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 Post subject: VFX Career? Where next?
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 10:24 pm 
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Okay, so I have another year & a half at high school, and am starting to really consider where I want to go next. I am interested in all aspects of CGI, although I'd say my 'strength' / what most interests me most is the visual-effects side of things. My question is whether VFX a viable career option to pursue (i.e. is it possible to make a living from, are there job opportunities in the industry) , and if so, what is the best path to take to get my foot in the door? (is it best to go to a school that specializes in CGI, study something more broad at Uni, or pursue no further education whatsoever?)

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 Post subject: Re: VFX Career? Where next?
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 10:35 pm 
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Sounds like you've figured out what you like at least, which is a step ahead of me when I was at high school...

I you are anything like me (magpie with really bad procrastination habits) I'd recommend going to a school that specialises in CGI simply because most Uni degrees tend to have too much padding in them. Especially if you have a reasonable idea of what interests you, you may as well find a place that teaches you what you're wanting to know and teaches it well. Personally, I never cared about having a piece of paper to show around, and truthfully for the most part no-one in the industry really cares either, all anyone wants to know/see is what you can do. For me it's always been about learning more; the more you learn, the more awesome you can be ;)

Unfortunately, I have no basis in the VFX side of things so I'm not the best person to say whether or not it's a viable career path, but it sure seems to be something everyone wants. Take a look at the Media Design School website and see if there's anything there of interest to you. I did a 3d Animation course there and it was the best time of my life and I learnt exactly what I wanted to learn, all in one year. Don't be afraid to email them either and ask them what you asked here, they are entrenched in the CGI industry and should be able to give you a good amount of info.

Well, hopefully that wasn't just a big ramble. Good luck to ya Image

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 Post subject: Re: VFX Career? Where next?
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 9:35 am 
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I think its a viable career option..theres even a few job advertisements in the nzcgi job section for similar roles (maya effects artist etc). I'd recommend also going through MDS and do the 9month 3D animation course..its an intense immersion into all things 3D and you will learn a lot of skills that benefit visual effects. Although they do not spend long on visual effects you will learn most of the basic skills in the industry (animation, modelling, particle effects, using aftereffects and photoshop, art theory) and then you get to make your own demo reel at the end (over the last 3 months) where you can make anything you want and specialise in an area. They've got some skilled guys that are into particles and such as well that will be on hand to help you develop in this area. (you might not pass the course if your reel is vfx (Its judged on animation, modelling or texturing) but as evoboy says - all anyone looks for in the industry is a kick ass demo reel and they might contact your tutors to see how you worked in the group settings.

I don't know if there is a specialised vfx course out there? well in NZ anyway.

It might still be an idea to do the 3D animation course as your first year of study though - it will give you a wider range of skills than someone who has just done vfx, gives you an idea how it all works together, might send you in a different direction and gives you a solid foundation to study further or even do your own self learning afterwards (once you know how to do things right!)

If you can - get yourself a copy of Aftereffects too - and start to get familiar with that.

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 Post subject: Re: VFX Career? Where next?
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 11:52 pm 
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Hey I think it is a good idea to go to a 3D animation course. It will save you a lot of time rather than trying to figure out this stuff by your self, and in this Industry you never have enough time. Plus you will get the contacts and job placement opportunities that are hard to find anywhere else. This stuff is extremely useful to have in this industry - contacts and work experience. If you enjoy VFX then I guess after effects is a good place to start , you can find some awesome tutorials at Video copilot. Once you learn Maya you could be interested in the dynamics there or even get into other programs like the real flow software which is specifically for that area. And by the way these are awesome assets to have in you show reel. It is also a good idea to find out a little about all the areas and then just specialize in your VFX area. We are currently learning VFX at the life way college for six weeks, next year they move onto Nuke which is a more advanced composting program. Then later on they specialize in chosen areas then you get time to make your show reel.

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 Post subject: Re: VFX Career? Where next?
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 7:03 pm 
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Thanks for the info guys! Extremely useful!
My top two choices for courses at the moment would be Visual Effects at MDS or '3D Unleashed' at Lifeway, I'm leaning towards Lifeway at the moment.

@Wikz: If you don't mind me asking, which course are you doing at Lifeway?

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 Post subject: Re: VFX Career? Where next?
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 11:07 pm 
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Wikz is teaching over in Lifeway along side myself, I went to MDS its a great school as well. I have no doupts about the place, great people great environment and great tutors. Lifeway has some of the same great qualities as well, more or less its your choice over lifestyle.

I would suggest having a very good look at both and see for yourself. Worzel is the animation tutor at MDS and Matt went to MDS a few years back, explore your options. :bounce:

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 Post subject: Re: VFX Career? Where next?
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 3:47 am 
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I did visual effects at MDS, and now work as a compositor. If you have the drive, it's certainly a viable career option.

I should make it clear that there isn't any 3D taught in the visual effects course, but there is compositing taught in 3D, especially if you stay on to do the 2nd year advanced diploma. If you have any interest in 3D (which you clearly do) I would recommend doing the two years of 3D at MDS, you'll find it a lot more valuable. The productions they do in second year (one of them is always live action integration) will teach you heaps about vfx.

Like Matt and Wikz said, grab yourself a copy of After Effects and start playing around. There are so many good tutorials out there that are easy to follow. The Video Copilot tutorials are pretty much a favourite of everyone.

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 Post subject: Re: VFX Career? Where next?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 3:54 pm 
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hi, I am currently a student at Lifeway COllege school of media in 3d animation course, I previously study art college in my other country before I come here to learn the course. I study here for 4 months, Wikz and Kenworx are both tutors I know at the college, learning from them both i really benefits. just my experience to share. I seen Media Design School before but never study there, if you interested in enter this industry is good to ask questions from all tutors and students from colleges you know that teach the programme and the graduate before.

Wikz also point out something important, in learning the programme, you have available time to learn and experiment and improve, but when industry, it's work and dateline and less time for experiment. Maybe you can ask more questions and plan where and what you would like to do, so you will be happy XD
I hope that helps


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