VFX Artist

Also known as

  • Visual Effects Artist

Work Activities

As a VFX Artist, you will be creating the special effects for scenes in films and TV.

You might be working with other creative designers, such as Artists, Developers and Designers, to create these special effects.

You could be creating effects such as:

  • rain
  • wind
  • explosions
  • destruction
  • smoke
  • fire

VFX Artists use storyboards with written descriptions to first start designing the visual effect.

Once the storyboard has been agreed, you would then use the computer software and your knowledge to create the visual effects and illustrations, which will be shown to the Producers and Editors of the show.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a VFX Artist, you will need:

  • a creative mind
  • the ability to use software packages
  • IT skills
  • attention to detail
  • good communication skills
  • to be flexible ad you may be creating many effects

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates below are approximate:

  • Starting: £20,500 - £22,500
  • With experience: £24,000 - £27,500
  • Senior VFX Artists earn £29,000 - £32,000

Hours of work

Late finishes and work at weekends may be required, especially as deadlines approach.

Where could I work?

Opportunities for VFX Artists occur with employers in towns and cities throughout the UK.

Employers include broadcast production companies, design studios and firms involved in visual effects.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised on all the major job boards, on Find a Job, and at Jobcentre Plus.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry

There is no set entry route into this job, though many new entrants have a degree, foundation degree or HND in IT or graphic design. You could also study alternative courses including:

  • electrical engineering
  • computer - aided engineering
  • 3D design
  • moving image arts

An Advanced Level Apprenticeship is also great place to start. Take a look at our information article 'Apprenticeships – How do I apply', for more details about applying for apprenticeship positions.

You will need to build up a portfolio, including a show reel of your work.

Another great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article 'Internships', for more details.

Training

If you would like to receive more training, then Future Learn offers a course in visual effects.

The course has been designed for anyone who would like to understand the role of VFX Artists in film.

By the end of the course, you will have learnt:

  • green screen techniques
  • motion tracking
  • colour grading

The Creative Skillset supports this programme.

Other courses might be available in your area.

Work Experience

Previous experience working in graphic design or in animation would be really useful for this career.

Progression

Once you have built up experience and knowledge as a VFX Artist, you could work your way towards becoming an Editor or Producer.

Qualifications

The usual requirement for entry to a degree course in graphic design is:

  • 3 A levels
  • 5 GCSEs usually including English and maths

Qualifications in art, design and technology, and technical subjects such as IT are useful.

To get onto an Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including English and maths, or to have completed an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.

You will normally need to submit a comprehensive portfolio/show reel that shows your potential.

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.

Further Information

Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far

National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)

Tel: 0800 015 0400

Email: nationalhelpdesk@findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk

Website: www.apprenticeships.org.uk

ScreenSkills

Skills for the creative industries

Email: info@creativeskillset.org

Website: www.creativeskillset.org

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

Future Learn

Website: www.futurelearn.com

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