Everything You Need To Know About Visual Effects (VFX)

Aug 10, 2021


Are you looking for a comprehensive guide to understand what VFX is and what does VFX mean?

You are in the perfect place as here we will discuss all of the important aspects of VFX and how it is playing an important role in the filmmaking industry.

The good thing about learning visual effects is that anyone can easily learn to create them with the help of user-friendly tools that we will be discussing in this article.

Let’s start with some basics.


What Does VFX Stand For?

Before you start learning about what VFX is and how it works, you should know the full form of this abbreviation.

VFX stands for visual effects. Some people also refer to visual effects as visual FX, but VFX is the most common abbreviation used by both beginners and professional filmmakers. Big-budget movies, TV series, and even small marketing companies rely heavily on VFX nowadays.


What is VFX?

VFX made in After Effects by me


The term visual effects (VFX) refers to the imagery developed, manipulated, or improved for a film or other type of moving media without involving any live-action shooting. Its purpose is to create a digital image to enhance or manipulate real-world footage.

Manipulated deleted imagery and real footage is combined to create realistic environments. As a result, environments can be created that can either be too unsafe to shoot or even does not exist.

A common misconception about VFX is that they are only limited to big-budget movies and series. In reality, you often see visual effects in various TV commercials, short videos, advertising, and many other places. 

Computer-generated imagery (CGI) and reliable VFX software like Adobe After Effects is used to create realistic and captivating visual effects.


What is the Difference Between Visual Effects and Special Effects?

If you are a beginner, you are likely to assume that VFX and SFX are the same. However, there are some distinct differences between them.

VFX is added after the shooting with a computer and VFX software. On the other hand, SFX is achieved on sets like fake wounds, explosions, crushing vehicles, and many other such realistic effects. 

Some of the most popular examples of VFX include dragons in the Game of Thrones series or spaceships features in movies like Star Wars and Star Trek.


Top 3 VFX Software

There is a wide range of VFX software available in the market. It can be difficult for people to choose the best option, so we have compiled a list of the top 3 VFX software that can be used to create the best visual effects.

1.     Adobe After Effects

Adobe After Effects is one of, if not the most, popular VFX software. It is used for the post-production of both small and large-scale projects. It is applied in advertisements, TV series, movies, and many other projects. The VFX in the enchantment spell scenes of the Harry Potter movies were created using Adobe After Effects.

The user-friendliness of Adobe After Effects makes it a popular tool among new filmmakers who want to produce visual effects and motion graphics. If you are interested in filmmaking, 3D games, and TV production, you should definitely get familiar with Adobe After Effects.

With training and practice, you can also become an expert of Adobe After Effects and start creating some really cool effects.



2.     Autodesk Maya

Autodesk Maya is another popular VFX software that has been used in the post-production of large-scale projects like Kung Fu Panda and games like FIFA and Prince of Persia. It is also considered one of the best VFX software because it provides a wide range of options to the users to create a 3D and VFX world.

Once you get used to the various features and options of Autodesk Maya, you can use them to create high-quality visual effects and develop the simulation. It can help you in achieving the best results in the VFX industry.

3.     Blender

A blender is a free tool that allows beginners to experiment with various settings and features to create VFX. Compared to Adobe After Effects or Autodesk Maya, you cannot expect the same premium results from Blender, but it is useful in the post-production of small projects.

It has a lot of options to edit the 3D scenes and import raw footage to get various effects. Generally, freelancers and commercial production houses use Blender to enhance lighting and shading effects and creating other realistic visual effects.


VFX made in Blender by me:


Why Should You Learn VFX?

You should learn to create VFX because you can have a fulfilling and lucrative career in this industry. If you love films or video games, then you will really enjoy the process of mastering VFX and using cutting-edge technology to be creative.

Most VFX experts can also work from the comfort of their homes and enjoy financial stability. Whatever your motivation might be, you should definitely consider learning how to create VFX because it allows you to be creative and enjoy the process of creating unique effects.


How to Start with VFX?

Modern VFX tools and technology makes it easy for everyone to learn how to create different types of visual effects.

If you have some basic IT skills and a good computer, you are all set to use efficient and reliable software like Adobe After Effect to create cool VFX.


After Effects: Computer Requirements, Mac vs PC. Click to read more.


Generally, you should also have good communication skills to understand the different requirements of VFX and also express your own opinion. It will help you to go further in the industry and even lead your own team of VFX artists.

Some of the important things about starting VFX are:

Get Excited!

Once you have decided to learn VFX, you should get excited about the fact that you will be learning a wide range of tools and techniques to create a unique and attractive VFX.

For instance, if you are a business owner, you will be using VFX to promote your products and attract more customers. Similarly, a gamer can learn VFX to understand the working of the majority of the games and even start experimenting with different effects for new and upcoming games.

Don’t Procrastinate

You can take different approaches to learning VFX like attending a full-fledged degree, watching YouTube tutorials, reading a book, or attending webinars by VFX experts. Generally, learning from the experts is the best and quickest way of mastering VFX because experienced artists are able to give you the best advice and strategies to navigate this industry.


Click here to Sign up for the FREE 35 mins Webinar (with an After Effects Step by Step Practical Training).


Find Your Style

You will find many different ways to create various visual effects. As a result, there is a lot of room to be creative and use VFX as per your preferences. It is highly recommended that instead of following a certain pattern or successful style of creating VFX, you should experiment with the various options to explore your creativity and find your style.



The VFX and Animation industry is rapidly growing because there has been a massive increase in the production and post-production houses. As a result, more and more opportunities are coming in the VFX industry.

This is certainly one of the best and most exciting times for you to start learning VFX and how to apply them in different projects like video games, movies, TV series, and even YouTube vlogs or short videos. 


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