Tell a Better & More Engaging Story
Visual Effects & Special Effects for videos help us tell a better and more engaging story.
Special effects (SFX) are illusions or tricks of the eye created to simulate the imagined events in a story or imagined world. Special effects for videos are powerful storytelling tools. As a result, they are heavily used in film, television, theatre, and the video games industries.
Well-executed VFX can be on brand, on message, and really elevate your content.
What are the benefits of using visual and special effects in a production?
Special effects for videos are more than just explosions.
Visual and special effects are versatile. They provide benefits for all types of video production including live action video, stylized video, and realistically rendered CG projects.
Consider the following ways visual and special effects can impact your video productions.
1. Generate Buzz & Showcase Your Product Before it is Complete
Animation allows you to visualize and showcase products to potential investors before making a full investment in the production of the product.
Additionally, animation allows you to visualize products in ways that would be complicated or impossible using traditional shooting techniques.
Other functional ways Animation and Visual Effects shape video productions:
- Save costs on talent & location shooting
- Insert elements into footage that can be altered/updated such as screen replacements.
2. The Wow Factor: Entertainment and Memorability
Visual & Emotional Stimulation Increase Recall of Information
Visual and special effects are one of the most effective ways to create visual and emotional stimulation in the viewer. Consider the following statistics:
- Our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text and 90% of information feeding to the brain is visual.
- This study showed that after three hours, our ability to recall spoken information 25% and our ability to recall visual and verbal information 80%.
Additional benefits of Animation and Visual Effects
- Due to childhood associations, animation is more easily digested and puts audiences at ease.
- Visual effects and animation can transform unattractive subject matter into an artistically appealing message.
3. Polish Your Video Production with Clean-up and Error Removal
The effects most people will never even notice are perhaps even more impressive than the in-your-face traditional style of VFX.
Invisible visual effects can be as subtle as fixing blemishes, or polishing a product, or as dramatic as turning day into night, or winter into spring.
Invisible effects can help you make sure your content is polished and mistake free.
4. Reinforce Brand Identity with Visual Effects
Brand recognition is reinforced when visual effects make use of color, shape and characters consistent with your brand. This helps solidify your branding messaging and tone with wider audience.
Other Ways We Use Visual Effects at The DVI Group
We often choose to highlight moments or actions in time.
Bullet time: Characterized both by its extreme transformation of time (slow enough to show normally imperceptible and unfilmable events, such as flying bullets) and space (by way of the ability of the camera angle—the audience’s point-of-view—to move around the scene at a normal speed while events are slowed).
Check out examples of this technique in these video productions:
We sometimes like to add visual interest to footage by including 3D graphic elements.
A cinematic technique that allows the insertion of computer graphics into live-action footage with correct position, scale, orientation, and motion relative to the photographed objects in the shot. The CBeyond Zoo promotional video is an example of this technique.
A painted representation of a landscape, set, or distant location that allows filmmakers to create the illusion of an environment that is nonexistent in real life or would otherwise be too expensive or impossible to build or visit.
An animation technique in which animators trace over footage, frame by frame, for use in live-action and animated movies.(Read about how we solved a visual effects problem with rotoscoping »)
We use practical effects to give a sense of space, environment, and atmosphere. Examples of our work using practical effects:
A technique for compositing two full frame images together
Example: YP Direct Promotional Video
A technique where multiple digital images of an actor are composited into one frame.
Example: TeleACK Product Video
Motion control photography:
This is a technique used in still and motion photography that enables precise control of, and optionally also allows repetition of, camera movements. It can be used to facilitate special effects photography.
Locked camera and digital compositing
History & Types of Effects: What’s the Difference?
Mechanical/Practical effects in video production (also called practicals or physical effects) are usually accomplished during the live-action filming or on set.
Practical effects are produced with physical mechanisms and without computer-generated imagery or other post production techniques.
This includes the use of mechanized props, scenery, scale models, animatronics, pyrotechnics and atmospheric effects: creating physical wind, rain, fog, snow, clouds, etc.
In some contexts, “Special Effect” is used synonymously with “Practical Effect”. This is in contrast to “Visual Effects” which are created in post-production through photographic manipulation or computer generation.
Fade Outs / Fade Ins
Some effects such as fade outs and fade ins (dissolves) used to be done in-camera. Now they have migrated into post-production and are done in editing with computer software.
In the late 1980s, digital compositing began to replace optical effects. By the mid-nineties, computer graphics had evolved to rival and surpass what was possible with optical printers, and many now consider optical printing all but obsolete.
Digital compositing is the process of digitally assembling multiple images to make a final image, typically for print, motion pictures or screen display. It is the evolution into the digital realm of optical film compositing.
Stop-motion Animation was one of the first forms of animation and one of the first special effects. Stop-motion animation began as a special effect done ‘in camera’ or through use of the camera.
Stop-motion and live-action compositing originally made use of split-screen mattes in film.
This involved creating masks on glass that isolated sections of the film from exposure, and filming twice to capture live action and the animation on the same strip of film.
VFX in Filmmaking
Visual effects are the processes by which imagery is created and/or manipulated outside the context of a live action shot. Visual effects make use of graphic design, animation, modeling, etc. using software such as After Effects, Maya, Cinema4D, and NUKE.
Generally, visual effects are separated into four main categories:
- Matte Paintings
- Live Action Effects (Keying)
- Digital Animation
- Digital Effects (Match-Moving)
Creation of visual effects often involves the integration of live-action footage and generated imagery to create environments which look realistic, but would be dangerous, expensive, impractical, or impossible to capture on film.