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History of Special-Visual Effects in Film History The Evolution of Special and Visual Effects in Film History: Milestones

From even its earliest days, films have used visual magic ("smoke and mirrors") to produce illusions and trick effects that have startled audiences. Although the specific term "special effects" first appeared in screen credits for the silent film What Price Glory (1926), with credit given to L.B. Abbott, "special effects" have always been a part of film-making.

The earliest Visual Effects processes were produced within the camera (in-camera effects), and/or by other simple means, including in-camera simple jump-cuts or superimpositions, split-screens, models or miniatures, back or rear projection, simple mattes, and matte paintings. Optical or More Advanced Visual Effects came slightly later, using film, light, shadow, lenses and/or chemical processes to produce the film effects. Also, Physical Effects (also known as practical or mechanical) - the "real world" elements in a film, have often been used, such as makeup, animatronics, stunt work, pyrotechnics, or water/weather effects.

Nowadays, mostly since the early 1980s, Modern Computer-Generated Visual Effects or Imagery (known as CGI) has taken over visual effects work, by using special software to accomplish many of the more traditional visual effects.

See: >> History of Visual-Special Effects (from the Silent Era to the present) (Multi-Sections)

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