VFX software

The companies that make the software the VFX industry uses provide personal learning editions/demo versions, or heavily discounted software and video tutorials to help you get started. You don’t need a super computer to run this software – most of what we suggest here will run on a desktop machine. If you are still at school or college, take this opportunity to try things out, see what you enjoy and dip your toe in the VFX water. Here are some examples and they are free.

Nuke is the most widely used compositing software in the industry. You can find The Foundry’s (creators of Nuke) training resources here

Silhouette is used for compositing/2d paint/prep and roto tasks (entry into a compositing/2d career). Find out more here

Matte painters (as well as texture and concept artists and some compositors) use Adobe Photoshop. You can view Adobe’s (creators of Photoshop) tutorials here

3DEqualiser & PFTrack
The Matchmoving department uses the following software to complete camera and object tracking tasks (entry to a career in CGI/3d): 3DEqualiser  & PFTrack

Maya, Zbrush & Mode
For all the CGI tasks, as well as animation, look at Autodesk’s Maya As well as Maya for modelling, look at Zbrush & Modo

Houdini & Realflow
For general effects work, look at Houdini or Realflow

FTrack & Shotgun
For the tools production co-ordinators use in VFX production, look at either FTrack or Shotgun

Useful Links

We recommend you review the following websites for technology know how, discussion and current trends in the VFX industry:

The Computer Graphics Society
Creative Crash
Conrad Olson
Compositing Coach
Making of Dr Who – with Milk Read and watch the article

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