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The Film Editing Room Handbook: How to Tame the Chaos of the Editing Room, Fourth Edition by Norman Hollyn

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9. Visual Effects

The act of making the impossible possible is one of the things that makes watching a movie so interesting. Seeing the Red Sea part or seeing spaceships hurtle through space is an experience difficult to find anywhere other than in films and television.

In the old days, creating these types of fantastic effects, as well as a host of much less spectacular ones, was a chemical process. A copy of the film negative was optically reshot to introduce the desired effect. Today, however, nearly every effect is created digitally. All visual effects, however, involve manipulating the original film image to create a new master (either film or digital) with some changes.

There are two types of visual effects—simple effects such as fades, ...

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