagery into ‘real’ or live-action footage, and is commonly used in the sphere of filmmaking to portray environments that would be dangerous, impractical, expensive or even impossible to capture on camera.
The widespread use of computers now allows for the creation of such environments digitally with a great degree of creative flexibility to produce such films as Om Shanti Om, Ra.One or Bajirao Mastani.. or, in a global context, Transformers, Avatar or Harry Potter.
Turning back in time, we find that visual effects predate the use of computer generated imagery (or CGI) or even computers by decades. In fact, the first people to use these effects in presentations and performances were – you guessed it – magicians. It’s no wonder, then, that one of the most prolific VFX studios in the world today – ILM – has the word ‘magic’ in its name!
Pinpointing an exact time for when visual effects – or special effects, as they were known back in the day – began to be used is difficult.
However, a study of film history provides some clues on how it became so popular. Optical illusions like the Pepper’s ghost were used to amaze the audiences at magic shows in the nineteenth century...Read More