A Look at the Pros of Practical Effects.
Practical Effects and what they are.
Practical effects are very similar to visual effects in the fact that both of their main objectives are to trick viewers into thinking what they see on screen is really what happened. The difference between the two is that visual effects happen in post while practical effects happen on set. Things like; make-up, a costume, miniatures, pyrotechnics, weather effects or even blood splatters (squibs), are examples of a practical effect.
They Build Your Scene.
Things like make-up and costumes can really help your crazy ideas along. Think if you just had an intense fight scene with 20 people and your main character is the last one standing. Your camera starts at his feet and pans up to his face, I’m willing to bet if your character looks the same as he did going into the fight, you and your viewers aren’t going to be very convinced that the fight was real. Now think of the exact same thing: a pan up from feet to head, your character’s clothes are torn and dirty, hands are bloody and red, face is swollen where he took a good cross jab and sweaty. That sounds like it is way more believable than him being spotless. With a good amount of practical effects you can help build a realistic scene.
Less Post Hassle.
Not to bring in any cons for visual effects, but when using practical effects there is less or even no post hassle. What I mean by that is simple; if you compare a blood splatter between practical and visual, you will find that doing it practically can be much easier than visually (no tracking, no rotation, no looking fake). That’s right no looking like it’s just a layer on top of your video, when using a good blood splatter practical effect it will always look like there is blood coming out of your actor, because it actually is coming out of your actor… Okay maybe not literally coming out of them, you get what I mean. With practical effects you can worry about more important things in post than adding effects that could’ve been taken care of while in the shooting process.
Who Needs Real Weather?
As some of you may know sometimes shooting videos will require you to be outside for long periods of time and if you’re from Ohio, like me, the weather never really seems to cooperate with you. Well with practical effects you can basically skip being outside completely. How do you do this you ask? Easy – FAKE WEATHER. You want to be on a beach for your shot, go get some sand, a beach towel and a lawn chair and you have yourself a nice beach setting. Need it to be snowing, go grab some white foam, shave it down, take a handful and sprinkle away, you’re walking in a winter wonderland. Need some rain in a shot but you’re experiencing a drought, water hose with a nozzle, now you’re really making it rain. Looking for some fog? Fog machine, enough said. Alright, alright I think you got the idea, faking weather isn’t too hard, so don’t get down if the weather doesn’t cooperate with you. Also don’t forget, no one wants to be outside when the temperature is in the teens…
Practical effects help build a scene, give you less hassle and can fake an entire location. As well as these things there are hundreds of solutions online for any kind of practical effect you are looking for, just like visual effects.