There are many illusions that are created in television programs, movies, theater or in other aspects of the entertainment business in order to create the simulations of certain events that have been imagined and would otherwise be too hard to do physically, and these are known as Special Effects, which are often abbreviated as SPFX, SFX or sometimes just as FX.
Traditionally, these are divided into the two broad categories that are known Optical Effects and Mechanical Effects. The last few years have seen the rise of many tools that help in digital film-making and these tools are just the perfect accessories to create a distinction between the two fields of Visual Effects and Special Effects with the first one being a reference to the digital touch-ups done during post-production and the latter is a reference to the Mechanical Effects that are done on-set with the help Optical Effects that are built into the camera.
The use of the SPFX had begun in Hollywood in the early 1930s with Flying down to Rio being one of the first films to experiment with technology on a large scale and in The Thief of Bagdad; it reached its peak with the use of brand new sets of tools and other forms of technology to create the desired effects. With the passage of time, much new technological advancement has come about and these have paved the way for more and more use of Special Effects and the level of brilliance is such that it is very hard to determine the differences between the shots that are done physically and the ones that are done with the help of SPFX. Since the 1990s, CGI have come to the forefront of this movement and most movies that use some form of SPFX prefer to use that.
In the modern era, hardly any film goes by without the use of Special Effects and this has created the need for professionals who are working in this field and hence, has created employment opportunities as well. The modern films such as the ones that were released in the last two decades starting from Batman Returns, to the Pirates of the Caribbean and the Harry Potter movies to Inception, have shown how far one go with the help of imagination and in order to aid that imagination to find its way to celluloid, SPFX is an absolute necessity to say the least.