What is VFX and How is it Used in Film Companies?
VFX is an essential aspect of todays modern day films. It is hard to imagine film companies not adding these effects to enhance our cinema experience. I don’t know about you but I couldn’t imagine a big Hollywood film without it, especially in 2021. I will talk you through what VFX is, how it is used in films and why many of us have become big fans of it.
What is VFX and what film companies are known for it?
Industrial Light Magic is an American motion picture visual effects company that has premises across the world including Singapore, Sydney, London, Vancouver and San Francisco. This visual effect company is responsible for some pretty impressive eye-catching and realistic graphics. Projects that they have worked on include:
- Jurassic World: Domination
- Jungle Cruise
- Space Jam: A New Legacy
- Black Widow
- Aladdin 2019
- The Revenant
- Kong: Skull Island
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Different types of VFX
Computer-generated imagery – this type of VFX uses computer software such as Adobe After Effects to create animation and still visual effects used by film companies. CGI is 3D computer graphics that are used in film, TV and gaming to create characters and environments. This type of VFX is used in advertising (motion graphics) and even virtual reality which gives us that amazing immersive experience.
Here is a video on films that has used a lot of CGI. These films were created in the most basic surroundings however to you and me, it looks like everything is authentic.
Here’s what one protagonist says about film companies use of CGI:
“CGI stands for computer-generated imagery, which refers to the process of using computer technology to create or enhance visual content in film, television, video games, and other media. The process typically involves creating 3D models of characters, objects, and environments, and then using animation software to bring them to life on screen.
The basic process of creating CGI can be broken down into several steps:
- Conceptualization: The first step is to develop an idea for the visual content that will be created using CGI. This can include sketching out characters, designing environments, and determining the overall look and feel of the final product.
- Modeling: The next step is to create 3D models of the characters, objects, and environments that will be used in the final product. This is done using specialized software such as Autodesk Maya, 3DS Max, Blender, etc.
- Texturing: Once the models are created, they are “painted” with textures to give them a realistic look. This step also includes mapping out the UVs of the models, so the textures are correctly applied.
- Rigging: Characters and some objects need to be rigged, which is the process of adding a virtual skeleton to the model to make it easier to animate.
- Animation: The models are then animated using keyframe animation or motion capture data, to bring them to life on screen.
- Lighting and Rendering: The final step is to add lighting and other visual effects to the scene, and then render the final images or video. This step is done using specialized software such as V-Ray, Arnold, Redshift etc.
- Compositing: After the final images or video are rendered, they are composited together to create the final shot or scene. This step is done using software such as Adobe After Effects, Nuke, Fusion, etc.
The process can be quite complex and time-consuming, but it allows for the creation of highly realistic and detailed visual content that would not be possible to achieve through traditional animation techniques.”
One of the most famous film companies Warner Bros. Pictures has created an experience that causes the viewer to feel trapped and submerged deep in the ocean whilst being tormented by The Meg.
Compositing – this is the final step that film companies employ within the project. Compositing combines live action with visual effects. These elements are created separately however this process brings them together effortlessly to make it look as though they were created in one place. A green screen is used for filming this technique as it’s easier for compositors to edit in objects etc in post-production.
Motion capture – this type of VFX is used a lot by film companies and is all about the movement of the actor. An actor wears a motion-capture suit that has markers on various parts of the body. These markers are tracked by cameras that are then transferred onto the computer which is then generated into a 3D model using motion-capture software. Recording an actor’s facial expression is called performance capture. Markers are put on the actor’s face and tracked.
Nostairway Creative is a film and video production company in London, proudly servicing SMEs and corporations for 22 years.