Visual Effects & Compositing

Visual Effects & CompositingI want to create visual effects

Working in visual effects often means you will be working in the movie industry as well. Visual effects (VFX) involve the integration of computer generated imagery into live-action footage. All the scenery and blood splatter effects in the movie 300 are a great example of VFX artists at work.

A lot of the same disciplines involved in making animated movies can be found in VFX. Typically VFX artists will be called on to add in the extra things that would either be impossible to capture on film or much more expensive. For example, adding in a 3D model of a car exploding in a live-action scene is much safer and a whole lot cheaper.

Because working with VFX is most commonly done when working with movies or TV shows, your next step should be to check out our section in this article about making movies or TV shows to learn about some of the disciplines involved.


A compositor is utilized most commonly in the VFX field. A compositor can add in separate images into a life-action background to create the illusion that all elements are there. For example, if you’ve ever seen a behind the scenes look at sci-fi type movie, you may have noticed the actors are in a strange green room. If you were to look at the finished movie, it looks as if the actors are in a sci-fi city, or some other area. It’s the compositor’s job to add all the separate elements to give the illusion that the actors are in another universe.

Compositing is an important role within the VFX pipeline, without compositors there would be no way to integrate 3D elements into a live-action scene.

Some of the most important software applications for compositing are NUKE and After Effects. A great first step to becoming familiar with these powerful tools is to follow along with one of these learning paths:

How to Get Started in NUKE
Compositing in After Effects

12 Weeks, 4hrs/Class, 3 Classes/Week, N160k