Visual Effects


Visual effects, commonly abbreviated to Visual FX or VFX, refers to the various special effects techniques often used in video and film productions, as well as game design, theater productions, and various live performances. Visual effects techniques may also be applied to websites when designing interactive features. This broad career field can include a number of various specialties, including make-up artistry, set design, model-making, puppetry, pyrotechnics, animation, computer-generated imagery, and various other special effects tasks. Most commonly used in film production, visual effects can be easily added during post-production using various compositing software and editing tools to make environments seem more realistic, and add computer generated images to a scene to enhance action sequences and more. When footage is simply too expensive or dangerous to film, the use of visual effects can be a great way to enhance the film’s story and visual appeal.

Although many visual effects are produced using specific computer software tools, other visual effects processes can include creating models, miniatures, and stop-motion animation, may employ the use of stills and matte paintings as backgrounds, while live-action effects may also be added with the use of bluescreen and greenscreen technologies. Animators, designers, and visual effects artists work closely together to produce many of the effects you see on film and television.

Because any visual effects artist will need a strong background in drawing and animation, as well as practical training on the various technical design programs typically used in post-production, many aspiring visual effects artists choose to complete a degree in animation, film, or graphic design. Within the field, the Visual Effects Society is a top trade organization that works to promote and protect the interests of visual effects artists, model makers, technologists, supervisors and other professionals within the entertainment industry. Dedicated to promoting visual effects work as a true art form, many industry professionals choose to become members in order to advance and promote their skills and gain valuable networking opportunities.

Interested in learning more about earning a visual effects degree? Browse our related articles below the School Sorter. Looking for the best film or visual effects program? Search top art schools using the School Sorter. Find Your Art School’s free educational resources make it easy to learn more about degrees, schools, areas of study and more.

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Animation | Architecture | CAD, Drafting | Game Design | Performing Arts | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Douglas, AZ
4739
Public
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Arts Management | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Film, Video, TV | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Glendale, AZ
20154
Public
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Arts Management | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Mesa, AZ
25960
City
Public
Animation | CAD, Drafting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Tucson, AZ
494
Suburb
Animation | CAD, Drafting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Tempe, AZ
840
Animation | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Holbrook, AZ
4636
Public
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Arts Management | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Phoenix, AZ
12164
City
Public
Animation | Architecture | CAD, Drafting | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Tucson, AZ
35880
City
Public
Animation | CAD, Drafting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Rancho Cordova, CA
731
Animation | Architecture | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Los Angeles, CA
75
City
Advertising | Animation | Audio Production | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Sacramento, CA
35413
Suburb
Public
Animation | Architecture | Arts Management | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Oakland, CA
1828
City
Private
Animation | Game Design | Performing Arts | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Ridgecrest, CA
6342
Public
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
21399
Suburb
Public
Animation | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Fountain Valley, CA
11231
Public
Animation | Game Design | Performing Arts | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Yucaipa, CA
6380
Public
Animation | Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Los Altos Hills, CA
18293
Suburb
Public
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Glendale, CA
16781
Public
Animation | Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Illustration | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
El Cajon, CA
20335
Suburb
Public
Animation | Architecture | CAD, Drafting | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Salinas, CA
10451
Public
Animation | CAD, Drafting | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Irvine, CA
13294
Public
Animation | CAD, Drafting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
San Diego, CA
1430
City
Animation | CAD, Drafting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
San Dimas, CA
1030
Suburb
Advertising | Animation | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Game Design | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
San Diego, CA
2040
City
Advertising | Animation | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Game Design | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
San Francisco, CA
1462
City
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Audio Production | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Walnut, CA
29935
Suburb
Public
Animation | Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
San Jacinto, CA
17583
Public
Animation | Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Fremont, CA
11695
Public
Advertising | Animation | Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Illustration | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Oxnard, CA
8642
Public
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
San Marcos, CA
27442
Public
Animation | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
San Diego, CA
293
City
Animation | Architecture | CAD, Drafting | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Torrance, CA
724
City
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Santa Ana, CA
31073
City
Public
Animation | Architecture | Audio Production | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Mission Viejo, CA
23260
Suburb
Public
Animation | Architecture | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Landscape Architecture | Performing Arts | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
San Diego, CA
23211
City
Public
Animation | Game Design | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
San Jose, CA
12364
City
Public
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Illustration | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
San Mateo, CA
11310
Public
Animation | Architecture | CAD, Drafting | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Game Design | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Los Angeles, CA
3968
City
Animation | Architecture | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Santa Rosa, CA
25877
Public
Animation | Architecture | CAD, Drafting | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Rocklin, CA
20688
Suburb
Public
Animation | Architecture | Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Chula Vista, CA
21597
Suburb
Public
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Arts Management | Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Landscape Architecture | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Los Angeles, CA
34824
City
Private
Animation | Game Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Berkeley, CA
6945
Public
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Landscape Architecture | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Saratoga, CA
12893
Suburb
Public
Animation | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Denver, CO
2320
City
Animation | Architecture | CAD, Drafting | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Denver, CO
829
Suburb
Animation | Game Design | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Pueblo, CO
6592
Public
Animation | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Lakewood, CO
9143
Suburb
Public
Animation | Film, Video, TV | Graphic Design | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
New Castle, DE
9650
Suburb
Private
Animation | Arts Management | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Washington, DC
12241
City
Private