Escape Studios 2 min read

Tips for Studying VFX

Katie Fiddaman

Katie Fiddaman posted on

Visual Effects is a growing industry, perfect for those looking to gain knowledge of 3D VFX and Compositing: the degree will provide the professional skills that the industry is looking for or even to start up a studio.

If you are looking to study visual effects, check out the following top tips to see how you can maximise your success in this discipline.

1. Get the most out of the modules

Our first year at Escape Studios is the same for all our undergraduate students, whether you are studying visual effects, animation or games.

That means that in the first year of studies ("Level 4"), all students study a broad, flexible curriculum, to provide the skills required and understand the pipelines before committing to one specialism.

1. CR4002 – Creative Foundations Craft (30 Credits)
Creative Foundations Craft is a foundation course in creativity and creative thinking. Some software, such as Photoshop, is taught in this module; and students are encouraged to explore creative ideas and creative ways of thinking. T

2. PR4001 – Creative Foundations Project (2 week group project) (30 Credits)
In the Creative Foundations Project, students take the skills they have learned in Creative Foundations Craft, and complete a team project. This mimics the industry as well as increasing students' ability to apply their skills.

3. AN4001 – Animation 1 (15 Credits)
In this 4 week animation module, students explore the basics of animation, from a bouncing ball through to sophisticated motion.

4. GA4001 – Games (15 Credits)
This 4 week games module introduces students to the basics of creating 3D assets for games (using Maya), and integrating them into the game engine - Unreal Engine.

5. VX4002 - 3D for VFX (15 Credits)
This four week module introduces students to the basics of the 3D pipeline. Students learn 3D modelling, texturing and lighting in Maya for the 3D VFX pipeline.

6. VX4001 - Compositing for VFX (15 Credits)
This four week module introduces students to the basics of compositing, using Nuke to combine elements in a visual effects environment. Students learn a variety of skills including colour correction, 2D Nuke camera tracking and 3D projections to create a composited environment.

2. Show off your talents

Create a showreel displaying your best work so that you can show this to studios, industry experts and alumni to get feedback and constantly evolve and improve your work.

Here is an example VFX Showreel from Escape Studios:

3. Ask tutors about their experiences

All Escape Studios tutors have had real life industry experience and have worked on some awesome blockbuster films! Talk to them about what they have done and how they got to where they are!

For Visual Effects, your key tutors are:

  • Mark Spevick - (3D) He has worked on ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ and ‘The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus’. He also worked with Martin Campbell on ‘Zorro’ and ‘Mask of Zorro’ before supervising on the set of ‘Casino Royale’. Mark also managed the CG team that worked on the parachute scene in ‘Angels and Demons’.

via GIPHY

  • Davi Stein - (2D) She was Senior Compositor on ‘The Dark Knight’, ‘Where The Wild Things Are’, ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ and ‘Australia’.

via GIPHY

Be inspired - take full advantage of your access to people with industry knowledge to enrich your own learning and build your future career!

Tips for Studying VFX
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