Best Visual Effects Programs for a Career in the Film Industry

Are you intersted in a film industry career? Find out how the best visual effects programs can teach you about getting creatively involved in making magic on the big and small screens.

Working alongside the likes of famous directors and actors might be a dream of yours. If you have no acting talent to speak of, and your directing skills leave much to be desired, then perhaps you are better suited to a job behind the scenes. Films are great with live action shots and intense dramatic sequences, but they would not be nearly as magical without the visual effects artists and animators that work tirelessly to bring movies to life. If you want to stir the hearts and minds of audiences across the globe and work on films like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, and others, then finding the best visual effects program should be on your to do list.

If creativity is your best skill and you love the movie industry, then working in visual effects can be the perfect fit for you. There are a large variety of programs and courses that you can choose from with a vast number of colleges and universities that you can attend. Just looking at the undergraduate courses that are on offer, it can be overwhelming, with programs ranging from 3D animation to digital compositing.

It is advisable to choose a number of different courses so that you can get a feel for the entire world of visual effects before making a choice as to which field you prefer. You can start off by learning the art of cinematography, as this will be the main focus of your work in visual effects for films. Your job is to make the scenery, lighting, objects, movements, proportions, distances and spatial aspects look as realistic as possible.

You will also learn about matte painting, modeling and shading, matchmoving, model animation, stereoscopic imaging, photorealistic rendering, particles and procedural effects, and much more. These are just a few of the courses that are on offer at most institutions. Finding the best one will be up to you regarding the preferences you have for your visual effects career. This means looking in detail at the course outline, the digital tools that are used, as well as the equipment and facilities offered to students.

You should find a program where you have access to film labs, computer labs, and the best quality HD cameras and other equipment. You will learn how to use programs including Autodesk Maya, Adobe Master Collection, Mental Ray, Houdini, Render Man, and Shake among others. Autodesk is the industry standard and has been used to create the visual effects for Academy Award nominated films in the visual effects category for the last 14 years. If you hope to advance your career in the film and TV industry, then you must definitely learn how to use this digital effects tool in your chosen program. 

Remember that the best visual effects programs are those that offer you more than just the basics, and that help you to learn more than just the required theory. You should choose your program based on how effectively it can help you to further your career in the visual effects field.

Did you know:

According to US News and World Reports the following are the top 2010 National Schools offering Art majors

1.      Yale University – New Haven, CT
2.      University of Chicago – Chicago, IL
3.      Northwestern University – Evanston, IL
4.      Brown University – Providence, RI
5.      Rice University – Houston, TX


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