Creative work requires a creative or fundamental base. Most people who work in the field of art and creativity have a foundation or a degree in art, or they have certificates to support their participation in the industry. However, the question that most students have when it comes to the VFX industry is whether or not they need to have a background in art to be a part of it.
To answer this question honestly, yes, there is some requirement to have the fundamentals of art noted down if one is going to be a part of an artistic and creative industry. But the reality is that it depends on the role that the person is going to play in the industry.
What leverage does art have in the VFX industry?
Art is not only about drawing. It is about understanding some of the most basic concepts in the world. For example, the types of colors that are going to complement one another, the way that a room;s color is going to be affected by lighting, the perspective of a picture, human anatomy, and more. The fundamentals of art talk about all the principles that are associated with the subject.
Being a good artist in the field of art is no longer restricted to pencil and paper drawings. Today, anyone can be an artist as long as they understand the fundamentals of the craft. In the VFX industry, having a common understanding of the fundamentals of art is like having a trump card that only helps make one’s job easier.
A survey taken of the employees in a VFX company showed that those who had a base in the art world found it easier to complete their tasks and their job as compared to those who did not have a base and had to learn all the skills from scratch.
What jobs require art as a base in VFX?
Before we get into the types of jobs that are dependent on a background in art in the VFX industry, it is important to note the different types of departments that are crucial for the functioning of a VFX studio.
From an analysis of some of the best VFX studios in India, it was found that the following are the most crucial for VFX work to be carried out without any hiccups. The departments, with a short description of what they do, are as follows:
This department is responsible for the creation of different assets that are placed in movies and web series. Think about the Chitauri that were in the first Avengers movies. Those were all modeled to look like that. The department conceptualized different elements and brought them to life using different software.
Anyone interested in working in this department of the VFX industry should be familiar with the various software used to create 3D models. The physics of models, texturing, lighting, and animation are also extensions of this department. This department is highly creative and usually requires a degree or some proof of an art foundation.
Modeling, texturing, and lighting are all extensions of the modeling department. All of these sub-divisions of the main department are critical to ensuring that quality work is submitted every time and that the final output is of the highest quality.
If you have ever seen actors doing their roles in front of a green screen and then the post-production process that takes place on the scene, then it is all thanks to the rotoscopy department. Every single second of a movie is 60 frames. The job of anyone in the rotoscopy department is to separate the actor from the green screen that is behind him or her so that the actor can be placed against a different background.
The rotoscopy department is one of the biggest and most in-demand departments for VFX studios. It is also known as one of the most crucial departments. The other departments and VFX processes cannot function without it. Someone who is in this department only needs to know the software that is used. There is no need for formal training or a foundation in the field of art.
Matchmove is a pre-production and post-production concept that is executed during and after the filming process. The fundamentals of matchmove are that the entire space of shooting for a movie is converted to add different VFX elements. Camera tracking, understanding green screen removal, 3D modeling, and several other VFX services are applied to the footage.
For anyone who wishes to work in the matchmove department of VFX, it is very important to have a basic foundation in art. Understanding perspective and how camera angles and lighting work is one of the most important aspects of ensuring that a scene is as real as possible. In addition to a foundation in art, matchmove artists also need to know the respective software that makes the magic happen.
This is where all the magic of VFX is compiled. Compositing is the process of taking various VFX services and applying them to a frame or a movie, then compiling them all together to make it look as seamless as possible. The goal of this department is to ensure that the audience’s vision or interpretation of the film is convincing enough for them to believe that what they see is real.
Compositing takes place with the help of several software programs. Only those who are experts in the field of animation are compositing artists. It takes responsibility to edit a film and make the final cut before it is released. This is why those who have been in the industry for a long time and have the necessary experience are usually the ones who work on this critical component.
The answer to whether or not a foundation in art is required for someone to enter the VFX industry is entirely subjective. It all depends on the department that one is aiming to get into. If someone wants to get into a software-based technical role in the industry then they must have some base in art.
It is good to note that several job roles do not require a base in art in VFX. So, if you are looking into getting into the fast-paced and highly in-demand industry, there are several ways of getting in. An important point, it is the amount of experience that a person has in the industry that carries them through in the long run.