VFX Software Training Tips From Austin Visuals Animation Studio
With as busy as we are here at Austin Visuals 3D Animation Studios, learning tools like Arnold and so on, you may be wondering how we keep current with VFX software training. One good principle that we’ve discovered is that it isn’t the software that limits you – it’s your imagination that limits you in what you can do. Sure, you have to know your basics; you have to walk before you can run. You have to have your foundation in science or art in your CGI career down. Doesn’t matter whether it’s animating, shading or dynamics, but you have to have that down. We say this because some of us here learned the hard way – we thought that just diving into Maya and figuring out what every knob, slider and button did would make a master of us. How wrong we were! You have to know the science behind what you’re doing. You have to know the basics, because then you know how to get that certain result in reality. It’s only then that you realize what you have to do in order to get the result that you want.
Also, knowing all the ins and outs about a particular piece of VFX software slides to a much lower priority, and you ultimately learn that you’re much better off mastering the parts of an application that suit your needs best – after you’ve done a lot of experimenting with it to discover those parts. In that way, your current needs (and the needs of your clients) will keep you current with all manner of plugins and supplementary programs, and of course there are a multitude of places online that you can use to learn about whatever you should need to learn about.
Another question that we get asked here all the time is about the most important asset a VFX artist can have. Without a doubt, we here at Austin Visuals 3D Animation Studio have learned that the answer to that is patience! As the work we do gets more complex, the more patient we have to do. A lot of the time our projects can be envisioned as long chains, each part of which are dependent on the next part. If one part falls away, then the whole chain goes to pieces.
Of course all of us have given up on projects at one point or another. We’ve learned, though, that the quality that can always bring you back to the abandoned project is determined patience. With this, you can learn why you gave up on that project in the first place, learn from your past failures, and do 100% better for the next time. Sure, you may not be able to acquire this quality in just one day (at least, we didn’t) but if you keep at it, you’ll find that it’s worth it in the end.