Is the special effects industry being taken over by computers?

This is a summary of an arts issue about the special effects industry behind the making of films and movies, and whether or not it is being taken over by computer programmes. It is about what i think about the situation, and whether or not these computer programmes could take over careers and jobs in the future.

Is the special effects industry being taken over by computers?

The issue that I have chosen to talk about is whether the special effects industry is currently being taken over by computers and computer generated images, and whether actual handmade prosthetic and special effects will be an available career option in the future. For my arts award I have chosen the topic of prosthetic and special effects makeup because I enjoy creating my own work without the help of a computer, and also being able to see the results in person. As a person that enjoys art and these aspects of a creative job, whether it will actually be available to do in the future is a big issue. I am interested in learning how to create CGI and using a computer and certain software to be able to adapt and further improve my work, and I am open to that option in the future, however I would like to be able to show actual skill in creating something. People do need a creative mind to be able to create special effects imaging, however through a computer you cannot always show true skill in your artistic and creative abilities. This problem has been created over time when computers started to be able to create imaging that can be used inside movies, this specific part of computer software has adapted very fast over the past, and whether it will further adapt even faster is the issue. For the creators and users of CGI and computer filming software this is not an issue at all, however it is only an issue for those that are choosing to adapt their education to suit a career in the special effects industry.

I do not believe that there will be a way around this problem, as whatever happens in the future people will always be working hard to improve what computers can do and what they can create. And what many people that are focused on CGI and the special effects industry are further more trying to merge creativity and art with computers. Therefore this issue cannot be avoided and it is almost inevitable that it will happen sometime in the future, it is just how fast it will happen? At this moment in time the job of a special effects makeup artist and the use of prosthetics is needed, as the computer can be used for these things however it is not really efficient for those that are working on CGI to have to also focus on the appearance of all the actors and creatures that are being shown on the screen. So using the work of special effects makeup artists help the scenes and the movie being created quicker. Also doing it in real life on the person makes the people that are on the computers not have to worry about minor faults in the actors appearance as that can be changed on set by the special effects makeup artist. So in the future, unless there is a way to make visual effects on the computers faster, then the special effects makeup artist are a good idea to create the film faster and more efficiently. The issue could be avoided if no one sees the point in creating software that creates special effects prosthetics or makeup, however it is inevitable that someone will do it and create a piece of software that can be used by artists to create makeup and prosthetics on the screen.

In conclusion I have been able to show that this will become a future problem for special effects makeup artists, however I am not sure how long it will take for this to become a problem. As I believe that it may not be as fast as I think, special effects makeup artists are largely relied upon by the director and the actor to make their makeup seem realistic, will there be a need for them in the future? I don't think so but I believe that it will take quite a while for them to reach this conclusion.


sophia kidd

sophia kidd

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  • Luke Taylor

    On 17 January 2017, 13:34 Luke Taylor Contributor commented:

    Great blog. It definitely looks like computers will take over, but I highly doubt it will go down without a fight.

  • Bhavesh Jadva

    On 17 January 2017, 14:40 Bhavesh Jadva Voice Team commented:

    This is an exceptional idea for an opinion piece and you've worked really hard to express this point in an informed way! However, I feel like you may have neglected the idea of progress for the sake of progress. People appreciate the craft of special effects make up greatly. Also, digital special effects still have a long way to go before they become 'as real life', though they are astonishingly close. An example of this is probably the most obvious example between the original Lord of the Rings and the films that came after it to use digital special effects over special effects make up: everyone saw the creatures - specifically the orcs - as far more terrifying and altogether more impactful in LOTR than they were in the The Hobbit trilogy. Another example is the reality of the creatures in Pan's Labyrinth. I feel like, as far as public opinion is concerned, audiences respond far better to make up than digital effects. Moreover, the craft is a huge part of the industry. Look at the hair/make up departments on film end credits - they're massive! Indeed, they won't go down without a fight, but I think to risk ousting the jobs of make up artists who are essentially fine artists - the oldest form of artist in the civilisation is too risky to bother furthering special effects that can be done with make up for. I do think that it is worth both sides learning the other craft though. It is interesting that you aim to delve into both. I think mutual respect between them will rise above the logistic and financial minds of the producers and director...or so I passionately hope!

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