advanced photoshop

How to become a successful VFX artist: Part 1

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Tips & Tutorials, by AprilMadden

Amedeo Beretta shares his advice for getting into the VFX industry. In Part 1, he explains what VFX is and how there’s more to it than meets the eye…

Still from John Carter
John Carter, the air battle unfolds. In almost all of the VFX facilities animation work is divided into Hero and Crowd work. If a character is particularly relevant in a shot its animation would normally be referred to as ‘Hero animation’. © Walt Disney Pictures, Double Negative VFX

Many people don’t realise that invisible visual effects have been used in films for many decades. When thinking about visual effects, people picture big computer-generated explosions, or the animation work behind Disney classics, but the art is actually much broader and consists of much compositing work and detail enhancement that goes largely unnoticed to the untrained eye.

Whilst the field has been around for years, however, it has never seen such a rapid pace of change than that of the last decade. This is largely due to technological advancement; new software and programs are constantly cropping up and today’s tool quickly becomes yesterday’s apparatus. The skills required to be a successful VFX artist, though, have remained largely the same. Therefore by mastering these skills and employing a bit of technical nous, you could be well on your way to becoming the next big VFX supervisor.

In the next chapters of his guide, Amedeo will look at training the eye, the need for flexibility, how Photoshop and other programs will form an essential part of the pipeline, and his ultimate tips for success.Check back next week for more!

Amedeo Beretta

Amedeo Beretta is a Module Leader for the six month Visual Effects for Film course at Met Film School. His cinematic credits include Paul, John Carter and Planet 51.