View Full Version : Professional career
May 22nd, 2008, 02:50 PM
I am very interested in persuing Visual Effects as a career. The big question that I was wanting an answer to is this...
I am 16 and currently in High School and just completed my exams: Maths, Computing, Geography, History and English. I am not very good at drawing or painting (arty stuff) but I have been learning VFX on my computer for many years using software like:After effects; Fusion 5.1; Final Cut Studio 2; Premiere Pro; 3Ds Max. I am quite good at and learning and completing mini projects.
I was wondering whether I would be able to get into a Visual FX school and achieve this career path or because I do not do art will I not be able to do it?
Thanks very much
May 22nd, 2008, 04:16 PM
Do you need to go to school to do VFX? As much as it would be a good thing if you did, don't consider it the ultimate test for whether you can do it. Personally, I never applied to a VFX school, and so never went to one, and yet am still working in the industry. Being self-taught and having other skills (programming, in my case) can really help you out. I never went to school, but had a Computer Science degree, which was my entry into the industry. I'm now compositing, and have found a very nice position for myself within a good company.
May 22nd, 2008, 04:30 PM
yea but hugh, how many producers did you have to sleep wit to get where you are now? How many bad memories do you have from dark allies, behind studios?
but seriusly...I went to a film school, not a vfx school, I feel much more well rounded than most who come out of VFS or some other school when it comes to film production, though i would have loved more vfx classes...such is life
May 22nd, 2008, 05:17 PM
I think that what I was trying to say was more that there are many ways to get into the industry. So many people seem to be claiming that they have the "one true way", but that's just bullshit.
I have blocked any memories of allies, or, for that matter, alleys. It's too traumatic to think of.
May 22nd, 2008, 05:38 PM
Like Aaron I went to film school aswell. I never planned to do visual effects after I finished, as I concentrated on cinematography while studying. I kind of fell into commercials post/vfx after I finished. Studying film & cinematography has served me so much better than say a very specialized vfx course. Developing a good aesthetic eye is more important than knowing what button does what.
In the business I've met people who were previously civil engineers, programmers, poets, artists, musicians, writers, graphic designers and editors.
May 22nd, 2008, 07:13 PM
I never had any formal training in vfx or art for that matter. I was a science boy though and through until i decided i wanted to start making movies.
Then i figured out making movies was expensive and actors and crew (friends and family) were unreliable and lacking enthusiasm at 1am on a cold winter night. So i moved into animation using after effects which taught me the basics (and i mean basics, nothing fancy at all) of comp work.
This allowed me to build up my reel and by stroke of luck (or being ready when opportunity comes knocking) got a job at a lovely vfx house where i meet people who kept on giving me work.
I know its been said a million times on this board, but rudimentary talent got me my first gig...consistency and who i met from that got me every other one since then.
May 23rd, 2008, 01:59 AM
There are many many ways into the vfx industry. I've worked with many artists over the years. In the same room one artist attended a very well respected art university for 5 years and owns over $120,000 in the end. Others got into the industry by being a PA for a few years and practiced in their off time into a starting artist position.
IMHO, I do not believe that you have to be good at traditional art to be good at digital art. What's great is that it's obvious you are passionate for vfx and that will drive you far into your career, especially when you're at the office at 4am wondering why you're doing it.
I can't cut film on a flatbed at all, but was successful as a digital nonlinear editor in the past. I can't use a darkroom to produce beautiful photos but I'm rather fond of my digital photography now. I don't know the first thing about sketching or mixing paint properly, but I'm doing a decent job at removing objects from shots.
However, I do believe that a solid foundation in art theory and techniques are very important. If you're modeling, it's important to understand how it's gonna be rigged or animated. If you're rotoing, it's important to do it properly and a good teacher will show you the way, either through schooling, forums or a co-worker.
May 23rd, 2008, 07:53 AM
I think that all you need is the passion for vfx to be able to do vfx.
I never went to vfx school and I didn't even get a diploma of any sort.
I'm self taught and I let my work speak for itself and it has been enough to land me some nice jobs over the years.
At the end of the day it's usually your showreel that lands you the job, not your diploma.
Don't get me wrong though, diplomas are nice and very helpful when applying for jobs, but it isn't what matters the most in my opinion.
June 15th, 2008, 09:39 PM
You have asked the question at the right time in your career. When i started eight years ago, I did not find any specialized VFX schools, and the ones I did find were in USA and too expensive.
I opted to jump into the river of vfx and then learn to swim. Was a very difficult at first, but made me self-taught and a lot less expensive. But those days, my peers hardly knew too much, and everyone was in some process of learning. now a days i think vfx education is a lot more organized.
You say you are not good at drawing. The one secret ive learnt is, everyone can learn to draw/paint, and become perfect at it by practice. I think being an expert at re-creating light and shapes, i.e drawing and painting will give you an edge in vfx, because you will understand the properties of light and perspectives.
Another art you need to start early at is photography. This will help you understand images through lenses.
Ultimately, you dont need to go through vfx school to get a job, but since you are so young and may be doing a bachelors degree at some point, why not a vfx degree.
June 15th, 2008, 10:50 PM
I went to school but started in Architecture, then switched into a self made major.
It wasn't until I was out in the real world that I wanted to try VFX. So I'm completely self taught, and can't draw for shit.... well sometimes I can half way decently, but not really.