How to Become a VFX Artist?

6 minute read
VFX Artist

Do you see yourself using computer graphics to create animation and special effects? If yes, you should consider becoming a VFX artist. The job of a VFX artist is to create digital imagery and integrate this imagery into TV, Films, or even Video Games. You need to be skilled to create digital imagery which resembles reality, and the user should believe the animation to be true. Planning a career as a VFX artist requires skill, patience, perseverance, and creativity. This blog is your guide to the profession of a VFX Artist!

Full-FormVisual Effects Artist
Course Duration1-3 Years
Course TypeCertification/ Diploma/ UG Course
Admission ProcessMerit-Based, Entrance Exam
Fees (Average)INR 3.4 LPA
Salary2.5 – 4LPA

Who is a VFX Artist?

Visual effects artists use several computer software in order to create animations and special effects to enhance movies with realistic-looking digital elements that are impractical, dangerous, expensive, and even impossible to exist.

Key Responsibilities of VFX Artist

  • Creating high-quality & performance visuals within the set budget.
  • Conceptualize, design, and be able to create special effects like shader effects, particle effects, dynamic simulations, etc.

Skills Required to Become a VFX Artist

The below-mentioned skills will help you become a successful VFX Artist –

How To Become a VFX Artist? 

Below are the steps you need to follow to become a VFX Artist –

Step 1: Complete your GCSEs
Step 2: Develop your skills and start preparing a portfolio of your work
Step 3: Apply for a University Degree
Step 4: Complete an internship
|Step 5: Choose a specialization
Step 6: Explore freelancing & other open roles at companies

VFX Artist Courses

Following are the courses that can be pursued in order to become a VFX artist: 

Name of the ProgrammeType of ProgrammeDuration
Certification in VFXCertificate Programme2 Months
International Programme VFXCertificate Programme2 Years
Professional Programme in VFXCertificate Programme1 Year 5 Months
Advance Programme in VFXCertificate Programme2 Years 1 Month
Diploma in VFXDiploma Programme2 Years
B.Sc in Gaming and VFXUndergraduate Degree Programme3 Years
B.Sc. in 3D Animation and Visual GraphicUndergraduate Degree Programme3 Years
B.Sc. in Animation and VFXUndergraduate Degree Programme3 Years

VFX Subjects and Syllabus

The course structure varies depending on the Institute, however, some common topics of a VFX course are – 

Subjects & Syllabus
3D DesignAdvanced Particle Effects
Stereoscopic PipelineProjection for Visual Effects
Digital DesignBasics of Photography
Time Warping3D for NUKE
Match moving & Camera trackingAdvance Roto Techniques
Day to Night ConversionCreating Visual Effects Element
Maya and NUKE IntegrationDigital Makeup


The basic eligibility criteria to become a VFX Artist at UG & PG levels is –

Undergraduate Courses

  • Aspirants must clear their 10+2 or equivalent from boards such as HSC, CBSE, ISC, IBDP, etc, from any stream (Science, Humanities, Commerce) they prefer.

PG Diploma Courses

  • Candidates must complete graduation from a recognized institution to be able to pursue Diploma. Aspirants from all streams are eligible to apply if they possess the necessary skill-set and aptitude.

Application Process 

Universities Abroad

  • First, shortlist the universities you wish to apply to and register an interest on the college website of the respective universities.
  • Talk to the respective person from the admissions office allocated to you and ask all your doubts regarding the courses.
  • Send in your completed application along with your relevant portfolio, work experience details, letters of recommendation, etc.
  • If your profile is suitable, the university will contact you for an interview and you will have 10-15 days to appear for an interview. 
  • If you clear the interview, you will be asked to deposit the tuition fees for the first semester. 
  • Subsequently, you can apply for a visa.

Indian Universities and Colleges

  1. Online Application is the most suitable form where candidates have to fill an online form and pay the application fee.
  2.  Some colleges conduct entrance tests such as :
    • NID DAT Prelims – National Institute of Design conducts its test in two parts. One is called Prelims and the other one is Mains. Prelims is a pen and paper test. The Mains is a studio-based test.
    • ITM IDM Entrance Test – The ITM Group of institutions have the test taken in two parts, (two hours each). One is the Common Intelligence Test (CIT) and the second is the Creative Aptitude Test (CAT). The test is held online. A personal interview is taken once the test is complete.
    • BIT Entrance Test – The Birla Institute of Technology conducts this online test which is followed by an interview. The test is known as the Creative Aptitude Test (90 minutes). The selections are based on 10+2 marks (50%) plus performance in the entrance test (40%) and interview (10%).

Documents Required

Here are some of the important documents that are required for international students seekings admissions in the VFX Artist course:

Cost of Study

The average fees for the VFX courses in India range from a low of INR 54,000 to a high of INR 185,000 per year. It depends on the choice of college as well as the duration of the course.

Top Universities Abroad  

Auckland University of TechnologyNew ZealandBachelor of Visual Arts3 Years
Durham UniversityUKVisual Arts and Film BA (Hons)3 Years
The University of AdelaideAustraliaBA (Art History & Visual Culture)3 Years
University of MalayaMalaysiaMaster of Art (Visual Arts)3 Years
University of The Fraser ValleyCanadaBachelor of Fine Arts – Visual Arts4 Years
Northern Kentucky UniversityUSB.A./B.S. in Visual Arts3 Years

Top Colleges in India

Some of the popular colleges for VFX courses in India are –

  • FX School, Mumbai
  • Times & Trends Academy, Pune
  • Arena Animation, Mumbai
  • Zee Institute of Creative Arts (ZICA), Indore
  • Chandigarh University 

Scope of VFX Artist in India & Abroad

  • According to the collected data, the scope for the VFX & post-production industry in India has increased from ₹39bn to ₹68bn between the years 2016 – 2019. 
  • The current estimate states that the industry will be worth ₹147 bn by the year 2024.
  • The market size of VFX was US$ 156 billion in 2020 globally and is expected to grow more at a CAGR of approx 11.5% between 2021 to 2026. 

Job Profiles 

Below is a list of job profiles that you may qualify for, based on your experience & degree in visual arts –

Top Employment Areas

After studying visual art, students can work in a variety of industries. You can choose from several options depending on your area of ​​interest. Your potential employment areas can be :


Which software does the visual effects artist use?

VFX artists often use paid and non paid software programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, Unity, Nuke, Blender, ZBrush, Foundry Modo, Hitfilm Express, Fusion 16, Autodesk Maya, etc

Which books can guide a VFX Artist?

There are several books that can help you in learning the basics like Acting for Animators – Ed Hooks, The Art & Science of Digital Compositing – Ron Brinkmann, Masters of FX – Ian Failes, The Filmmaker’s Guide to Visual Effects – Eran Dinur, etc. More than the books, you need practical learning to succeed.

Are there any special blogs or communities that a VFX artist can join or take part in?

Yes, you can join any of the following communities to stay at the top in your career FX Guide, 3D Total, Reddit, The Rookies, Artstation, CG Society, etc.

Which are the top companies that employ visual effects artists?

The companies on the constant lookout for VFX Artists are Netflix, Cinesite, Framestore, Weta Digital, Pixar, Double Negative, etc.

Name some world-famous VFX Artists.

Some inspirational VFX Artists that are worth knowing include Marc Simonetti (Game of Thrones), Aaron McBride (Pirates of the Caribbean), Carlos Baena (Toy Story 3, Cars, Finding Nemo), Raphael Lacoste (Assassin’s Creed: Origins), Allan McKay (Destiny, Transformers Dark of the Moon), etc.

The careers of visual artists are diverse and full of surprises. If you prefer a dynamic work environment, then becoming a VFX Artist is your calling. To have a versatile career, use Leverage Edu’s intelligent AI tools to find the right fit university & courses today.

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