You might be considering a degree in VFX but wondering what on earth you can do with it afterwards, and to be fair, that's not an unreasonable question - after all you’re spending a lot of money on the course. It’s important to look into the future at your potential career path, having that end goal in mind makes those stressful days that little bit easier. The average salary from this industry usually starts from £15,000 per year as a runner, and can reach up to £54,000 as a senior VFX artist.
So what can you do? Well, read on to find out about a number of exciting opportunities waiting for you after your degree has been completed.
This is basically 3D animatics, or a 3D animated version of storyboards. You’ll really need to be able to deliver the director’s vision for the film into your sequences.To do this, you’ll essentially need to be a generalist that can do everything from modeling to rendering.
You’ll need to be able to take a brief and turn that into a beautiful piece of artwork. Concept artists guide the rest of the pipeline artists as they create the movie’s settings and characters. They need a great understanding of image composition, lighting and colour.
Modelers create objects in 3D. It could be anything from a character to a whole environment. It’s important to have a great understanding of any industry standard modeling software, and be proactive when learning new ways to troubleshoot problems in your models.
Texture artists apply shaders to the mesh. You’ll need to have a great understanding of building good UV layouts.You’ll spend a lot of time communicating with the lighting and rendering teams, to make sure your textures look great.
You’ll need to be able to take a model and build the skeleton so it can be animated. You’ll need to know how your characters should move so you are able to build the system to make them move in believable ways.Maths skills are necessary for this position. You’re almost like a technical support, if something doesn’t move in the correct way, you’ll be the one to fix it.
As an FX TD, you’ll be designing and creating any effects such as explosions, fire, smoke and so on. You’ll need extensive knowledge of both Houdini and RealFlow. You’ll usually work closely with the lighting and rendering teams to make sure your FX will look correct in any reflections, shadows and so on.
As a compositor, you’ll be integrating different elements of a shot. Those elements are most commonly merging CG elements into live-action footage. This requires a great understanding of colour, practical lighting, real-world photography and image composition.
Matchmovers are known as the bridge between 2D and 3D, so you’ll need a great understanding of both. You’ll also need an advanced understanding of how trackers work and how you can troubleshoot when a track isn’t giving you the results expected.
First and foremost, you’ll be spending a majority of your time on Photoshop. You’ll be doing everything from digital painting, image manipulation and compositing.Usually, you’ll work from a concept artist’s work and create photorealistic environments. You’ll need to have advanced knowledge in Maya, NUKE and Vue to help you build your environments.
As a producer you’ll be handling all of the client relationships for the shots you’re working on. Meaning that you’ll be working closely with the VFX supervisor to make sure the shots are created to the client’s expectations. This role involves a lot of project management, communications with your own studio’s team and clients.