Special effects might be best defined as the myriad ways still and moving images are enhanced, retouched, and otherwise manipulated—commonly understood in the late 2010s through the addition of computer-generated scenery, objects, and characters. While this entry discusses early forms of visual effects production, it primarily defines special effects through their 21st-century emphasis on realism. In special effects work, realism is often used as a synonym for photorealism or the capacity for a special effect to be seen as potentially real (i.e., an organic and original part of the image). This entry provides a brief history of special effects, explains how special effects are valued as part of a moving image spectacle, and discusses critiques of special effects production in mass media industries.


The production of ...

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