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129 Terms Every VFX Artist Should Know

By: Kseniya Serebrennikova

This list of VFX terminology is a super helpful resource if you want to learn the most important VFX terms in the industry.

With so many different terms to remember and so many different applications to learn, the world of VFX might seem as remote as another planet. Some of the VFX terms that seem to be familiar, might have an entirely different meaning when they’re used in the context of creating visual effects so if you want to end the confusion once and for all, here is our list of 129 (yes, we REALLY tried to gather all the essentials) words that you might need as a member of VFX community and an aspiring VFX artist. 

130 VFX Terms for VFX Artists

ACES – Academy Color Encoding Specification is the industry-standard system of color managing and image exchange. It helps to standardize color space between different input sources making the workflow easier and quicker.

Adobe After Effects – Adobe After Effects is an application for video editing, motion graphics design, VFX creation, and compositing from Adobe. It is also often used for keying, tracking, and animation. After Effects is a tool often used at the post-production stage.

Adobe Photoshop – Photoshop is an application for creating and editing 2D images from Adobe. Photoshop is used to create storyboards, concept art, logos and posters, illustrations, edit images, and more. VFX artists mostly use it to create matte paintings and hand-painted textures.

Alpha Channel – An alpha channel is a four-channel image (RGBA) an alpha channel is the one that stores transparency information. It is represented by a number between 0 and 1 where 0 is completely transparent and 1 is fully opaque.

Antialiasing – Antialiasing is a term used to refer to various techniques that help you smooth out the jagged edges of an image. It helps you get rid of blocky pixels and even out your outlines.

Aperture – in a camera lens, an aperture is the opening that the light travels through to enter the camera and capture an image. Understanding camera aperture is crucial for creating lens effects in VFX.

Arnold – Arnold is an advanced renderer from Autodesk that uses unbiased, physically-based Monte Carlo path tracing techniques. It’s known for being one of the best solutions for photorealistic rendering used in big movie production (e.g. Alice in Wonderland, X-Men, Star Wars).

Artifact – An artifact undesired element in an image or a video that needs to be removed from it as it has a negative effect on the quality of visual content. Artifacts often appear while shooting live-action footage as a side effect of weather conditions (e.g. damage to the camera lens may result in noises, blurs, bokeh spots, etc.)

ArtStation –  Artstation is one of the largest and most well-known online platforms for digital artists where you can share your artworks, connect with other creators, find tutorials, participate in contests and challenges, and more. 

Blender – Blender is a free and open-source software application from Blender Foundation that allows you to perform a great variety of creative tasks in one place. In Blender, you can perform 3D modeling, texturing, rigging, particle simulation, animating, match moving, rendering, and more.

Bake in – Bake in is the word used when something has been irreversibly set in a shot. Once an element is baked in, it is final and adjustments can be made if you had saved a copy of your project in advance.

Behance –  Behance is a platform for sharing your art. Behance has been around for longer, and it has a larger, more diverse community as it is used not only by 2D and 3D artists but also by product designers, web designers, photographers, and many other creatives.

Camera Shake – Camera Shake is a camera effect often used to enhance the impact of VFX the viewers see on the screen. Camera shakes are often used when creating explosions to intensify the effect of destruction and make it more realistic.

CG Spectrum – CG Spectrum is an online game development, VFX, concept art, and animation school based in Australia. 

CGI – Computer Generated Imagery. CGI is a broad term that covers all kinds of 2D and 3D elements created by digital artists. It includes landscapes, fires, monsters, buildings, and many other 2D and 3D assets added to the scene.

CGMA – CGMA is an online school for 2D and 3D artists that covers a broad range of courses from traditional art lessons to training in 3D animation and includes Grooming for VFX, Level Design for Games, Mobile Game Art, Fundamentals of Perspective, and more.

Cinema 4D – Cinema 4D is a versatile multifunctional application for 3D artists from Maxon where you can perform 3D modeling, create animations and simulations, and render your scenes. 

Compositing – Compositing is the process of combining live-action footage with digital assets to create the final version of the shot with all CG imagery and VFX applied to the original footage captured on set.

Composition – In both 2D and 3D art, composition is the way you arrange different elements in your shot. Composition is a key term for environment and VFX artists as creating a properly balanced composition with well-defined key focal points is crucial for achieving the desired look of the whole scene.

Coolers – also known as PC coolers or CPU coolers, coolers are devices designed to protect your processor from overheating by providing additional cooling which helps the built-in cooling fans installed on your PC. Since digital art (especially VFX) is a demanding task for your processor, a cooler might help prolong the life of your PC.

Depth of Field (DOF) – Depth of Field is the distance between the object closest to the camera and the farthest one from it. In VFX, depth of field determines which objects in the shot should appear sharper and more well-defined and which ones should be blurred out. DOF helps you make the shot more atmospheric and add volume to it.

Disintegration – Disintegration is one of the basic particle effects VFX artists work with. It is used to create destruction and explosion VFX and many other visuals. With the disintegration effect, you make the particles that make up your object fall apart. 

DNEG – Double Negative is one of the world’s biggest VFX and animation studios that worked on the Oscar-winning Interstellar and Blade Runner 2049 as well as BAFTA-winning Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II.

Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) – One of the main annual events in the video game industry. It unites software developers and publishers as well as hardware and accessory manufacturers who promote their upcoming releases. 

Environment – 1) in 2D and 3D art the term is used to describe environment art – an art piece where you can see a space, usually without any characters in it – it can be a room, an open field, a beach, etc. 2) the term can be used to describe the insides of a software application – whatever you see on the screen when you open an app and start working is its environment.

Extrusion –  Extrusions are a quick way to create a 3D geometric model based on a 2D planar sketch. To put it simply, it is when you create a 2D geometry in the base plane and then expand it outwards turning it into a 3D object.

Flare – Lens flares are a camera lens effect that appears when blinding light penetrates the camera lens, hits the camera’s sensor, and scatters. While in photography and filmmaking a flare is often considered an artifact, fake lens flares are often added to the shots to make them more realistic.

FMX – Film and Media Exchange. FMX is a conference on animation, effects, games, and immersive media that takes place in Stuttgart, Germany. The conference that originally started as a student event is now run in co-operation with the Visual Effects Society and SIGGRAPH.

Frame – A frame is a single image of a video. Taken together, they form frame sequences. When you stop a video at any given point, the image that you see can be called a frame.

Frame Rate – Frame rate is the speed at which frame sequences are captured or played. It is measured in fps or frames per second which is essentially how many frames are displayed every second. The standard frame rate for the majority of video content is 24 fps.

Framestore –  Framestore is one of the world’s best-known creative studios that does visual effects, production, direction, and post-production. Framestore worked on The Suicide Squad, the live-action adaptation of Mulan, Avengers: Endgame, and many other globally famous movies.

Global Illumination – Global Illumination simulates the way indirect light interacts with various objects within a scene. This setting is used to mimic the behavior of indirect light in a certain environment (reflections, shadows, refractions, etc.)

Gnomon – Gnomon is both an online and an in-person school that provides education in the area of digital art for careers in the entertainment industry. 

GPU – Graphics Processing Unit. A GPU is a tool used for 3D rendering tasks, GPUs are now used both in digital art and in gaming. GPUs allow your PC to render graphics faster thanks to an impressive amount of cores (compared to CPU) and parallel processing of the data.

Grading – Grading also known as color grading, is the process of working on the color in your scene. Any kind of color adjustment, enhancement, or toning down is considered grading.

Green Screen – Green Screen, also known as blue screen or chromakey, is a monochromatic background that the live-action elements are shot against. Green screen makes it easy for a VFX artist to extract objects from the contrasting background or paint set extensions and VFX on top of it. 

Greyscale – Greyscale is a desaturated image with no color in it, a black and white version of your image. Greyscale maps can be used for DOF adjustment.

Grooming – Grooming is the process of creating hair and fur textures for CG objects and characters. This process requires an impeccable understanding of hair and fur textures, the physics of their movement, the way they interact with various substances like dirt, fire, and water, and more.

Hard-Surface Modeling – Hard-Surface Modeling is the opposite of organic modeling. Hard-surface modeling deals with non-living objects with smooth surfaces that include cars, weapons, furniture, and other elements.

HDR – High Dynamic Range. With HDR, you get a higher-quality picture on your screen – it becomes more dynamic, the colors are juicier, and overall the picture looks more striking thanks to broader color gamut and an increased contrast ratio.Fr

Houdini – Houdini is an industry-standard tool for VFX production. Houdini is a 3D procedural software where you can perform modeling, animation, VFX, lighting, rendering, and more.

ILM – (Industrial Light & Magic) ILM is one of the world’s biggest motion picture visual effects companies. ILM created visuals for some of the most successful titles in the industry including the Star Wars and the Harry Potter franchises, The Avengers, Avatar, and others.

Internship – An internship is a temporary entry position in the industry that allows you to learn and practice, grow your skill, and make connections. Internships can be paid or unpaid, sometimes openings for interns are announced, the other times you need to contact a studio to ask if they have any open positions for beginner-level artists.

In-Camera Effects – In-Camera Effects are special effects achieved exclusively through the use of the camera at the time of recording by manipulating the camera itself or tweaking its basic settings.

Keying – Keying is the process of making certain elements of the shot transparent. Usually, it is when you choose a color value and every pixel in your shot that matches it becomes transparent and can be temporarily isolated or removed. The process is also known as chroma keying.

KineFX – KineFX is a rigging and animation framework and toolset inside Houdini that can help you create characters and adjust motion for them at the geometry level. With KineFX you can either create characters from scratch or import and edit pre-made character rigs.

Live-Action Footage – Live-Action Footage is real-life footage that has been captured on camera. Whatever was filmed on set and has not been edited yet is live-action footage (including green screen footage, stunts, real-life FX like controlled fires and explosions, etc.)

LookDev – (Short for Look Development) LookDev is a process of building up and defining the look of CG characters and objects on the screen using texturing, lighting, coloring, grooming, and other steps that help the artists to make CG elements come to life. 

Mantra – Mantra is an advanced renderer inside Houdini. Mantra is a multi-paradigm renderer that uses scanline, raytracing, and physically-based rendering. It is great for rendering packed primitives and volumes.

Maquette – Maquette traditionally, a maquette is a character reference for 2D animators. Though there can be 3D maquettes used for 3D modeling. 

Mari – Mari is an application for 3D painting and texturing from Foundry that is often used by lookdev artists. Mari allows you to work with both procedural and hand-painted textures.

Marmoset Toolbag – Marmoset Toolbag is a real-time rendering, texturing, and texture baking suite. Marmoset Toolbag from Marmoset is many artists’ application of choice when it comes to look development. It has a large library of free assets for lookdev that includes materials, textures, and presets.

Matchmove – Matchmove is the process of extracting the movements from live-action footage to later reproduce them in a CG scene. With proper matchmoving, CG elements can be later composited into the live-action shot seamlessly, with correct position, scale, orientation, and motion. 

Matte Painting – Matte Painting is a technique that allows artists to alter environments in the shot. With matte painting, artists can edit or completely redraw the sceneries where the live-action footage was shot. Matte paintings are often used for fantasy or historical environments that cannot be found or recreated in real life.

Maya – Maya is an application for creating 3D assets from Autodesk. Maya is perfect for completing a great variety of creative tasks including 3D animation, modeling, simulation, rendering, and others.

MetaHuman Creator – MetaHuman Creator is a cloud-based app from Epic Games for creating fully rigged digital humans quickly using sample characters.

Mesh – Mesh is a collection of vertices, edges, and faces that is used to describe the shape of a 3D object. Meshes use reference points in X, Y, and Z axes to represent the shape of a 3D element.

MIPCOM – Marché International des Programmes de Communication or International Market of Communications Programmes. It is an annual trade show that takes place in Cannes, France that attracts representatives of television studios and broadcasters. MIPCOM is all about creating and distributing audiovisual content, mostly focused on television. 

Mocal – Mocap, short for motion capture, is a technology that allows you to capture all the little movements of an actor’s performance to further translate them into the action of a CG character (see motion tracking).

Morphing – Morphing is an effect where one shape morphs into another through a seamless transition. It is often used in fantasy and horror movies where characters turn into monsters. 

Motion Blur – Motion Blur is the smearing of the silhouette that can be seen in moving objects in a video. It is caused by relative motion between a camera and a moving object during the exposure window.

Motion Tracking – Motion Tracking is a process of tracking the movement of objects in your shot. When you have the data about the movement of your elements within a shot you can manipulate them, add effects to them, paint on top of them, perform lookdev, etc. 

Multi-Pass Rendering – Multi-Pass Rendering is a post-production process of dividing an image into separate layers that allows you to control the settings of each layer without affecting the rest. With multi-pass rendering, you can control how the diferent passes interact with each other. 

Nodes – in a node-based workflow, nodes are essentially all the little actions you perform when working on your project – whatever modification you make, whatever detail you add, whatever setting you apply to your creation can be identified as a node. Together, they form node graphs.

Noise – Noise, also known as film grain, can be an artifact or a camera effect added on purpose to achieve a more atmospheric look. It is an image distortion where you can see grainy areas, discoloration, fading, etc. 

Nuke – Nuke is a node-based tool for advanced compositing from Foundry. Nuke is used for post-production by both indie VFX artists and major production studios including Framestore, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Blizzard Entertainment, and DNEG.

OCIO – OCIO, also known as OpenColorIO, is an open-source color pipeline that makes it easier to perform colorwork and optimize the workflow. With this color management solution, you have a universal color space for your project and can quickly open, edit, and share your files without having to worry about compatibility and color representation issues.

Octane Render – Octane Render is an unbiased spectrally correct GPU-accelerated real-time rendering software application from OTOY. 

Open EXR – Open EXR is a high-dynamic-range image file format developed by ILM.  OpenEXR is a multi-channel raster file format, released as an open standard.

Organic Modeling – Organic Modeling is the opposite of hard-surface modeling. It is modeling of the living things like people, animals, and trees. 

Parallax – Paralaxing is an effect that makes it seem like the position of an object changes as we observe it from different viewpoints. 

Particle – Particles also referred to as particle systems, are tiny 2D sprites that are clustered together to create realistic simulations of real-life phenomena like smoke, sandstorm, wave crash, and others. 

Perspective – in 2D art, perspective is a technique that helps artists create the illusion of 3-dimensional space on a 2-dimensional surface by taking spatial relationships of the objects into consideration. 

Photogrammetry – Photogrammetry is the use of 2D photographs to create 3D models. The process requires taking several pictures of an object from different points to capture it from every side to then extract this information and combine it to create a 3-dimensional model. Photogrammetry uses pictures measure the objects in the shot and create their geometric representation.

Plate – Plate is an original image captured by the cameras on set that will be integrated with the digital elements later as an element in compositing.

Polygons – Polygons are basic geometry components of a 3D model. They have vertices, edges, and faces and together they form a polygon mesh. When a model is big and requires a lot of detalization, it normally ends up having a high polygon count. To optimize models with high polygon counts, you can perform retopology.

Portfolio – A portfolio is a collection of your works. Everything you have ever produced as a VFX artist can be considered a part of your portfolio. Ideally, it has to be a selection of your best pieces from different periods of your creative journey. Your portfolio has to be an accurate reflection of your skill, experience, and artistic vision.

Post-Production – Post-Production is the process of editing the video and audio to create the final version of a film. It is at this stage that footage is assembled, VFX and sound effects are added, etc.

Previsualization – Previsualization, also known as previs, is the process of visualizing scenes before filming, creating layouts of the future shots before the shooting begins. It is widely used in filmmaking and TV production for the creation of complex scenes.

Pre-Production – Pre-Production is the process of planning, testing, preparing everything before the filming process begins. It is one of the very first stages of working on a project.

Procedural Modeling – Procedural Modeling is an umbrella term that describes numerous techniques to create 3D objects and textures using a set of algorithms. When you create something procedurally, you make a number of rules the application follows to give you the desired result.

Production Pipeline – Production Pipeline is a broad term that describes a variety of processes and steps that are to be taken to achieve a certain result. In the world of VFX, this includes every step from previs to  post-production and everything in between. 

Python – Python is a high-level programming language widely used in software development. Python scripting can be used in 3D art and VFX to create complex objects and models that are beyond the standard range of possibilities the application gives you. For instance, you can use coding with Python in Houdini, Blender, and Unreal Engine.

Ray Tracing – Ray Tracing is a method of graphics rendering that imitates the natural behavior of light making the lighting in the scene hyperrealistic and true-to-life. NVIDIA RTX™ the first-ever real-time ray-tracing GPU that is constantly sold out everywhere because of how bad digital artists, gamers, and cryptominers want it for its exceptional power. Many modern games were created using ray tracing – those include Cyberpunk 2077, Fortnite, and Metro Exodus.

Real-Time VFX – Real-Time VFX are VFX that are rendered in real time and you can see the final version of a scene with VFX in it almost instantly. Real-time VFX are used in game production since in games visual effects have to load fast to ensure a top-notch gaming experience. 

Rebelway – Rebelway is an online school for VFX artists that provides industry-standard VFX training. Rebelway is a SideFX- and Autodesk-certified school where you can find plenty of courses for beginners, intermediate users, and advanced VFX artists taught by the industry professionals. Rebelway’s alumni get hired by the world’s top studios including ILM and Blizzard Entertainment. 

Redshift – Redshift is a GPU-accelerated 3D renderer from Maxon. Redshift is used in post-production to finalize the shots, apply advanced shading and texturing. 

Reference – Reference is a picture or a video of an object an artist is planning to recreate. The use of reference is vital for understanding the way the object looks, how it behaves, how it interacts with its environment and other objects, and more. Some objects can be studied in real life which provides an even more accurate understanding of its properties. Reference material is crucial for high-quality modeling and look development.

Rendering – Rendering is the process of calculating raw information about every element of your 2D or 3D scene and forming it into a finished piece. Rendering is the concluding stage of creating an artwork as it assembles all the information stored in your project file to give you the final result.

RenderMan –  RenderMan is a photorealistic 3D rendering software application from Pixar Animation Studios. RenderMan supports Open Shading Language and  uses Monte Carlo path tracing to generate images.

Render Farm – A Render Farm is an interconnected computer cluster built for the calculation of computer-generated images to perform massive volumes of rendering. It is normally used for big-scale production.

Render Queue – Render Queue is a list of files waiting to be processed and rendered on a render farm.

Resampling – Resampling is the process of reading data that had been sampled before and building a new dataset from an existing one so that it can be modified.

Resolution – in video editing, resolution is the number of pixels contained in the standard aspect ratio of 16:9. The more pixels there are, the higher the quality of your video is. High resolution provides excellent level of detail and crispiness. Low resolution results in blurry, pixelated shots. 

Retopology – Retopology is the process of simplifying your polygon-heavy 3D model to reduce polygon count. By doing retopology, you turn your high-poly model into a low-poly mesh. It is essential for animating heavy models as it helps facilitate and optimize your workflow.

RGB – RGB is the most well-known color system used in digital content production. It has three channels (red, green, and blue) that are combined to create the rest of the shades on the color spectrum. 

Rigging – Rigging is a technique used in animation for representing a character model with a skeletal structure of interconnected digital bones. Bones are used as controllers that help you animate your mesh and control the movements of your character. 

Rotoscoping – Rotoscoping is an animation technique where artists trace a projection of live-action footage frame by frame to create realistic action in the shot. 

R&D (Research and Development) – R&D is a VFX production department that is responsible for creating new unique tools to solve demanding creative tasks where the use of the existing software is not sufficient. 

Set Extensions – Set Extensions are matte paintings that are used to change environments in the shot or create new ones from scratch on top of green screen footage. In some cases, set extensions are a much more budget-friendly option for video production than building a set in real life.

SFX – SFX, also known as Special Effects, are often mistaken for VFX though these terms are not interchangeable. SFX are audial illusions or visual tricks used in the theatre, film, television, and other industries. Those may include fake rain and snow from special machines, special sound effects like explosions and gun shots, etc.

Shader – A shader is a type of computer program that is used for shading 3D objects. Basically, a shader gives the computer the information about how each pixel should look in terms of  light, darkness, and color.

SIGGRAPH – short for Special Interest Group on GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques. SIGGRAPH is an international annual conference on computer graphics. It covers multiple areas of technology including education, digital art, games, VR, research, and more. 

Simulation – A simulation is a computer graphics technique that helps VFX artists to make hyperrealistic VFX including water FX, destruction, fire, smoke, and others.

SOP & DOP – in Houdini, Surface OPerators (geometry nodes) are used to create and edit geometry. Dynamic OPerators (simulation/solver nodes) are used to set up various simulations. 

SpeedTree – SpeedTree is a collection of vegetation assets and tools for vegetation modeling from Interactive Data Visualization, Inc. used by 3D artists across all industries to create realistic plants, trees, and grass faster. 

Stock Footage – Stock Footage is VFX footage that can be added directly to your project without the need to create visual effects from scratch. It can be either CG footage or real-life video footage captured on camera using green screen. Stock footage can be used to make the VFX production process faster or to make visual effects more realistic.

Storyboarding – Storyboarding is the process of creating a series of drawings that reflect what the story of a future movie, TV show, video game, etc. is going to be like. Storyboard artists create a visual version of a script to help visualize the key characters and events happening in the story.

Substance Designer – Substance Designer is the industry’s reference 3D Material Creation app.

Substance Painter – Substance Painter the reference texturing app for 3D professionals and enthusiasts. 

TD – A TD, also known as a Technical Director, is one of the most programming-heavy positions for artists who are equally comfortable with coding and creating 3D art. Technical Directors control the working process in the creative team and make sure everything is in line with the ultimate goal of the project. TDs also often create unique software or write scripts for the artists to use when the visual effects are too complex and require special solutions.

Texturing – Texturing is the process of creating and applying textures to a 3D element, adding more life to it by applying wear and tear, scratches, and other details that make it look like a real-life object.

Think Tank Training Center – is a high-end in-person school for training in 3D art based in Vancouver, Canada. At TTTC, you can study animation, modeling, game design, and more. 

Transcoding – Transcoding is the process of digital-to-digital conversion of one type of encoded data to another, for instance, transforming a video file from one format to another.

Unity – Unity is a cross-platform game engine from Unity Technologies. With Unity, you can design 2D and 3D games. It supports desktop, mobile, console, and virtual reality platforms but is especially popular among Android and iOS game developers.

Unreal Engine – Unreal Engine is an open real-time 3D creation tool for photoreal visuals and immersive experiences from Epic Games. Even though it is a game engine in the first place, it is often used by 3D and VFX artists working outside of game development.

UV Mapping – UV Mapping is the process of projecting a 2D image to a 3D model’s surface for texture mapping. Think of it as unfolding an origami toy to color it – painting on top of the assembled shape would be hard and the flat version makes it easy to apply colors and textures.

VEX – VEX is an expression language used in Houdini. Simply put, it is coding withing Houdini. VEXpressions can help you create advanced visuals – for instance, you can use them to write your own shaders.

VFX Reel (Demo Reel) – A VFX Reel is a portfolio in the form of a video. While a portfolio might include all kinds of artworks such as videos, 2D pieces, 3D art, a VFX reel is a compilation of video fragments that feature your visual effects. It may contain both your personal projects and your commercial creations, as long as those are your best shots.

VFX Runner – A VFX Runner is an entry-level job in the VFX industry. As a VFX runner, you can expect to help around at the office, assist the artists, and learn how VFX production works. While it is not a creative job, it might be a good way to start your career and have a chance to see the creative process from the inside.

VFX Supervisor – A VFX Supervisor is the head of a VFX project who manages the work of the creative team from the early stages of preproduction all the way to the final steps of post-production. VFX supervisors are a link between a VFX studio and the director or producer of a movie/TV show.

VIEW Conference – VIEW Conference is an annual computer graphics conference that takes place in Italy. It covers the main topics in the sphere of digital art including interactive techniques, 3D animation, video game development, and VFX.

Vimeo – Vimeo is an online video hosting platform. Though YouTube is the largest video hosting platform on the web, Vimeo is one of VFX artists’ most loved ones. Vimeo doesn’t have ads and provides higher resolution for your uploads which is why many professional digital artists and VFX studios use it to publish their demo reels.

Voxel – A voxel is pretty much the same as a pixel but in a 3D space. Voxel art is similar to pixel art except instead of 2D squares the artists use 3D cubes to build up their scenes.

V-Ray – V-Ray is a rendering software application from Chaos Group. It features both CPU and GPU+CPU rendering options. V-Ray uses adaptive ray tracing technology and estimates the distribution of light in the scene for more accurate results.

Weta Digital – Weta Digital, also known as Weta FX, is a visual effects studio based in New Zealand that worked on some of the biggest titles in the movie industry including The Lord of the Rings franchise, The Avengers, and The Hunger Games movies.

WWVFX – Worldwide Visual Effects Contest. WWVFX is an international real-time VFX contest. Since it is focused on real-time visual effects, it is primarily aimed at video game developers and designers.

ZBrush – ZBrush is a 3D modeling software application from Pixologic. ZBrush is often used to sculpt 3D characters for animation. 

3DS Max – 3ds Max is a versatile application for 3D modeling, animation, visualization, and rendering from Autodesk. It is used in video game development as well as movie and TV production. 

Learn to Create World-Class VFX Work

Now that you’ve learned (or at least looked through) over a hundred important VFX terms, it’s time to get creative. Getting started as a VFX artist can be a tough task especially for a self-taught creator. If you are feeling stuck and don’t really know how to grow your skill, consider taking a course taught by the industry professionals that will help you gain all the essential knowledge for your VFX journey.

If you are not sure what to choose, take our Course Quiz. If you are new to VFX, check out our Houdini Fundamentals course for complete beginners where you can learn the basics of creating amazing visuals using SideFX Houdini. You can also fill out the box below to get free lessons from the course.

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