Top 10 Highly-Demanding Career Opportunities in VFX
Movies, TV shows, Entertainment hubs in popular malls, video games, advertising, house/interior designing, medical field, the fields where VFX employs as a popular tool are numerous and extensive. Country, gender, or background doesn’t matter if you’re an aspiring VFX artist; only skill, a solid artistic mind, and hard work matter if you’re really into this. The umbrella term “Animation/VFX and Graphic Designing”, covers various techniques handled by a variety of technicians. Each department is equally important to the finished look of the output. One step is incomplete without the proper finishing of the preceding step as applicable to the other fields. Although, there are some crucial positions in VFX which are highly demanding due to myriad reasons. Let’s have a quick peek into some of the best VFX career opportunities.
Generally, the Technical Director makes the FX artist’s role easier and quicker. A TD is required to have an elevated sense of lighting and rendering. It is the meticulous planning of a TD that gives the frame/sequence a finished outlook. Strong coding and programming skills are fundamental qualities since TEMPeffects are created using the CLS (computer language scripts) written by TDs.
These specific quality requirements make TDs a hard-to-find by VFX supervisors who usually manage the team that includes TDs, ideally making it a handsomely salaried job.
Compositors are responsible for generating the final output of a VFX sequence or frame. Controlling the lighting and making it look realistic is one of his/her important roles. Linking various components and close-knitting them altogether resulting in to look like a single shot/frame or image could be said as the predominant craft of a compositor.
Supervisors oversee the compositor’s work and deduce what’s to be done, the sequence, format, frequency, colour matching, and everything else related to the compositing work will be under the scrutiny of the supervisor. A veteran artist with solid knowledge about the subject eventually turns out to be a compositing supervisor. The experience factor adds up value to this position.
Rotoscoping is one of the earliest animation techniques yet still in popular use with crucial updates. Although during the initial stage, Rotoscoping was only used in animated movies, now it has travelled all the way to incredibly life-like motion captures.
Commonly referred to as “roto”, this process aids in creating life-like animated characters unlike the movement of drawn-on pictures. The recently updated version of the Lion King movie is the best example of Rotoscoping. Mastering Rotoscoping is indispensable according to VFX students as it could be said as the ‘gold mine of the animation industry naturally making the Roto artist high in demand. Companies do not hesitate to hire a highly-paid Roto artist as the quality of the product is a matter of company integrity. Experience plays a vital role in moulding a talented roto artist.
A picture editor works directly with the project’s director in order to decide and select the shots and frames. Therefore, the selection of shots is determined by the collective thoughts of the director, producer, and picture editor. Usually, a picture editor’s role comes in the post-production unit, thus s/he joins the team after the shooting.
Collaboration and Brainstorming: This is a key soft skill a picture editor should possess for the sake of career enhancement. A productive discussion with the writer, creator, and director is indispensable so as to hit the targeted output. Fruitful results of such collaborations will launch you towards much more reputed and esteemed heights.
LAYOUT AND BACKGROUND ARTIST
It’s the Layout artist’s role that decides the camera position, camera angle, etc. They plan and organize the character/subject’s movement (aka blocking) thus focused attention to detail is a vital attribute required for a layout artist. Once the layout artist’s intricate job is done, the background artist perfects the remaining image. Both are extremely skillful jobs and thus look for highly talented artists whose artistic skills are level top-notch.
The skills that are already listed above are applicable to rigging artists as well. Rigging refers to the generation of skeletal or base models for computer-generated images. The artist draws static models of characters along with the concept of how characters are supposed to move, their facial expressions, etc. This works as a great aid for the rigging artist. As per the idea received, they manage the simulation of the bone/cheek/eye/eyebrow movements of the character and assign their movements and postures.
Refined and excellent 3D models are fashioned by talented Rig artists making them popular in demand.
Digital preparation/paint artists, also known by the name of ‘Prep artists’ usually work with compositors and roto artists. The background in which the sequence is originally shot is called ‘plates’. Cleaning up these plates to prepare for the visual effects is implemented through the service of prep artists. With the support of well-equipped software programs, they can clean up anything from the screen.
Why expert prep artists are in demand? The need for paramount patience and impeccable attention to detail is the answer. A perfectionist mind should be developed even to focus on minute/silly details.
Transforming static pictures into motion pictures is the task of a Motion Graphic artist. An understanding of animation, layout, colour scheming are mandatory qualities needed for this job role. Companies seek MG artists to perform for diverse forms of media. Thus freelancing services provided by experts are also chosen frequently.
The bottom line of any profession is ‘be so good that they can’t ignore you’. No matter which technique you’re into, your alma mater and experience play a noticeable role in carving you as a VFX artist. So take good care while choosing a VFX institution to build a career in VFX industry. It is of utmost importance to develop your soft skills along with the technical skills you possess. Despite having solid technical and execution skills, some may still appear struggling to climb up the ladder due to the lack of soft skills. Networking is cardinal in making you look relevant to prospective companies. The reason why these jobs are in popular demand is that both technical and soft skills are inevitable to all the above-listed jobs which are rare to get. So basically, it’s all about choosing your forte that matches your taste. Choose it wisely.