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Practical effect: Wikis


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A location shot for the movie The Black Dahlia, showing a rainmaking rig, a sprinkler system used to create the appearance of rain on the set -- a commonly employed practical effect.

A practical special effect is one in which a prop object appears to work in a situation where it obviously could not (such as a ringing telephone on stage). No trick photography or post-production editing is involved. This type of effect is normally found in live theatre.

In film, the term practical effects is also used to denote those effects that are produced on-set, without the aid of computer generated imagery. "Special effects" is also usually considered to be equivalent to practical effects, whereas "visual effects" usually denotes those effects created in post-production through photographic printing or produced with the aid of a computer.

Many of the staples of action movies are practical effects. Gunfire, bullet wounds, rain, wind, fire and explosions can all be produced on a movie set by someone skilled in practical effects.


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