April 22, 2007

Special Effects Books

Special Effects in Film and Television
See faces peeled off of animatronics workings. Look at gruesome prosthetic monsters sporting alien ribcages. See movie storyboards, split-screen tricks, matte painting majesty, blue screens and green screens with legless, armless clothes playing tennis. Look behind the scenes of digital manipulation, miniature models, puppetry, and even nasty open wounds seeping false blood. See step-by-step mold-making of Star Trek creatures and morphing effects. Now take a step back. How do the SFX technicians convince us of snow and ice, battle zones, explosive action, fire, crash landings, and even natural disasters? The photos are worth it and the information is splendid.

Special Effects: An Introduction to Movie Magic

What is a praxinoscope? Who were the Lumiere brothers? What had to happen before the Lord of the Rings hit the movie screen and Gollum came alive, "my preciousssssssssss"? Read the history of special effects starting with "the magic lantern." Watch the 1926 film Metropolis again to analyze the elaborate plaster cities built for sets. Would you rather operate a Gremlin puppet from the old days or sculpt an animatronics miniature? Try "forced perspective" to look 50 feet tall instead of a puny 5' 6". Blur "ghost effects," split screens, manipulate digital skeletons, and more Hollywood tricks of the trade. Lastly, go online with the list of instruction, production, and visual effects websites that is included in the back of this book.