VFX and CGI are two terms that are often used interchangeably in the entertainment industry, but they are not the same thing. Understanding the difference between VFX and CGI can be important to understanding how movies and TV shows are made.
The Art behind Realistic-looking Environments
Visual Effects or VFX is the process of creating realistic-looking environments, characters or objects that do not exist in reality. It can be used to create a variety of effects, such as explosions, fire, smoke, and water, among others. VFX can also be used to create realistic-looking creatures, such as aliens, dragons or mythical beasts that would be impossible to create in real life. The goal of VFX is to create a realistic-looking effect that enhances the visual appeal of the film. CGI or Computer Generated Imagery, on the other hand, is the process of creating images, graphics, and animations using computer software. CGI is often used to create realistic-looking characters or objects that would be difficult or impossible to create using traditional methods. It is often used to create entire scenes or characters from scratch, as well as to enhance or add visual elements to live-action footage.
One of the key differences between VFX and CGI is the way they are used. VFX is typically used to enhance or alter real-life footage, while CGI is used to create entirely new images or scenes. For example, if a film needs to show an explosion, the filmmakers may use VFX to create the explosion on top of real footage. However, if a movie needs to show a completely imaginary creature, CGI may be used to create the creature entirely from scratch. Another difference between VFX and CGI is the way they are created. VFX typically involves a team of artists who use a combination of practical effects and digital effects to create a realistic-looking scene. For example, if a movie needs to show a character jumping off a building, the filmmakers may use a stunt double to film the initial jump, and then use VFX to make it look like the character is falling from a much higher height.
CGI, on the other hand, is created entirely using computer software. This means that the images and animations can be created without the need for any physical objects or actors. This can make CGI a more cost-effective option for filmmakers, as it eliminates the need for expensive sets, costumes, and makeup. However, while CGI can be a more cost-effective option, it can also be more time-consuming. Creating realistic-looking CGI often requires a significant amount of time and effort, as well as a team of skilled artists and animators. This means that while CGI can be a useful tool for filmmakers, it is not always the most practical option.
An Essential Tool for Film-Makers
VFX and CGI are both essential tools for filmmakers, and they are often used together to create visually stunning films. For example, a film may use VFX to enhance the practical effects used in a scene, while also using CGI to create a realistic-looking creature or environment. This combination of practical and digital effects can create a visually stunning scene that would not be possible using just one method.It is also important to note that VFX and CGI are not limited to the film industry. Both are used extensively in the gaming industry as well. In games, VFX is used to create realistic-looking environments, such as explosions or weather effects, while CGI is used to create the characters or creatures that populate those environments.
While the terms VFX and CGI are frequently used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. CGI is used to produce wholly new images or situations, whereas VFX is used to enhance or alter real-life material. VFX is a combination of actual and digital effects, whereas CGI is purely made with computer software. Both VFX and CGI have pros and downsides, and the directors eventually decide which to utilise to make the film look more lifelike and out of this world.