Do videos have lens distortion and chromatic abberation effects?

Like a photo does.

Is there any special effect a video has other than say motion blur?

Depends on the video- there are videos with and videos without. Usually depends on the director’s vision, as it’s a stylistic choice

im talking about phone cameras or go pros.

In case of mobile devices and cameras with smaller sensors most likely heavy postprocessing.


Real (unprocessed) cameras do have lens distortion or chromatic abberation depending on the quality of the (real) lenses… (up to thousends of $). IDK if there is any measurement unit for this and which brand gives info about this…

Lenses for photo and movies works the same way, therefore they have the same issues.
So yes, chromatic aberration , vignetting , grain, lens distortion, flares are common to both.

Most of them are defect of cameras and tends to be avoided or removed in photography or movies.
In CG we add them, sometime too much, to get a more realistic feel. They can also become a kind of a stylistic thing like chromatic aberration which is sometime over abused even tho it looks cool.

You probably won’t see any chromatic aberration in a movie because it’s a defect of camera and it’s avoided or removed. But you’ll probably see a bit of it in many high quality 3D renders :smiley:

You can add them for sure, it’s interesting to learn more about these effects and when and why they append in real life, so you’ll have a better idea of when to use them or not .

1 Like

I like to capture real footage and then add rendered elements there. Then try to match render with video.

It is today very common practice to hide poor quality SFX/VFX using a lot of post processing. Actually SFX/VFX seems to be often lower quality in new movies than old movies. I like often to watch older movies where SFX/VFX is more carefully crafted than today. They used computers to create illusion of reality, if that was best possible tool for job. Now it seems that computers are used to reduce costs.

1 Like

Sadly sometimes VFX aren’t adding things to do a more convincing scene setup but to… well just add some cool FX… which doesn’t add anything to the story… ups sometimes there isn’t even a story… or a grat story evolved in dozens of books is compressed into a streaming series…

Super interesting exercise !

About the rest, well there is a lot to debate here. Money is always a factor in choosing how you’ll do something. Unless you have enough money to choose a less efficient approach but with more artistic value. It’s quite rare to have that luxury.

I think we may see more poor quality VFX just because it democratized a lot. We probably have in our home computer enough power to compete with a VFX studio in the 2000. But not everyone as the talent
and knowledge of pioneers in VFX.

It’s similar to what we had years ago but because computers where not an option you’ll have poor practical VFX in some cheap show.

I think now we made a giant leap in quality in VFX, many films or series are filled with seamless effects to a point you don’t care much about them but are more interested in the story.

This is especially difficult now because quality of media support as improved a lot.
Poor VFX in a VHS tape will work well because artifacts will help a lot to smudge the FX and film together. Nowaday image is much more clean and therefore much less forgiving.

1 Like

And the funny thing is: What is added first if you insert CGI into video ? Blur and grain and smoke/dust particles… :rofl:



Back in 2000, they probably buy as much as possible CPU power with gigabyte ram and distribute frames to them. Any GPU can render that in Eevee about instantly. Fluid and smoke sims where back then very difficult.

Path tracing is different story. As far as I know, they got something like 600-700 teraflops to render Avatar that was released 2009. Two GeForce RTX 3090 Ti has 159.9 teraflops, so GPU accelerated powerful desktop in path tracing is likely equal that large VFX studio servers back in 2006.

I believe that reason is that cheapest VFX wins, money is spent to marketing, everything is outsourced to other side of world and VFX is done without real reference.

So if you do things like they in year 2000, you shoot real footage, take real footage as reference (shooting materials you like to model in same light), and you use right tool for the right job. Like using scale models where it works better.

Nowadays single artist can actually do better job what we see in movies today, if he/she just craft effect carefully. He is easily competing then against other artist that need to do same thing fast as possible.

It may be harder to compete against effect quality they got older movies where they spend money to effects and not marketing.

Old movies can look better when they are transferred from film to Bluray. They did good job with, and without CGI:

Thanks for these informations and POV !

I tend to disagree with you about VFX quality, even if I’m quite found of old movies.
If you compare a blockbuster movie with ILM VFX from old time to nowadays, their VFX quality is much better now in general.

We can argue about if the film is interesting or not, ideas may not be good, but when it comes to VFX I think it’s hard to compete with what we have nowadays.
Take series like GOT, Lost in space, the expanse , which are getting film like VFX, and compare it to what we had back in the days, like battle star galactica, stargate…

But yeah, nowadays we also have cheap VFX, you can compare them with cheap VFX from earlier…

But yes, when people where working on Jurassic Park there was nothing similar and they put a great deal of energy and passion to make something that still stand today.
Nowadays having dinosaurs in a movie is a kind of a mundane thing and every attempt is not always as successful as it could be. But it’s unfair to say that we are regressing, it’s just that because we are progressing that much, that now we can also have cheap stuff alongside cool things.
That’s also because we start to focus on achieving similar results but at a lower cost, like using unreal instead of a path tracer.

Yes, ILM have people that can do good job. Final movie can be still look like crap, like Jurassic World - Fallen kingdom. I really think first Jurassic Park is more immersive. Main reason is likely that first one was directed by Spielberg. He did it just like in Jaws. He doesn’t show the monster every shot and left a lot for our imagination, framing was better, characters interacted environment and movie was not ruined by color grading.

I assume that these were not decision by ILM. They were probably happy to get more VFX shots to work.

I don’t mind that things are cheaper to do :slight_smile: What matters is how carefully effect is crafted. I know that good effects can be done without path tracer or even without CGI. In my opinion, humans are most sensitive to motion flow. That’s why focus should be in physics, motion capture, and generally how things move in camera and I mean every movement. Not only some character in screen but also all shadows, reflections, camera movement, leafs in trees when there is wind.

And to sell effect to viewer, it usually need some closeup shot where characer hit his face in mud, snow, water and so on.

Very often we see when there is camera plate and some CGI composite that just float there and no immersion. In first Jurassic Park dinosaur sneezed to face of character, blow the hat off, character put hand in dinosaur poo and so on. Effect was sold much better.

Yeah I understand what you mean,
Of course a good director will help VFX by using narrative tricks to support the effects.
VFX can’t fake a story, if there is poor story or visual storytelling then of course everything seems cheap.

It’s like actors, a good actor will look cheaper when working with a poor director. And a good director may manage to get the most of a not so talented actor.

But it’s not a “back in the day it was better” thing IMO. We just have more blockbusters, and much more movies and series than before. Some actors , directors, dop, vfx artists are very good.

But since the beginning of cinema you might find poor actors, directors, dop, and vfx artists.
Because there was less movies made, there was less place for them to express but they did exist.
And being born in the 80, maybe just like you, I can assure you that since then there was a ton of crappy stuff in which there wasn’t more care put into than nowadays crappy stuff.

But there is also a great legacy of these VFX pioneers and I tend to find that in general there is a lot of level up.