DDA “Effects” Your Business!

I’ve been on a kick of watching older movies lately, mostly due to the fact that I have so many to choose from on Netflix’s streaming app on my Xbox. Last night it was John Carpenter’s “The Thing,” a horror movie from 1982 starring Kurt Russel. The “thing” (hah hah, pun!) that amazed me most about this movie was the incredible special effects they were able to achieve using animatronics and prosthetics. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, but let’s just say that if you’re into effects, there are a few shots in this movie that will totally blow you away.

At DDA, we create visual effects using advanced digital special effects software. But contrary to popular belief, the computer doesn’t make it all for you. Digital visual effects are, the majority of the time, even trickier than physical effects like prosthetics, because in many cases you don’t even know exactly how the effect is going to turn out until you render it. Compare that to a physical effect that you can see, manipulate and touch in real time, and you can see how it can take so long to achieve realistic looking digital effects.

That’s not to say that physical effects are easy. To do an explosion, for instance, in real time is a huge challenge. You don’t know how it’ll look, or what’s going to happen, until you press that plunger. But just like the process for setting up an amazing  action sequence with explosions and bullets flying everywhere, there is a process in 3d that visual effects animators must follow in order to get it right. You have to pay attention to every detail, and constantly be test rendering the effect, even at its earliest stage, to make sure its behaving properly. As the effect becomes more structured, you may have to make very, very small tweaks to it, and change barely noticeable details, just to ensure that it looks realistic. If you are using specialized visual effects software, you have to make sure it will import or composite correctly into your 3d or live action scene. And finally, if something is wrong in the final render or composition, you’ll have to go back and just keep on tweaking until it looks right.

From water spray effects to fire effects, from magnified bacteria and blood cells to explosions, lasers, or superheroes with the power to turn inside out; there are millions of possibilities with digital effects — and DDA’s Video Department can show you how to achieve them for your medical organization or small business!