The Pros of Visual Effects or VFX
‘Terminator Genisys.’ All images © 2015 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.
What exactly are Visual Effects/VFX?
Simply put VFX are images, videos, CGI, composites, anything that is added onto your video, while you are in post, to give it a real look. VFX’s main goal is to trick viewers into thinking that what is happening on screen is what actually happened in the original, raw footage. That is unless your goal is the complete opposite and you want to make something look fake, which can still be done with VFX. There are many Pros and Cons to VFX, just like there are many Pros and Cons to everything in this world. Let’s start with discussing the Pros to VFX:
A Saving Grace.
Let’s say you just shot this amazing gunfight scene, it took all weekend to get every shot you wanted and you are so excited to see what it looks like. Unfortunately when you are reviewing the footage you realize the blanks used in your guns aren’t showing up like you imagined. No matter how you adjust the image, they just don’t portray the right look. This is where your visual effects come in to save the day, you go to the Internet and find a beautiful stock video on your favorite website that portrays your vision perfectly. You give all the footage to your effects guy and he fixes all the gunfire, perfectly. So instead of having wasted an entire weekend, having to reschedule another weekend to re-shoot that wasted weekend (and let’s face it the shots won’t be as perfect the second time through) and finally having to figure out what went wrong in the first place. VFX just saved you from all of those things and probably a lot of sanity too!
UNLIMITED POW… Possibilities, Unlimited Possibilities is what I’m going for here.
If you put in enough time to learning how to use VFX or you have a VFX guy that has put in his time, you are no longer limited to doing boring promos and company training videos. You can make sweet sci-fi shorts that take place on a planet in the next galaxy and on top of making that cool sci-fi short, you can make those boring promos and company training videos way more entertaining!
How about we look at it in a different way if you haven’t gotten my point yet, when creating a sci-fi film or really anything cool in video you may want to make some sweet explosion or have an awesome car crash. To do so without VFX you would have to spend a lot of money to build the scene that you want and when I say a lot of money I mean it. I know you want nothing but top of the line explosions and car crashes and you just cannot get them without a big budget. Yet with VFX there are so many things you can create or could even find of someone else’s that looks better than what you originally hoped for.
Many Different Ways to Learn.
This section is pretty self-explanatory, you can learn VFX from many different sources; whether you go to school for it, learn it from a mentor or even from watching videos, heck if you just play with the programs enough you can still learn something. Although I cannot speak on personal experiences of going to school specifically for VFX related topics, I can say I have learned a great deal from the Internet and have had a few mentors on the subject. These two methods are pretty similar, due to the fact that when you are watching a video the narrator is teaching or mentoring you on problems they have solved. The difference is when you have the mentor there with you; you have better feedback and more personal help when dealing with problems that may not be covered in the video tutorials. Basically the tutorial helps you make a rough cut, while the mentor helps you fine tune the edges, which means using both of these methods together can teach you a great deal.
So VFX can save the day, create basically anything and there is an abundance of ways to learn how to make it work. This makes VFX an amazing additive to any type of film you or anyone else creates and since you can learn the ropes pretty quickly, it doesn’t hurt to give it a try.