Video game professions in 2023: VFX Artist

Any image that is digitally added to the images of an audiovisual product can be classified as “VFX”.

There is something… “Really, and it’s called special effects or” FX effects “In English. Special effects are not far removed from the digital era. Their origins go back to George Méliès (1861-1938). But obviously digital offers almost limitless possibilities. Today “ SFX “, special effects that do not use digital, such as certain stunts and “ VFX “, with a V meaning visual.

business information
Education level: bac +3 – bac +5
Total monthly salary: €2,000 – €3,200

From awesome to invisible

Special effects are everywhere, but we don’t always see them! It is not necessary to imagine that, in principle, it rhymes with the big show, on the contrary. We use special effects because we know how to put pictures on pictures. In fact, any image digitally added to footage in audiovisual production is called “ VFX “. See a motorcyclist who starts a crazy chase through the alleys? It’s only on green screen in the studio, the special effects do the rest. A couple uncorks a bottle of wine against the background of the sunset? But special effects also make it possible to insert smoke, flames, simulate explosions, etc. They create what cannot be recorded directly.

While special effects specialists are primarily involved in post-production, they are actually called upon throughout the creative process, especially to check what is possible within budgets.

An FX or VFX artist must have a strong and diverse technological background. For example, you can’t realistically knock down a building if you don’t master physics! Math is an essential tool and knowledge of development engines and basic 3D software is essential.

But the success of a VFX artist is above all due to his artistic sensibility. It is he who allows him to create images that are sometimes spectacular, sometimes very restrained, but important for the final achievement. Finally, the VFX Artist will be more admired if he has the unqualified creativity and practicality: it’s not uncommon for us to turn to him when a production has a last-minute problem. Isn’t she a bit of a magician by nature?

Required qualifications

  • Knows How To Draw (2D)
  • Be creative, be imaginative
  • Strong image culture

End of educational achievement

  • Knowledge of the entire production chain
  • Knowledge of color theory and the basics of materials and textures
  • Knowledge of physics
  • Basic software knowledge

Interview with Thibault Gauriau

Thibault GauriauLead FX on Industrial Light & Magic (Ready Player One, The Mandalorian, Free Guy, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power).

What is the Job of an FX Artist? Why do we sometimes talk about VFX?

The term VFX is a fairly general term that describes any computer-generated visual effect (images). In the world of VFX, there are many departments that work in a coordinated manner, including the FX department. An FX artist’s mission is to create visual elements such as fire, water, smoke, explosions, rain, sparks, clouds, and even magic. It also destroys, destroys, dusts, etc. directed to create scenes.

Aren’t the most successful special effects sometimes the ones you don’t see?

Absolutely! The most successful special effects are often the most “invisible“. A typical case of very successful special effects is the extension of sets. It is often simpler to build only part of the set during shooting, then prepare the rest of the set and let VFX intervene to integrate it completely invisibly to the sides.”realThis VFX technique is so well mastered that even a trained professional eye will have a hard time distinguishing the real from the fake. Other than that, there are more subtle special effects like adding bruises and blood to the actor’s eyes. face, replacing cloudy skies with clear ones, removing buildings that spoil the landscape, even trees and animals that did not exist at the time of shooting.

What are the most in-demand fields for a VFX Artist right now?

There is currently a huge demand for VFX Artists in the film and advertising industry, as well as in the video game sector (all types of platforms). More and more new interactive and real-time media like VR and AR also need VFX artists to create content. At the beginning of a career, it is important to acquire a broad knowledge of this field and to encounter a large number of special effects. Over time, with experience and different projects, some artists will flourish in a particular style of special effects, while others will remain generalists and “the charm of all trades“. There are no rules and the most important thing is to follow your passion and instincts!

Who are the key contacts for an FX or VFX Artist? Director? Art director? Technical director?

in a production”normal“, the direct interlocutor will be his boss, the FX supervisor. However, it is always a matter of teamwork, so the FX artist will constantly be called upon to communicate with other FX artists and other artists from different departments: animation, modeling, texturing, lighting, etc. At the beginning of productions there is always a producer and an art director or VFX supervisor. They are the leaders who make sure everyone is moving in the same direction. Obviously, the FX or VFX artist is in direct contact with these people. In some specific cases, the FX artist may be in contact with the director of the film. depends on the size, the director’s interest in watching the VFX process, or the type of film the FX artist is called upon to create.

digital professionsGuide 2023 – Digital professions – Schools and training

This sheet is taken from the special edition “Guide 2023 – Digital professions – Schools and training” Published by Jeux Vidéo Magazine, available from your newsagent for €6.95. Click on the cover to find extracts from other trades.

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