Maybe it was in a conversation about a recent film or a new game, but you’ve probably heard about VFX before. Short for visual effects, this tech is crucial to the gaming and entertainment industry.
For example, over 1,700 VFX artists from Weta FX worked on James Cameron’s 2023 film, Avatar: The Way of Water. The company is responsible for producing over 98% or 3,340 of the film’s digital shots. Avatar 2’s VFX team actually worked tirelessly for over 3 years to produce the sequel.
According to Pavani Rao Boddapati, the lead for Weta FX, it was a daunting task as over 90% of the film included visual effects like CGI shots. For this reason, her VFX team worked closely with Cameron for 3+ years to produce the film even though filming had officially concluded in 2018.
VFX and CGI
But aside from the general moniker of “special effects,” not many know the ins and outs of VFX. For example, did you know that CGI and VFX are not the same? Or that filmmakers often use VFX and live-action footage in conjunction.
VFX or Visual Effects is an essential aspect of filmmaking, helping creators add dramatic and fantastical elements to the movie. Experts use computer-generated images/clips to add these effects and integrate them into existing footage.VFX, therefore, allows them to simulate effects otherwise impossible to add in live shoots.
Use of Visual Effects
For example, visual effects can help create fantastical creatures like dragons or add sequences like slowed-down bullets or more. They can also emulate phenomena like fire, rain, storms, and more. Filmmakers typically collaborate with cinematographers and other creative professionals to create these sequences.
These visual elements are then brought to life using digital graphics. These effects will then be added to the relevant scenes to amp up the footage. Among the most expensive types of VFX are CGI or computer-generated imagery.
Rather than modulating existing footage or integrating effects into the frame, CGI refers to the creation of entirely new digital elements. CGI can be used to artificially develop graphics for a variety of purposes, including
- Print Media
Things to Know Before You Become a VFX Artist
It is, therefore, safe to say that CGI/VFX specialists play a significant role in the media, gaming, and film industry. However, not all digital experts earn equally. Your salary as a VFX expert may depend on factors like
Experience and Skill Level
As with every industry, experience is a significant pro for VFX artists looking to earn more. More skilled and experienced professionals are likely to command higher salaries. For example, you may be more likely to negotiate a higher CTC if your portfolio includes a high-profile project.
Moreover, your expertise in various VFX software may also help you acquire better compensation.
Virtual effect production is not uniform and instead includes a variety of skills. As with almost every discipline, you will have specialized skills or expertise to help you stand out from other VFX specialists.
Knowledge and experience in niche subjects may help you earn more. Depending on the project requirements, some of the VFX specializations that can be leveraged include
- Character Animation
The size of your local VFX industry and company plays a major role in your development as a visual effects professional. Large and well-established studios offer you the opportunity to work on high-profile projects. Aside from the exposure to new markets, such experience also lets you experiment with new tools and software.
Working on big-budget films also lets you leverage higher salaries. Moreover, being hired by these studios lets you negotiate better opportunities for yourself in the future. For these reasons, you should choose a career in places where VFX is a thriving industry.
Hubs like Los Angeles, London, and Vancouver are known to be hibs in entertainment, music, and gaming. You can take advantage of the opportunities available to find a more suitable position.
The type of projects you choose also influences your growth as a VFX artist. For example, your work’s scale, range, budget, and complexity will define your future projects. If you want to grow as a developer, you should ensure that you choose projects that let you grow as a professional.
For these reasons, you should find projects like VFX modeling services, high-budget commercials, large-scale feature films, commercially successful franchises, and more. Doing so will help you open more doors in the future. With such strategic decisions, you could be counted in the following list of the most famous VFX artists in the world.
These professionals have been part of the most memorable blockbusters of recent times, including the Star Wars films, the Avatar movies, and the Harry Potter series.
Most Famous VFX Artists in the World
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