We’ve all journeyed to far-flung fictional worlds and seen creatures that never existed thanks to the magic of Hollywood movies, video games, and even ads. All of this is made possible through visual effects also called VFX. 

Dragons soaring through the sky in “Game of Thrones” and spaceships flying through space in “Star Wars” are examples of VFX.

Simply put, VFX is a method of adding visual elements to moving media that do not occur during a live-action shot. VFX software is used by filmmakers to add computer-generated imagery (CGI) and other effects.

What is VFX? A Beginner's Guide to Everything You Need to Know

What Exactly Is Visual Effects (VFX)?

Visual effects (VFX) are any special effects that are added to a film with the help of a computer. It creates or manipulates film footage to enhance visual storytelling. The art of visual storytelling requires you to be able to transform your imagination into visual effects to convey to your audience what you have in mind.

To create realistic scenes and characters, VFX often blends live-action footage with improved or manipulate images. The basic purpose of visual effects is to make something artificial look real, or at least credible.

Since the 1982 film Tron, filmmakers have used computer software to improve cinematic effects. With films like Jurassic Park and Toy Story, this technology advanced tremendously in the 1990s.

Also read: What Is VFX? All You Need To Know About Visual Effects

5 Different Types of Visual Effects

Top visual effects studios employ VFX supervisors and teams of VFX artists, each with their particular area of expertise. The majority of visual effects fall into one or more of the following categories:


CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) is a term used to describe digitally made visual effects (VFX) in media. They can be 2D or 3D but are most commonly 3D VFX.

CGI VFX is most typically employed when constructing a mythological or extinct species, such as dragons or dinosaurs.

CGI can also be used to make ageing actors appear younger. Did you know that in “Captain America: Civil War,” Robert Downey Jr. was de-aged to appear as he did in 1987?

2. Compositing 

Chroma Keying” or Compositing is the process by which VFX artists blend visual effects from several sources to make them appear to be in the same location. This involves the use of a green or blue screen, which is then changed with various objects via compositing software.

Most Marvel films used this type of visual effects. With a green screen in the background, the actors record their scenes while dressed. The green screen is removed during editing, and then computers are used to add the background, effects, and new characters.

3. Motion Capture

Mocap, or motion capture, is the process of digitally recording and transferring an actor’s actions to a computer-generated 3D model. This also includes ‘performance capture,’ which entails recording facial expressions—a common method of putting the performer in a motion-capture suit coated in markers that cameras can track.

Think of Andy Serkis’ portrayal of Gollum in “The Lord of the Rings” or Caesar in “Planet of the Apes” as motion capture VFX examples.

4. Matte Painting

In a film, a matte painting can be utilized as the background. To begin, painters will match the required background. The matte painting that they supply then creates the illusion of an environment.

During filming, matte paintings are not present. The imagery is instead incorporated into the live-action footage during compositing and post-production.

This approach has been used in films for a long time. Mary Poppins and Titanic are two iconic films that use this art form.

5. Stop Motion Animation

This animation technique has also been around for a long time. Puppets or 3D models will be used by animators and designers. They pose them in various situations and then photograph them.

Patience and attention to detail are the most important skills and tools for this special effect approach. The appearance of movement is created by piecing together the images. As a result, a video is created.

Popular stop-motion animation includes “Coraline,” “The Little Prince,” and Tim Burton’s “Corpse Bride.”

What Is the Distinction Between VFX and SFX?

Special effects and visual effects are frequently confused, although they are not the same. While there are other subcategories, special effects are frequently practical, which means they are manufactured intentionally on-site (for example, a controlled explosion in an action scene, fake rain, and prosthetic makeup).

In contrast, visual effects are developed in post-production or the editing bay. Early visual effects used film stock, whereas modern visual effects include animation, computer-generated imagery (CGI), and other post-production effects.

Also read: SFX Meaning and All You Need To Know About Special Effects

What is a Visual Effects Pipeline?

The VFX pipeline refers to the many stages of post-production in a film or television series when VFX and CGI are necessary. The pipeline assists in organizing each department so that VFX artists understand their function and production may go forward within the time constraints.

The pipeline is divided into three sections, which are as follows:

  • Pre-production is the stage before shooting begins. It is where you present your ideas, win the project, and explain your creative strategies.

  • Production is the start of shooting and VFX.

  • Post-Production is when filming is completed, and the majority of the VFX work is completed

How To Make Visual Effects?

While watching movies might provide a lot of VFX inspiration, it cannot teach you how to accomplish it. There are several classes and online resources available to help you learn how to make VFX. Some universities even offer VFX-specific degree programs.

You can either make your own VFX or get a jump start by using existing stock videos.

1. From the Scratch

To produce VFX, you’ll need some visual effects software. While the greatest software requires a fee, there is free VFX software accessible. A solid foundation in drawing, light composition, modelling, and photography can help you create better VFX.

You must record your own footage to create VFX from scratch. This is possible with a smartphone or other digital device. You must do the following:

  • Make a VFX shot list 

If you’re making a composite shot, consider each shot as a separate layer. Begin with the background and progress forward.

  • Select your locations

Where will your video or film be shot? What special considerations do you need to make because of your location? Will you require video from multiple locations?

  • Match the lighting

It will be immediately evident if the lighting in your backdrop film does not match the lighting in your VFX. Check that the lighting is consistent across all of your elements.

2. Using Existing Stock Footage

Starting with stock video will be much easier to deal with. Some stock video is prepared with visual effects in mind. This should make creating your composite footage easier, and the finished results should be cleaner.

You can skip straight to the VFX stage with stock video material. To begin, you will need to download the stock video to your editing software.

Another option for using stock material is to create your own videos and then apply stock visual effects, such as snow or explosions.

Also read: All You Need To Know About Video Production

What VFX Software Do I Need to Have?

In the industry, there are various video editing software programs. If you want to produce convincing VFX, you need software that can: 

  • read alpha channel files 

  • has blending mode capabilities

  • provides masking options.

Here are some of the most popular software for creating spectacular visual effects:

  • Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro

  • Maxon Cinema 4D

  • Autodesk Maya

  • Syntheyes

  • 3Ds Max

  • Houdini

  • Boujou

  • Mocha

  • Nuke

Create Videos with Video Effects with Superpixel

VFX are powerful narrative tools that can put your product on display like no other. If you’re wondering how visual effects for videos might help your brand’s content, here are a few advantages.

1. The Awe-Inspiring Factor

Using visual effects in your content is one of the most effective ways to capture and hold your customers’ attention. Humans are visual beings. 

Our process visuals are 60,000 times faster than words and retain 80% of visual information (as opposed to 20% of text information).

Animation is significantly more engaging than static visuals, allowing VFX-enhanced videos to stand out. You will see a significant rise in customer engagement and conversions if you create content that is both enjoyable to watch and easy to digest.

2. Save Yourself the Trouble of Prototypes

Another advantage of using visual effects in films is that you may show off your product without having to build a prototype. 

Do you have a product concept that you want to share with the world but haven’t finished the drawing and prototyping stage? A physical prototype is not required for VFX. VFX allows you to generate a realistic depiction of an unfinished product that you can exhibit to investors or customers to get their support before the launch date. 

VFX is also great for showcasing your items in ways that regular filming techniques would not allow.

3. Polished and Clean

Visual effects do not have to be overpowering. They can also be deceptive. One significant advantage of VFX is that it can be used to correct any faults or imperfections in your videos. 

Was something wrong with the first shoot? Instead of investing time and money in a reshoot, use VFX to restore and polish existing videos.

Do you need a business to handle your next professional project that offers high-quality visual FX studio services? Superpixel can assist you in elevating your marketing by creating outstanding content that highlights your goods and amazes your customers. 

We offer innovative digital content solutions such as animation, motion graphics, and interactive content. We make videos that express captivating brand stories while entertaining, informing, and inspiring viewers.

Contact us right away because we look forward to hearing about your idea!