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SFX-VFX Con­sult­ing

As with any new tech­nol­o­gy, with dig­i­tal VFX it was ini­tial­ly attempt­ed to out­source as much as pos­si­ble to post-pro­duc­tion; for man­i­fold rea­sons. Small pro­duc­tions could sud­den­ly afford price­less effects, direc­tors were able to find com­plete­ly new ways in scenog­ra­phy, dan­ger­ous scenes were avoid­ed and bud­gets were saved — supposedly.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the visu­al impres­sion often suf­fered from this and left the view­ers with a dis­tanced, arti­fi­cial feel­ing instead of cap­ti­vat­ing them at this point. The sub­tle ran­dom­ness of prac­ti­cal effects and their phys­i­cal para­me­ters can be rough­ly sim­u­lat­ed, but only by a team of VERY expe­ri­enced VFX artists.

Which brings us to costs; for a small explo­sion with fly­ing debris, one of our tech­ni­cians needs a day and the result is a real explo­sion. For the dig­i­tal ver­sion, at least part of the room is mod­eled, tex­tured and illu­mi­nat­ed. Then the tra­jec­to­ries of the debris are cal­cu­lat­ed and adjust­ed. This is fol­lowed by ren­der­ing, col­or grad­ing and com­posit­ing — at a guar­an­teed 3‑fold cost.

Also not to be under­es­ti­mat­ed is the effect on the act­ing per­for­mance of your actors. “When I say ‘BANG’ you’re pre­tend­ing…” — and then ten takes fol­lowed. Such prac­ti­cal effects are rarely repeat­ed more than once or twice, because the desired reac­tion and emo­tion is gra­tu­itous — so to speak.

But we shall no demonise dig­i­tal effects here, we just would like to keep you from get­ting worse results for more mon­ey. We’ll be hap­py to tell you where prac­ti­cal effects are use­ful and where they can’t be used, where you can avoid dan­gers for actors and we also advise your VFX artists to make dig­i­tal scenes with real ele­ments more realistic.

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