… for Visual Effects

Tip #847: 5 “Old School” Effects That Still Work

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Effects don’t always need computers to be effective.

Image courtesy of MotionArray.com.

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This article first appeared in MotionArray.com. This is an excerpt.

Special effects have come a long way since the black and white films of yesteryear. Nevertheless, there’s still a handful of techniques pioneered over a century ago that are still alive and well in Hollywood today.

  1. Forced Perspective. This is an optical illusion used to make an object or a character appear larger, smaller, closer, or further away than it actually is. It’s a technique that’s been used since the days of Charlie Chaplin, all the way up until today, playing an especially pivotal role in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy.
  2. Rotoscoping. Over the last two decades, the art form has advanced to ‘interpolated rotoscoping,’ a digital process that uses computer graphics and vector keyframes to create animation instead.
  3. Dolly Zoom. The dolly zoom (a.k.a. the Vertigo effect) is an iconic cinematic technique. The vertigo effect is achieved by zooming the camera lens in, while simultaneously drawing the camera back in the opposite direction on a dolly—or vice versa.
  4. Miniature (Tilt Shift) Effect. Simply speaking, miniature effect refers to any artificial sets or models that feature in a film. With the advent of CGI, the miniature effect has slowly but surely been working its way onto the special effect endangered list in recent years. But it’s still far from extinct.
  5. Matte Painting. In a nutshell, this is where you paint part or all of a landscape you aren’t able to film because a) it doesn’t exist, or b) you don’t have the budget to create it.

Here’s the link to the full article, including links and illustrations.


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