This review discusses the innovative efforts initiated by Emi and co-workers for in-situ observation of phase transformations at high temperatures for materials. By using the high-temperature confocal laser-scanning microscope (CLSM), a robust database of the phase transformation behavior during heating and cooling of slags, fluxes, and steel can be developed. The rate of solidification and the progression of solid-state phase transformations can be readily investigated under a variety of atmospheric conditions and be correlated with theoretical predictions. The various research efforts following the work of Emi and co-workers have allowed a deeper fundamental understanding of the elusive solidification and phase transformation mechanisms in materials beyond the ambit of steels. This technique continues to evolve in terms of its methodology, application to other materials, and its contribution to technology.