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[[quoteright:347:[[Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/t1000.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:This walking blob of mercury made us believe it would kill us in a heartbeat.]]

Admit it: When the [[Film/IndependenceDay White House got blown up and the Empire State Building got incinerated]], you wanted to turn on the news and make sure that they were still there.

When that first [[Franchise/JurassicPark T-Rex roared]] you had to fight the urge to run out of the chair.

You spent years wondering where the casting department found those [[Film/TheLordOfTheRings talking trees]]

and just what the hell kind of stuntwoman could really get her head to [[Film/TheExorcist turn a full 360 degrees]].

You really did [[Film/{{Superman}} believe a man could fly]],

and shouted "Hallelujah!" [[Film/{{Avatar}} as the cliffs floated by]].

[[Film/TheThing1982 When the alien revealed itself,]] you screamed "[[HolyShitQuotient WHAT THE]] '''[[PrecisionFStrike FUCK?!]]'''"

[[Film/ANewHope and then when that Star Destroyer flew overhead]], you wanted to ''[[RhymingList duck]]''.

This is the work of Visual Effects artists. Some should be called Visual Effects Geniuses. For some reason, most of them are called employees of Creator/IndustrialLightAndMagic or [[{{Creator/WETA}} the Weta Workshop]], but that's another story....

The unique properties of film and video allow people to contrive images of things that aren't actually there, or aren't actually happening. Some are things that are impossible, like say, [[Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay liquid metal that can mimic people and objects]]. Others happened at a time long ago, like [[Film/{{Gladiator}} ancient Roman]] Literature/{{b|enHur}}attles. Others can and do happen all the time, but are too difficult to actually film, like a [[Film/TheGeneral train derailment]] for instance.

The advent of computer technology has allowed film and television to reach a point where it seems [=ANYthing=] that can be imagined can be filmed. Surprisingly though, visual effects go back to the very beginning of filmed work. Some of the methods used are surprisingly [[BambooTechnology low-tech]], they include animation, double exposure of film, models and stop-motion. Some are so effective, they are used even today.

There are plenty examples of [[SpecialEffectFailure bad attempts]]. These are the [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome awesome moments]]; the visual effects achievements that have set the standard and helped sell tons of tickets.

When this standard applies to everything, from [[ShownTheirWork historical accuracy and technical competence]], this would be called DoingItForTheArt.

Compare it to SceneryPorn, SugarWiki/AwesomeArt, and TechnologyPorn. See also {{Demoscene}}, as those guys deal with this all the time.

* [[VisualEffectsOfAwesome/{{Film}} Film - Live Action]]
* VisualEffectsOfAwesome/VideoGames
* VisualEffectsOfAwesome/DoctorWho



* This Creator/AardmanAnimations [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZSzY6auc8g Duracell ad]]; Parkouring pink rabbits have never looked so good.
* Pretty much any commercial done by Creator/DigitalDomain, Creator/{{Framestore}}, Creator/ImageEngine, Creator/IndustrialLightAndMagic, Creator/TheMill, Creator/MovingPictureCompany, Creator/PrimeFocus or Creator/{{WETA}} will fall into this. Partially because they're also responsible for many high profile shows and films. Such as ''WalkingWithDinosaurs'', ''Series/{{Primeval}}'', ''Series/StargateSG1'', ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', the ''Film/HarryPotter'' series, ''TheTreeOfLife'', The ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' movies, ''Film/{{Avatar}}'', ''Film/{{Watchmen}}'', ''Film/{{District 9}}'' and ''Film/{{Titanic 1997}}'' among others.
** Some good examples include [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oCF-QFuoYs Godzilla Vs Charles Barkley]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnazs2t5Brg both]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1N91LyATF0 trailers]] for ''Film/TransformersFallOfCybertron'' and ANY of the 5 Gum ads.
* This ad for [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrJmiR-ke6U Romanian mineral water]].
* The Cartier ad, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaBNjTtCxd4 L'Odyesse de Cartier]].
* The ad for [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmlRK8Da6GE Absolut Greyhound]] set to Swedish House Mafia is [[IncrediblyLamePun absolutely]] amazing.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPbDW_Y72Aw This Ikea ad]][[note]]one of MPC's commercials[[/note]] utilizes very seamless editing. There are also two similar, yet unique, versions in one minute and in 30 second long formats. The best part? all three were done in under a week.
* TransformersGenerationOne managed to pull this off in their commercials' hand-drawn segments later on, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugF7cyTOuro take]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TSwBuw9WYk a]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nF4m8wtJwY look]].
* This ad for [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RD6IcFz_yOQ BMW X4]] features the car driving through several cities as the entire world ''literally rolls and undulates like waves in the ocean''. The way the earth itself waves up and down and the buildings on it swaying accordingly is nothing short of breathtaking, ''especially'' in the second-to-last scene, showing the undulating city from the air just to show how huge those rolling waves are. It even cuts to an interior shot of a building at one point, showing balls on a Pool table rolling around as the room slowly falls and tilts due to a wave rolling underneath the building, and you can just see another building moving outside the background window. That's not even getting into the dynamic shadows the shifting buildings cast, and the cars seen driving on the undulating streets. One year later, they then produced [[https://vimeo.com/145996615 this follow up advert for the BMW X1]], this time with a focus on natural landscapes, and it's just as awe-inspiring to witness them undulate and shift.
* An [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VcYgE8eNVo ad for Empire Beer]] uses CGI to turn a normal looking castle full of people into a huge and ''impressive'' bouncy castle, with its interior fluidly wobbling and bending like crazy as a party raves inside, and shows people on an upper floor balcony actually moving with it as it heavily sways with the bouncing. What makes this all the more impressive is that the advert was shot back in ''2003'', when incredible CGI effects such as this was a rarity in adverts back then.
* Marvel's 2016 Coca-Cola Super Bowl ad with ''Film/Ant-Man'' and the ''ComicBook/TheIncredibleHulk'' features stellar CGI on both heroes that's on par with anything in the MCU, including glorious [[NoFlowInCGI bouncing Coke droplets]] when Ant-Man gets the Coke open.

* Whenever a Digivolution sequence in ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'' features heavy use of CGI, the result is usually nothing short of awesome.
* ''Anime/BloodTheLastVampire'' is one of the most disturbingly realistic, ultra-fluent pieces of animation out there. At times you really don't know if it's CG, digitally animated or actually filmed material.
* ''Anime/AfroSamurai''. Both it, its compilation movie, and the video game adaptation. It has perhaps some of the most stunning, mind-bending visuals ever produced. Yes, even {{Gorn}} is beautiful here.
* Anything StudioBONES produces. Just [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rr8qaKzSPS8 watch]] the opening to ''OuranHighSchoolHostClub'' and tell me you didn't climax to all the awesome.
* The ''Anime/RebuildOfEvangelion'' series certainly qualifies. While anime and animation in general has a reputation of having really cool special effects (helped by the fact that they don't have to worry about inserting live action actors into the shot) the first ''Rebuild'' movie stands out because if it weren't for the characters' heads and a ''slight'' color change a lot of scenes and character models would be indistinguishable from RealLife.
** Bonus points to [[SinisterGeometry Ramiel]], who went from just a giant floating octohedron to a shapeshifting, incomprehensible [[EldritchAbomination horror.]]
*** The thing that '''really''' sells the portrayal of Ramiel in ''Rebuild'', though, is that while Ramiel's transformation effects are almost ''painfully'' easy to render in CGI, it's done in a way that looks photorealistic when you know for a '''fact''' that such a thing in real life would be [[AlienGeometries physically impossible]]. Result: The scene would have been '''less''' [[NightmareFuel terrifying]] if it had fallen into the UncannyValley. That's right, the visual effects are actually '''''more''''' horrifying than the darkest depths of the UncannyValley. Bravo, [[HideakiAnno Anno]]. [[SlowClap Well played]].
** Additionally for the first Rebuild movie, its UsefulNotes/BluRay release was the first test of a new video codec designed to get rid of "color-banding" (example [[http://images.pcworld.com/images/article/2011/10/color_banding_1-5227384.jpg here]]. Severe color-banding on the left, with the best elimination of it shown on the right). According to the developers of the technology, it exceeded their expectations '''ten'''fold. Even if they had '''failed''' to meet those expectations, they would still have managed to achieve impressive results.
* The original ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' itself had some spectacular-looking battles, which can be further appreciated by the fact the series was made on a ''very'' tight budget.
* '''''Anime/{{Karas}}.''''' Along with the above-mentioned ''Evangelion 1.11'', it is one of the most beautiful anime ever created.
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' certainly qualifies. Gainax is probably the only anime studio that can take a battle between two robots in space, a concept that's been used hundreds of times, and make it look so overwhelming. [[spoiler: Freaking ''galaxies'' are being thrown and blown up, the special attacks become more devastating with each move and Gurren Lagann JUST. KEEPS. GROWING.]]
** Cranked UpToEleven with the two compilation movies. Especially the second one....
* ''Anime/SummerWars''. The scene where Love Machine rises into his OneWingedAngel form is what dreams are made of
* ''Anime/FiveCentimetersPerSecond''. The SceneryPorn is overwhelming! Current poster movie for SceneryPorn.
* ''Manga/{{Akira}}'' is gorgeously animated throughout (complete with phonically-animated lips), but the best animation has to be Tetsuo's mutation. That scene definitely would not have been as effectively [[NightmareFuel horrific]] if it had been handled by lesser animators. And the film wasn't animated by ''any'' computers whatsoever.
* Similarly, the original ''Anime/GhostInTheShell'' had great animation, most notably in the beginning when Kusanagi's body is being created during the opening credits.
* ''Literature/{{Paprika}}''. In terms of both technical quality and pure visual imagination.
* The transformation sequences from 80% of MagicalGirl anime.
** The ''Anime/PrettyCure'' franchise takes this UpToEleven. The [[Anime/FutariWaPrettyCure first]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUMvFDV0rr8 one]] even features an [[StuffBlowingUp explosive]] PillarOfLight with awesome [[GivingSomeoneThePointerFinger finger pointing]] during the InTheNameOfTheMoon speeches!
* When the ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' Contest battles and appeal rounds (special mention goes to the Grand Festival) in the Diamond and Pearl series are one thing, the upgraded effects and animation in Unova have skyrocketed to coolness levels [[ReadingsAreOffTheScale off the freakin' charts]].
* ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya''. The Yuki v. Asakura battle.
* ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaTheMovieFirst''. [[PunctuatedForEmphasis Every. Single. Second. of. it.]] The Nanoha series is known for having good animation and detailed fight scenes, but TheMovie takes it to another level entirely. The animation quality is so incredible, so vast, so amazingly detailed, that it ''must'' be seen in order to be believed. It makes the animation of the [[Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha original series]] that it's retelling look several ''decades'' older than it actually is.
* Currently, ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamUnicorn'' is the single greatest example of this trope throughout the Franchise/{{Gundam}} franchise. While it is expected for an OVA series to have higher quality, the amazing detail of every fight in this is awe-inspiring.
** Not to be outdone, ''[[Anime/Gundam00AWakeningOfTheTrailblazer Gundam 00: A Wakening of the Trailblazer]]'' is also this.
** Let's not get too hasty; ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam0083StardustMemory 0083: Stardust Memory]]'' had set that [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NebR-oeZ6QE standard]] quite some time ago. To say [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oFAcpOn0As nothing]] of ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamWingEndlessWaltz Endless Waltz]]'', or even ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamThe08THMSTeam The 08th MS Team]]''. The fact is there are certain aspects of animation which hand-drawn can bring out where CGI can't, and these three are proof.
* The silver eyes and [[spoiler:Awakened Beings]] in ''Manga/{{Claymore}}''.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}} Shippuden'' really started ramping up its appearance in the Pain Arc, specifically episode 166-167. The story of Naruto's birth was portrayed in movie-quality animation, and the beginning of the Fourth Great Ninja War mixed a little ''CG'' into the awesomeness.
** Arcs which are really great for animation are the Immortal's Arc where we get ''movie quality'' animation for the final fight with the immortal duo, as well as the Hunt for Itachi arc where both Jiraiya and Itachi's final living arc with both their deaths and their final fights getting excellent animation. However, after that the people at Studio Pierrot had a change of leadership or something, since quality... dropped, even for crucial arcs like the Invasion of Pain (which was barely passable). It became joked by Naruto fans that Studio Pierrot only cares about Sasuke which gives his arcs the best animation... at least until Sasuke and Kakashi's skirmish which a ''flash animator'' did far better. The aforementioned Birth of Naruto mini-Arc did have movie quality animation, shame that Naruto vs Kurama (Kyubi) couldn't have the same treatment despite how crucial it was. [[spoiler: However, the best animation in the War Arc was episode 322, when Madara Uchiha is reincarnated as an Edo Tensei. Movie quality animation, minus a few glitches, as well as movie quality art.]] And the Final Battle between Naruto and Sasuke in Final Arc is nothing short of Magnificent.
* Basically any work where [[Creator/{{Ufotable}} Ufotable]] is involved. It's TYPE-MOON productions are probably the greatest examples as they provide the CrowningMomentOfAwesome and the CrowningMusicOfAwesome to go with the stunning visuals.
** ''LightNovel/KaraNoKyoukai'' has some amazing fight sequences, pretty much all of Shiki's battles fall under this category, with special mention going to her psychic power animation filled clash with Asagami Fujino, her high paced and dizzying battle with Araya Souren, and her knife fight against Lio Shirazumi. Even some of their non battle scenes, such as the falling snow filled epilogue were truly beautiful.
** Their next foray, ''LightNovel/FateZero,'' was even more amazing with its battle sequences, the five way, Noble Phantasm powered, clash at the docks being only the tip of the iceberg. The entirety of the dogfight sequence between a F-16 riding Berserker and a Vajra riding Archer was amazingly done, but probably the most powerful was Rider and the Ionian Hetaroi's final charge against Archer and Ea near the end of the series.
** And somehow their next Type-Moon project Anime/FateStayNightUnlimitedBladeWorks was even more amazing. Episode 3 was a masterpiece
* ''Manga/OnePiece'' on some occasions. Luffy's DynamicEntry [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fk9gUUvVGjg kick on Hody]] shows exactly what ToeiAnimation is capable of when they're not cutting corners.
* Every movie that came out of Creator/StudioGhibli. [[PunctuatedForEmphasis EVERY. SINGLE. MOVIE.]]
* The 2011 ''Anime/HunterXHunter'' by Madhouse is astounding. All one needs to do is watch [[spoiler:the fight between Gon and Hisoka in heaven's arena]] to realise that the animation is on par with most big budget anime films. Later on, Kurapika vs Uvogin gets movie level animation.
* The Fall2012Anime ''Anime/{{K}}'' was highly acclaimed overall, with much of the praise given to the extremely high quality of the art; the animation was done beautifully , the special effects are top-notch, and the combination of [[AmazingTechnicolorWorld vibrant color effects]] and SceneryPorn are so fantastically done, it's almost surreal.
* The 2013 anime adaptation of ''Manga/AttackOnTitan''. Special mention must go to the Three-Dimensional Maneuver Gear sequences, which turn the human characters into what can only be described as SpiderMan on '''steroids'''.
* The witch labyrinths in the original ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' were really fascinating and creepy and beautiful, but they took it UpToEleven and beyond for ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaTheMovieRebellion''. Almost the ''entire'' film is done in labyrinth style, and regardless of what you think of the movie itself there's no denying it's gorgeous.
* ''Captain Harlock 2013''. Many fans have watched trailers for the film and thought it was live action.
* The anime of ''Manga/DailyLifeWithMonsterGirl'' may not hold a candle to most examples listed here, but the animation quality is well above most usual harem comedy adaptations. The last episode alone has several examples like numerous art shifts, the scene of Papi's takeoff and flight and Centorea's DisneyAcidSequence.
* ''Webcomic/OnePunchMan'': The anime, particularly in the fight scenes, is praised for being downright '''gorgeous''' to look at, with many seeing it equalling (and in some instances, to some people, surpassing) Creator/{{Ufotable}} levels of quality. Making it all the more impressive, however, is that it's being done on the usual budget for an anime - it's all, aside from having some of the best animators in the industry working on the anime, the passion for the original work that these animators have for it, working their best on an average budget.
* ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'':
** The Super Saiyan God ritual. It puts the movie version ''to shame''.
** [[spoiler: Freeza blowing up the Earth, combined with the [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome music]] is a chilling combination of horrifying and breathtakingly awesome.]]
** [[spoiler: The double auras for the Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan/Kaioken combo is amazing. Instead of merging the auras to create a purple hue like many expected, the red aura of the Kaioken is stacked onto the blue godly aura of Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan, creating an effect not seen in the entire franchise. The epic Kamehameha that Goku uses on Hit while using this combination is also a sight]].
* Every Single Episode of ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure''. The manga is a long running seminal classic that has had artwork from it featured in the Louvre, so the Anime had a hell of a reputation to live up to. Part of the reason it took so long to get a proper animated adaptation off the ground was that the technology wasn't good enough to properly do justice to the colorful, campy, HotBlooded and larger-than-life series. Then along comes 2012 and a proper anime adaptation finally gets going, and the animation ois every bit as good as the series deserved. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF00xX-p28Y The Openings]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NI9Sa8LpZ3g alone]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDf61rwxi1I are masterworks]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1OpA4qeIzI from both a Technical]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iTkoXpciao and Artistic]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOaFg_iRq7c standpoint]].

[[folder:Film - Animated]]
* ''Anime/DragonBallZBattleOfGods'' take this up to 9000. The movie, visually, is flat out '''amazing''' from start to finish. The blend of CGI and top quality animation and art used throughout the movie makes ''everything'' look spectacular. Ironically, there's ''more'' detail placed in the background art and animation when fights occur. However, the standout scenes for where things get visually breathtaking is when [[spoiler: Beerus takes on Goku on Earth and then in space]]. '''EVERYTHING. LOOKS. BEAUTIFUL.'''
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfTintin''. The 2011 film. The absolutely gorgeous 2D opening sequence was incredible enough, but then you see the CGI, and it's so realistic that within a few minutes you forget you're watching a CGI, motion-captured film. Some of the effects used for different scenes were incredible, as well-in order to film a scene on a rocking boat, the actors were put on a swinging walkway. And Snowy the dog? No motion capture whatsoever. The animators thought that motion-capturing a dog wasn't realistic enough and just animated him by scratch. Special mention has to be given to the transitions between scenes, as well, especially the one between Tintin and Haddock being lost at sea to the Thom(p)sons walking down the sidewalk.
** Two scenes that ''must'' be mentioned here: the ''insane'' EpicTrackingShot ChaseScene through Bagghar, and the transition between flashback and present day while Captain Haddock is telling the story of the ''Unicorn'' while he and Tintin are in the desert. The way the ''Unicorn'' just crashes over the dunes and everything transforms into ocean has to be seen to be believed.
* ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'' was one of the first animated movies to use CGI, in the famous ballroom scene, and it has aged -very- well. The rest of the movie, especially when animating the Beast, or showing any shots of the Castle, are absolutely gorgeous and some of Disney's finest.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Brave}}'' is absolutely incredible, too. There are ''over 100,000 hairs'' rendered on Merida's head.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Coraline}}'' stretches the limits of what can be done with just stop-motion and a crapload of patience. Not counting mistakes, the average production speed is 3 seconds per day. The movie is 100 minutes long.
** Coraline's sweater? Hand-knitted by a real, live human being.
** The garden scene is CGI, right? WRONG. They made loads of flowers that lit up for the scene. A sequence that is impossibly beautiful, even by CGI standards, was made with '''[[MemeticMutation A BOX OF SCRAPS!]]'''
** The scenes where parts of the Other World disintegrated. Try telling yourself that they're from a stop-motion film.
** As an example of TropesAreNotGood, the sheer beauty of the animation made some people think that it's just a generic CGI animation.
* The "Night on Bald Mountain" sequence from ''Disney/{{Fantasia}}''. Especially when you think about the fact that it was originally made pre-computer, so it was all done by hand. In fact, ''Fantasia'' as a whole is filled with beautiful animation.
** ''Disney/{{Fantasia 2000}}'' is no slouch when it comes to amazing-looking sequences. The ''Firebird'' segment is the most prominent demonstration of this.
** The Rhapsody in Blue segment may actually be an even better example the visual effects. The animation is ridiculously smooth and yet manages to remain in sync with the very fast paced "Rhapsody in Blue", thanks to an obscene amount of frames per second. It also pushed the limit of computers, by using nearly more colors than it could display.
* Every single scene from ''Anime/FinalFantasyVIIAdventChildren''. It's debatable if the plot was good, but every single frame was a masterpiece of CG gorgeousness.
** Especially when ''Advent Children Complete'' was released. Taking advantage of Blu Ray's high definition to touch up the effects such as adding dirt stains on faces/clothes etc. It looks stunning, even moreso than the regular edition.
* There are points in watching ''WesternAnimation/FindingNemo'' when you can't tell what's computer graphics and what's real ocean.
** Here's a hint: it's all computer graphics.
** Also traits of the ocean characters in the movie were based off actual marine biology. Seriously if you research the fish, you'll find that almost all of it is accurate, minus the extra intelligence and CarnivoreConfusion, of course.
** According to the Making Of documentary, as part of the research for this movie Andrew Stanton got some real underwater footage and challenged the animators to duplicate it. When the results were screened a few days later, Stanton couldn't tell which clips were original and which were animated.
*** Pixar works with a rendering algorithm called REYES, an acronym for "Renders Everything You Ever Saw".
* ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon''. Some of the most well-animated hair and fur Dreamworks has produced (checkout the Badass beard on Stoic the Vast), as well as eyes that obviously had irises BEHIND a transparent cornea, as opposed to painted on top of a ping-pong ball shape and stuck into the sockets. Not to mention Hiccup's WET hair. Each character also moved in a unique fashion, and ZOMFG The [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu Red Death]].
** The flying scenes especially had enough details to qualify as more than just RuleOfCool [[DragonRider dragonriding]]. When Toothless wasn't being cartoony, his behavior and movements were incredibly realistic, down to his pupils widening and shrinking slightly when he blinked.
* ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'' Ditto for this movie for being some of Disney's finest animation. Any scene featuring the titular Cathedral are painstakingly copied from the original building, considered a masterpiece of architecture. The way Medieval Paris is animated makes it look big and grand, and while perhaps not as polished as Beauty and the Beast, still counts for [[SceneryPorn scenery porn]] when it's not being nothing short of epic during the climax's battle for the Cathedral.
** Much was made of ''Hunchback's'' large crowd scenes, which feature hundreds of moving people[[note]]Normally, crowds are "faked" as painted backdrops.[[/note]]. A computer program called CROWD, developed specially for "Hunchback," allowed the animators to give it that extra little bit of realism.
* The ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'' films not only have beautiful scenery, but stunning action scenes as well. Special mention goes to Tai Lung's escape from prison in the first film and the Zen Ball Master scene in the second.
** In ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda3'' the Spirit Realm is ''gorgeous''. Then comes the FinalBattle [[spoiler:with Po's AnimalBattleAura of a golden dragon flying through the Spirit Realm battling Kai.]]
** Only slightly less impressive is the Panda Village itself. The panda TrainingMontage also has a beautiful and stylized look to it.
* From ''Disney/TheLionKing'', the wildebeest stampede. Even without the emotional torque that comes with the scene, the sight of hundreds of individual wildebeest thundering over the cliff is nothing short of spectacular.
* The CGI animation in ''WesternAnimation/{{Megamind}}'' is generally solid, but when the top of the tower collapses, it's like a massive [[AnimationBump Art Bump]].
* ''Disney/{{Mulan}}'' had some amazing CG effects such as the Hun army barging down on the outmatched Imperial Army was a truly amazing piece of animation, and [[NightmareFuel terrifying]].
* Laika topped their work on ''WesternAnimation/{{Coraline}}'' with ''WesternAnimation/ParaNorman''. . The flying dirt clods when the Zombies rise from their graves involved actually rigging the dirt clods to "fly" up. And the climax with Norman confronting the witch
** ''WesternAnimation/ParaNorman'':
*** The swirling clouds that form the witch's face, especially in the scene when Norman tries to read the book to her, utilized thin delicate fabrics.
*** The pinnacle of spectacular visuals has to be the climax, in which Norman [[spoiler:confronts Agatha's ghost, which is electrified and constantly shooting out bolts of lightning through the air and earth, with her face becoming horrifically distorted in her anger. As the scene continues, the backdrop changes from a forest to pieces of rock floating through the void]]. It was achieved through MediumBlending all three animation mediums of stop motion for the body with sculpted [[MotionBlur smear frames]] to achieve a face warping effect, with 2D and CG elements for effects such as lightning.
** And now, they appear to have topped their work yet ''[[UpToEleven again]]'' with the [[HolyShitQuotient awe-inspiring]] trailers for the still-unreleased ''WesternAnimation/KuboAndTheTwoStrings''. Puppet-scale battles between tiny transforming origami warriors, flowing, individually-feathered capes on the evil Sisters, [[KidHero Kubo]] [[ThePowerOfRock playing his shamisen furiously]] while a flock of thousands of origami cranes lift him into the air and form ''bird wings'', a woman playing the shamisen in the rain, during a storm, on a tiny, pitching boat, on massive ocean waves, [[NoFlowInCGI with long flowing, realistically-wet hair]]... the movie hasn't even been released yet and it ''still'' looks to be full of truly [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome jaw-dropping moments]].
* The animation in ''WesternAnimation/{{Planes}}'', despite being produced on a lower budget, is on-par with Pixar's.
* The colors in ''Disney/{{Pocahontas}}''! Oh god, THE COLORS! ..of the wind. No, but seriously. Check it out.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePrinceOfEgypt'', while mostly using 2-D animation, has segments that used a bit of CGI. Thankfully, all of them are still stunning to look at. They include the following scenes: the burning bush, the plagues, the angel of death, and the crossing of the Red Sea.
* ''Disney/ThePrincessAndTheFrog'' is an amazing return to style for Disney Animation. There is an incredible amount of detail on buildings etc., lots of cool colors, and prepare to be blown away by "[[VillainSong Friends on the Other Side]]", "[[ArtShift Almost]] [[IWantSong There]]" and "Dig A Little Deeper".. That last one takes the cake. It's jaw dropping in its use of lightning effects and it looks breathtaking.
* The Greedy sequence in ''RaggedyAnnAndAndyAMusicalAdventure''.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rango}}'': Holy Fuck, Rango. By Creator/IndustrialLightAndMagic, this is one of the most detailed animated films ever. And it is beautiful.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Ratatouille}}'' should be on the list just because they actually managed to make food that did not fall in the uncanny valley using CGI. Fabric is actually really hard to animate well so it was actually very impressive that they were able to make it work well.
* ''{{WesternAnimation/Rise Of The Guardians}}''. All of it. Special mention, however, must go to the Sandman's [[spoiler:giant dinosaurs in the climax]].
** There's a good reason why it won the Annie Award for Best Effects in an Animated Production.
* Try watching ''SinbadLegendOfTheSevenSeas'' in UsefulNotes/BluRay / Hi-Def. The scenes with The Roc are especially well done; and it's movements are ''scarily'' birdlike.
** ''[[HolyShitQuotient Holy fucking shit]]'' '''''[[RealityWarper ERIS]] [[VoluntaryShapeshifter ALONE]]'''''. She is ''constantly'' shifting and morphing and moving and changing as if she's nothing but smoke. SOMETHING is always moving around chaotically on her body in her scenes- most often her hair with ''gorgeous'' fluidity. Sometimes she flat out changes shape complete with five million smoky effects. Major props to her animators because she looks gorgeous and fluid and just flat out amazing.
** The awesome is enhanced by the fact that ''Sinbad'' was the first feature film of any kind made ''entirely'' in UsefulNotes/{{Linux}}. ''And'' in 2003, when Linux was severely lacking in the "filmmaking software" department.
* The hair in ''Disney/{{Tangled}}''. They went out of their way to make it wet, blow, touched. Then the detail paid to the textures, water, everything but the skin. That's probably [[UncannyValley for the best.]]
** There's also the unbelievably beautiful "I See The Light" scene. Anyone who didn't find their jaws dropping at the sheer gorgeousness of the lanterns slowly emerging and surrounding the two watchers so obviously falling in love with each other has a heart of stone.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheThiefAndTheCobbler'' certainly counts as this. The film was completely drawn at 24 FPS as opposed to 12 FPS for even the best animated films today. The film also includes unbelievably accurate 3D polygonal effects that were ''entirely drawn by hand''. In fact, despite the film's visual complexity, ''no computers'' were ever used to produce the film - every minute of it was drawn on traditional cels. There's a good reason the film took ''over 20 years'' to complete.
* {{Creator/Pixar}} has quite a few but in the close up shot of Woody and Al in ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory2'' you could swear Al is a live actor because he just looks so real.
** So Pixar's SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome is that they averted the UncannyValley? Awww yeah.
** ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3''. The incinerator scene has ''the'' best CGI fire ever. Well played, Pixar. [[NightmareFuel Holy SHIT]], but well played.
** ''WesternAnimation/MonstersUniversity''. The little girl towards the end. Specifically, her hair. The way the moonlight blooms through it, illuminating each strand to create an almost photorealistic effect. Goodness.
** ''WesternAnimation/InsideOut'': The main characters have a kind of glittery "grainy" texture to their skins, which apparently was extremely difficult feat to pull off.
** ''WesternAnimation/TheGoodDinosaur'' is noted for having extremely photo-realistic settings like mountains, rivers, and valleys. The film includes shots that are technically challenging, such as water dripping off of leaves and characters digging into the dirt.
* ''WesternAnimation/WallE''. There are moments -- fairly frequent moments -- where you wonder how EVE actually works, because she and WALL?E are ''obviously'' real machines...
* The spectral rabbits in the ''WatershipDown'' film. Holy ''crap''. They seriously look like they were pencil-shaded, and that alone is awesome - pencil shading would take a ''very'' long time to animate effectively!
* ''{{Disney/Pinocchio}}''. Just everything about it. The sparkle when the Blue Fairy brings Pinocchio to life, the [[EpicTrackingShot multiplane pans through the village at morning]], the ripples under the sea, all amazing, and not a single computer was used. There's a reason it's still called the most technically perfect animated film ever made.
* ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'' has incredibly realistic renditions of ice and snow, especially the scene where Elsa creates her castle of ice.
* ''WesternAnimation/FernGullyTheLastRainforest''. Say what you will about the [[{{Anvilicious}} film itself]], but the imagery and animation is a feast for the eyes. Special mention goes to all of the images of [[EldritchAbomination Hexxus]], Batty's flight through the construction machine toward the climax and all those montages of [[GreenThumb forest magic]]. Too bad the sequel had to throw that out the window.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegoMovie'':
** The Creator/AnimalLogic team animated the movie deliberately in the style of StopMotion and it looks ''very'' real. They animated so well, people thought it was stop motion when it was in fact, ALL CGI (not counting the bits in [[spoiler: the real world]]). Even the [[InvokedTrope invoked]] SpecialEffectFailure looks rather convincing - even doubles as Foreshadowing.
** Behind the scenes footage shows they designed at least Good Cop/Bad Cop's transforming police car/hovercraft so that both really are built from the exact same parts -- no cheating by having the pieces change during transformation.
* ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon2''. It's [[Creator/DreamworksAnimation Dreamworks.]] What do you expect? Of particular note in the flying scenes where Hiccup and Toothless are flying about among the clouds and Valda slowly rises out of clouds, standing on the back of a dragon.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBoxtrolls''. Gorgeously animated and detailed stop motion, with little cgi used in the film!
* ''WesternAnimation/StrangeMagic''. Even though there's occasionally the UncannyValley face, the faces are incredibly expressive. But where the movie shines are the absurdly detailed and beautiful backgrounds.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBookOfLife'':
** Most of the movie, but Xibalba ''alone'' is so incredible-looking and overflowing with detail that it's almost overwhelming. He's really a character that ''had'' to be computer-animated.
** Seriously, there's ''so much'' detail from the scenery down to the character's costumes that it's impossible to see it all in one sitting...which was certainly Gutierrez's intention.
* ''Disney/BigHero6'': Disney invented the Hyperion engine for this movie and the results look amazing for its first outing. It is both aesthetically and technically impressive. Every street of San Fransokyo is unique and highly-detailed. In addition, the movie completely averts NoFlowInCGI, as cloth, hair, liquid, fractal-like clouds, and Baymax's balloon-like body are rendered and animated with high accuracy.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSpongeBobMovieSpongeOutOfWater'':
** The CG is ''very'' well-done in keeping the same kind of stylized cartoony look of the show.
** For those that saw the movie in 3D, the time travel sequences look incredible. The traditional animation also looks pretty neat itself.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Minions}}'': The scene where [[spoiler: Kevin grows into a giant]] and destroys the building he was in features amazingly detailed animation, and generally looks extremely impressive for such a light-hearted, absurd film. Doubles as a mythology gag for anyone who's played the Minions Rush mobile game.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBlackCauldron'': An underrated Disney classic! Just look at the ''extremely detailed'' backgrounds in the castles and the pastures! Oh, and this was also the first animated movie to use CGI and the results ''still hold up magnificently'' to this day.
* ''{{WesternAnimation/Nine}}'': Just look at the detail on all those dolls. Their textures are so unique from each other to show their different materials, and it takes a lot of work to make goggle eyes expressive without ToonPhysics. Of course, the SceneryGorn and SchizoTech deserve mention too.
* The 2015 adaption of ''[[WesternAnimation/TheLittlePrince2015 The Little Prince]]'', good God. The 2D and stop-motion sections are gorgeously faithful to the original iconic illustrations, with their simple ink and watercolor look. It's hard not to try and touch the screen just to feel the paper textures.
* ''Film/SouthParkBiggerLongerAndUncut'' apes the StylisticSuck look of [[WesternAnimation/SouthPark the show]] for the most part, but the sequence where [[TheyKilledKennyAgain Kenny dies]] and [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZusf9_Bjx0 goes to hell]] is incredibly well done, successfully blending Kenny's crude look with unsettling 3D graphics.

[[folder:Live Action Television]]
* The TV miniseries adaptation of ''Series/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' mostly suffers from terrible special effects, except for the sequences where we see the guide itself. All these shots were actually hand drawn replicas of typical computer graphics of the time, and even today you'd swear they were actually done on a computer.
* This is one of the main selling points of ''Series/MadanSenkiRyukendo'': the CG team just get better and better as the series progresses, and the final battle is a thing of jaw-dropping beauty.
* Watch the battle of [[spoiler:the Resurrection Ship]] from Season 2 of ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}''. Watch ''Galactica'' [[spoiler:and ''Pegasus'']] circle the Cylon ships, slowly pounding them to space dust, and avoid dropping your jaw in awe.
* All of ''Series/BabylonFive'' was notable for being trailblazing in CGI space effects.
** Another moment, from the season two finale, [[spoiler:TheReveal of what everyone sees when they look at Kosh]], was particularly notable as well. [[WordOfGod JMS said]] about it, "when you go for something this substantial: either you're going to do something truly amazing, or you're going to massively fall on your face". Watching the episode with someone who was seeing it for the first time, she blurted out "My God, he's ''beautiful''." The effects were ten years old at this point. Yeah, they nailed it.
* The CoolGate doing its "kawoosh" in all incarnations of ''Franchise/{{Stargate|Verse}}''. (Okay, not the cartoon ''WesternAnimation/StargateInfinity'', in which it was just sort of a blob. And it has ''no excuse'', what with being animated and all.) It's done by filming underwater as a jet engine is fired from just above the surface - and filmed from a gazillion angles so they wouldn't have to go to the expense of doing it again. ''That'' is also awesome, because you wouldn't ever know that all the many gate scenes were from the same use of the trick - even when every Gate in the known universe was activated at once, leading to a great many kawoosh scenes being shown back to back. It should really have shown then, but it didn't.
** The Wraith assault on ''[[Series/StargateAtlantis Atlantis]]'' in "The Siege" looks incredible. Wraith darts against human missiles and railguns... it's amazing.
** The shot of the Goa'uld bombarding Washington D.C. in ''Film/StargateContinuum'' is equal parts horrifying and stunning.
** ''Series/StargateUniverse'' has the scene in "Darkness" where ''Destiny'' skims the atmosphere of a gas giant. As Chloe put it, "it's beautiful".
*** Followed by ''Destiny'' emerging from the sun in "Light".
** The launch of the Horizon weapon system in the Atlantis episode ''First Strike''. A minute-long CGI [[TheOner oner]] that shows the naquadah-tipped MIRV-bomb being dropped from the Apollo, entering the atmosphere, separating and hitting home from start to finish, with mushroom clouds reaching low orbit. Awesome.
* The final episode of ''Series/FawltyTowers'', featuring Manuel's rat running around the hotel. There are a couple spots (espeically the ending) where the rat is clearly mechanical, but for the most part it looks for all the world exactly like a real rat.
* The first season finale of ''Series/{{Life}}'' shows main character Charlie Crews driving down a street in LA, when he's suddenly rammed from the side, making his car flip over. The scene is shot in a "you are there" style which is amazingly visceral.
* The episode of ''Series/{{House}}'' involving a video game developer took a different direction than [[UltraSuperDeathGoreFestChainsawer3000 their usual]] [[PacManFever television depiction]] by showing a game that's at least ten years ahead of what's possible today.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine''. With the Dominion War arc, we got the most impressive special effects from Star Trek until the new movie came out.
** Watch the ''Deep Space Nine'' episode "Trials and Tribble-ations". Now carefully pick your jaw back up from the floor...
** Two space battles spring to mind in Deep Space Nine- "The Way of the Warrior", which was the last big Trek space battle done with models (and in which Deep Space 9 itself [[TookALevelInBadass takes a level in badass]]) and "Sacrifice of Angels", where CGI finally allows an epic battle between six ''hundred'' Federation ships and double that number of Dominion and Cardassian ones. Particular mention should go to the moment where we finally see more than one [[CoolStarship Galaxy-class starship]] (as in the ''Enterprise-D'' from ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'') go into battle side by side and letting rip with their full complement of weaponry.
** Hell, they pulled this off as early as the first episode. Where in TNG you would be lucky to see the ''Enterprise D'' perform so much as much as a bank, suddenly we are shown just how vicious [[CurbStompBattle Wolf 359]] was, with several Federation ships zipping around at high speeds desperately trying to avoid the Borg Cube's fire.
*** Similarly the ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' episode "In a Mirror, Darkly" (though the ''Deep Space Nine'' one did go one step beyond by seamlessly integrating original footage with new characters).
** The ''[[Series/StarTrekVoyager Voyager]]'' episode "Scorpion." The ''[[Film/StarTrekFirstContact First Contact]]'' movie had one Borg cube, this episode had 40 cubes nearly running over the insignificant Voyager on their way to face an even greater threat, and were all ''destroyed.''
*** ''Voyager'' crashing into the ice planet in "Timeless" is some goddamn ''epic'' CGI, especially for a TV show in 1998. Watch it [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdG_kxttT0M here]], and check out some badass behind the scenes art for it [[http://drexfiles.wordpress.com/2009/09/27/voyagers-steve-burg-designed-snow-crash/ here]].
*** ''Voyager'' in the final episode Endgame gets future technology that gives it armor that makes it immune to Borg weapons, and a new type of torpedo that can OneHitKill Borg cubes. There were some pretty impressive visual effects (especially so since they were at a transwarp hub seen in all its glory), and seeing Voyager swat Borg cubes like they were flies was pretty awesome.
* The ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' episode ''"Twilight"''. Nothing really daring by Trek standards, except... the complete destruction of the Earth. Notable for two reasons; 1) while blowing up worlds is fairly common in post-''StarWars'' sci-fi, the effects team showed the Xindi superweapon literally boiling the planet from the inside out, complete with fault lines cracking and tearing apart. 2) It wasn't even in the script! The effects team came in on their weekends off and did the sequence just for the hell of it. Just...damn!
** Best part? Those fault lines were [[ShownTheirWork absolutely correct]]! From the Mid-Atlantic Ridge erupting, to the border between the African and European plates, this is probably what would happen if the Earth really did blow up from the inside.
** The Andorians in general. The makeup team gave them animatronic antennae that reflected their emotional state during dialogue and put blue dye in the actors' mouths to avert the old problem when you've got gray/green/blue-skinned aliens that still have pink mouths even if they're supposed to not have iron-based blood.
** The animation may not have been technically groundbreaking, the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsOE73pxpys first 30 seconds opening credits]] for ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' was quite beautiful.
*** ''The Next Generation'''s opening sequence too, with all the planets. The "Space: The Final Frontier" bit only enhances it more.
** The opening shot of the ''Voyager'' episode "Dragon's Teeth," featuring an alien city under bombardment. An amazing amount of work for a shot that only lasts a few seconds.
*** And it was good enough to be put into the altered credit sequence of "In a Mirror, Darkly."
** The final shot of "Author, Author," with a whole cave full of Robert Picardos.
* ''Into The Universe With Stephen Hawking'''s 2-hour episode has some pretty cool special effects: The super nova "storm clouds", crunching of the earth into a black hole, making a star in Wembly Field, and a super-massive black hole with a ship going around it. Even a bunch of ball-bearings on the floor (they're in a perfect grid, but if you take a few of them out they start swirling together) is facinating.
* ''Series/{{Primeval}}'' may not be about to keep up with its big-budget theatrical peers, but for a TV series to feature a new time-displaced creature ''every episode'', and actually set things up to make it look like it interacts with the enviroment, is nothing short of amazing for a TV series.
* Dinosaurs! from 1985 featured various sequences of stop-motion dinosaurs created by TippettStudios. Sure, they don't look so good compared to the CG dinosaurs of Jurassic Park (which Tippett went on to do), but for the time is was the greatest thing. Also helps that the documentary was hosted by Christopher Reeve.
** A scene from said documentary [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlaXIRTjNfo can be viewed here]].
* The BBC ''Walking With...'' documentary series (consisting of ''Series/WalkingWithDinosaurs'', ''Walking With Beasts'', and others) were all about prehistoric animals. The shows used both CGI and animatronics to represent the animals. The CGI was good, but the animatronics were ''amazing''. You'd swear that the filmmakers brought an ''andrewsarchus'' back to life!
** In that vein, the BBC's ''WalkingWithDinosaurs'', which for the most part featured jaw-droppingly realistic prehistoric beasts on a TV-budget, and was made in 1999. While never quite consistent, the quality [[SpecialEffectsEvolution kept improving]] throughout its sequels, and by the '05 ''Walking with Monsters'', the CGI stood the test of closeups.
* SuperSentai (and therefore, PowerRangers) is getting there. They kept the slightly dated looking PeopleInRubberSuits from 70's era Godzilla movies long into the mid-90's. However, as of late [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcZCKZGk9z8 they're getting better and better.]] Though there ''were'' some pretty damn convincing rubber suits. And stuntwork in some of the old ranger fights looks more convincing.
** Close your eyes and point, and you'll likely hit something gorgeous in ''Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger.'' Henshins, roll calls, the Gokai Change into previous teams, everything.
** For those who prefer the dialogue to be in a language they understand, search Website/YouTube for the 10th-anniversary episode "[[CrisisCrossover Forever Red]]." Excellent choreographed and wire work, a BulletTime shot, speed-up-slow-down cinematography years before ''300'' made it popular... It was a VerySpecialEpisode and presumably had a larger-than-normal budget, but being able to produce that on a TV show's budget ''at all'' is still jaw-dropping.
* The scene in ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' in which Claire has just taken enough radiation to kill a platoon of Marines. She steps outside and horrifies her family and neighbors as she looks like burnt meat. And then, as she walks towards her family....her skin, eyes, and hair all restore themselves to their pristine condition. This TV show went toe-to-toe with the Visual Effects of the movies, and WON.
* ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'' features some very good effects, particularly the effects makeup used on the Terminators themselves. The big shootouts, explosions and fight sequences do look like they came right out of a feature film. Looking at a battle-damaged Cameron with half her flace blown off, you could swear up and down that Creator/SummerGlau really ''is'' a robot underneath that flesh and blood. Not forgetting the title sequence which shows Terminator components coming together in mid-air, and then the eyes light up.
* ''Series/JohnAdams'', the HBO miniseries, isn't exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you think of truly incredible special effects. Then you [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTUs7hDq2PA watch this.]]
* Early on, ''Series/{{Sanctuary}}'' didn't have much of a budget. What they did have was a pretty good CGI team that made almost every set used in the first season. After a few seasons, they got the budget to build some real sets, and it's still pretty awesome that finding where they built stuff and where they used computers can be pretty hard.
* Ernie Kovacs was most likely the first who took the medium of television and really experimented with it as much as he could. Not just comically, but also visually. Just look at [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EHiq2SzmOs parts one]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtq-DRvKEKI two]] of this sketch known as Eugene.
* [[{{Supermarionation}} SUPERMARIONATION!!!]] While the puppets themselves may or may not be [[SpecialEffectsFailure failures]], you got to admit the [[CoolPlane vehicles]] are '''awesome!''' This, among other things, is what puts the ''Super'' in {{Supermarionation}}.
* From the final episode of ''Series/RobinHood'', the explosion that destroys Nottingham Castle.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'': Not too surprising, being the newest {{Superman}} show. For a show suffering from a critical lack of budget in its final seasons, it managed to pull off some very impressive visual effects in its GrandFinale with [[spoiler: the planet Apokolips moving through space towards Earth and almost crushing Metropolis.]]
* ''Series/{{Outcasts}}'' had some amazing special effects for a mostly un-remembered TV series. Shots of Carpathia from space, with the colony ship hanging over it, looked stunning, as did the white-out and the disease's visible effects.
* For a TV Movie, ''WesternAnimation/MarchOfTheDinosaurs'' has pretty nice special effects.
* ''Series/TheGoodies'' has some pretty damn good FX for a 70s BBC show (in fact, ''Series/DoctorWho'' might have learned a thing or two from them). Just watch the climax of the episode "The Movies" for some truly awesome examples. People run in and out of movie screens, a back-projected truck turns into a real one, and there's so much creative use of doubles that even the cast got confused.
** A documentary about BBC effects revealed that most of ''The Goodies''' fx were achieved using silent-era techniques, which was all they could afford. But the execution is just superb.
* Franchise/TheMuppets. You tell me they aren't alive. Later productions also try and use CG for special effects, [[SpecialEffectFailure but it's often not as fondly remembered.]] Crazy Harry's explosions on ''Series/TheMuppetShow''? Real. Gonzo smashing into Statler and Waldorf's balcony on a motorbike? They did something and it still looks good today.
* The penultimate episode of the second season of ''Series/GameOfThrones'' shows where the extra budget they'd received after the success of the first season went to. The pinnacle of an awesome episode? When a massive wildfire explosion (kind of like Greek fire, only emerald green) literally ''disintegrates'' the middle of an invading fleet!
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': The [[spoiler: [[http://youtu.be/IzQvCNAofSo?t=56s falling angels]]]] at the end of season 8.
* ''Series/{{Space1999}}'' may have had terrible scripts and lousy acting, but there's no denying that its spaceship effects were pretty damn good for the mid-70s. Effects Director Brian Johnson achieved most of them in-camera by shooting each element against a black background and rewinding the film inbetween. The only drawback is that spaceships are usually only seen moving in front of black space.
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' relied more on puppets than CGI, but those puppets are so impressive that it's very, ''very'' easy to forget that charcters like Pilot and Rygel weren't real, living creatures. The CGI they ''did'' use, mostly for external shots of Moya and the other spacecraft, still holds up very well too - especially Moya's starburst FTL, which is simply jaw-dropping as the TronLines flare up before the portal opens.
* Some of the opens used from 2009 on ''Series/{{Jeopardy}}'' look pretty amazing, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHz-wzvkJ70 like this one from 2013]].
* The CG/makeup blends in Series/{{Grimm}} are just so beautifully fluid and well-done. Compare to ''Series/OnceUponATime,'' which looks more expensive but doesn't even ''try'' to hide its CG.
** In particular, the [[spoiler: manticore vs. manticore]] fight scene in Season 3 episode "The Good Soldier" is an excellent, nearly seamless blend of live-action and CG. It had fans crying for more [[spoiler: wesen vs. wesen fights.]]
* ''Series/{{The 100}}'' doesn't rely too much on special effects, but there are a couple of examples that stick out: First, there's The Ark, a massive space station. The external shots are truly breathtaking to look at. Second, there's the acid fog from "Earth Kills": Not only does the fog itself look terrifying, but the visible damage it did to the poor soul unlucky enough to get caught in it really hammered home the whole DeathWorld vibe. The makeup crew earned their paychecks on that one.
* ''Series/OnceUponATime''
** In the Season 1 finale, [[spoiler:the dragon form of Maleficent]] is outstanding for a television production.
** [[spoiler: [[Disney/{{Frozen}} Marshmallow]]]] looks spectacular visually for the show, looking like something straight out of the movie. The only times it falls apart is when you realize it's intentionally avoiding the cars so that they don't need SFX to make them look crushed.
** Chernabog manages to look exactly like a classic Ray Harryhausen stop motion creature, all done with CGI.
** Some of the castles and locations created for the Enchanted Forest flashbacks look incredibly realistic. The interiors of King George's, Rumple's and Snow White's could be mistaken for actual sets.
* Unlike its sister series ''Series/{{Arrow}}'', which aims for a more grounded, "no superpowers" tone, ''Series/TheFlash2014'' dives full-force into the metahuman side of DC Comics, and does a damn good job of it. In the pilot alone, Barry Allen fights with the Weather Wizard, and the climax of the episode involves him turning himself into a very impressive '''tornado.''' In general, the depictions of superpowers (particularly Barry's super-speed) to reach almost cinematic quality. Fire is notoriously tricky to get right in CGI, but Firestorm's powers always look great.
** Ironically enough, one of the most beautiful special effects shots involving the Flash is his appearance on ''Series/{{Arrow}}'' in "The Brave and the Bold" when he snatches the two boomerangs that would have impaled Oliver out of midair. The effect is simply breathtakingly gorgeous.
** [[spoiler:King Shark]] looks really good. According to WordOfGod, most of the episode's budget went towards [[spoiler:modeling and animating that single character for [[OneSceneWonder all of about thirty seconds]]]]. Both the production crew and fans agree [[WorthIt it was money well worth spent]].
** [[spoiler:Grodd]] looks a lot better when he shows up again in Episode Seven of season 2, with [[spoiler:more detailed hair, more realistic movements, and more facial expressions other than just scowling in fury]], not to mention [[spoiler:TheStinger when he arrives on Earth-2, appearing in broad daylight after sticking to the shadows last season, and sees Gorilla City]].
* ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'':
** [[spoiler:Debbie]] being burned alive in "Girl in the Flower Dress". It's horrifying and beautifully animated.
** Season Two really ups the ante, starting with Carl Creel's absorbing abilities, especially when he becomes wood. The detail looks good enough that it brings [[Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy a certain talking tree]] to mind. Better yet, Creel is one of the first characters on the show (and one of the few in the MCU) to look nearly ''exactly'' like his comic book self, complete with a slightly misshapen head and his right side being darker than his left. And, of course, there's the ball and chain MythologyGag.
** The cloaking effects for the Quinjet that the team steals at the end of "Shadows", then for the Bus after they get it functional at the end of "Heavy is the Head"; they look just as good as the Helicarrier's cloak in ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}''.
** The freezing effects of Blizzard's powers in "Making Friends and Influencing People", which largely look like they pulled a leaf from [[Film/XMen Iceman's]] book.
** "Face My Enemy" features ''Series/OrphanBlack'' worthy effects for a fight between two Ming-Na Wens.
** "The Things We Bury" features a de-aging effect on [[spoiler:Skye's father]] in the closing flashback, as well as old age makeup on [[BigBad Werner Reinhardt/Daniel Whitehall]] in an earlier flashback, and both look very natural.
** The makeup for Agent 33 after [[spoiler:May's face gets stuck on her. You'd swear Ming-Na Wen actually has another face under there]].
** In "What They Become," the opening dogfight between the Bus and [[spoiler:two HYDRA Quinjets]], then the ending where Skye and Raina [[spoiler:break free of their stone cocoons and become the Marvel Cinematic Universe's very first Inhumans]].''
** Starting from "Aftershocks", the visual effects and makeup for [[spoiler:Raina]], like Agent 33 above, are ''disturbingly'' good. Meanwhile, Gordon's teleportation effects are almost exactly like Nightcrawler.
** At the end of "One Door Closes", [[spoiler:Skye]] finally has occasion to unleash her powers in a relatively controlled manner, and proceeds to deflect a bullet fired at her, knock out two pursuers, and level part of a forest all in one go -- and it looks as good as anything in the movies.
** "Afterlife" has the return of [[spoiler:Mike Peterson aka Deathlok]], now in a much better costume and with a couple of new tricks, particularly two EMP missiles he uses to down an enemy Quinjet.
** Hive's true face in the Season 3 finale doesn't disappoint.
** Ghost Rider's appearance in Season 4 very neatly shows a supernatural character instead of just a quasi-realistic skull with some CGI flames.
* The effects used for the spaceships and battles in ''Series/TheExpanse'' are just amazing to look at. However, special note should go to the opening sequence of the first episode, which shows the progress of humanity through the solar system over the next 100-300 years. And is simply ''gorgeous''.
* ''Series/{{Supergirl|2015}}'':
** The White Martian looks amazing even in daylight, as it's clear a good chunk of the show's effects budget went to it.
** Supergirl and Bizarro's face-off features some very impressive WireFu and dynamic DoubleVision.
** The Black Mercy, achieved through a combination of puppetry and CGI, looks exactly like Dave Gibbons' drawings come to life.
* ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'''s StatOVision and scene transitions.
* The special effects in Series/KamenRiderExAid are very well done, beautifully complementing it's retro video gaming themes.


* It's not part of a movie or a TV show or anything of the sort, but the fifty-foot GiantSpider [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Princesse La Princesse]] is amazing. Even when she's walking and you can clearly see her operators... The man who made her has made other giant marionettes, some of them in the UncannyValley, all of them very impressive.
--> He creates machines, machines which are both beautiful and crazy, giant animals, strange contraptions which play music, boats which sail across the land, birds from where you can have a drink in a daydream, a world which is both real and dreamlike and which invades cities for beautiful, moving and crazy celebrations.
** On the one hand, "La Princesse" is undoubtedly a magnificent technical achievement. On the other... ''[[GiantSpider AAAAAAAAAA]][[NightmareFuel AAAAAAAAAAAAAA]][[KillItWithFire GGGGGHHHH!!!]]''
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sultan%27s_Elephant The Sultan's Elephant]] is just as awesome, and ''sans'' the NightmareFuel.
* WebAnimation/HomestarRunner, mainly starting with 'A jorb well done', pretty much teaches us how well you can animate with Flash (minus the Power by the cheat shorts, but's that's intentional)
** Keep in mind that most of it is done at less than 20fps. Now tell me it isn't impressive.
* Compiz deserves a mention here - not only did it start a compositing craze that resulted in both GNOME and KDE adding compositing capability to their respective window managers, it's also responsible for causing a massive clean-up of the FOSS graphics stack.
* The Muse music video [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ck6Hcg2cjk Sing for Absolution]]. Just... all of it. Every second, every ''frame''. Particularly special mention must go to the shot as the spaceship is taking off... [[HolyShitQuotient Damn]], that's one hell of a cityscape.
* Ever wonder what it'd be like if there were candy in space? Industrial Light And Magic has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJoNR0ILZrM that covered]].
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nk_Ow_-sitE The Walt Disney Pictures logo from Pixar movies]].
** On a related note, the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBN-Iolxa1o variant]] from ''Film/TronLegacy'' and the [[Creator/{{WETA}} WETA]]-made [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMyHnZ4lV54 current version]]. Having been in use since 2006.
* ''Literature/TheSpiderAndTheFly'''s ghosts. Drawn separate from the book, added in Photoshop as a transparent layer with the glow.
* The Correspondents' music video for [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABS-mlep5rY "Fear and Delight"]] makes great use of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzVWUYjGoDg green-screen trickery and cloning]].
* The newest Creator/{{Universal}} logo, for their 100th anniversary in 2012; [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNJW113tbKk Amazing CG from Weta Digital, plus Jerry Goldsmith's score, recomposed with an added choir]], equals pure awesome.

* Every. Single. Creator/CirqueDuSoleil. Show. Ever.
* Many huge spectacle musicals of TheEighties and early 1990s feature magnificent live theatrical effects. From ''Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'''s falling chandelier to the helicopter from ''Theatre/MissSaigon'', it's all very very cool.
* The mother of all stage effects spectaculars has to be ''Walking With Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular''. Fifteen life-sized animatronic and puppeteered dinosaurs, including a Tyrannosaurus and her baby, a Stegosaurus, a very large Brachiosaurus and a flying Ornithocheirus invade a stadium or arena, move around, roar and interact with a time-travelling narrator. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnNMReD72vQ Have a look for yourself]].
* The West End musical version of ''Theatre/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'' brings out almost every theatrical trick there is to delight kids of all ages. Not counting the CostumePorn that allows Violet to bloat into a blueberry and full-sized actors to portray the little Oompa-Loompas, there's such high-tech {{Spectacle}} as film projections that turn the stage into a twisting maze of corridors, the syncing of multiple TV screen images with live performers in the Department of the Future (where Mike Teavee gets his comeuppance), and a Great Glass Elevator that rises into a starlit sky and actually "flies" over the first few rows of the stalls. But the low-tech tricks/illusions are audience favorites thanks to the element of surprise and the flair with which they're executed: Charlie sending a paper airplane flying right up to the balcony, Willy Wonka's stunning InstantCostumeChange when he first emerges from the front door of his factory, the sudden appearance of a butterfly perched upon his walking stick, and [[spoiler: his vanishing into thin air in the final seconds of the show]].
* Theatre/{{Wicked}} has "Defying Gravity". You'll really have to convince yourself Elphaba isn't actually flying.

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* Ride/UniversalStudios
** Universal Studios' ''Theatre/HalloweenHorrorNights'' has quite a few scenes and effects that seem far beyond the capabilities of a theme park trying to fit everything into a single, small building. Some examples from 2011:
*** Saws n' Steam: Into the Machine includes a full waterfall inside the queue of the Jaws ride.
*** The In-Between uses special paint and 3D glasses to give the impression of having walked into another dimension that violates all laws of physics and perspective, including a near-invisible floor (giving the impression of walking on fog) and a room full of lasers reflecting and refracting off of glass walls.
*** Winter's Night and The Thing both have falling snow indoors, and Winter's Night manages to create actual frost on props in Florida.
*** Acid Assault using 3D projections to make it look like the buildings on New York street are collapsing.
** Universal Studios Tour's new ''King Kong 3D'' experience, where Kong saves the tram from a bunch of hungry ''T. rexes''... after they ''[[DroolHello drool]]'' all over the passengers!
** The entirety of ''Transformers: The Ride'', due to being animated by Creator/IndustrialLightAndMagic, but special mention goes to a mixture of great 3D, heat, and pyrotechnics to make it genuinely feel like there's ''a heat-seeking missile heading right for your car.''
** ''The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man'' starts with making it feel like Spider-Man is jumping onto the hood of your car (complete with the car actually dipping down at the front) and just keeps getting better from there.
* Ride/DisneyThemeParks
** At Disneyland and Disney World, the mist screen projections in ''Theatre/{{Fantasmic}}'' were definitely this when it first premiered, although don't have quite the impact these days due to TechnologyMarchesOn. However the new version of the show in Tokyo, along with ''Ride/WorldOfColor'', use an updated, high definition version of the same system that is flat-out breathtaking.
** And now ''Disney Dreams'' at the Paris resort, which has combined the mist screens with projections on the castle[[note]]which itself came from the nightly guest montage ''Magic, Memories, and You'' in Florida and California[[/note]] and Disney's trademark fireworks of awesome.
** [=ILM=]'s contributions in ''Star Tours'' and ''Film/CaptainEO'' should all warrant mentions. C-3PO is possibly one of the best animatronics at Disneyland -- and not just because he was already a robot.
** After SpecialEffectsFailure caused the Hatbox Ghost to be removed from Ride/TheHauntedMansion before the ride even opened, they actually got the illusuion to work when he returned in 2015.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In-universe: [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=2738 Monique discusses the surround sound, the high definition multisensory effects, the in-round - and God preens.]]
* Any time [[RealityWarper Bec]] shows up in Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}.
** The GrandFinale, "[S] Act 7" completely blows every other animation in the comic out of the water in this department, as it sees [[spoiler:Hussie completely abandon Flash animation and create a full-on, absolutely ''beautiful'' nine minute anime segment to wrap up the comic]]. WordOfGod says that storyboarding and animation for the segment took '''four years''' of on-and-off work.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* There is a subgenre of YouTubePoop known as Flash Poop, which is when the Poop tries to tell a story through the use of visual effects which go above and beyond the usual norm for YTP. A good example would be [[http://youtu.be/z-k6w-ckyms?t=4m20s this video]].[[note]]It's a regular Poop until the 4:20 mark.[[/note]]
* The SlenderManMythos tends to have nice visual effects, especially in terms of the wicked distortion that goes on when Slendy's about, but in particular TribeTwelve's greatest strength is its spectacular Slenderman-tentacle effects. They may not be shown for long periods of time, but seeing them is awesome. Similarly, the sadly deleted series [=AKoolStick=] or [=SAVETHEARK=] had badass tentacles and ''[[HolyShitQuotient jumping Slender Man,]]'' in addition to some of the best distortion effects ever used for the Slender Man Mythos.[[note]]And the guy who made it [[https://www.youtube.com/user/AkoolstickOOG/videos made tutorials.]][[/note]]
* [[http://ryanvsdorkman.com/ Ryan Vs. Dorkman]]. Two visual effects animators stage a lightsaber duel in an abandoned warehouse. End result: millions of views, worldwide adulation, and its own page on TheOtherWiki.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOUjfD9ND8U FedConIX (2009) opening video]], features a CGI short film featuring the USS ''Kelvin'' from the 2009 ''Film/StarTrek'' exploring a ringed planet when they are attacked by what looks like a squadron of Klingons. In swoops the ''Enterprise'' to save the day. Honestly, of all the computer-generated models, this video was the most seamless ever. Every phaser and torgedo blast, every asteroid, they even showed the subtle difference in the metal plating of the older ''Kelvin'' and the newer ''Enterprise''. Awesome? Ya think??!
** That is the (awesome) work of Tobias Richter, [[http://www.modelermagic.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/enterprise_wall04_1280.jpg king]] [[http://www.modelermagic.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/kelvin_wall02_1280.jpg of]] [[http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7SVSAcj5xz4/TQl3IO3QllI/AAAAAAAACxw/nk9GKjgcGFw/s1600/lightworks3.jpg stunningly]] [[http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7SVSAcj5xz4/TQl_dPp0NiI/AAAAAAAACyI/DGmLwDLpqU8/s1600/lightworks6.jpg gorgeous]] [[http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7SVSAcj5xz4/TQl1CQrXNtI/AAAAAAAACxY/4eu_somte2o/s1600/lightworksp1.jpg fan art]].
* ThereSheIs. As if the whole damn thing wasn't gorgeous enough from the beginning, [[spoiler: the scene where the screen expoldes at the airport]] in Step 5 is something else.
* Music/JonLajoie's video for "Pop Song", which parodies the music videos of young male pop singers such as Justin Bieber.
* Season 9 of Machinima/RedVsBlue is this with Rooster Teeth's addition of Monty Oum (the maker of ''Haloid'') into their ranks. Not only is the CG very cool in it self but even better is that it is put into several Halo 3 levels perfectly. And then the fights (especially ep. 10 and 19) is just jawdropping, especially for a online-show. Episode 19 takes the cake however, as the characters fight amongst cliff in the process of collapsing around them, and an entire ice shelf breaking off. (ep 10 can be found [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ke9wtbzGjCI here]])
** [[WebAnimation/{{Haloid}} EVERY]][[WebAnimation/DeadFantasy THING]] by Monty Oum counts, but the Machinima/RedVsBlue Season 9 takes the cake. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArRt-Ymopqk Here's]] the trailer, and it only gets better from there.
** And then Season 10 cranks it up even further, culminating in Episode 19, when [[spoiler:Tex & Carolina [[InterestingSituationDuel duke it out in zero-gravity aboard the bridge]] of the frigate ''[[CoolShip Mother Of Invention]]'' as it flies through a planet's atmosphere - trailing fire and glowing with reentry heat - and then makes a sliding crash-landing on a [[SceneryPorn beautifully rendered snowy locale]]. You'd swear the Rooster-Teeth boys got 343 Industries themselves to help them out.]]
* Creator/FreddieWong. This one man can do what entire effects studios strive for.
** He also directs the new ''WebVideo/VideoGameHighSchool'' on Website/YouTube, which brings his fantastic visual effects UpToEleven.
* The guys over at WebVideo/CorridorDigital must have sipped from the same Fountain of Visual Awesomesauce as Creator/FreddieWong.
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FKgtgMA6zs This animated short]]. No words can describe it's beauty, especially on a low budget.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVkDrIacHJM The Backwater Gospel,]] an animated short about a small town who is terrified by the appearance of the Undertaker, whose arrival always means death. The animation is 3D, but looks very sketchy and gritty, and the whole thing has a dark, eerie and extremely atmospheric feel to it. Points for when (spoilered because it's best if taken by surprise) [[spoiler: the Undertaker's wings first flicker into view]] and [[spoiler: the scene where all the villages turn on each other and rip each other to shreds, which is almost entirely in silohette.]] Even just the detail put into the props, such as the Tramp's guitar, and the little details like only animating the details of the eyes during strong moments of anger and fear, is absolutely fantastic. And all from a small group of college students.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjXEUhgHy_w Mirror City]] takes timelapse into a strange and artistic turn. The results are just incredible.
* The ''[[VideoGame/{{Bionicle}} Mata Nui Online Game]]'', featuring creative, colorful, stylistic and expansive SceneryPorn with several drastically different landscapes and fantasy architecture. Though some of the animation can be rough at parts and it may not seem that impressive compared to modern standards, but considering it was released in 2001 as a freeware Flash-based point-and-click game, one can easily understand why even slow dial-up users kept waiting patiently for every next bit of scenery to load.
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lX6JcybgDFo This video]] may just be a demonstration of projection mapping, but it's a ''glorious'' demonstration of projection mapping. It was made in-camera, with no cuts and no post-production.
* Naturally, there are a good many tutorials on how to pull this off, in addition to software and plugins for them that serve the single purpose of generating this (i.e. Adobe After Effects)
* Freeware program MikuMikuDance (MMD for short) is made with the intent of producing 3D animated films with an ever-increasing selection of models that can be designed at your own leisure. While a good chunk of the videos firmly end up in the YoutubePoop category due to obvious OffModel problems or limited knowledge of the software's abilities, once in a while perfectly choregraphied gems will be found. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORzUZbTec8U Some]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDEVXwiiSIA MMD Cup]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4EcZCnp-hs competitors]] take the cake for the insane amount of effort put into it.
* Website/YouTube user [[https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEc2gctIynWHMDq2tuCBPJw minusT]] is a proficient user of open-source 3D animation software Blender, which is far more extensive than MikuMikuDance mentioned above. His speciality? Recreating BulletHell boss battles from the ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' series in 3D. You'll probably never look at a 2D-scrolling shoot-em-up the same way after witnessing these [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSAq1AT7g9Q pieces]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unRPhNH-YWo of]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57Zwrx9a9Lo art]].
* ''WebVideo/DontHugMeImScared''. Each episode just looks better and better than the last (save for the "digital world" in Epsiode 4, though this is StylisticSuck), with increasingly better puppet effects and tons of MediumBlending. The mixture of puppets, realistic props, 2D and stop motion animation, and CGI makes for some great SceneryGorn.
* ''WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall'':
** For the most part, Lewis playing so many characters is accomplished by only showing one at a time, or using fairly obvious splitscreens. Then comes the redone version of the Entity finale, which includes a shot of Linkara walking around '90s Kid, completely seamlessly.
** The kicker was during the first battle with Mechakara. Not only was Lewis fighting ''himself'' in that battle (first as the Ninja Style Dancer, then as himself), but he also utilized Triple-Vision to allow himself, 90s Kid, and Harvey Finevoice to stand together and fight Mechakara as a team.
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic's ''Film/MadMaxFuryRoad'' review had a ton of hand-built props and sets, done by Jim Jaeroz in three weeks, and Tamara's Furiosa costume (complete with prosthetic arm) made even her {{squee}}.
* Paul Johnson, aka "[=OtaKing77077=]", makes stunning animations rotoscoped over 3D models, creating videos comparable to high-quality animations from the [=80s=]. His best-known work using these techniques is [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PN_CP4SuoTU this epic tribute]] to ''Film/StarWars''. He also [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=876W253z6KY payed homage]] to ''VideoGame/RType''.
* ''TooManyCooks'' features a foray into science fiction, parodying ''Series/BattlestarGalactica1978''. The sets and spaceships are all computer-generated, but they look ''astonishingly'' [[StylisticSuck like actual cheesy sets and model shots from the late 70s]].
* Among the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fan-artists:
** [[https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaVf-df5Fm9U5ooS-UF7TOg Duo Cartoonist]] deserves accolade for their [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jW5n3k2VgZE "Children of the Night"]] animated music video alone. The animation is very well choreographed and reaches quality of the original show.
** [[https://www.youtube.com/user/jananimationstudios JanAnimations]]'s animated shorts are comparable in quality to the original show as well. Check out the "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1NEtnClzzM Don't Mine at Night]]" music video for a good example. (Unfortunately, most of his pony videos, such as [[WebAnimation/ButtonsAdventures the ones with Button Mash]], fell prey to cease & desist takedowns; but you can find mirrors around the internet, e.g. [[https://www.youtube.com/user/ZIK9999/videos here]].)
** But perhaps the greatest of all is "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7PQ9IO-7fU Lullaby for a Princess]]", a fan video produced over the course of ''two years'' showcasing Luna's transformation into Nightmare Moon and ultimate defeat by her sister. The visual effects are absolutely '''stunning''', surpassing the quality of the show itself at several points; most notable is probably the battle in front of the eclipsed sun, which you would swear was the climax of a professional big-budget animated movie.
* Almost all of the animations by [[https://www.youtube.com/user/SpindleHorse/videos Vivienne Medrano]], best known as the author of ''{{Webcomic/Zoophobia}}'', ''especially'' the fanmade music videos. Her animation is surprisingly fluid, bouncy, and expressive, on par with many traditionally-animated feature films.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Pick a [[WesternAnimation/{{Puppetoons}} Puppetoon.]] ''Any'' Puppetoon. Its a series of puppet cartoons that take [[TheTwelvePrinciplesOfAnimation exaggerated cartoon principles]] and applies them to stop motion, all pulled off with thousands of puppets carved out of wood and animated straight ahead! Unlike other stop motion films, they usually eschewed articulated limbs used in films like King Kong (barring small amounts of articulation in the rubber limbs or in certain shorts with more naturalistic designs like "John Henry"), George Pal developed his own unique method; each individual movement or expression of a puppet, be it a walk, pose or expression change, required either a new part or an entirely new puppet to be made altogether for the film. As such, a single Puppetoon required thousands of painstakingly crafted, custom made models for each scene, and forced the films to be made on a painstakingly sporadic release schedule. But as a benefit to this expensive, time consuming process, the Puppetoons achieved a cartoon like motion that would have been difficult or flat out impossible to achieve with standard stop motion effects, such as broad Squash and Stretch effects, and this allows the characters to move very expressively and with vigor and vitality, and in very creative, funny ways. Shorts like "Philips Cavalcade" and "Mr. Strauss Takes A Walk" really get to show off the series technical prowess.
* The scene in ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsCloneWars'' where Saesee Tiin flies up to the space battle above Coruscant. You wonder what the fuss is about at first; it's just an ordinary sky filled with stars. Then you notice they aren't all white, and tiny points of light move between them. A few of the stars flare and fade. And then it hits you; they're no stars, they're battle ships, and the sky is absolutely full of them blasting the hell out of each other.
* The same could be said for ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' (the CGI series). The quality of the first season was debatable (especially with the early production episodes), but was still decent for an all-CGI cartoon. As the series progressed, the animation quality improved and the characters moved more naturally. Even in the early episodes, the action scenes were impressive and the environments very detailed (including some extras most wouldn't notice on the first watchthrough of an episode), and by the later seasons, the animation quality and level of detail was near-cinematic.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''...just, all of it. Particularly stunning examples include 'The Siege of the North' and the series finale 'Avatar Aang'. Here we see the pure might of the Avatar and his elemental powers, and it is awesome.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' uses '''very''' dynamic "camera" angles and effects. A great example (but still really just a drop in an ocean) is the scene in episode three when Korra uses fluid, circular dancing motions to get through a spinning maze used for airbending practice.
** The scene in Episode 1 where Korra is riding on Naga through the snow is almost heartbreakingly beautiful.
** The hand-drawn animation is so good it is almost movie quality.
** They seemed to have stepped it up for Book 2, if that's even possible. Look at the trailer. Just... [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ftLm52V1y0* Look. At. It.]]
* She-Ra's TransformationSequence in ''WesternAnimation/SheRaPrincessOfPower''. For an otherwise totally low-budget show, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Knwo6YFbYPM this]] is a true moment of brilliance. Worth seeing OnceAnEpisode.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine and Friends'' had absolutely spectacular model work. The people and animal miniatures were the only tells that those weren't real trains. Sadly, from the eighth season onward, things became less and less realistic. Eventually the models were retired in favour of CGI. But this is not the side for that. The model sets were stunning, absolute masterpieces. The engines carried onboard smoke machines that puffed like a real locomotive, the couplings and buffers worked, the buildings and scenery looked like they were plucked from real life. "Nil Unquam Simile" indeed.
* In 1994, one year before {{Creator/Pixar}} brought ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory'' to the big screen, a little Canadian company by the name of MainframeEntertainment brought CG to the TV screen with the fully CG animated ''WesternAnimation/ReBoot''. Cartoons haven't been the same since.
** Same with Mainframe's second effort ''BeastWars''.
* Any Fleischer Studios short that features their so-called "tabletop" process. The effect is obviously dated now, but for its time it was considered revolutionary.
* [[http://vimeo.com/12339283 In the Fall of Gravity,]] an 11-minute stop motion short whose [[AnimationBump smooth]] animation rivals today's advances in CGI.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}''. Watch the episode "The Late Phillip J. Fry", especially the segment in which [[spoiler: Fry, the Professor, and Bender watch the universe destroy and recreate itself]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime''. The faces may (and do) feel goofy at first, but after a few episodes you will quickly forget that fact. They have to keep the cast low due to the CGI and budget. But despite this have managed to impress and [[NightmareFuel terrify]] a new generation of fans.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' is one of the most beautiful Flash-animated products ever, because most of the time, it doesn't really seem like Flash animation. Very few if any shortcuts are used and some things that some consider to be impossible to pull off in Flash are pulled off beautifully. The second season episodes look particularly dazzling.
** Scenes that deserve special mention are Rainbow Dash's Sonic Rainboom, Princess Cadence and Shining Armor's love spell, the underground cave Queen Chrysalis traps Twilight in, the pegasus-powered water tornado in "Hurricane Fluttershy", Twilight's transformation sequence in "Magical Mystery Cure", Luna's transformation into Nightmare Moon in "Princess Twilight Sparkle" and the shot of the Cutie Mark Crusaders running against a sunset backdrop in "Flight to the Finish".
** There are also many instances where the possibilities of Flash are used very cleverly. For instance, populating backgrounds with more or less randomly-generated ponies rather than using FacelessMasses.
*** Not to mention that these background ponies aren't just standing motionless in the background either. Looking closely in the background one can see them blinking, shifting and moving slightly, and talking to eachother.
** And if what we have seen of season 4 so far is any indication, the animation quality is set to just keep improving. A particularly noticable change between seasons is that now, when there are close shots of characters, the backgrounds actually have ''depth of field!''. We had seen depth of field tricks occasionally beforehand (Usually shifting depth of field from foreground to background), but now it seems to have become the norm for closeup shots.
** With the Season 4 [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E25TwilightsKingdomPart1 Fin]][[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E26TwilightsKingdomPart2 ale]], let's just say it's obvious where a fair chunk of Season 4's budget went -- [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwZ4suij8oM the Tirek battle]].
* If one had to single out the ''sole'' favorable aspect of the [[SoOkayItsAverage so-so]] ''Toys/HeroFactory'' animated show, then it would probably be the CGI. Sure the backgrounds can seem a bit empty, and early crowd scenes offered ''some'' interesting sights (like Von Ness, a character that canonically didn't exist anymore appearing suddenly), but they're ironing these out with every new episode. And they have plenty of time for improving, seeing as there are only a couple of episodes released every year.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Motorcity}}''; full of both SceneryGorn and SceneryPorn.
* The Disney short ''WesternAnimation/GetAHorse''. Both the 2D and CG animation is some of Disney's best in recent years and the seamless transitions between both mediums is just mind-blowing and the move and act just like a late-1920s character would. The best way to see it is in a theater with 3D glasses on; you'd swear that MickeyMouse was really right in front of you.
* ''Both WesternAnimation/{{Wakfu}}'' and its prequel spinoff Dofus have absolutely GORGEOUS animation. With a fantastic combination of well animated Adobe Flash, traditional animation, and fantastic CG for a television show, this is one of Ankama's greatest feats.
** Season 2 of Wakfu took it to the next level, especially with [[spoiler: Yugo and the rest of the Eliatrope kids (that's right, ALL of them) attacked Qilby.]]
** The 3 part OVA for Wakfu somehow ups the ante, ESPECIALLY with the third OVA, with gorgeous, fluid traditional animation, especially for [[spoiler: Yugo and Grovy (as the Iop God)'s fight against Ogrest and the 6 Primordial Dofus Dragons. ]]
* ''WesternAnimation/BewareTheBatman'': Despite the mixed reactions to the overall look of the show, even the detractors agree that the action scenes on the whole look quite excellent. The hand-to-hand fight sequences in particular are impressively choreographed.
** According to some, Metamorpho's design as a whole qualifies for this trope. The scenes where he turns into water and mist are especially well-done.
** Cypher's sleek, eerie visual design is very popular.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'' is hands down one of the most beautiful looking cartoons on TV. Characters are animated differently using 2D, 3D, Papercraft, Pixel Art, Claymation, and CGI. Even the sprites in "The Words". All of it using real life places for the backgrounds, and as of Season 3, the backgrounds move.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBookOfLife'': Gutierrez expressed clear direction to his team that every single thing seen on-screen should look like the concept art from an "Art Of" book! The result is something truly spectacular-looking and unusual in any CGI film before it, most seen in the Land Of The Remembered environments.
* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' is one of the prettiest shows Cartoon Network, or anyone else really, has put out on TV lately. The colors are gorgeous, and each character in the show has a completely unique design, special mention going to the Fusions and anytime a Gem displays their power, and the inside of the Gem Temple. And check out how Rose Quartz and [[spoiler: Lapis Lazuli]] are animated.
** Special mention goes to the scenes featuring [[spoiler: The Cluster]] in 'Gem Drill', particularly the final shot of [[spoiler: it in a bubble.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'': The claymation in "Little Gift Shop of Horrors." Particularly Mabel diving inside one of the monsters, with the cel animation blending in perfectly.
** The zero gravity sequences in "Not What He Seems," especially [[spoiler: the fight scene in the interrogation room]]. Eat your heart out, [[Film/{{Inception}} Nolan.]]
* ''Literature/{{Franklin}} and the Turtle Lake Treasure''. Beautiful and vivid colors with SceneryPorn and former Disney animators were hired for the animation. It's definitely the best animation Franklin has ever had before they made the jump to CGI.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'': "Destroy All Aliens" has particularly impressive CGI effects, with the Galvanic Mechamorph's fluidity being especially noticeable.
* ''Disney/{{Moana}}'': Par for the course with Disney, but even by their standards this film is VERY well-animated. The ocean and scenery are absolutely breathtaking, with particle effects and finely-detailed scenery that shifts with the characters' movements that blows ''Frozen''s' [[AccidentalPun out of the water]]. The water looks as realistic as never before, and this time around hair actually looks like real hair.
** Maui's tattoos, which are animated in 2D on a 3D CGI model, constantly moving and interacting as Maui walks, with several unique character designs that blend in perfectly. This goes a step further when Moana and Maui are placed in hand-drawn animation in the middle of "Your Welcome", interacting with the fish seamlessly.
** The movie also experiments a lot with animating light. Special mention goes to the scene in Tamatoa's cave where the cave turns dark and lights up with glowing neon colours. Unsettling yet gorgeous.
* The first season of ''WesternAnimation/MiraculousLadybug'' was produced for $11.5M, more than most Western productions. This has blessed the show with highly-detailed visual design and dynamic battle choreography with expressive animation and particle effects. While the show has had its detractors, none can deny that the fight scenes look fantastic.

[[folder: Real Life]]
* It's actually quite realistic. ([[RealityisUnrealistic Most of the time, anyway.]])
* [[Music/AmonTobin Amon Tobin's]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-8qHn9dEWM ISAM Tour]] features a '''massive''' abstract Cube structure that is used as a 3D projection-mapped surface. It is quite possibly the most breathtaking visual setup ever created for a musical concert.
* SarahBrightman embarked on her "Symphony" tour in 2008, which junked all the theatrical staging she usually utilizes for '''holographic technology'''. The result was a stripped down stage with a hollowed out stage that included a b-stage and 3 gigantic screens for the holograms hovering above it. The holograms are HOLY FUCK awesome. At times it'll appear like she's standing on a hovering platform. During Dust in the Wind, she appears in a fairytale-like forest with fireflies floating around. During certain songs, her and her dancers will be on the hollowed out portion of the stage, while their image is projected on the screen, making it appear as if she's lying on its surface. Thats just the beginning. You could look at [[http://lh5.ggpht.com/-1Ybp0JiIKlg/SU11vy7R_CE/AAAAAAAADBU/EkbIw-AKzr8/SarahBrightmanSymphonyWorldTour.jpg this photo]], but that wouldn't do it justice.
* Go to any of the old Gothic Cathedrals. Once you tear your eyes away from the actual statues, stained glass and other noticeable art, look at the lighting. The windows cast light in exactly the right places, almost subconsciously pointing you where to look. Now that's a cool visual effect.
** Europe is amazing for this, especially to an American as our evangelical protestant tradition generally leaves something lacking in houses of worship.
* Some of the larger astronomical events like total solar eclipses, meteor storms, auroras and gazing at the Milky Way away from the city. It's during those moments that you realise how vast the universe is, and how much there is out there that is waiting for us to explore and learn. RealLife already has a lot of good visual effects like sunsets and thunderstorms, but there are times when reality decides to treat us to something ''really'' special.
* [[{{Vocaloid}} VOCALOID]]. CONCERT. It happened. It was holograms. There's many moments where you forget that the Vocaloids are holograms of anime characters and start believing that they're real singers. The hair in particular moves beautifully.
** {{Music/Gorillaz}} did similar concerts too. Especially in their 2005 MTV performance.
** It was a rear projection onto a mostly-transparent screen. It was 2D. Holograms are 3D.
* While a good number of effects go into a typical attraction at the Ride/DisneyThemeParks, special mention has to go the Haunted Mansion's including a disappearing ceiling in the Stretching Room and the Ghost Ball Room sequences, which are some 60 year old effects that still look real today.
* Mount Rainier in Seattle in the middle of the night as a full moon shone down on it. It looked like someone had wrapped the top of the mountain in shining silver.
* The opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics. Holy crap.
** Some parts were actually digitally added in real time. They were practically indistinguishable from the live segments unless you had a trained eye or read about it.
* Trompe l'oeil painting, an ultra-realistic form of painting whose very name means "trick the eye." In one particular case, a monastery was famed for its beautifully decorated dome. For four hundred years, people went to the monastery just to see it. Then someone decided it needed to be cleaned and restored, so they raised ladders into the ceiling. The dome was a trompe l'oeil painting. Best part? The monastery has a flat roof.
* Rainbows and prisms are ''light'' showing off its F/X talents.
* Looking down at any major city from an airplane's window after dark can be visually spectacular, especially around the holidays.
* Most stage magicians who specialise in optical illusions are rather good at this trope ... almost by definition, since it's their job to make you think something happened that didn't. David Copperfield is one of those artists who takes this trope up to eleven: google up his flying sequence, or disappearing the Statue of Liberty, for examples of how he makes this work in real life.
* Newgrange passage tomb in Ireland. Once a year, at sunrise on the winter solstice, the first light of the day shines all the way down the entrance passage to light up the main chamber, to stunningly beautiful effect. It's believed that when it was built, this happened at the ''exact moment'' of sunrise (now it happens four minutes after). And it was built, with all the precise engineering required to achieve that, ''five thousand years ago''.
* The [[UsefulNotes/NorthKorea North Korean]] Arirang Festival has over 30,000 children holding up colored cards (called "card stunt" in the West) that make [[SugarWiki/AwesomeArt very pretty pictures]] which are usually the symbols of North Korea. In a nutshell, pixel art in RealLife
* The skyline of any big city.
* Supernovas. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernova Just look at these pictures!]]
* Any Music/PinkFloyd show.
* Even though they can be destructive, from a safe distance tornadoes can actually be beautiful. Same goes for other storms.
* [[https://polymathically.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/takeshi-murata-melter-3-d Takeshi Murata's ''Melter 3-D'']] uses strobe lights to create an illusion that a spherical sculpture is moving and churning like a giant ball of [[Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay T-1000 metal]].