Visual effects (VFX) competencies for virtual production - creation

Crew working on computers
Image: © Final Pixel

Learn the skills and knowledge required to include virtual production in the VFX creation area of work.

The virtual art department (VAD) is the emerging terminology for the team creating the environments used in virtual production – typically a VFX team. This is a new function, sitting somewhere between traditional VFX and the art department. All the VFX creation discussed in this page mainly relates to that used for the LED volume, which is built and overseen by the VAD.

These tasks are divided into three main functions: designing and articulating VFX ideas, creating VFX components and combining VFX components.

These complement the wider competencies required within each of these functions to undertake more traditional VFX projects, which are detailed in the full National Occupational Standards.

Download a PDF version of these competencies.

Designing and articulating VFX ideas

1. Design and create drawings to meet production requirements

2. Create storyboards, animatics or other preparatory visualisations

Creating VFX components

1. Evolve the look for computer generated assets

Asset creation will remain the same process and skills but for virtual production it is essential to know how these assets will be used in the pipeline and what end goal is – such as for real-time use on an LED volume or pre-rendered.

2. Model, texture or paint characters, creatures, props, environments, or backgrounds for visual effects

3. Create animation rigs

4. Create and match live action camera movements in 3D, including use of real-time tracking solutions

5. Create 3D digital animation

Virtual production may make use of animated objects rendered in real-time in the engine used to project the virtual environment onto the LED wall.

Combining VFX components

1. Render visual effects

The render approach for creating environments used in virtual production will likely make more use of a real-time engine, introducing this into the pipeline. Renders may run in real-time on an LED wall or be pre-rendered from software.

Explore the competencies:

Visual effects (VFX) competencies for virtual production - production

Visual effects (VFX) competencies for virtual production - quality monitoring

Virtual production and visual effects - an introduction