VFX AND GAMIFICATIONS: One of the most deceiving illusions


Watching movies like Avatar, Jungle book or our favorite marvel movies, ever wondered how they actually captured such breathtakingly beautiful scenes and places out of everyone’s reach? VFX is the answer, which lets our minds be enveloped by this bubble of believing everything to be real. However, it’s not and they are in practicality just wonders created by the techniques of VFX.

Let’s burst the bubble step by step by understanding VFX

Visual effects (abbreviated VFX) is the process by which imagery is created or manipulated outside the context of a live action shot in film making. Visual effects involve the integration of live-action footage (special effects) and generated imagery (digital effects) to create environments which look realistic, but would be dangerous, expensive, impractical, time consuming or impossible to capture on film. Visual effects using computer-generated imagery (CGI) have recently become accessible to the independent filmmaker with the introduction of affordable and easy-to-use animation and compositing software.

Visual effects primarily divide into two groups of:

  • Special effects: It covers any visual effects that take place in live action, eg- the stunts performed or explosions. Well, actors are no superheroes after all.
  • Digital effects: It covers the various processes by which imagery is created or manipulated with or from photographic assets. Digital Effects often involve the integration of still photography and computer-generated imagery (CGI) to create environments which look realistic but would be dangerous, costly, or impossible to capture in camera. So in case you were wondering how Baahubali scenes were captured it was done with the help of CGI.

Following are the subdivisions-

  • Matte paintings & stills: digital or traditional paintings or photographs which serve as background for 3D characters, particle effects, digital sets.
  • Motion capture (Mo-Cap): The process of recording the movements of objects and or people. Fact: In The Avengers, Mo-Cap was used which enabled the actor to play both the human and hulk versions,
  • Modeling: Creating 3D models of props or characters using specialized software.
  • Animation: Assign movements for any objects and characters in 2D or 3D. eg- The Lord of the Rings, The Walt Disney movies.
  • Compositing: Combining visual elements from different sources to create the illusion that all those elements are parts of the same scene. Live action shooting for compositing is called the chroma key or the green screen. Although most is achieved through data image manipulation.
  • FACT: Chroma keying can be done with backgrounds of any color that are uniform and distinct, but green and blue backgrounds are more commonly used because they differ most distinctly in hue from most human skin colors. No part of the subject being filmed or photographed may duplicate the color used as the backing.

Coming to gamification, remember our all time favorite show KBC. They started an innovative way to advertise their quiz show by the technique of gamification i.e. the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts. They have played along the human psych to motivate us to earn more points by playing the game and attracting us towards gift offers. This promotes the show on a massive scale.