Perspectives on visual effects: Challenges of CGI and live action integration in the Ghanaian film industry

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Visual effects are essential components of film production. The advent of new technologies has laid a strong foundation for artists to be able to create scenes which could only have been imagined. Many production houses endeavour to compliment productions by integrating live action footages with Computer-Generated Imagery. Nevertheless, in the case of local film production in Ghana, many of the visual effect audiences see on screens are not able to stimulate the intended effects. Visual effects techniques that are being employed are done amidst many setbacks. This study therefore sought to examine visual effects in the Ghanaian film industry with the intent to identify the challenges of integrating live action and CGI footages. It also sought to understand in particular the implementation of Matchmoving techniques in production workflow in the Ghanaian movie industry. Approaching the study from a qualitative perspective, it makes use of a single case study technique utilizing interviews and observation to gather subjective data. Thematic analysis was used to generate themes that help to analyse the data and to achieve the findings from the study. Major findings indicate that the industry is braved with lack of knowledge and expertise, limitations in available technology and inefficient production processes. The study is of interest to practitioners in the local film industry, educational and training institutions, policy makers and researchers. It concludes that VFX implementation in film production has had a good impact on the industry amidst the myriads of setbacks; and also recommended a full inclusion of the visual effects artists, supervisors and directors in the whole film making process.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Communication Design in the Faculty of Art, College of Art and the Built Environment in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree Master of Communication Design.
Perspectives, visual effects, Ghanaian film industry