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Four Creators to Inspire Your Next VFX Short

Four Creators to Inspire Your Next VFX Short

Need inspiration for your upcoming project? Get the brain flowing with these four creative geniuses.

Through the miracles of modern technology, VFX has become more accessible than ever. Effects, which at one point could only be pulled off by entire teams and millions in budget, are now being cranked out by creators across the world on self-built PCs.

This era of at-home and DIY has evolved into a much more sophisticated indie artist community. While the world's largest studios push the envelope of technology and pave the road ahead, these creators are innovating through new formats, new modes of storytelling, and their own unique vision.

The following artists can not only inspire you creatively, they can open your eyes to whole new ways of approaching your craft.

Clinton Jones

From his early days making the now-classic Cardboard Warfare to his incredible work with our friends over at Corridor Digital, Clint Jones has brought a unique artistic touch to indie filmmaking and VFX in the online space.
One of my favorite things about Clint’s work is the strength of his eye. A quick look through his Instagram reveals such a strong sense of image design in his renders that there must be more to the story. Keep scrolling and you’ll find the answer: photography.

As you move through Clint’s work you question a lot of things: is this a render? That one has to be a photo, right? You can consider this a triumph of realism, but I think it’s also a matter of what you don’t question. Regardless of the medium, it’s clear that every inch of this feed came from the same artist and the same eye.

Hayden Zezula (zolloc)

I’ve sung his praises before and I’ll do it again here. Zolloc takes the medium of 3D art and turns it on its head with laser-focused color composition and a modern touch to make you turn your head. One of the best takeaways from his work is the sheer flexibility that can be found under the VFX umbrella.
For many of us, whether it’s 3D, 2D, modeling, comp, or more, VFX is a component of filmmaking. Zolloc and other creators are showing a much wider breadth of formats and purposes for their art such as stills, installations, fashion, and more.

Ian Hubert

Ian Hubert is simply a creative genius. His approach to Blender in particular has pushed many, myself included, to rethink the way they approach CG for a variety of needs. He takes a brutally simple approach to things which on the surface seem daunting.
In his “Lazy Tutorials” series, this means saving time. One minute tutorial to build a convincing and artistically sound city inside of Blender? It seems crazy, but Ian’s approach makes it possible. His secret on one hand is a mastery of program constraints and finding shortcuts therein, but on the other hand it’s his critical thinking as an artist.

One fallacy of VFX is that, improving your Nuke skill for example, makes you a better artist. In reality, it’s the evolution and maturation of your eye and your approach to problem solving that will see you excel. Ian exhibits both in spades.

King Vader

Sometimes the best thing you can do is just embrace your limitations. For King Vader, this became his whole schtick with his hood Naruto and Dragonball series (among others) showing that fidelity does not equal quality in the online content space. King Vader’s work is truly minimum budget and hits that “just enough” sweet spot that gets the story across in a perfectly efficient way.
When it comes to VFX especially, Vader’s work feels like early year After Effects for many, but that’s the brilliance of it. Whether it’s a muzzle flare or a sky replacement, their team cuts all the fluff and goes for only what they need to tell the story. This minimal view is best for checking your foundations. Are the effects you’re adding into your story really contributing?

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