Special effects in movies have advanced to the point where it's hard to tell where the live action stops and the CGI begins. In some films, it's obvious what's been created by a computer—Daenerys's dragons in Game of Thrones are clearly computer-generated, as are Davy Jones's tentacles in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006). But special effects are also used for more mundane purposes, like building a city street instead of filming on location.

The Instagram account Movies.Effects highlights just how big of a role computer animation plays in modern filmmaking. Most posts show two images: One still of the raw footage and one from the movie that audiences saw. In some cases, just one or two elements needed to be added in post production, and in others, the actor is the only component that isn't CGI. Often entire characters need to be built in a computer: In Beauty and the Beast (2017), for instance, Emma Watson acted opposite Dan Stevens in a special motion capture suit, and in The Jungle Book (2016), Neel Sethi had a fake panther head that stood in for Bagheera.

You can see the most dramatic before-and-after comparisons from film productions below.


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