Digital methods have been integrated in motion picture production to create special effects. Special effects credits usually involve physical effects that have been created through artificial, mechanical as well as pyrotechnic methods. Special effects can be used to create explosions, snow, fire and other effects that may be required during filming (Casinghino, 2010). Digital compositing is a technique used in the film industry to combine parts of separate images to create a single image. Many techniques continue to develop in the film industry that are used to create special visual techniques especially in feature films. Matte shots, chroma key which entails blue screen and green screen technique as well as front and rear projection are some of the technological advancements in the film industry. Data analysis was carried out through self-observation as this allowed the perceiving visual information in Avatar, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and Underworld: Evolution in great detail. Self-observation was the preferred choice as it allowed room for rewinding and forwarding of the films for keener observation without any inconveniences. Information in the three feature films greatly contributed to the perception of movement, general categorization as well as layout of scenes. Data analysis through self observation provided an understanding of the large changes that occurred in most visual scenes. Self observation enabled in creation of taxonomy of special effects in feature films and related them to different techniques applied during pre- production filming as well as post-production. 4.2 Avatar Different techniques have been applied in creation of Avatar as specific fields of expertise have been applied on special tasks to develop special visual effects. Various advanced techniques have been applied into the movie, for instance, compositing, camera match- move, matte painting as well as multi- pass rendering. Avatar has a combination of 3D technology and stop motion and this ensured the movie contained massive shots of visual effects. Each single frame in the movie was developed in a stereoscopic- 3D technology which shows that two cameras were used in shooting live action scenes or creation of right and left views in creating computer generated imagery. Nuke and Ocula have been used in filming the movie to composite and make corrections that aroused in the live action stereo shoots. Ocular plug-ins for Nuke was a very valuable toolset for Avatar as it was used to combine the digital image sequences and the geometrical models to develop stunning visual effects. These toolsets can lead to the formation of various visual effects that range from the invisible to the overwhelming. Compositing entails application of various processing operations to image sequences like images generated by a computer as well live action shots to create a convincing and captivating end result in a movie. Use of toolsets in creation of the movie allowed for wide and complex inter-connections of a variety of images and geometrical operators. The toolsets allowed the images in avatar to have the Red Green Blue components as well as other useful components such as scene depth, highlights on computer generated imagery objects and motion estimation. Toolsets used in creation of avatar added to the flexibility of the effects as they made it possible for the movie to accommodate complex processes, for
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