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VFX Vs CGI: Difference Between VFX and CGI

VFX vs CGI – VFX (Visual Effects) and CGI (Computer generated imagery) both are majorly used in the entertainment industry to capture the attention of the audience and entertain them. VFX is adding extra visual effects in the live shot post the filming of the shot. The effects can be real life or digitally created. Or, in simple words, VFX means adding special effects during postproduction. CGI is primarily related to creating models of imaginary or non-existent characters or objects and then rendering their final image. As the name says, CGI is completely computer generated while in VFX you have at least one live-action shot from the real world.

VFX Vs CGI: Basic Difference Between VFX and CGI

Have a look at some of the prominent differences between VFX and CGI. 

1. Timing & Planning: 

Timings play a critical role in VFX as you need to be very precise i.e. where to add the effect. A little mismatch can entirely ruin the scene. Proper planning is required as the original shot needs to be timed perfectly to ensure that the effects are incorporated perfectly. Whereas for CGI, timings and planning are not that important because you can easily play with the elements and characters at any time. 

2. Flexibility to Change: 

When you are creating a VFX, no changes can be made to the original shot. But you can add as many VFX as you want to it. For CGI, you can change any component or aspect of the shot at any time of the production.  

3. Realistic or Creative: 

VFX is every effect you add to make the shot or video more realistic. It makes impossible look possible such as adding a background of an island while the original shot was created in a normal studio. CGI is all about creating fictional and imaginary characters that enhance the storyline. For example, the animated movies or characters such as dinosaurs are work of CGI. The focus is to push the boundaries of normal storytelling and to go creative as much as possible. 

4. Method of Creation:   

VFX are created using a specially designed advance video editor/softwares that includes integrating the digital visual effects into the original shot using processes like tracking, rotoscoping and compositing. While to create a CGI, you need specific CGI softwares where you need to follow certain steps to ensure best outcome. You need to undergo processes such as 3D models, texturing, sculping, rendering and more.  


VFX and CGI are closely related terms with different meanings. VFX is an umbrella term that includes all the visual effects created and CGI is one of the specifics of the VFX. CGI can be incorporated in the VFX and bring out some extra ordinary level of entertainment. So thats all about VFX Vs CGI.