Before and After Special Effects from Various Notable Scenes

Before and After Special Effects from Various Notable Scenes

Special effects are crazy and if they're overused, can be off-putting (I'm looking at your Star Wars Episodes 1-3). But used right, and special effects can make a scene and drastically reduce set budgets. Check out these before and after shots of rather notable sets that we stumbled upon, including a pair from everyone's favorite zombie show, The Walking Dead.

boat 1

boat 2

car 1

car 2

dead 1

dead 2

Genos 1

Genos 2

Hele 1

hele 2

Soccer 1

Soccer 2

walker 1

walker 2

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Tam Nguyen's picture

Mind = blown.

Zach Sutton's picture

Everything I've ever seen is a lie.

Tobias Solem's picture

It's all shared imaginations. Someone imagined this and shared it with you. We are blessed!

Isilzha's picture

Watch a TV series that was filmed in your home town and you'll never again even remotely believe that ANYTHING is what it says it is!

Alain's picture

Whenever I see a scene in which the actors don't wear green (like almost ANYscene), I smell a lie. 
But that's OK. I like to be lied to if it's for art.

Aaron Pozzer's picture

 do you see alota people wearing green in real life?  its not a very popular wardrobe color.  its not very popular/prominent in anything realy, except vegetation.  thats why its a popular keying color.

JOHNHJH's picture

it has nothing to do with that.. it´s about skin tone.

Erik Alexander Nordeng's picture

Not about that either, chroma subsampling removes too much information in the blue and red, because our eyes are more sensetive to green, and since green is the color with the most colorinformation in it after subsampling, it's perfect for keying.

Casey Hales's picture

Actually, green is magic.

Green is just used for Chrome Keying because it is the least common color to wear. Many Chroma key backdrop canvases are green on one side and blue on the other so you can flip them around for scenes that need green.

Aaron Pozzer's picture

 actually its because there is very little green in skin, so when you pull a green key there is less chance of the key getting confused and removing part of someones face.  it also just happens to be an uncommon clothing color. 

Jens Marklund's picture

Yes, from what I've heard, it's because green and blue are as far away you can go from skin tones. They didn't say "Hmm, what color is the ugliest? People will not want to wear that, so let's use it as key".

In addition to being 180 degrees out of phase with red There are actually more important reasons. Most of the luminance information is in the green channel. Since it hold most of the luminace in a video signal it is sampled at twice the rate of the Blue and Red in most professional formats. Green is uaually used in digital. In film most of the Keys ar pulled from a blue back ground since the blue layer of the emulsion holds most of the detail / resolution information 

JOHNHJH's picture

actually we are doing as much blues screen as green screens today.

George Socka's picture

except when shooting 4,4,4

Frank Clark's picture

That's hilarious.

wayne antony's picture

never thought of it

Von Wong's picture

this makes me sad :(

tawfeek barhum's picture

 you should be happy!

Stinky Eggo's picture

yeah it make me sad too....  there's no happy place :o(    its all fake!!!!  

Erik Tande's picture

These are visual effects, not special effects ;)

JOHNHJH's picture

so tell what is the difference weisenheimer....?

Mr Blah's picture

One is visual.

the other one is special.....

You're welcome. ;)

Erik Tande's picture

Special effects are effects that are created and actually filmed, like pyrotechnics, zombie makeup, squibs, etc.   Visual effects are manipulations created in post production, like matte paintings, green screen work, etc.    All of the examples shown here are visual effects, not special effects :)

-Erik Tande - VFX Artist

benestrada's picture

I dont know what to believe in anymore

Scanning's picture

Believe in nothing, life itself is an illusion.

D'Heirus Lollis's picture

The ugly betty scene blew my mind.

Take a look at this reel from 2009 and you will get a sense of how much compsositing actually went on in Ugly Betty ... and other shows ...

Philippe Dame's picture

That's totally nuts

George Socka's picture

you mean we never really landed on the moon?

Red Stallion Media's picture

These are mostly set extensions or matte paintings, not really special effects.  Unless they all ended in explosions.  :)

Melly Lee's picture


Meredith Sledge's picture

WOW!! I am constantly thinking about what things are real or green-screened and whatnot when watching movies and shows. It takes over my mind. Haha. Love it!

Ihab Mokayed's picture

W.O.W. I so wanna learn how to do this stuff!!!!!!!!!!!

Tomas Mendoza's picture

As Entertainment or Art, this is acceptable and admirable.  In news...Not at all

Nathan Hamler's picture

Wait, so they didn't shut down an entire freeway in Atlanta and stage hundreds of cars just for one shot of a man riding a horse!!?? :-(

Mike's picture

they did.  It's actually the other one that's the visual effect.  They just don't want you to know that the walking dead is real

Scanning's picture


cvguild's picture

Where is the one with the moon landing???

Richard Cave's picture

Nice to see VFX pop up here on Fstoppers, matte painting is what I do and its great when you guys dont spot our little tricks, 

David Owens's picture

I feel like I have been cheated on sooo many times now. How dare they do this to me. :) Nice find

JOHNHJH's picture

what is "famous" or "noteable"?

i only know the walking dead scene.

you could at least write from which movie the scene is....

Justin Hoffman's picture

There were actually two Walking Dead scenes. The one with the helicopter is one as well.

JOHNHJH's picture

some of the examples are really bad.

you see that it´s cheap TV series stuff.
if you look closely the shadows look wrong and the resolution seem to differ.

the rotoscoping is often done fast and in a hurry and gives it away.

you can do this kind of quality with no problem in adobe after effects .. at home today.

Bert McLendon's picture

This is no different from the old Hollywood sets made of plywood that made you think the background was an entire city, it's just different and more awesome.  =)

George Socka's picture

watch Wag the Dog

George Socka's picture

the whole stargate real that contains these shots

George Socka's picture

why do they put crosses on the bacdrops?

Tengku Jasshwa's picture

Crosses or dots are markers for tracking. If your scene has already enough object to generate a tracking data (X,Y and Z), you don't need any. Because most compositing software nowadays (Nuke, AE, Blender-yup you can track in Blender too!) are pretty good at analyzing clips and tracking it. Besides, those crosses and dots still needs to be be cleaned out (garbage matte) later manually. So not putting tracking markers and rely on object at the scene would save lil bit of time in the end - only if you plan the scene carefully with your VFX Supervisor.

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