Film Industry

VFX Artist Career: What Qualifications Do You Need To Be A VFX Artist?

Photograph of the blog post author, Cristian Poow

Cristian Poow

22.3.2021

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If you’re curious about creating on-screen magic through visual effects, then this article on how to become a VFX artist is perfect for you.

vfx artist

In this article, we will explore the work of a VFX artist. We will run through how much their salary might be, what characteristics are needed to be a VFX artist, and much more.

Stay tuned for everything you need to know!

What Is A VFX Artist?

VFX artist

A VFX artist is responsible for achieving the creative aims of the director or producers through the use of visual effects.

Today, VFX artists are great shapers of the final result that we see in movies. They know how to turn the idea of ​​the producers or directors into something completely incredible for the viewers.

However, they are not only tied to work in movies. VFX artists also do some of the best work in the gaming industry. A very clear example is the classic Mortal Kombat game. Actors were used to personify each fighter and then were digitized to give the feeling of hyper-realism during the gameplay. 

It was a very important technological advance. Since then, the complete creation of characters has become digitally made. Reaching what we know today as CGI (computer-generated imagery) technology.

What Does A VFX Artist Do?

VFX artist

A VFX artist must be prepared to cover different aspects of live-action production and post-production. What is essential here, is the ability to expand the creative aspects and adapt them to technological progress.

This is in order to create better scenarios and characters that replace all the “real” elements that actually had been used before.

Furthermore, it is important that there is a supreme level of communication between VFX artists. Someone will also have to talk with the production and direction team. Be it from a game, a television series, or a movie.

There are many different roles in the VFX world, let’s briefly go through them.

VFX Producer

A VFX producer handles the entire process of creation and also studies the possible reaction of the viewer. 

Producers are in charge of proposing a complete idea to the project management team and work with the VFX editor in post-production. They also tend to take care of budgets.

VFX Coordinator

VFX coordinators are in charge of each task being carried out right on schedule. As well as displaying communication skills between the production and VFX team.

They organise both the tasks and the material to be used in them. They generally have around 10 people working at a time.

VFX Supervisor

VFX supervisors work close to the VFX coordinator and are also in charge of the entire VFX project. Presenting a pipeline suitable enough for the skills of all the VFX artists involved.

At the end of the production, the VFX supervisor ensures that the work schedule has been fulfilled. As well as if each VFX artist has completed the work they were given.

VFX Editor

VFX editors are the liaison between the production team and the VFX artists who will work creating the future visual effects.

They are in contact with the filming team in order to make decisions about the technical and creative possibilities.

How To Be A VFX Artist

VFX artist

If you want to enter the entertainment industry, you are ought to collect a series of social and technical abilities.

Social skills highlight the ability to communicate with different work teams so that no one gets confused or loses the thread. Although, it will also depend on social skills from others. Such as editors, creative artists, and directors.

Regarding the techniques of creating visual effects, you can jump on courses of Adobe Creative Suite and Blender on websites like Udemy. These allow you to immerse yourself in the world of creating animated vectors.

It is also important for a VFX artist career to prepare yourself technically in matters of filming, pre-production, scriptwriting, lights, and microphones.

Basics Of The Human Body

Knowledge of human anatomy offers the possibility of creating characters.

Like those in the movie Avatar, where the ability of VFX artists is fused with the vocalizations of talented Hollywood actors.

Whole Aestethics

In the strictly philosophical sense of the word, aesthetics gives a level of veracity to what is being shown to the public.

Therefore, it is understandable that many discussions are going to take place with the crew.

This is in order to build the best ideas regarding balance in each character or each scenario that you try to present.

Team Work

You will not only depend on your particular skills, but also the process of exchanging knowledge with other artists and workers. Whether they are directors, producers, or scriptwriters.

A good work environment is important in the team itself and also when communicating with the associated teams.

What Qualifications Do You Need To Be A VFX Artist?

university

If you want to go for more, there are schools around the world where you will get your higher degree in VFX art.

This way, you can become part of the next generation of artists. 

University Of Hertfordshire (United Kingdom)

The University of Hertfordshire offers a BA (Hons) in 3D Animation and Visual Effects. From character animation, cinematography and modelling to rigging and compositing, they have a lot to teach you.

You’ll immerse yourself in their animation studios, which are kitted out with everything you need to bring your creations to life. 

Gnomon (Hollywood, United States)

A 35,000 square feet facility where thousands of students have been educated and prepared for the VFX industry for over twenty years now.

Gnomon stands out for putting emphasis on creativity more than technical advances. 

Lost Boys Studios (British Columbia, Canada)

Complete training on VFX, lightning or composition.

This school provides specialized diploma & certificate programs for feature film VFX production.

How Much Do VFX Artists Make?

money

According to the most recent statistics from ZipRecruiter, VFX artists are getting paid up to $ 41 per hour. Reaching a salary of $ 86,000 in average terms. With the lowest salary being $ 11,000 and the highest of $ 148,500 for the most experienced workers.

ZipRecruiter offers updated information on VFX artist salary worldwide and also the country from which we consult.

On the other hand, PayScale offers a table of salaries ranging from $ 25,000 to $ 69,000 annually.

Where To Find VFX Artist Jobs

VFX artist

For those who are learning on their own, it would be some good advice to pitch for jobs on platforms such as Freelancer.com.

It is a full-time job, so a good and tempting resume would be appropriate. Along with a presentation message where you can indicate that you will be willing to work hard to obtain the best results.

Then you can search the web for listings of companies around the world where you can send your work and samples.

That Was Our Guide On How To Become A VFX Artist

VFX artist

Visual effects have been around for over a century and have improved so much that movies and games are completely designed by VFX artists, relegating purely human work on screen to the background.

In a near future dominated by AI we must bear in mind that visual effects will be part of our lives at all times, and the world will become a great Matrix where each individual would be able to choose their own perception of reality.

In this sense, there is a lot of competition to get to work in the television, gaming and film industry. 

We hope that this article has given you the confidence to go out there and chase your dreams of becoming a VFX artist! Want to learn more about the film business? Then you need to head over to the Music Gateway blog! There you can read informative articles such as Digital Imaging Technician: What Is A DIT & How Can I Become One?, Colorist In Movies: Our Guide On How To Be A Colorist For Film and The 8 Best Video Editing Software Programs.

Are You A Filmmaker?

Are you an independent filmmaker, or interested in the crossover between music and film? Then check out our article on music supervisors. With our concierge and service and extensive music library. Allow us to help you find music for your film. Sign up free for Music Gateway now!

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