In recent years Special Effects have taken a turn for the better. When simply looking at special effects advancements over the last 10 years they have improved significantly. Through clearer images with green screens to the ability to turn a blue pillow into a full sized living tiger. Special effects add an element to film that would likely change everything if it disappeared.
One of the best showings of cgi in the early 2000’s is “Lord of the Rings.” They created vast environment and tremendous castles with their use of special effects. But one of the most amazing uses was in the character of Golem. They used Andy Serkis’ performance as gollum and turned him into a completely CGI character using motion capture. “Lord of the Rings was one of the first films to heavily use motion capture. This led to even more films using the same technique. An example being the “Pirates of the Caribbean” film with Davy Jones. They put Bill Nighy in a motion capture suit where they turned a normal human being into an underwater creature with octopus tentacles as a beard.
Gollum made another appearance in the “Hobbit: An Unexpected Adventure.” And when you look at the two next to each other you can see a clear difference and improvement in special effects from his first appearance, just ten years earlier.
Visual Effects have improved significantly since the beginning. The invention of computers helps significantly. Today, many films are filmed in studio on a green screen stage. Leaving it up to the artists to actually bring the story to life.