Futures in VFX, Games and Animation
We were delighted to welcome Caroline Cox from Escape Studios in London, to talk about the huge variety of career opportunities in the visual effects, games and animation industries. Escape Studios, based in London, offer a number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses alongside short courses, for anyone who is looking to break into these lucrative, yet competitive professions. Over 70 per cent of roles within these industries are creative and so, it came as no surprise that students taking this route tended to study an art based A level such as Fine Art, Product Design or Photography. There are also opportunities for those who are interested in the computer science and coding/software development areas but these roles are fewer in number. She explained that VFX is when the subject is designed to look real, whereas motion graphics is where subjects are meant to be more of a cartoon style animation – areas where potential students offer get confused.
Students were taken on a whistle stop tour of the roles in the industry from Previs Artist, 3D Artist and Digital Compositor to Environmental Artist, Animator and Producer. Information about these positions can be found in the Careers Guide, available to download on their website and also on the careers pages of Firefly. Caroline also talked about how students might prepared themselves for these types of careers, asides picking an arts based A level. She encouraged students to start keeping a record of the activities they are involved in and how important it is to begin to collect evidence of their artistic skills, designs or research, and how these may have developed over the years. Downloading the free software programmes such as Maya (the industry standard software) Blender and ZBrush, where they can begin to understand the basics of design and produce their own projects. There are also a number of events that would be great opportunities for students interested in these fields to attend – EGX Rezzed (March 26-28), VFX Festival (March 18) and their National Saturday Club, which is free and runs every week where students learn about the skills used in VFX, Games and Animation. Why not look at some of excellent apprenticeship routes into these careers too – have a look at NextGen for some examples. Other websites to consider are icould and ScreenSkills with their excellent software guide. If you are considering work experience then this link to a list of all studios in the UK might be useful and if you are looking for topical news stories about the industry then heading over to the UKIE website, might be just what you are after. Many studios offer regular tours so you can see what really goes on and she also advised looking at job vacancies as you can glean an understanding of the skills and experience these organisations want you to have.
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