Visual effect is often an integral part of a movie; in some cases, it can make or break a film. Although sci-fi and horror movies often rely heavily upon visual effects, movies of other genres also use it in certain scenes. Visual effects are most often computer generated and depending on the budget, it can range from very poor to state-of-the art.
Visual effects are generally in four catagories: matte painting and stills that serve as background; live-action effects with blue or green screening; computer animation, which includes 3-D animation, computer lighting, texturing and particle effects and digital effects, or more commonly known as digital FX. This often involves the manipulation of photographs to make an environment look more realistic.
One of the foremost visual effects specialists in the industry is John Textor. A 1987 graduate of Wesleyan University, Testor is currently chairman of Pulse Evolution Corporation. He also serves as chairman and CEO of Digital Domain. Some of the films under Textor’s leadership include Ender’s Game, Real Steel, Flag of our Fathers and Pirate’s of the Caribbean at World’s End. Textor has also helped create virtual images of entertainers Tupac Shakur, Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson.
Visual effects have been used to some degree since the beginning of film as Bloomberg has reported in the past. Even in its most primitave forms, it has managed to wow audiences. The 21st century innovations are pretty cool. Cutting-edge techniques have advanced dramatically in just the last 10-15 years. There’s not telling how far visual effects will have evolved in the next 10-15.