a man holding a camera for special effects and visual effects

Movie Milestones: Special Effects vs. Visual Effects

Do you remember your most favorite film? Did the effects astound you throughout the duration of the movie? Perhaps, the movie special effects and visual effects (VFX) were so amazing that you kept asking yourself “How did they do it?” Perhaps watching movies created by top-grossing directors and respected editors swayed you to pursue learning film and video production. Today’s tech advances brought amazing improvements to the quality of films and games in our modern industries. Technology and entertainment bloomed from the digital advances responsible for the cool entertainment mean we have.

The entertainment industry offers a pool of opportunity where you can spark a career. Therefore, if you’re both artistic and tech-savvy at the same time, taking up Bachelor of Multimedia Arts is your best choice. Due to the demand for progress and innovations, a continuous need for pro artists and film enthusiasts like you matters. You can start by defining the difference between special effects and visual effects. Fortunately, CIIT Philippines, a Multimedia Arts school, shares a comprehensive write-up to help you cognize how they differ.

a camera good for taking videos and making films with special effects and visual effects

Special Effects vs. Visual Effects (VFX): How Do They Differ from Each Other?

By definition, special effects are what you physically add into a scene to achieve a set. Usually, field professionals refer to it as SFX and it’s what happens in the real setting. It requires tangible efforts to create a scene that won’t occur naturally. For example, a scene involves an explosion part where the antagonist and the lead character fights. Artists can throw a match in a small basin filled with gasoline. This creates an explosion that adds snap during the film recording.

While visual effects (VFX) on the other hand, is what pros add after the created scene. Aside from its cheaper price, which makes it more popular than the special effects, paves way for more diverse ideas to put on the big screen. To simplify, special effects (SFX) takes place during the film or movie production and the visual effects (VFX) comes right after the production and happens during the post-production stage or the editing phase.

a man taking a video

What Are the Types of Special Effects and Visual Effects?

Special Effects (SFX)

Special effects (SFX), also known as practical effects, optical special effects and mechanical special effects. Optical effects are responsible for the camera position, light angles, and other environment settings that manipulate how a scene can appear altered from the naked eyes. Mechanical effects refer to the things that we add or use to create an effect.

special effects

Visual Effects (VFX)

With the rise of digital age come Visual effects (VFX). These effects go in various forms; computer-generated images (CGI), 3D and 2D rendering, animations, stop motions, and other amazing forms, tools, and software that paves the way to modern filmmaking.

special effects


Indeed, the entertainment industry holds amazing advances to put excellent innovations across trades. Most of today’s biggest films rely on a proper combination of real-world tinkering and digital magic of special effects and visual effects. With technology and artistry, it’s time that we all learned what goes in, and results from, the amazing and tedious works of art. If you wish to pursue this career journey, CIIT Philippines can help you! Become one of our country’s entertainment field professionals and grow your career. Visit our site now!

Sources: |actionvfx.com|nutscomputergraphics.com|medium.com|digitalsynopsis.com|entertainment.howstuffworks.com|vfxvoice.com|techopedia.com|
Images: actionvfx.com | unsplash.com