It may seem basic to start here, but now that I’ve defined visual effects as post effects, I’m going to blur the line. When I was young, some of the most fun I had with a camera involved playing with the new world of non-linearity afforded by the power of editing. This is something most of us take for granted now that it’s so easy, but some simple time-based effects can really go a long way–especially with the addition of sound effects.
Pairing two non-adjacent shots together in post is the most basic form of editorial trickery. A favorite of my youth: throwing a basketball in some obscurely impossible shot and editing it next to the ball going in the hoop.
Juxtaposing one person into the same shot simultaneously was another childhood favorite. With the primitive ‘matte’ or cropping features of any NLE this can be accomplished (just don’t move the camera between shots).
This whole genre seems to have seen a rebirth in the late 2010’s, but it’s nothing new. Hyperlapse and timelapse effects are subsets of this category. They do little more than create visual interest by playing with time and space.
Kids younger and more hip that Fenn doubtless have an official term for this, but what I’m talking about is the recent trend of speed ramping a moving handheld camera dynamically through a space. You see it a lot on real estate videos and all over Instagram. A lot of the trick here is the addition of dramatic sound effects.
As mentioned, none of these are particularly difficult to achieve and used with a good combination of taste and creativity they can add a lot of value.