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How to Become a Visual Effects Artist: Using Technology to Create Art

At the movie theater, in our homes, and on our mobile devices, the special effects that enhance the entertainment experience are created by visual effects artists. They combine computer software technology with creativity to design these effects. Visual effects artists can make realistic scenes in a movie or television program more realistic. They can also make depictions of special powers or alternate worlds seem even more magical. Reading how to become a visual effects artist can be the first step in joining this exciting career.

Visual Effects Artist Education Degree Requirements

Although employers do not usually require a degree, the complex technical skills required to be a visual effects artist usually means that those who want to be visual effects artists pursue a four-year degree in multimedia arts, computer graphics or a related field.

Throughout your program, you will likely have the opportunity to participate in a variety of projects creating visual special effects. This experience might allow you to build a portfolio that you can show to prospective employers. For visual effects artists, this can be the most critical aspect of the interview process.

In addition to coursework and projects, a combination of artistic talent and computer skills might be advantageous for creating original and technically sophisticated visual effects. Stamina is useful for working long hours to complete projects within tight deadlines. Excellent interpersonal skills may also be helpful for working with artists and other creative professionals as well as accepting feedback on ideas and projects.

Becoming a Visual Effects Artist: Career Outlook

Visual effects artists usually work as part of a team with other visual effects artists, illustrators, and technicians. Each member of the team typically works to create a certain aspect of the special effect that is then integrated into a whole effect for the final production. Most visual effects artists work full-time in office environments. Long hours to complete projects on tight deadlines are common for visual effects artists, and they might experience periods of unemployment between projects. With experience, visual effects artists might advance to project management positions overseeing the work of a visual effects team.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for multimedia artists and animators are projected to grow slower than average in the coming decade. Most of this growth will likely be for software publishers and online gaming studios. The mean annual salary for visual effects artists was $60,830 in 2011 Those who work for motion picture and gaming studios tend to earn the highest wages in the industry.

Movie, television, and gaming studios will continue to seek innovative special effects to attract audiences and place themselves at the forefront of visual special effects technology. Therefore, visual effects artists who stay up-to-date with technologies and trends will likely have the best prospects. Becoming a visual effects artist can allow you to create the special effects that impress audiences and consumers. Enroll in a media arts school today!

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