Visual Effects Courses Learning Path

Acquiring a job in visual effects is a common goal for those who are interested in design and computer generated imagery. A special effects technician, or VFX specialist, is also a highly sought-after job. It involves producing physical effects through pyrotechnics, and other visual graphics to help create a specific illusion in a film production.

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Where to Start

Many companies who are utilising a VFX specialist for a particular job will not require you to have a degree. Instead, they will want to see proof of previous experience and what you are capable of achieving. However, a degree showing that you are skilled in a particular area, such as design, will help give you leverage when competing for particular assignments. It is important to network and make contacts in the visual effects industry. Many companies will not advertise jobs openly.

When achieving a permanent job with a visual effects agency, they typically employ based on a ladder system. In other words, when you first get hired, you will work as a technician for 2 years, or until you have proven your skills. This is often called an internship/apprenticeship. However, if you are employed on a contract basis, or as a freelance VFX specialist, then you will have more options as far as your overall requirements.

Education

There are certain skills that need to be present when becoming a VFX specialist. During the learning process, an educational background in drawing, painting and electronic components is very important in order to perform the job properly. The design skills come into play during areas of the job that involve computer generated backgrounds or characters. In this case, knowledge of specific software is important.

Most video editors will also be required to maintain the storyline in their heads, even while they are editing scenes that may not be in sequence. You may also need to work with numerous other production staff, including other editors.

Equipment and Software

If you are going to ensure you get the best possible job, it is important to make sure that you have the right experience with the software and the equipment necessary to edit video. The more experience you have, the greater your chances will be when you hit the job market looking for work.

Portfolios

Formulating a portfolio with show reels of previous work is a step you should take first. Many entrants come from a variety of different fields, such as animation, engineering, computer science, and industrial design. A company will typically look at a person’s practical skills, instead of an educational background.

Get Involved

Networking and doing numerous apprenticeship/internship jobs can be a great way to have your foot in the door when you start looking for a formal position. The better you were in those positions, the greater the chance is that you will have a leg up when it comes time to apply for a full time job.

Becoming a video production specialist requires knowledge of editing software and equipment; it requires good networking and people skills to handle the team of people that generally accompany a production. You need to be able to work with everyone, from the director to the staff. This is a rewarding, productive, exciting career with advancing opportunities. Video production runs into movies, television, and the internet. Each has its own set of rules and methods. Additionally, you will get to meet many exciting and interesting people every day as part of your daily routine.

Own It

It is important that a VFX specialist have certain characteristics or qualities to prepare them for the type of work they will encounter. A person who is naturally creative and imaginative is very successful in the VFX industry, and additional knowledge about technical processes and computer technology is vital. Other personal characteristics include the ability to work in a team setting and the ability to communicate successfully and professionally. For a freelance VFX specialist, the above mentioned qualities are true, but it is also extremely important that they have organizational skills and self-motivation to help excel in the industry.

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