Special effects is both, an art and a science: In this, science parts involves in understanding that how human begins perceive the world around us through sound and visual sensory part of body and brain.
Persistence of Vision: When related still image sequences are passed in front of human eye with a particular speed (min. 15 frames/sec.), human brain perceive that it is a single image with movement i.e. it perceive second, third images as a continuation of the first image. This phenomenon happens because nerve impulses are slow as compared to light speed.
Principle of Motion Pictures: Persistence of vision is the base for principle of motion pictures. In motion pictures, camera, lights, audio, computer generated objects (CG) and other visual media exploit this phenomenon.
What is motion: Motion of an object is the continuous displacement of the object in space with reference to another object. This phenomenon is the basic for compositing technology.
Types of special effects:
Use of Latex
Blood bags/Bullet Hits
Computer Effects: These are those effects, which are generated with the help of computer technologies. Some effects are as follows:
Blue/Green screen: In this technique, blue/green screen is used as a background in a scene. This scene will easily overlap on another scene and blue/green background will be removed with the help of compositing software’s. Blue / Green Screen is a special kind of compositing, where the mask is calculated from the foreground image.
Computer Animation: Computer generated animations are used with real footage (camera scene) with the help of compositing software. E.g. Gollum (which is totally CG character) in ‘The Lords of the Rings’.
Cartoons Frames: Here cartoon character is used with real footages (movies). Best example is ‘SpaceJam’.
Physical Models: In this technique physical model (mechanical robots) should be used to depict the character. Best example is ‘Jurassic Park’, ‘Godzilla’ etc.
Compositing: It is a technique by which one shot is super-imposed on another, resulting in a composite shot.
Morphing: Morphing is a special-effects technique that creates a smooth, controlled transformation of one image or movie into another.
Warping: Warping essentially the same as morphing, except it uses only one image or movie.
Humanized Effects: Those effects, which are generated manually. Such type of effects are as follows:
Use of Latex: Latex is a material which use to make monster out of human or simple for scars on the faces, extra eyes on monster head, it can make young people old and vice versa. Best example is movie ‘The Nutty Professor’, ‘Lord of the Rings’ etc.
Rain: In special effect (computer generated) rain, you find it difficult to wet the cloths and other surroundings of a character. So film maker use original rain, production people use a long plastic tubes with tiny holes in the bottom, and attached it with water hose and with this setup they create a rain sequence. Isn’t it interesting?
Snow: For snow, snow machines are available which help in creating snow for your shots.
Wind: For wind, production people use large fans with high speed and create good wind effects.
Fire: For those scenes, which require massive fires, production crew calls experts, which create huge fire shots with the fire machine, which easily turn on massive fire scene, but can also turned off it in a matter of pressing a button.
Blood bags/Bullet Hits: When a person hit by a bullet in movie, blood burst out from his/her body. It is achieve by a small explosive charge, which is triggered by a battery causing a blood-filled bag to burst outwards. 9V battery is used to burst a squib (Firework consisting of a tube filled with powder that burns with a fizzing noise), which has to place under the shirt of character. On a plate, a squib is place that is triggered by a 9V battery. And above this squib a blood pack with red color liquid is taped. Cable is run from the squib down the actor’s leg to a control box or nail board.
Explosion: Some times when CG (computer generated) explosion is not that much effective, and if you need realistic look than special machine i.e. Pyrotechnic machine is used to achieve this kind of effects.
Technology used to create special effects (Softwares):
Adobe After Effects
Why use special effects?
Movies would be really slow, boring & basic without special effects.
Society likes entertainment.
We can create endless possibilities and bring dreams, illusions, and fantasies to life.
Special Effects have revolutionized the way we are entertained, they have made movies almost seem so real.
The Revolution of Special Effects in movies has just begun; the best is yet to come.