Getting Started in Real Time VFX? Start Here!

Thanks for this post, it is very helpful.

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There is no where to advertise projects (unpaid sadly) that are friendly to new people getting started so i thought i would leave a comment here. I have made a topic in the general forums as well: Looking for new or experience VFX artsits to help our hobby game
Leave a message there if you are interested.

very thanks,Let me Profound Come to know VFX What is?
Secondly,I’m from China.English is not very good.So, learning VFX Difficult
I don’t know how to do it.How to learn:哭:哭:哭:


Thank you so much for this!!!
Been learning FX on the go as Im now doing vfx at shirogames (im alternating between that and concept art) and it’s been really fun to learn! Though a bit frustrating at times to wrap my head around the more technical aspects u_u But this entire forum is a goldmine!


I’m glad if even a little bit of this could help :slight_smile:

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Hey Travis … thank you for your precious informations and resources … they are so good.
i really like to break into VFX for games it so beautiful art! after reading this post i start to learn Unity!
ofcourse i don’t know what is the differences between HDRP and LWRP for VFX, but i see some tutorials and i can make simple shaders with shader graph and materials for particles but what makes me sad is scripting and coding…
e.g. in that tutorial the guy uses some line of scripting fire projectiles! like the floor or walls with mouse targeting.
actually i hate scripting and i don’t want to learn it! what matters to me is just Visual not coding, i don’t understand coding and never tried.:frowning:
so is UE4 has the same workflow? i mean you must need to know scripting? that’s cruel for peoples like me without any experience even one line of codeing.

You don’t need scripting knowledge in Ue4, but it is still highly recomended you at least know the basics.

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thank you for your answer!
basic of c++ or c#?
is that true unity needs coding for vfx? or just me thinking this way?:sweat_smile:
sorry i have another question
as an VFX artist, mainly what parts of game engine you should know?

In ue4, you would work with bleuprint which is a node based scripting language. It is not as difficult to understand and quite visual, so I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it. The basics of any language are fine to understand it.

In unity you might require a bit of coding here and there for pretty much anything you want to do. Unity scripts are just such a powerful part of the engine, you really can’t get around it without seriously limiting yourself.

In UE4 VFX artists mainly use the following:

  • Particle simulation tool.
  • Material editor (A little bit of shader knowledge is really useful here)
  • Bleuprint (This is mostly for integration, but it stops you from being blocked every time you want to have your effect in game.)

You do not need to have actually coding knowing but the logics and the terminalogy would be recommended.

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Thanks a lot for the content posted here. I am new to VFX and in my way to becoming an FX artist in the gaming industry. But right now there are too many things I don’t know and that make it hard to enter the community.
With this it’s going to get easier and hope I can start getting ready FX for the gaming industry soon!


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Welcome! There’s a lot when looking at it as a whole, but don’t let that daunt you! When getting started, your first focus should be your engine of choice’s interface in general, and then the interface for its particle system. Just start out with simple materials and basic textures, don’t let yourself fall down the rabbit hole early on of big crazy shaders and other external programs. I’ll try and find time soon to go over this thread, and make sure the links and info are up to date, especially the links to the entry level videos.

We’ll be here if you have any questions!

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Okay, here’s another question: is there any way of telling if you have what it takes to be vfx artist? I mean I sucked at maths, physics, I started some free Maya Fluids course today and I don’t really understand what (and why) do you have to change to get the effect you’re trying to create. And at this point I’m very much a beginner, so it’s kind of understandable that I don’t know how to do things yet, but on the other hand, understanding things like density values, velocity values, fuels, etc etc seems like the very basic knowledge. And vfx seems like a “problem solving” art, so I am just wondering if I, without the “science-brain”, have any chance to become a good vfx artist and not just a person who’s knowledge is copying tutorials. :frowning:

Math is helpful for super complex shader stuff, but you don’t really need to have a brain for that kind of stuff. I barely passed my programming class in high school, failed another one in junior college, and barely passed my intro to visual scripting course in college. I legitimately just poke things when doing simulations, once I understand the basic concepts that drives those things. You can be a more art-focused/art brained vfx artist, so don’t let technical stuff like scripting and the intricacies of 3d simulations deter you.

Every vfx artist is a problem solver though. When your job interacts with everyone from programming and design to animation and environment art, you’re going to have a lot more problems and bugs come up. What you need to do is just take notes on everything that you learn, and try to understand the reason behind how things work. The more you poke and experiment with things, the more you’re learn why they work the way they work, little by little.

I think you’re overthinking things, and doing simulation stuff in 3d programs is way ahead of the basics. If you enjoy it, keep learning it, but you will still need to learn the basics of game fx pipelines, and the principles of animation. It won’t matter how awesome your simulations are if you can’t make your effects look good in the game engine. There are a lot of directions you can go in vfx for games, try not to get overwhelmed by thinking you need to learn everything that is under that umbrella.


I think most people are able, but not everyone is willing. Best way to find out is to start making fx!

For me I initially got into VFX because I became entranced in making magic spells, water splashes, fire, and other fun particle systems. I think that’s the first indicator you should look for. You’re here, so that atleast shows some interest in fx! :smiley:

Also, welcome! :smiley:


This is exactly what i need! thank you so much, you guys are the best!

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This is so very VERY helpful, thank you so much for taking the time to make this. :slight_smile:

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