Visual effects are all around us in movies and TV shows today. Compositing different elements together, to create a final sequence that didn’t actually exist. It’s also become a lot more common with still images, too. But it’s often given a hard time, both in stills and the movies. The usual argument against them is “I hate visual effects, they look fake”.
In this short film, compositor Roy Peker challenges that claim, and he challenges it extremely well. For me, good visual effects is like good Photoshop. If you can’t tell that anything’s been done to the original image or footage, then it’s been done well. I’m not going to spoil this one for you. You’ll just have to watch it.
So, how many did you spot? Did you spot any of them at all?
The video describes just what visual effects are extremely well, in very simple terms. And while we don’t need things like motion tracking or camera match moving in photography, a lot of the other things still apply.
As the video shows, it really doesn’t have to look fake when it’s done well. Whenever I show somebody an image, if I’m complimented on my Photoshop skills, then I know I need to work on it some more. Because if they can tell I’ve Photoshopped it or composited something, then I obviously haven’t done a very good job.
It does tend to be a lot harder to pull off with still images, though. With video, you can hide behind 24 frames per second. Things are often only shown for small amounts of time, and a lot can be hidden with a little fake motion blur. With a still image, we can scrutinise the work for as long as we want and pick out every single fault.
You’d be surprised just how much visual effects and compositing goes on that you don’t even realise you’ve seen. So, pay close attention next time you’re watching your favourite TV show.