special effects

unusual visual and sound effects beyond the range of normal photography or recording, as simulated fires or earthquakes, explosions, thunder and lightning, miniaturized or enlarged images, or other optical or electronic distortions.
[1940-45]

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Artificial visual or mechanical effects introduced into a movie or television show.

The earliest special effects were created through special camera lenses or through tricks such as projecting a moving background behind the actors. Greater flexibility came with the development of the optical printer, which made it possible to combine separate pieces of film and replace part of an image, thus allowing for effects such as characters flying through the air. Special effects have also been created mechanically on the set through the use of devices such as wires, explosives, and puppets and by building miniature models to simulate epic scenes such as battles. The growing use of computer animation and computer-generated imagery has produced increasingly elaborate and realistic visual effects. Though each movie studio formerly had its own special-effects department, effects are now created by private companies such as George Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic, formed to provide the revolutionary effects seen in Star Wars (1977) and later movies.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • special effects — n. 1. artificial visual effects, either realistic or fantastic, used to create illusions in films 2. the art or work of creating these illusions 3. the complex mechanical devices and photographic techniques used to produce the effects …   English World dictionary

  • Special Effects —   [ speʃəl ɪ fekts, engl.] (Spezialeffekte), Filmtechnik: im Film oder im Soundtrack eines Films eingesetzte Mittel zur Darstellung und Visualisierung von in der Realität so nicht existierenden Situationen, z. B. Aktionen in gigant. Landschaften …   Universal-Lexikon

  • special effects — ► PLURAL NOUN ▪ illusions created for films and television by props, camerawork, computer graphics, etc …   English terms dictionary

  • special effects — (or F/X, SFX, SPFX, or EFX)   a broad, wide ranging term used by the film industry meaning to create fantastic visual and audio illusions that cannot be accomplished by normal means, such as travel into space. Many visual (photographic) or… …   Glossary of cinematic terms

  • Special-Effects — Spezialeffekt: kleiner Feuerball Als Spezialeffekt (englisch special effects), auch Special FX (von englisch lautmalerisch „ef–eks“) bzw. kurz SPFX oder SFX (doppeldeutig mit SFX sound effects), werden mechanische Techniken bezeichnet, um… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Special Effects — Spezialeffekt: kleiner Feuerball Als Spezialeffekt (englisch special effects), auch Special FX (von englisch lautmalerisch „ef–eks“) bzw. kurz SPFX oder SFX (doppeldeutig mit SFX sound effects), werden mechanische Techniken bezeichnet, um… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • special effects — Motion Pictures, Television. unusual visual and sound effects beyond the range of normal photography or recording, as simulated fires or earthquakes, explosions, thunder and lightning, miniaturized or enlarged images, or other optical or… …   Useful english dictionary

  • special effects — spe′cial effects′ n. pl. mot rtv unusual visual and sound effects created for motion pictures or television, as simulations of space travel, earthquakes, or supernatural phenomena • Etymology: 1940–45 …   From formal English to slang

  • special effects — noun plural Date: 1937 visual or sound effects introduced into a motion picture, video recording, or taped television production …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • special effects — /spɛʃəl əˈfɛkts/ (say speshuhl uh fekts) plural noun TV, Film, etc. effects, especially visual, of a startling or fantastic nature, produced by sophisticated techniques, as computer animation, etc …   Australian English dictionary

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