What's the Difference
Between SFX and VFX?

SFX – Special Effects
VFX – Visual Effects

SFX are done ‘in camera,’ that is to say they actually, physically happen. If you drop a match in a can of petrol and record the resultant explosion, that’s SFX. If you build a prosthetic arm, then attach it to your actor then have it ripped off and blood spurt out, that’s SFX. So are gunshot wounds, firing blanks, stabbing people etc.

VFX are done in post-production, through the power of a computer. If you create a computer model of a spaceship and fly it across the background of your scene, that’s VFX. If you greenscreen an actor to make it look like he’s falling from a plane, that’s VFX. Now, these days, VFX is often cheaper than SFX so often explosions, spurting blood and muzzle-flashes are done as VFX.

VFX can be surprisingly simple, and through editing alone, you can often create some great shots. There’s a fun little test/illumination from the Film Riot team that you can find here (around 5:30)

Want to learn more?
Power of Visual Effects
Power of Special Effects

Casting Your Film

Learn about the casting process and the best ways to get the right actors for your production.

Tutors: Rory O'Donnell Venue: Raindance Film Centre
10 Craven Street, WC2N 5PE
Date: April 9 Duration: Single Eveninng
Time: 6:30pm - 9:30pm Price: £48

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What's the Difference Between SFX and VFX?