SFX Books

Special Effects

Books about special effects for both stage and screen. The books handle different subjects like pyrotechnics, rain, snow, fog, levitation, transformations, CGI and break-a-way gags.

Special Effects book - How they are done in Hollywood

Special Effects – How they are done in Hollywood

By Robert G. Willard

Special Effect How It Is Done In Hollywood” is a great book for anyone interested in learning about how special effects are made for Hollywood movies. It’s helpful for professionals, students, and hobbyists who want to learn about creating amazing real-time and mechanical effects for their projects.

It’s a useful resource for anyone wanting to learn more about the craft of movie magic.

The books includes many charts, diagrams and photos depicting the craft of special effects. Technical procedures are based on the author’s thirty-four years of experience on major motion pictures, as well as knowledge acquired from other masters.

Content subjects include discussions on rigging, atmospheric effects, break-a-way gags, pyrotechnics, fire, chemicals and motion picture terminology.

Create Your Own Stage Effects book by Gill Davies

Create Your Own Stage Effects

By Gill Davies

This is a great book that explains all the different aspects of stage effects.

Create Your Own Stage Effects” is part of a popular series of books that help you make your own special effects for the stage. It’s especially helpful for people who are just starting out or working on a small scale. The book covers a lot of different topics, like lighting, sound, costumes, projection, makeup, properties, pyrotechnics, and more.

It also talks about how to create different settings, like historical or futuristic ones. The book gives you step-by-step instructions and safety tips for making the effects, and it also talks about how to save money without sacrificing quality.

The book covers the history of stage effects from the beginning of theater.

It’s a good resource for students or people who are new to this field, and it’s also a helpful teaching aid.

Special Effects-The History and Technique By Richard Rickitt special effects book

Special Effects – The History and Technique

By Richard Rickitt

Ever wondered how Harry Potter flew in that quidditch game?

Ever puzzled over King Kong swatting down airplanes?

Ever tried to figure out how Spider-Man swung from building to building?

It’s all done with special effects – a combination of optical and digital effects, miniature photography and animation, pyrotechnics, animatronics, and even sound effects. Special Effects: The History and Technique offers a comprehensive history of movie magic, along with detailed technical explanations and diagrams.

Packed with over 500 photographs and profiles of industry pioneers such as George Lucas, James Cameron, and Robert Zemeckis, this book is sure to appeal to movie fans of all ages.

From A Trip to the Moon to X-Men 3, from The Lost World to War of the Worlds, and from the 1933 King Kong to the 2005 King Kong, this stunning book reveals the magic behind the special effects in a variety of films.

The book covers:

  • The History of Special Effects
  • Optical Effects
  • Models
  • Animation
  • Matte Techniques
  • Make-Up
  • Physical Effects
  • Sound

This book is very thorough and covers a wide range of special effects used in movies. It has lots of technical detail and is full of illustrations.

Secrets of Hollywood Special Effects

Secrets of Hollywood Special Effects

By Robert E. McCartly

“Secrets of Hollywood Special Effects” is the definitive guide to special effects techniques, designed for professionals, students, and anyone interested in learning about the field.

The book covers a wide range of effects, including chemical reactions, pyrotechnics, weapon effects, levitation, and weather simulations, and is written by an experienced expert in the field.

The book focuses on safety and stresses the importance of practicing and preparing before attempting any special effects.

With over 200 illustrations and diagrams, the book provides a thorough understanding of all aspects of special effects, and also includes case studies and an inside look at the production of “The Fisher King.”

If you’re interested in learning about traditional special effects techniques or want to find out how specific effects were achieved, this book is a must-have. It should be a part of your collection.

Techniques of Special Effects of Cinematography

Techniques of Special Effects of Cinematography

By Raymond Fielding

This excellent book offers a behind-the-scenes look at professional visual effects in the film industry. Special effects are used to create the illusion of larger-than-life situations and imaginary worlds, and were originally used to save money in film production. Today, special effects films are among the most popular in the industry.

A book that covers miniatures and models, matte paintings, optical printing, rear projection, and more.

Techniques of Special Effects of Cinematography is not only a valuable resource for learning about practical in-camera effects, but it also serves as a history book on the subject.


  • Camera Equipment
  • Glass-Shots
  • Mirror-Shots
  • In-The-Camera matte shots
  • Bi-pack contact matte printing
  • Optical Printing
  • Traveling Mattes
  • Aerial-Image printing
  • Rear Projection
  • Front Projection
  • Miniatures
  • Electronic and Computer Systems

Creating Special Effects for TV and Video

Creating Special Effects for TV and Video

By Bernard Wilkie

“Creating Special Effects for TV and Video” is a practical guide to the techniques used in TV production, including stop motion. This updated third edition covers a wide range of special effects in an easy-to-understand format, with clear illustrations and photographs to support the explanations.

Some subjects in the book are pyrotechnics, weather effects and atmosphere effects like smoke, mist, steam, fog, snow, wind, rain, dust, cobwebs and storms. The books also covers filming miniatures for action sequences and car crashes.

  • Combine practical advice, technical know-how and professional skills
  • Contain only the essential information you need to know
  • Act as ‘on-the-job guides’ for everyday use

Bernard Wilkie is a freelance consultant, director, and writer who spent 25 years creating special effects for BBC TV, where he rose to become the manager of one of the largest and most specialized visual effects units in the world.

An excellent resource for anyone looking to learn about special effects in television and video.

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