General questions from a newbie

Hi there, I am kinda new to VFXs, more precisely I have been tinkering with Niagara for some time now, I have been following tutorials and I understand the general workflow but I have a few questions that need answering.

  1. So far I have spent my time only focusing on UE5 Niagara. Is it possible to get an apprentice (entry-level) position without knowledge of Unity? I have learned a bit of Unity particle system but let’s say I still don’t feel too confident creating effects in that engine.
  2. Regarding working for a studio or larger company, are effects created strictly by a team, or is each VFX artist assigned effects that they have to complete on their own?
  3. Normally, in terms of workload how many effects is an apprentice expected to make on a month to month basis on average?
  4. What are the common tasks that an apprentice is required to perform?
  5. Finally, is age a big factor in the job application process even if one shows a decent portfolio? I am 34 and my previous work experience in not related to game development.

Thank you very much for your time.

Heyo! Great to have you here :3

  1. Different studios work with different engines, so probably it will be much easier for you to get first job in a studio that is in Unreal. Mostly the separation is: Unreal = PC/Console games, Unity = Mobiles/VR games. So whatever interests you more you should probalby learn, but switching engines isn’t hard, so you should be able to try applying to Unity studios too.

  2. Depends a lot. There are not many VFX artists in the industry, so in most studios you join you will be most likely the only one (that’s how I started). In bigger studios they can have more VFX artists, but I never experienced that (been in 5 companies). Though I guess it’s always that VFX Artist is assigned to specific effect. Though if you need help with anything, then you can ask for it.

  3. Depends on a studio, but juniors are expected not much. First 2-3 months you will most likely have time to get used to the engine and project and during that time maybe be assigned 1-2 effects. Later the time should be assigned based on your speed and how complex effect is. Can be 2 weeks for an effect, can be a week, can be days, what’s most important is to communicate with your team and decide on the time.

  4. Depends on a studio xd if there are no vfx artists in the company, then anything that is needed. If there are vfx artists then usually something simpler like enviro effects or low tier effects.

  5. I don’t think so. I wouldn’t look at age myself at all. Portfolio is key.

Small tip. Apply for both junior and mid positions. There are not many junior/intern positions for vfx, so it’s fine to try mid.

Good luck!

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Well thank you very much, kind sir. Your help is much appreciated :clap: :relaxed:

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Don’t worry about being 34 and having 0 work experience in the field.

It might take a while to learn enough to be able to be a hirable profile, but keep pushing, nobody is gonna be looking at your age while being amazed by your VFX.

If you know about Unreal and Unity, great. If you only know about one of either, great too. Just create portfolio pieces that are as good as possible to your actual skills. There are positions available for both Unreal and Unity everywhere, and it’s pretty easy to learn the other engine if you already know the basics of particle systems, shaders, etc.

Number of effects per month, it’s really contextual-based, as you might be working on an effect for a week or nail a couple effects the same day. The needs of the project you’ll be workin on will decide that.

Usually each VFX artist takes care of 1 effect, but if the effect is really complex, some other VFX artists could jump in and lend a hand. But usually, everybody has a list of tasks and just tackle those on their own, with guidance from the art director and other lead roles that might be helping you.

Common tasks for an apprentice could range from basic particle systems such as hit impacts or environmental dusts or glows, to a bit more elaborate effect, but usually the tasks are not too far fetched from your actual skill level.

Have a nice day :slight_smile:


Thank you for taking time to answer my questions :blush: :pray: You too have a nice day

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