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The Evolution of Special Effects in Film: From Practical to Digital Magic

By: Anthony J Mazza

By Anthony J MazzaPublished 4 months ago 3 min read
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The movie and film industry has always been something where directors and creators can show us a new world. One of the big things that helps make this happen is special effects. Special effects have been adapting and growing throughout the years and are now so advanced everything looks natural. This blog by Anthony J Mazza will go through the evolution of special effects in movies, from just minor practical effects to significant impacts of digital and visual magic.

The Early Days of Practical Effects

Practical effects were the first type of effects to hit the movies. The effects were mainly illusions, using physical objects. These things included things such as matte paintings, stop-motion, mirrors, and miniatures. These effects would help bring creatures and different landscapes and actions to life.

A great example of practical effects is done by Ray Harryhausen, who is most known for his creatures using stop-motion in his movies “Clash of the Titans” and “Jason and the Argonauts.” These effects can be cool and fascinating and bring a fun imagination to the film, but they are also time-consuming. This is due to not having as advanced technology back in that time.

The Digital Revolution

The digital revolution was a big point for special effects in the film industry. This was the era of “Jurassic Park” in 1993 and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” in 1991. These movies had the new technology of CGI, which is computer-generated imagery. Once directors and filmmakers had this new technology, they were able to do things they were never able to do before.

As computer-generated imagery continued to improve throughout the years, this is when blockbuster movies had lots of digital effects. For example, the movie series “The Lord of the Rings” from 2001 to 2003 which used both practical and digital effects. One of the most popular characters in the movie, Gollum, was a full CGI character and became the start of the advancement.

A Blend of Practical and Digital

The perfect balance in films is having both practical and digital effects, balancing each other out. Practical effects are now mainly used to emphasize elements and stunts to try and create authenticity. Digital effects are there to enhance and expand the practical effects. Doing this perfect balance creates seamless and unique visualizations.

A great example of using this balance is the Marvel movies, which have characters such as Iron Man, whose suit was brought to life using a suit but also used CGI to bring the worlds together to create an experience like no other.

The Future of Special Effects

Things are still changing and growing regarding special effects, and there will continue to be advancement in the industry. Things like augmented reality, virtual reality, and real-time rendering are bringing a new light to the world, bringing new ideas and innovation to storytelling.

As the industry is still growing, it is showing that movie magic using special effects will continue to play a meaningful role in making a new experience for the audience. From the early days of using practical effects to creating CGI suits and characters, everything has shown how much things have grown and will continue to grow. Who knows what the movie and film industry will hold in the future, but we know it will be life-changing.

About Anthony J Mazza:

Anthony J Mazza is a creative and talented individual based in Walcott, New York. Over the years, he has held many roles and perfected many skills. He’s a resourceful business sales consultant, creative speaker, trainer, and published author. Anthony J Mazza is a creative and talented individual based in Walcott, New York. Over the years, he has held many roles and perfected many skills. He’s a resourceful business sales consultant, creative speaker, trainer, and published author. Stories have always been a part of Anthony J Mazza’s life. He began reading at a young age, which eventually led to him creating his own stories.

movie reviewtechscifi moviefuturefantasy
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About the Creator

Anthony J Mazza

Anthony J Mazza is a business expert with over fifteen years of experience and a published author. He specializes in fiction writing. Visit AnthonyJMazza.org.

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