What is a VFX (Visual Effects) Artist?

Written by 90 Seconds
Last updated: October 4, 2023
What is a VFX (Visual Effects) Artist?

A VFX artist is essentially responsible for achieving the creative vision of the director or producers through the use of visual effects.

Visual effects, commonly abbreviated as VFX, is the process by which photo-real, digitally generated or manipulated imagery is created outside of a live-action shot in filmmaking or video production. A VFX artist seamlessly integrates this computer-generated imagery (CGI) with live-action video footage to create scenes that otherwise wouldn’t be possible to film, fix or stylise.

Done for creative or corrective purposes in the post-production phase, a VFX artist’s work marries creativity with cutting-edge technical skill, bringing the ideas of the producers or directors to life and leaving the end viewer believing that what they see on screen is real.

Commonly used in the film, media, online and gaming industry, nowadays almost every type of production uses VFX. Artists not only need a high degree of technical know-how, but extreme attention-to-detail.

There are a range of different job titles within the VFX Artist umbrella, with the structure of the VFX process split into 2D compositing and 3D/ CGI elements.

Primary roles

Conceptualise, design and creates cutting-edge VFX assets within budgets, including:

1. Article effects – used to simulate phenomena like fire and water
2. Dynamic simulations – used in creating motion
3. Shader effects – used in defining an object in terms of reflecting light.

Collaborates with artists and animators to iterate, polish and deliver final projects.

Works with producer, lead artists and supervisors to track and manage workflow through the departments.

Manage edits alongside the editorial department.

Maintain and adhere to a consistent art style as set by the creative director.

Oversees the execution of client deliveries.

Secondary roles

Provides creative and technical assistance.

Develops, updates and optimises workflows.

Often referred to as a compositing artist, FX Technical Director, or Multimedia Artist, a VFX Artist’s work is done during the post-production phase and plays a core role in the final look and feel of the film.