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Five Tips For The Work From Home VFX Artist

Five Tips For The Work From Home VFX Artist

Working from home? Here are five ways to stay productive.


The world is in a strange and difficult place. As offices close and workers are displaced, society is adjusting to a new lifestyle. Though temporary, this change brings new challenges.

For the VFX artist, there’s a blessing in the nature of work: we’re online, connected, and our world lives on the computer. 

With remote work increasing alongside internet speeds, this is business as usual for many, and the ability to work from home is a privilege. Nonetheless, it takes time to master! These five quick tips should give you a good start. 

1. Cloud as much as you can

This is just as much of a work from home tip as it is a collaboration and best practice tip. Though many studios and companies have their own systems in place for digital assets and file management, the practice is universal. Make sure your work is easily accessible by a wide range of people (and yourself) online! 
The key here is to keep it light. Low-resolution exports of footage and project files are more than enough to collaborate on shots, show your work, and have a handy backup stored online for the worst-case scenario.

In the modern world, there are dozens of tools to get you started here from the rudimentary google drive to the fully program-integrated Creative Cloud.

2. Bring inspiration into your space

The mental challenges of working from home are often more urgent than logistical ones. The battle against lethargy, the separation of work and home, and the looming cabin fever is something we will all have to deal with. For many of us, this is doubled down by our inability to go out and live our lives as normal due to shelter-in-place orders.
One way to combat this is to both own and separate your spaces. Your workspace can be a place where you find and channel inspiration. This is where the taste comes in as well: hang a new painting, set up model kits or figures on your desk, surround yourself with books and references. Then your living and leisure space should feel different. 

3. Taking breaks is vital

Also a mental note: take breaks! In an office, there are many “natural” and automatic breaks that we’re given even on a micro-scale. Whether it’s a friend coming over to your desk or a trip to the water cooler, these small moments away from the screen and focusing on something else is crucial in fighting burnout and keeping us fresh. 

There’s a physical component to this as well. Working from home you’ll naturally be more stagnate, so it’s important to get up and stretch.

4. Learn something new

One of the best silver linings to working from home is the time saved and the refreshed opportunity to focus and be alone to learn new things. Especially with any temporary quarantine, this is as good a time as any to learn that new program or skillset you’ve been meaning to do.
This is where the resources really open up. Our very own tutorial section could be a great place to start here, along with some of our blog posts with tutorial lists!

Additionally, some of our friends are showing how we’re all in this together with even more access to their amazing resources. One of the best examples is from a "work-from-homer" himself, Hugo Guerra, who is rolling out six free episodes of his complete compositing course for Nuke!

5.  Staying social with the community

Just being at home isn’t the only difference you feel when working from home, you also feel the lack of coworkers and social energy. Thankfully for us, it’s 2020 and there are more ways to be social than in face to face meetings. 

Staying social as an artist is more than keeping your mentality in check through interaction. It’s about keeping your network alive, celebrating other people’s work, and sharing your own. There are several ways to do this starting of course with social media itself. All platforms from Instagram to Twitter have bustling art communities who share, discuss, and learn together.

Another way is to join the ActionVFX Facebook Group! This is a place to learn and grow along with fellow VFX artists and filmmakers.
One step deeper and you can up the interaction through dedicated community spaces such as Discord or Reddit. These two usually go hand in hand as you can see through reddit.com/r/VFX, which has an accompanying Discord for more real-time discussion. 

These five tips are just a start, but it can help you stay on the path that keeps your mentality strong and turns your work from home journey into a learning opportunity. 

Most of all, it’s important to take care of yourself and continue to thrive as an artist regardless of environment or circumstance. At the end of the day, the craft goes with you, it’s not stuck in your office!

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