How To Get Started in Visual Effects (in 2019)

The question I get asked the most is: “How to get started in Visual Effects?”

In 2019, we’re in the information age — with so many resources, so much information that it’s so easy to get overwhelmed that we stop, before we even begin.

There IS information out there on this topic, but most of it is quite literal “go to Gnomon, or some VFX school” “DONE”. Most of us don’t have the luxury to spend $80,000+ (USD) to attend Gnomon or similar schools. And, who’s to say that is actually the answer?

In the beginning, we just want to hit the ground running. I wanted to focus on this topic from the point of minimizing the time, minimizing the noise, and how to get clarity in your goals and what you truly should be focusing on.

What software is best, Houdini, Cinema 4d, 3ds Max, Maya, Blender or After Effects, Photoshop or any others. Who you should listen to or what resources to study, or what specifically you want to do, whether it’s visual effects in terms of compositor, technical director, creature animator or many other disciplines — let’s get clarity on what this means TO YOU.

It’s so simple to know where your attention should go — once you really hone in on what your goals are. And in this video I want to break through the noise and really get to the essence of what you want to do, and simply answer the question “How to get started in Visual Effects”.

QUICK QUESTION – Please leave a comment: What websites or resources do you find valuable for learning or keeping up to date with the latest design and VFX news? Or other goldmines on the web that others might not know about

FREE GUIDE – If you want to download the FREE guide I wrote on how to make a Demo Reel (from an employers perspective) go to www.allanmckay.com/myreel/


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Youtube comments:

Jonathan Sanchez
sub spanish! please haha
Solaojo Olaolu
My goal is to setup a vfx studio in my country...Nigeria...its going to be really difficult, but it keeps me focused
A4 all
Pls start tutorials as fast as u can
how can i know first before trying any(more than one) vfx discipline that i will be succeeding in that particular discipline.shouldn't we learn as generalist kind of way then gravitating towards what i am good at or in that field so that i can land a job fast?? what's your opinion !!!! but yeah at first there probably will have some sort of interest/inspiring disciple to start with.
So glad to be catching up on these, your advice is great!
Уроки 3ds Max
Is it easy to find a job (or distant outsource job) in California in VFX if I know 3ds Max well, some plugins for it and can do character animation in maya? If it is real, how to start looking for a job and where to send the showreel?
Hari Krishnan
Sub from India. Sir I would like to be a VFX Compositor. Can you please point out what should I do/ do not for achieving that. Thank You
Felix Larios
What is the difference between CGI and VFX
Gabe Buehrig
Hey man big fan it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the learning curve love the videos gave me lots of encouragement please keep going
making videos out of busy schedule is no easy! thank you allan your videos have helped me a lot!!!!!!!
14:47 in my experience it's more like blender users favorite topic. What a bunch of loonies : D It cracks me up every time.
Rúben Rhodo
You are the best of the best! Thank you so much for videos and I definitely gonna learn a lot with you and your awesome tuts! =D Best regards from Portugal
Hector Ruiz
This is great info Allan. I needed to hear this topic since I got a little lost lately in trying to figure out how to transition from my current career.
Yggrassil Digital
thank you
Donrick Pond
Allan, you need to create a video on that light you have on your desk. I am confused as to if that's even a real light or a CG render. With my background in photography, I would like to know how your camera is exposed so that the light isn't blown out... Create a video on your lighting setup. :D
James Jarrett
Omg 3mins in and already the most informative video, I’m thrilled to hear about how to choose your focus and why. My vfx binge watching can now start to make sense. Thanks Allan... ok back to the education 😁
Unskilled Naive
Is it possible to learn motion graphics+character stimulation+rigging+destruction+scripting+sculpturing as Generalist
Unskilled Naive
Thanks sir .Love from India
Lokesh babu
Hello sir I'm very much inspired by your videos and everytime I watch I feel I can succeed......! And two more questions sir, 1. I'm a 21 year old guy and I'm just starting to get into VFX and I'm very much inspired to do VFX so can I be successful by starting now ? 2. I'm thinking of doing a diploma in VFX in Canada is it worth it ? . And for your question sir ,I find video copilot very useful and check out Andrey Lebrov's YouTube channel sir very much inspired by his works too....!
Aykut Bozkurt
Thank you Allan for brief explaination.