RT VFX - Proceeding from programmer to artist

Hello everyone!

I’m Rafael de Freitas, 19 years old, Brazilian, and I study Game Development. The main focus of my studies is CG programming, therefore, I feel pretty comfortable with programming.

I’d like to ask what do you think is a good approach for a programmer to enter the VFX world as I know shaders, particles, basics of color and animation theory but I don’t have much artistic knowledge.

Another question that really worries me is: do you think it’s necessary to have good drawing skills or is it possible to not even draw at all?
And what would be a good way to start training drawing?
Please mind that my focus is not drawing in general, is just drawing possible custom textures for VFX (or whatever else might be useful).

In the end, my question boils down to what would be a good way to start studying VFX as a programmer that know’s barely anything about art.

Thanks in advance for your attention and I’m really amazed at the awesome community we have here!

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One of some things, what I was understood here is: "Stop talking, and just do it "(no matter what it is)
That means - try to create something cool (in your opinion), and try to find answers (by yourself) after you get stuck, and post your VFX for advice here.

  • You may like effects that required a lot of art skills (stylized VFX) and if u will choose this way, you will understand what kind of art skills required there.
  • Or u can choose another (there are not only 2 ways) way where art skills are less required, and tech are more. (maybe realistic VFX, but don’t really know what is it because I’m the only beginner)

Also, u can check my post about a beginning (a lot of useful links)

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Thanks for the tips! I guess the main thing I should focus on more is “JUST DO IT”! :smile:

I wish I had more time to study VFX, I’ll try to organize my time better for that. I’ll try to start posting some effects here asap hehe

But yeah, the big question regarding my post is that I feel really insecure entering this world of “art” knowing nothing but the basics about it.

I’ll read your post right away, thanks!

Personally, as a VFX Artist I don’t draw that much, although I will use Photoshop to make VFX textures. However I did draw more when I was younger, and one benefit of practicing drawing is that it teaches you to perceive things more accurately, which is a very useful skill. So it would be good to practice drawing, but you don’t have to be great at it.

People come to VFX from various backgrounds, Since you understand programming that will give you an advantage on the technical side of things, but you’ll still have much to learn on the artistic side. However there are some great learning resources out there.

Anyway, best of luck on your Journey!

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Hello ! I am 20 years old junior game prog & vfx artist from France ! I studied for 3 years game programming and I started to be really interested in shaders, particles etc… In order to understand everything more I did a lot of shaders and even remade the VFX Graph of Unity for study purposes. After that, I started to seriously do the art side of visual effects and ended being programmer and vfx artist for the student projects where I was involved in. After practicing vfx a lot, I am now doing an internship as VFX Artist even if I studied game programming…I like art but I never really drew seriously, if you have a good knowledge about shaders you will be able to make some stylized vfx thanks to shaders. I did write about myself because I am like you so you can see that becoming VFX artist or diving in the vfx world as a game programmer is not something impossible :slight_smile: I hope it can gives you motivation to practice and make a lot of vfx ! As programmer you have the chance to understand the technical side of everything. To start you dont need extra skills in drawing ! Only motivation :slight_smile: Go go go go and post everything you do there !! And there is a loooooot of resources in this wonderful place ! So start Unity or Unreal (or whatever you want) and start creating ! :smiley:

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Woah! Thanks so much for those resources, they will be really really useful! Thanks for the tips! :smiley:

Thanks a lot for the motivation and sharing your knowledge and experience! It’s nice seeing how other people approached the same problem! Now let’s work! Haha :dark_sunglasses:

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My drawing and traditional art skills have fallen probably below where they were in middle school, since so much stuff I’ve done up until now has just been tileable noise and simulated flipbooks :confused:

I see … But if that’s something you enjoy, I think it’s something you should get back too!

I’ve always loved those stylized hand drawn effects, but my drawing skills were never really good xp