iLecture 8


The iLecture is base on Visual Effects. In filmmaking, visual effects is the processes by which imagery is created and/or manipulated outside the context of a live action shot. Visual effects involve the integration of live-action footage and generated imagery to create environments which look realistic, but would be dangerous, expensive, impractical, or simply impossible to capture on film.Visual effects using computer generated imagery have recently become accessible to the independent filmmaker with the introduction of affordable and easy-to-use animation and compositing software.Focal Press 2010.

Digital Image Compositing – Visual Effects, Jarrad Gittos. Youtube Video, Jul 29, 2013.


I have learned that theres different ways to generate Visual Effects, For example:

  • Models-Miniature sets and models/stop motion
  • Matte paintings and stills
  • Live action effects – Keying, real explosive/smoke/glass examples.
  • Digital FX (CGI) digital replications like simulations and 3D models to mimic real life action

The most part that I was stunned by is the models and miniature, I had no idea that in some movie they use small models of buildings and environments to composite in real footages and its a great way to create realistic/dangerous effects like fire, smoke, floods or anything that can be difficult to create while filming in real footages.

Important notes: Composition effects requires mastering the matting process to blend effects into live action. Think about layering multiple elements together in After Effects. Put and effect on top (like Smoke), and you want it to appear behind and object you will need to create and alpha matte mask of the object, so you can subtract layered elements of the smoke to make it appear ‘behind’ the object. You may need to track these effects into the footages to get them to follow an object. Combination of tracking + rotoscoping mask generation will allow you to composite most effect. 

Further Research

I further explored the world of miniature & models cause i find it so inspiring. I went on youtube to find the techniques of using miniature & models and how they blend into real footages.

Make: Believe // Making Movie Miniatures with Fon Davis, Make. Youtube Video. Dec 5, 2012.

The video got me like WOOOOOW, the level of creativity implied in each miniature is crazy and just to see movies that used miniatures & models is unreal and that shows how much visual effects is improving with new technologies nowadays.


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