Special thanks to everyone at Centropolis FX for all of the help and information they have provided in creating this article!
Almost any Hollywood movie that you see today uses visual effects -- from the ships in "Star Wars" to the monsters in "Godzilla," visual effects make the imaginary look completely real! Visual effects help enhance the look of a movie or create scenery and situations that cannot (or do not) exist in real life. The visual effects are obvious in any science fiction film -- of course the scenes of spaceships battling one another in far-off galaxies are not real. The only way to create these scenes is through an amazing set of tools and technologies that let imaginary places look totally real.

What's surprising is that almost every Hollywood movie produced today contains visual effects of some sort. Even a movie like "The Patriot," which depicts events that took place during the American Revolution, contains a surprising array of visual effects that add depth and richness to the film.

The Patriot contains an incredible range of visual effects
created by the team at Centropolis FX. You can
click here to learn more about the movie.

In this edition of How Stuff Works, we will go behind the scenes and visit Centropolis FX (CFX), the company responsible for the visual effects used in "The Patriot" and many other movies (including "Independence Day," "Godzilla," "Contact" and "Flubber," among others). We will look at how a movie like "The Patriot" uses visual effects to completely transform the landscape, as well as to create virtual armies and completely imaginary places. You will find that it takes an amazing array of technology, as well as talent on the part of the artists, technicians and managers at CFX, to create the incredible movies that look so real on the big screen!