Every now and then, filmmakers keep pushing Visual Effects (VFX) to new levels. Steven Spielberg toyed with VFX in the year 1993 to transport us into the astonishing world of ‘Jurassic Park’ – a live-action movie with living, breathing synthetic animals. The year 1999 saw the Wachowskis stun filmgoers with ‘The Matrix’ – the VFX thunderbolt that shook up Hollywood too. Cameron created history in 2009 with ‘Avatar’ – a VFX masterpiece featuring a spellbinding CG (Computer Generated) world populated by photo-realistic, CG characters. And most recently, Christopher Nolan broke new ground, creatively and scientifically, by visualizing realistic alien worlds with the VFX in the film ‘Interstellar’.
Exciting developments/advancements in CG technology and tools including Virtual Production, Performance Capture, VR (Virtual Reality) & AR (Augmented Reality), VFX Rapid Prototyping, Real-Time Tracking/Compositing and Image Processing, combined with the possibilities of creating photorealistic digital characters and younger versions of artists are allowing filmmakers to push the envelope of creativity and choreograph impossible visual spectacles. With more and more VFX films hitting the box-office bulls-eye, and with VFX being adopted increasingly as a high-impact visual communications enabler in industries outside media and entertainment, the demand for VFX professionals is soaring.
VFX is a highly promising career pathway for young creative talent, especially those passionate about film-making/gaming/advertising. With the horizons of VFX expanding, it is now perceived as an exciting career with excellent scope for professional growth. Students keen on careers in VFX would do well to undergo professional VFX training at a reputed institute. Formal training ensures that students benefit from the insights of industry-experienced faculty, vast learning resources such as labs and library and the opportunity to develop valuable and lifelong friendships with like-minded students who could well be one’s future peers in the industry. Importantly, institutes also facilitate campus placements.
Some of the biggest VFX & Animation studios which hire VFX artists include Moving Picture Company (MPC), Double Negative (DNEG), Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), WETA Digital, Sony Pictures Imageworks, and Prime Focus. Most of these studios deliver cutting-edge VFX work for world cinema and attract the brightest CG talent. Prime Focus, for instance, is a major VFX player with offices in cities across the world including India – at Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Chandigarh, Goa, Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi. Prime Focus is amongst the largest recruiters of VFX talent in India, a country which is emerging as a cost-effective destination for VFX outsourcing.
As these are the best studios around, they tend to prefer the best CG talent, trained at the best VFX college. The quality of training, importantly the reputation of the college is a key consideration for recruiters when screening fresh VFX talent. Most of these large studios meet their talent requirements through campus drives. While the hiring criteria varies from studio to studio, employers typically tend to zero-in on candidates who are imaginative and have good creative skills, communication and team skills, keen eye for detail, flair for perfection, command over CG software and of course, passion.
Hyderabad is a great launch pad for VFX careers as the city has a thriving academy-industry eco-system. In fact, the city is home to DQ Entertainment – one of the largest animation studios in the world, Green Gold Animation – the biggest 2D animation company in India, and Creative Multimedia – India’s best and largest digital media academy. The local government is also nurturing a vibrant eco-system and encouraging entrepreneurs to drive growth of the AVCG (Animation, VFX, Gaming and Comics) industry and promote employment opportunities. All these factors are contributing to making Hyderabad the emerging hub for digital media and entertainment in India.
Since the industry needs trained talent, there are several digital media academies dotting the city. Career aspirants can choose from a range of short-term/long-term, degree/diploma courses offered by the best VFX training institutes in Hyderabad. The more experienced and passionate institutes ensure that the course is up to speed with advances in VFX, and in line with the needs and expectations of the industry. While the emphasis is on equipping students with productions skills so they are job-ready, these courses imparted by the reputed institutes allow students to gain in-depth knowledge of VFX apart from inspired them to become lifelong learners.
And as technology continues to evolve, VFX will grow bigger and bigger with more growth in job opportunities and greater scope for career progression. There are many technological developments in the pipeline of leading VFX studios. These developments can well shape the future of film making and create a more vibrant VFX eco-system with heightened demand for trained VFX artists across the globe.