Visual FX Overview

Detailed planning for the visual effects that appear in a film starts during the early stages of the pre-production process. Visual effects producers and supervisors work with the director to translate his or her vision from paper to the computer and finally to the big screen.
Many people are familiar with the terms "blue screen" or "green screen." Most have seen a weather forecaster standing in front of a map that really isn’t there; it’s actually a blank green wall used to mask in a digitized image of a map. This is an easy way to understand what a visual effects crew does on a movie set, only on a much larger scale.
The visual effects (VFX) team maps out the green or blue screen process on the set with the director, the cinematographer and the special effects crew. During post-production, the VFX team replaces the blue or green portion of the footage that was filmed against the blue or green screen with a live-action background plate or a completely digitized environment.
Other visual effects are more complex. Collaborating with the production designers and the art department, the VFX artists and animators design a new world, a world that exists solely inside the computer’s digital realm of mathematical equations.

Effects in the classic film LOST HORIZON were created by shooting a miniature set of Shangri-La.

Although New York location photos shot from every angle were used as reference, all assets in this shot were digitally created.