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Visual Effects Vienna – this is how digital illusion works in film

The first silent films already used visual effects, as “A Trip to the Moon” from 1902 proves. However, at that time the film-makers still had to be particularly creative in order to make the illusions credible.

Today visual effects are realized almost exclusively through the use of modern digital technologies and take you into a computer-designed world in which reality and illusion merge into one. Das R& the renowned film production company from Vienna also uses these effects.


    What are visual effects?

    Modern visual effects (VFX) are digitally generated effects like scenes inserted via the computer in post-production, which replace the green screen and set a scene in the required environment. In this case, these are so-called invisible effects that are invisible to you as a viewer. After all, you assume that a boat trip shown in the film actually takes place on the water.

    Optimizations of the film material and the content achieved through special techniques also belong to the category of visual effects.

    The opposite of invisible effects are visible effects. These are clearly visible in the film, serve as design and expression elements or give a fantasy figure its individual characteristics. One example is transforming cars, as seen in the movie “Transformers”.

    Visual effects are designed in such a way that they appear extremely real to the viewers and that the various actions are credible. Whether you need film recordings for your video content marketing, are planning an advertising film in Vienna or creating a special film for branded entertainment with a film production from Vienna: VFX ensure expressive results and reduce costs.

    How are visual effects created?

    Planning for the visual effects takes place in preproduction. At this point, the camera settings and lighting required for the successful implementation of the VFX are developed. This is because the cameras often record empty rooms, to which the appropriate backdrop is added later. Or actors interact with an imaginary character during the filming process, which is digitally brought to life in post production.

    All of this requires extensive and detailed planning in the pre-production phase in order to create optimal conditions for the visual effects integrated using software in advance. Only under these conditions can the team responsible for post production in Vienna realize the digital effects with a convincing effect.

    In addition to the well-known green screen, there are various other techniques that are used for visual effects.

    Visual effects for the maximum experience

    There are a number of different visual effects that are beyond the scope of this article to describe. Therefore, we are going to look at the most famous visual effects that are used in video production in Vienna.

    kid standing at a window
    Visual effects bring a giant teddy bear to life

    Animated characters wowed movie fans decades ago and still do today. In the past, animation required a plethora of “hand-drawn people or animals” and the talent of numerous draftsmen. Today this laborious work is done by special software. Animation has been uniting the real world with fantasy for a century of film history.

    An important element of the visual effects are miniatures. Entire cities are recreated in this way and appear in real size in the film. This visual effect is not just limited to that. In addition to the cities of the future, there are also vehicles and complex structures that are created in miniature in order to ultimately become the realistic element of a film. The required models are planned in detail in the storyboard. Specialized craftsmen implement the ideas.

    Matte painting describes drawn parts of various film sets. The drawings made by hand on glass or canvas were used in film very early on. If necessary, two parallel glass walls with different backgrounds were used, between which the actors moved. The camera was positioned in front of the matte painting backdrop. Today, matte painting is mainly used for rear projection and is created graphically.

    Further instruments that are used for visual effects are simulation, picture rendering and shading, texturing and the use of digital lighting models. Compositing is an important tool. This is because only through compositing is it possible to integrate the visual effects as realistically as possible.

    What does a visual effects artist do?

    Visual effects artists are experts in digital illusion. They’re just as indispensable in the news studio as they are on the Hollywood set in the United States.

    We use visual effects from animation to picture rendering to digital lighting.

    The areas of responsibility include the various animation techniques created by hand or digitally, through to the planning and implementation of various visual effects in post-production in Vienna. The visual effects artist is involved early in the preparatory phase, as the visual effects have to be planned in great detail in pre-production in order to optimize the requirements for post-production.

    Visual effects experts are often generalists in smaller film studios who are able to implement all relevant visual effects. Or they specialize in a topic and offer their skills as an agency or freelance experts to large film studios or various production companies.

    Why are visual effects so important in film production?

    The goals of visual effects are varied. An important goal is to achieve certain effects that would not be possible without this special processing, or only with great effort. As a result, visual effects offer a great deal of scope for design and expression.

    humans in a library with visual effects
    Thanks to visual effects, a radiant planet appears in the middle of a library

    At the same time, the digital realization of visual effects has a positive effect on time and costs. For example, building a medieval city would cost a lot of money. It is significantly cheaper to build only part of the backdrop and create the rest of the city digitally.

    What is the difference between special effects and visual effects?

    Special effects are filmed on location. These include, for example, special light settings or special effects implemented on site, such as explosions. The aim of special effects is to create a scene that is as realistic as possible right at the location.

    Visual effects come exclusively from digital sources and are added to the film in post-production. They are always used when the required effects or scenery during the filming could not be realized, or only with great effort.

    Visual effects increase the creative possibilities at lower costs

    Visual effects are used in all areas of film production. This applies to the shooting of video content for marketing as well as to advertising films or feature films. Especially through digitization, smaller film production companies are also given the opportunity to produce extraordinary and expressive videos and films, the content of which is convincing.

    Das R&, the film production company from Vienna, and our clients also benefit from the advantages of visual effects.

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