Do You Need to Know How to Draw to be a 3D Animator or VFX Artist?

Do You Need to Know How to Draw to be a 3D Animator or VFX Artist?

“Some people can create fantastic images, but can’t draw anything.” – Greg Hird-Rutter, Senior FX Artist at Bioware, formerly at Ubisoft

A common question we get asked by prospective students trying to break into VFX is, 'I want to do this, BUT I CAN’T DRAW!’  Well here’s some good (if rather obvious) news … not every creative job requires you to have a background in fine arts. 


That’s right Visual Effects, Animation, 3D Modelling, Compositing and Lighting all have areas that focus on the technical side of things, and often a good grasp of programming basics, mathematics or even theatrical acting can be just as useful. 

We asked Greg, our mentor of Visual Effects and an artist with experience at Bioware and Ubisoft his thoughts about the link between VFX and hard drawing skills. See his full response in the video below.

Depending on what discipline you get into in 3D, being a traditional artist may or may not be necessary." 


Becoming an Animator, your job requires you to move the character around, much like a puppet, your focus is bringing the character to life rather than creating it.  A Visual Effects artist creates all the explosions, splashes and crashed within a film.

A 3D Modeller gives the character it's skin and texture making it look more realistic.  With Compositing and Lighting you build finished film shot sequences, render shadows on objects and add the finishing touches to film and game.

So you’re asking yourself, what do I need to know in order to get started down this career path? 

Patience, persistence and attention to detail are all skills you need to practice while in this type of career, as well as a willingness to learn.

You should also start to familiarize yourself with the programs that are used within these areas of study. CG Spectrum offers a one week orientation class to propel you forward with the software knowledge you will need for the course you decide on.

Simon Warwick, mentor of Animation believes all skills are transferable. 

There are a lot of different areas and skill sets that take time and that practice is building upon them.”


So summing it up, NO you don’t need to be a great 2D artist to head down this career path (although it won't hurt!) There is such a wide spectrum of jobs in this industry from technical to programming, that there is a fit for every skill set.

Take it from co-founder and mentor of Animation , Nick Fredin: 


Find a pathway that works for you and learn from mentors like Simon & Greg.

See our full course offering

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