Special Effects Technology

Special Effects gives you the secrets to how companies like Industrial Light & Magic can use blue screens and green screens to create just about anything George Lucas can imagine.

Learn More

You may not know it, but you've probably heard it hundreds of times. It's the same scream of agony that's been used over and over in films since 1977.

By Nathan Chandler

Ever since Luke Skywalker first activated his father’s lightsaber in 1977’s A New Hope, Star Wars fans have been obsessed with the sci-fi laser swords wielded by Jedi and Sith alike. Of course, there are plenty of other reasons to love Star Wars — the characters, the different alien races, the space combat — but […] The post Star Wars: Every Lightsaber Battle Ranked From Worst To Best appeared first on Goliath.

By Nick Steinberg

What could be better for a scream junkie than being fully immersed in a movie featuring a guy in a hockey mask with a big old knife — who is right behind you?

By John Donovan


Remember when 3-D glasses were made of cardboard and red and blue lenses? They've gotten a pretty major upgrade – and there is more change to come.

By Debra Ronca

You might not know to look at them, but some of film's most groundbreaking makeup jobs have relied on simple tools, like cotton and spirit gum. And they've come a long way.

By Patrick J. Kiger

If you want to watch HD movies online, you're going to need the right equipment and service. We'll walk you through your required components and show you a little math to make sure you're properly equipped for streaming cinema.

By Stephanie Crawford

Ever wonder how Spock's ears on "Star Trek" looked so real? It's the skill of a movie make-up artist. Read this article to learn more about how movie make-up artists work.

By Diane Dannenfeldt


Special effects artists are responsible for the magic you see in movies. Learn more about special effects artists in this article.

By Dave Roos

Many people remember the weird headache-inducing colors that were part of old 3-D movies. But in newer movies, 3-D loses the paper glasses and goes digital.

By Tracy V. Wilson

Monsters, monkeys and freaks oh my! Step behind the scenes and onto the back lots of Hollywood with two of the movie industry's most prolific and talented creature effects artists, Matt Rose and Chad Waters. In this exclusive interview, HowStuffWorks

By Elizabeth Nixon

All those old monster movies may not scare many of us anymore, but they certainly captivated the audiences in their time. Animatronics have brought countless monsters to life, and the technology is only getting better. Go inside the belly of the beast.

By Jeff Tyson


The film "The Perfect Storm" is one of the most ambitious projects Industrial Light & Magic has undertaken. The computer-generated effects in the film are absolutely amazing! Go behind the scenes and learn how ILM works!

By Jeff Tyson

A movie like "The Patriot" contains an amazing range of visual effects -- Centropolis FX created everything from new towns to virtual soldiers for this movie! Go behind the scenes and learn exactly how CFX makes the imaginary look completely real!

By Marshall Brain

A "Star Wars" lightsaber is a special effect that looks so real, it's easy to believe it really exists. How do the filmmakers create a lightsaber?

This effect is amazing to watch! "The Matrix" spawned both imitation and satirization of this special film technique, which was only used four times in the original film.


When an actor dangles over an incredibly deep river gorge, blue screen photography is the magic that makes it look so real to the gasping audience. Find out how the blue screen technique works and why it's so convincing on the big screen.

By Marshall Brain