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Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Difference between Special FX and Visual FX



Is there a difference between Special FX and Visual FX? I've come to understand that SFX is all the physical on-set stuff that the actors can actually see or wear or interact with like makeup or animatronics. And that VFX is all the CGI stuff thats added in after filming. But I've noticed some people call both Special FX, are they misunderstanding or it it commonly used for both?

Masters of FX: Behind the Scenes with Geniuses of Visual and Special Effects

Masters of FX: Behind the Scenes with Geniuses of Visual and Special Effects

My understanding is that today Special Effects is what is done on set, ie practical effects such as making a car fall apart on set, or a wall being blown up.

Visual Effects is effects that are added in post production such as CGI or model work like in the original Star Wars films.

However, the older the film the less likely they are referred to as Visual Effects. Sometime older films call them Special Effects or Technical Effects or Special Photographic Effects and other similar terms. Thus where the confusion occurs.

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