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The Contrast between Animations and Visual Effects

I am currently studying Animations and Vfx which gives me more in-depth learning of these amusing technologies, Hence elaborating this myth.

What is the differentiation between Animations and Visual Effects?

Now the ever-growing media and entertainment industry has handy tools for its development use of animations and visual effects. From emotional aspects to stunning landscapes and captivating characters from your favorite games or Pixar movies, these all things are possible causes of these two innovations. There is a common perception about Animation being a part of VFX, which is contradicting for many as they are categorized under various aspects of fine arts. Before differentiating them let's learn about them individually through examples and their implementations.

Image by: GrigoriosMoraitis

Image by: GrigoriosMoraitis


Animation is a fascinating method where the two-dimension motionless humanly sketches/paintings/drawings on transparent celluloid sheets or computer-generated characters are brought into life in the third dimension world. It is also defined as "motion graphics implemented to pictures in pursuance to create characters and motions." Today most of the characters are computer-generated imagery by visual artists. The first animator known to the man-kind was Pygmalion the sculptor of Greek and Roman myths who carved a figure of a woman so perfect that he fell for her and begged Venus to bring her to life.

It utilizes the footage and with the aid of computer software like "Autodesk Maya" to make it like a realistic scene. Example: The Tom and Jerry characters are drawings but not real cat and mouse this means we draw a character and make it move through arts and illusions. We give life to drawing in animations, the three-dimension animations are more popular than the two-dimension but are less economical. Aladin is a popular example of 2D advancements while Kung Fu Panda is the epitome of improving the 3D industry.

Nowadays, motion capture is the common technology used for developing games where a person's actions are captured by motion detection and inserted towards a certain character. These are also implemented in various movies such as Hobbit, Dawn of the planets of Apes, and much more.

Image by: CiNEMULTiC

Image by: CiNEMULTiC

Visual Effects

Visual Effects requires different techniques to create certain effects with real action footage, it involves live-action scenes shot with the camera and general imagery (images created artificially) which would have been dangerous, expensive, impracticable to capture on film. Today the VFX and CGI have been game-changer for the movie industry utilized by highest grossing movies like Avatar to Avengers: End Game and other series.

The first iteration of VFX was developed by Oscar Rejlander in 1857, he merged 30 different images into one, this was the first example of montage print. Visual effects can be classified into two different categories. Mechanical Effects: They are also called physical effects which cover everything done in filming from prosthetics to weather change. Anything that doesn't involve humans or computer graphics is physical effects. Optical Effects: They are usually created in-camera or especially in a film laboratory by technicians using different software. Generally during post-production, they are used to set different backgrounds by using green screens on the sets.

Image by: BrendanHunter

Image by: BrendanHunter


AnimationVisual Effects

1. Implementation

They are motion captures applied to pictures or sketches.

They are applied to real things/ scenes, frames and footage.

2. Softwares

Autodesk Maya, Houdini, Blender, Cinema 4D

Adobe After Effects, Apple Motion, Blackmagic Fusion

3. Job Roles

Animator, Art designer, Graphic Designer etc.

VFX artist, Matter Painter, Layout Artist etc.

4. Aspect

Animation is involved with the creation of the object in third-dimensional space..

Visual Effects have more to do with images or a series of images.

Technological Advancements

The rapid development of digitalization in the mid-'90s brought a new wave of innovation. Computer and software were used as a means to convey an old story in a new technical way different software techniques were employed in different fields of arts. The architects used different 3-D software which revolutionized the animation completely.

The future of this industry is moving strong with Virtual Reality considered to be the next big thing and the current enhancements of 3-D printers have reduced the cost of expensive props.

Image by: Дмитрий Ларичев

Image by: Дмитрий Ларичев

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