7 Things you Probably Need to Know to Become a Successful Vfx Artist

Learning Visual Effects is a time consuming process, It requires lots of hard work and patience. So, I resolved to pen this article where I will discuss certain things necessary if you wish to become a Motion Graphics or Vfx Artist.

Learn about the History of Visual Effects

Visual Effects is between us since 1856, Oscar Rejlander created the world’s first “trick photograph” by combining different sections of 30 negatives into a single image. In 1895, Alfred Clark created what is commonly accepted as the first-ever motion picture special effect. While filming a reenactment of the beheading of Mary, Queen of Scots, Clark instructed an actor to step up to the block in Mary’s costume.

History of Visual Effects

As the executioner brought the axe above his head, Clarke stopped the camera, had all of the actors freeze, and had the person playing Mary step off the set. He placed a Mary dummy in the actor’s place, restarted filming, and allowed the executioner to bring the axe down, severing the dummy’s head. “Such… techniques would remain at the heart of special effects production for the next century.”

Not only the first use of trickery in the cinema, it was the first type of photographic trickery only possible in a motion picture, i.e. the “stop trick”.

Visit History of Visual Effects to learn more.

Learn about today’s Competition in the Industry

From 1856 till today, Visual Effects or Motion Graphics techniques have developed so much that it feels like a dream to me. Industrial Light and Magic is a Lucas film company who are leaders when we talk about Visual Effects. They are noted for their vast contributions in many of the greatest Hollywood movies of our time.

From Jurassic Park to Iron Man, Industrial light and Magic artists have proved themselves again and again. This lead to a big rivalry or competition among the different Visual Effects studio’s.

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Plan your journey, know where you want to stand in the industry, whether you want to work for Motion Pictures or Television. Start believing in yourself, if another person is working in a Best Visual Effects Studio, than you can too, since we all are humans only.  On the other hand, prepare yourself to face the challenges and competition.

Start from the Basics. There is no need to RUSH!

When it comes to learning Visual Effects, develop patience, start finding out the basics first. Know your software, experiment with it. Search Google for tutorials, tip and techniques. Watch Visual Effects Training videos’s on YouTube, there are thousands of videos available which can help you with it.

Once you know the basics, move one step forward or maybe upward. Start working and producing your own short VFX Video’s or maybe a short film like.

Remember there is no need to rush. You should devote at least a year to the basics and intermediate stuff before going onto the advance art of Visual Effects.

Know your Best place

When it comes to working on a project, like Visual Effects in a Motion Picture, no single person is responsible for creating all those superb Vfx shots. In that respect is a huge team of Vfx artist from different sectors or fields who collaborate and make their best to make the project successful.

At present a Visual Effects team is forged by a lot of different artists, such as Compositors, Rotoscoping artists, 3D modelling artists, Matte Painting artists, colorists, 3D conversion artists, Keying artists and hence along.

Know your home, in which sector you hold an Interest as well as you are honest. If you like compositing things, then title yourself as a Compositor. If you are safe with colors or color correction, grading, then prepare yourself to be a colorist.

Enroll yourself in a Visual Effects or Motion Graphics School

It is the common question most people asks me “ Do I need an Art Institute or College to Learn Visual Effects”. Well, I’ll say, it totally depends on once choice. Going into a Visual Effects school is good and can be helpful.

First of all, you will start out in a troupe of people who have the same interest as you. Secondly, you will be geared up with High Performance Workstations so that you can take those advanced techniques without any hassle or problems, the most usual one is crashing of your Editing Program.

I recommend learning the basics from the Internet. After that, you can extend for an advance course in any Visual Effects or Motion Graphics School or maybe an Art Institute.

Work as a Freelancer

This part is very important, since working as a freelancer can be beneficial. It helps you master your skills, build some clients, contacts as well as money. Also the projects which you get while working as a freelancer can help you create your own Show Reel about which I have cited in the next subheading.

Once you master your program and skills, Start working as a self-employed person. Currently, I am also working freelance for some local people, colleges as well as events.

You can check out a Promotional Video i produced last year for a Gaming Event.

Get Yourself a Show Reel

Now that you have worked on number of Projects as a Freelancer, It’s time to get yourself a Show Reel. A Show Reel is a synopsis of the work which you have practiced in the yesteryear. It consists of those amazing Vfx shots along with their Breakdowns.

You need a Show Reel in case you desire to work for a Visual Effects Studio, they go through your Show Reel and decides whether you are able to contribute to the company or not.

Remember, always include your best work in your Show Reel, Keep it nice and simple, yet effective since a Show Reel is the back bone of any Visual Effects Artist.

You can check out an example of Show Reel by Digital Domain below.

There can be few other things which I may not have  included in this article, but the above content is somewhat in proper order that one can follow if he/she desires to be a successful Vfx Artist.

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