The fantastical universes of great movies are made with CGI special effects. But before they can be rendered by visual effects artists, filmmakers first need to put the actors in strange situations. Back in the day, filmmakers used matte paintings, miniature models and trick photography to achieve impossible looking cinematic effects. Today, Hollywood has nearly perfected the art and application of computer-generated imagery (CGI) in movies and TV shows.

Would you recognize any of your favorite films without visual effects? Take a look at the revealing before-and-after pictures we’ve compiled for you below to see what we mean. You’ll never look at movies in the same way again.

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