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What VFX Studios Are Looking For In 2019

What VFX Studios Are Looking For In 2019

Ready to have a go in the VFX industry? Here's what the studios expect!

Maybe you’re fresh out of college or you’re a seasoned veteran looking for that next big career move. There are a lot of evolving trends in the VFX industry, and the most important thing you can do is grow alongside them.

Today, we’re going to take a look at some burgeoning technologies and processes worth familiarizing yourself with in order to help you land your next VFX job.  

Learn Houdini

Houdini is now ubiquitous in the industry, so studios are hungry for VFX artists who are Houdini-certified. If you’re new to Houdini, you may be interested in our overview of Houdini.

We’ve discussed the immense value Houdini provides by offering its incredible Houdini Apprentice VFX software for free to those who are just getting started. It gives you a perfect opportunity to develop a deep understanding of it, so you can become well-versed in one of the industry’s leading VFX programs.
Houdini is constantly receiving updates to make it even more useful, so there’s never been a better time than now to jump in.

Understand Real-Time VFX Pipelines

Speed is a key element of being a valuable player on a VFX production team. Understanding how to work quickly and efficiently in a team environment will give you not only an edge in your interview, but it can help set you up for success in the future as a potential project leader who can develop best practices within your team or studio. 

Using a combination of hardware, software, and techniques, real-time VFX artists can achieve amazing results like these:
While the VFX above may not be the final product, real-time VFX can inform creative decisions on-set. It can poise the post-production team for the successful execution of the vision, and can also add the major advantage of cutting down the render times in post.

You can find a ton of insight about real-time VFX, including forums and a helpful community of professionals at realtimevfx.com. Also, make sure you check out this article that explains how ILM used real-time VFX on the set of Solo: A Star Wars Story to deliver stunning practical effects within the Millennium Falcon scenes.

Learn About Photogrammetry and Procedural Generation

Similar to real-time VFX are processes like photogrammetry and procedural generation, both of which are geared for increasing the realism and quality of visual effects while simultaneously decreasing the time it takes to produce the effects.

Megascans is an industry leader in producing exceptional photorealistic assets that can be used in almost any VFX environment. You can learn more about what photogrammetry can bring to your VFX arsenal in our recent coverage of Megascans.

While we already mentioned Houdini at the beginning of this article, it’s worth mentioning again for its power and flexibility when it comes to producing procedurally-generated VFX. You can quickly generate realistic terrain, grass, foliage, and even hair with the latest tools for procedural generation in Houdini 17 Banshee.

Learn How to Produce VFX for VR

Not only is VR a medium for gaming, but it’s also an incredibly effective tool for immersive video content. IndieWire recently shed some light on the VFX magic behind the new Lion King movie, including how Jon Favreau directed the new Lion King movie in a VR headset

While VR filmmaking techniques haven’t yet become commonplace everywhere, it may very well become dominant as the primary display for a team or director in the future. There is no better time than now to hop on the bandwagon.

If you’d like to learn more about how to produce video and VFX for virtual reality, we’ve covered how to shoot video for VR, how to edit videos both inside of and for VR, and how to composite VFX for VR. Those are all in-depth articles we recommend to help you get started on your VR/VFX journey!

Learn How to Produce VFX in a Game Engine

Game engines aren’t just for producing video games anymore. As the visual effects industry progresses, an overlap has emerged in game engine rendering that allows for cross-platform VFX development. This means if you can learn to create VFX in a game engine, not only can those assets be used in a game, they can also be utilized in the film industry, as well.

The primary engine used in most VFX work today is Unreal Engine 4 (UE4). Not only is there a massive community of users (along with plenty of YouTube tutorials), but Unreal’s wide array of features check almost all the boxes outlined in this article. Unreal artists can take advantage of real-time workflows, photorealistic rendering, and VR and AR support.  

Epic Games’ Unreal blog recently described some very valuable insight from the industry that shows how beneficial learning UE4 can be, and how much of a valuable asset you can become with a proficiency in it. You can find the blog with the below image here.
Epic Games | Unreal Blog
Plus, check out this example of how great VFX can look with UE4:
You may be comfortable in certain VFX environments, but don’t shy away from embracing new methods and programs. The cost to use many of these new programs is often free while you learn, and universities and VFX academies around the world are cranking out droves of visual effects artists every year. 

The industry is changing at a rapid pace, so if you’ve become somewhat complacent in your career, or you’re looking to have an edge at your next interview, let this article be an inspiration. It can catapult you into learning something new to ensure your future in the world of visual effects.

By the way, don’t forget to join VFXWire’s VFX Jobs Facebook group to stay up-to-date on job opportunities in the industry!

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