I was wondering if questions about special effects techniques be allowed on the Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange? For example, questions like

What techniques did the artists use in the early ST:TNG episodes to create those alien world landscapes?

2 Answers 2


I think yes, they should be allowed. Also, in general, when it comes to 'should I ask X type of question', there's little to lose in asking it. If it's not clearly laid out in the FAQ as being off-topic, the community will make its feelings known, and we can go from there.

(also the answer is Matte painting)

  • Thanks for answering my example question, I always thought those landscapes looked awesome.
    – Clay3981
    Jul 1, 2011 at 5:53

I'd say no.

To use the same example: matte paintings are done for many productions that aren't SF/F—historical dramas, for instance. If you look at the matte painting article Keen linked, only about half of their examples count as SF/F.

The same goes for pretty much every other SFX technique (note: SFX stands for "Special Effects," not "Science Fiction").

I expect SFX questions will be completely on topic at Video and Film Production when it launches. That proposal is currently in its commitment phase, so if this aspect interests you, go help out!

  • 4
    Asking about the production techniques (special effects, writing, publishing, whatever) of a specific work is on-topic, so long as the work is SF. Asking generic questions about production is off-topic unless they are intrinsically specific to SF.
    – user56
    Jun 17, 2011 at 23:37
  • I was assuming the question was talking about SFF works, given that the example was one.
    – user1027
    Jun 17, 2011 at 23:52

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