Film FX History

There are numerous good resources for finding info on the history of film effects, some I will list below, …and I hope to add links over time to this site.special-effects-the-history-and-technique

One of the best resources is the book Special Effects: The History and Technique by Richard Rickitt, and some good books on the history of places like ILM and Digital Domain (look at my books area for more about them).

If you would rather check out free info there is of course a ton of info, a few samples of which follow.

vfx milestones

Tim Dirks has done a great timeline of the history of film effects from the earliest days. Entitled “Greatest Visual and Special Effects (F/X) – Milestones in Film “ check it out below.


Andy Stout did a 6 part article on the history of effects in cinema

Part 1 – From Mary Queen of Scots to Citizen Kane

Part 2 – The Model Men

Part 3 – Digital Killed The Optical Star

Part 4 – Concerning Hobbits And Other Creatures

Part 5 – Optical Effects

Part 6 – Models, Makeup, And Things That Go Bang


For another timeline of effects, check out Nova’s site (geared towards teachers)

FX Timeline



Mathew Hunt has created a good page covering the history of cinema in general.