Transferable Skills – Games, Animation and VFX

There are a multitude of skills desirable throughout the games, animation and visual effects industry, skills which can be transferred and applied across each field.  Whilst many people may already possess these traits, those that don’t can concentrate and work on these select skills to help improve the way in which they work.

Specialist Skills

It is important to have a wide range of abilities, however it is more important to have a select specialist skill/s which you are most strong in.  Nobody is great at everything and concentrating on your strongest ability often helps you stand out from the crowd.

However, possessing  a wide range of skills allows you to be able to work with others and understanding their processes. Whilst your specialist skills are often those that improve a team.

Team Work

Team work is key skills within all workplaces, not just the games, animation and visual effects industry. Working together and a team to achieve a common cause or goal improves efficiency and effectiveness .

Creativity and Efficiency

Working in  a creative industry, it goes without saying that you must be creative to enable you to come up with interesting ideas and concepts, whilst also allowing you to think outside of the box when trying to overcome problems.

The Ability to think about the Big Picture

Across the creative industries, for example Visual Effects,  it is important not to become narrow minded and concentrate on one small aspect of a project. Its about the overall pipeline and end product, not just one small shot or detail.  If you are to add something to a project, it is important to understand how this may help or hinder those further along the process.

Meet Deadlines

Meeting deadlines are a skill highly sought after in everyday life, not just in a working environment or withing the creative industries. Not meeting deadlines can have a massive detrimental effect to a project or business, not just effecting you but having a domino effect on those further down the pipeline.  This can cause a project or product being delayed, therefore huge cost implications.

Working to a Brief

In the games, animation and visual effects industry, you need to have a precise understanding of the requirements of the client / customer to produce a final product tailor-made to them. The result must be in line of your customers expectations, not just for you.

Respond Well to Criticism

Receiving criticism will often happen in the creative industry and it is important not to take this personally, but constructively to help you learn and improve your own skills and processes.  It is highly important to learn from your mistakes, not ignore them.

Presentation Skills

Having strong presentation skills  will allow you to communicate your ideas clear and concisely to work colleagues, furthermore to clients.  First impressions are incredibly important to customers and presenting well will result in a positive response from your audience.

Knowledge of Cultural References

Within the games, animation and VFX industries it is often important to recreate photo realistic or believable characters, locations or sequences. Possessing knowledge of the world and your surroundings is high important in producing a convincing final composition.

Observation Skills

Similar to the above, observing the world around you is key in being able to recreate a scene or movement digitally which is believable. It is important for us to open our eyes and analyse every minute detail for us to produce something which is truly authentic.

Be Able to Draw

Everyone can draw to some extent, however having strong or striving to improve your drawing skills is an important and once of the most efficient ways to communicate your ideas across to others.

Be Proactive and Self-Motivated, Always Learning

Wherever you work you will always be learning something new, whether it be new processes, software or techniques.  However, it is always important to stay ahead of the game / industry and be pro-active by continuing to learn outside of work or education. Always strive to improve.

Be Confident and Ask Questions

Being confident is a skill which can become difficult for people, however confidence comes with understanding. Asking questions is essential to solve problems and gain understanding, whilst also expanding your knowledge to put into practice or pass onto someone else.

Know the Language

Across any workplace including the creative industry, it is important to learn and understand the “language” or jargon they use to help you communicate between colleagues and companies.

Awareness of Cinematography / Film Theory

Cinematography is most importantly seen in Visual Effects, however beginning to be more commonly seen in games and animation.  Education of the key terms, how certain aspects are produced and be able to analyse shots and compositions.

An understanding of film theory is also desirable, exploring the essence of cinema, and how narrative and structures work.

Strong maths skills are desirable across all workplaces, including the creative industries. While maths is used in everyday day tasks, there are more specialist subjects including:

  • trigonometry
  • matrices
  • vectors
  • applied mechanics
  • algebra
  • scripting
  • physics

The above are seen in the every day production of games, animations and visual effects and it is essential for a person to have an understanding and appreciation of the importance of maths in completing a project.

Computer Literacy

Being comfortable in using a computer or technology and having an understanding of its components is incredible helpful and desirable.  This allows to have a deeper understanding how processes work and help identify limitations

Knowledge of VFX History

Visual Effects and the industry has been around for many years now and improved immensely since its beginning.  It is important to looking into and recognising its history, learning from old techniques and past mistakes.

It is possible that you may be able to learn from the processes of the past and apply it, even improve upon it on new projects.





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