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
Thank you for the information
Farrukh Abdurahmanov
Thank you, Mr. Allan!
Avraham Josef Rosenfeld
I'm a person with focus issues I wanted to start simple vfx, what kind of software is good to start creating basic effects,? I am not good at drawing and I don't want to be dealing with too many softwares, if you could help me please, thank you.
Hi, idk if you are till reading this comment section but I'm interested in vfx. I know absolutely nothing about vfx. I always find myself reacting and watching corridor crew. Everytime I watch a movie I love the effects and the animations of the movie. I don't know what I want to do but I would like to be able to create animations of characters etc. Im currently studying computer science but I really don't like this at all, I only took it because I thought I had a possibility to start working in game development/animation. I just want to be able to create an animation even if its really janky but Idk how to get started.
H.G. Lankshear
Currently doing a marathon of your content while I do some modelling and WOW! These videos are consistently super valuable.
Oksana Zaitseva
Thank you. My daily watching routine is your channel now.
Nathan Thomas
Thanks dude, subbed and signed up. I recently got promoted to senior editor & motion designer within the agency that employs me. We currently outsource modelling work, but looking to add this to my skillset...
Antoni An
Thanks for this Allan! That is very helpfull for me as a new to vfx!!
Marco Santos
Don't bother if you're over 50. The industry is extremely ageist.
SungJu Yea
1. Set specific "someday" narrow goals 2. mimic guys already in the game - studios, linkedin, ask questions 3. choose one or two tools that resonates you if you are a beginner, and try to understand concepts 4. on the way of learning, set tasks! 5. start from free materials 6. join some communities 7. post regularly
Suresh Saxena
Hey Allan i am starting learn a Matchmoving so can u please make a video on what is Matchmoving and how it helps u explains things so easily so thats why i am saying so please guide us . Thanks
Sry for late message I found you out now please help me to make my first step please Taking a b a Animation and VFX can make me VFX supervisor
Peter Pineda
but how long does it take to become a vfx artist
Gold content man! Thanks for this, you are changing lives!
Suraj Shukla
The way you explain is 👌, subbed immediately 🙏 Hope to learn so much this year
Guilherme Silveira
You have a amazing content!!
D Max
hahah.. yeah you brought back some memories.. (I'm a 3ds /AE guy) saying these other software are the bomb light wave, Softimage. Allan, I don't even know what Houdini is.. (sometimes we get Siloed in our own little world). I don't think I'll look into anything else just yet. pretty happy where I live.
D Max
Holy CRap!! Thanks my friend! I'm watching all your stuff.. I don't need a job at ILM but I've been doing this stuff for 15 years or so and SUPER HAPPY to have found your channel after all this time.. I subd and belled. I was really bored during the lockdown, so I built a motion simulator to race with.. but I really want to start modding again with the cars I race. Just started a YT ch a couple months ago. want to bring the 3d stuff into it. not sure how yet. but I ramble, but I'm older so forgive me.. DMAX motion Sim
Yana Kravets
Thank u a lot!