SIX GREAT lgbtq+ films

Looking for some films to watch this weekend? Check out six of our favourite LGBTQ+ films. 

SIX GREAT lgbtq+ films

By: Kennedy Randall

Though pride month should be every month, it offers us a chance to learn more about LGBTQ+ history and experience. A way that we can do this is by taking a look at some LGBTQ+ films that center queer narratives and characters. Representation matters and we do not mean the one-dimensional gay character who is pushed to the margins of the plot. These six films provide important and captivating stories of queer experience and love in our contemporary climate. 

Six Great LGBTQ+ Films

1. Moonlight (2016)

Earning the Oscar for Best Picture, director Barry Jenkins explores masculinity and homosexual repression through his main character Chiron. Moonlight is the epitome of a coming-of-age story, where Chiron is played by three different actors at various stages of his life as he comes to terms with his sexual identity. He wishes to break free from his impoverished upbringing and find his own path in this tumultuous world.


2. Call Me By Your Name (2017)

Director Luca Guadagino portrays the landscape of 1980s Italy beautifully in Call Me By Your Name. Even more beautiful though is the relationships he builds on screen. Within the dreamy atmosphere, young Timothee Chalamet and older Armie Hammer fall into a deeply moving-tender relationship. This film has received a lot of attention in the media and we promise it is worth the hype!


3. Pariah (2011)

Queer filmmaker of colour Dee Rees’s debut film Pariah follows Alike, a teenager navigating her sexuality and adulthood in Brooklyn. Dee Rees expresses the often overlooked experience of queer Black women. Alike finds that the path to living one’s authentic self is not easy, but worth the fight. She navigates first loves, heartache, and her sexual identity framed by the disapproval of her family. An intimate film, Aderpero Odyue’s performance as Alike is beautifully layered in Pariah. 


4. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

One of the most well-known and mainstream queer films of our time, Brokeback Mountain, directed by Ang Lee brought a sensitive and beautiful gay love story onto our screens. Starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, the two men become intertwined for years to come.


5. Carol (2015)

Based on Patricia Highsmith’s cult novel, Todd Haynes brings a seductive love story between two women on screen. A young shopgirl, played by Rooney Mara, finds herself charmed by an alluring older woman played by Cate Blanchett. The two women form a passionate relationship that brings them joy, despite the other forces in their lives. 


6. Boys Don’t Cry (1999)

Director Kimberly Peirce’s biographical film tells the tragic true story of Brandon Teena. He was an American trans man who attempts to find himself in Nebraska but falls victim to a brutal hate crime perpetrated by two males. When it was released in 1999, it was the first mainstream film to focus on a transgender man. The story is almost entirely shown through Teena (played by Hilary Swank) making it a groundbreaking film for its time. 


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2d and 3d animation

Wondering what is the difference between 2D and 3D animation? We have the answers to all of your questions!

2d and 3d animation

By: Sophia Lin

Animation sits at a unique position in the film industry. As one of the few fields to have astronomically advanced in the past few decades, it also holds the record as one of the fastest-growing disciplines. Valued to be a billion-dollar industry, animation’s storytelling can exceed the constraints of reality. Creating the fantastical, the magical, and the out-of-this-world is just another day at work in the world of animation.


It’s important to keep in mind, though, animation is just an umbrella term for the viewing of stills in sequence. For those looking to learn more or get into the industry, it’s crucial to get to know the two main disciplines: 2D and 3D animation. Respectively complex and in-demand in their own ways, there are a plethora of similarities and differences between the two. And there’s no doubt that differentiating between them might bring about some head-scratching questions. Which one should you choose? What is better? Is one easier or harder?


Well, we’re here to boil it down for you. We’ll dissect the ins and outs of both 2D and 3D animation, from the concepts behind the work to the day-to-day processes of animators. From there, we’ll discuss difficulty and suitability, and finish off with top-of-the-line softwares and platforms for animators of every level. 

what is the difference between 2d and 3d animation

What is Animation?

Despite all the technological advancements, the concepts at the heart of animation have never changed. Animation involves rapidly displaying still images in sequence. Each image differs slightly from the one before, and when they appear quickly in succession, it creates movement. Most often, the frames go by at a rate of 24 frames per second, closely mirroring the speed of movement that we perceive in real life.


The most basic form is the classic stop-motion animation, in which objects are moved in small increments and photographed between each change. These days, animation is digitized, spanning a variety of techniques from keyframing to simulation.

What are the Differences Between 2D and 3D Animation?

2D animation is vector-based, and as its name suggests, characters and environments are created only in a two-dimensional space. Width and height are the only qualities a 2D animator needs to draw. Rather than pixels, 2D animation uses vectors—pathways with start and end points that are connected by lines.


In 3D animation, characters and environments are three-dimensional. Animators use pixels and work to give objects weight and timing. Sometimes, blueprints are created from scanning real-world physical objects. For the most part, 3D animation tends to overlap with the VFX pipeline as well.

what is the difference between 2d and 3d animation

What are the Similarities Between 2D and 3D Animation?

The core concepts of 2D and 3D animation are the same: they both place characters and objects into a space and manipulate them to create the illusion of motion. Both disciplines are often computerized and require a great deal of detail-oriented work. All animators working in 2D and 3D must study the principles of motion to convincingly fabricate realistic-looking movements.


Beneath the surface, there are even further similarities. 

2D animation is broken down into the 3 stages of pre-production, production, and post-production: 

Pre-production builds the foundational pieces. Making storyboards, designing characters, and recording voice-overs make up most of this process.

Production is the central stage, when 2D animators gather the materials they have prepared and make the rough animations. This includes inbetweening, colouring, painting, and tracing.

Post-production simply enhances what’s already been done, adding sound effects and score, before finally rendering the animations.


3D animation is also composed of 3 main phases: modeling, layout and animation, and rendering:

Modeling is the preliminary mapping of an object, using points, lines, and curves to create an approximation of the final shape. Just like in 2D animation pre-production, this stage assembles the foundational pieces of characters, scenes, and objects. 

Layout and animation is likewise the central stage of the 3D animation process, and is exactly what it sounds like. Models are positioned and animated into scenes, followed by keyframing or motion capture.

Rendering, just like in 2D animation post-production, creates the finished images.

These are all skills that are needed for working at a 3D animation studio. Learn more about how to get hired at a 3D animation studio and the top 10 entry-level 3d animation jobs.

Which Is Harder, 2D or 3D Animation?

Neither is definitively harder or easier — it simply depends on an animator’s strengths and interests! 3D animation typically requires rigging, demanding a slightly more interdisciplinary set of skills. Animating an additional dimension and maintaining realism on all fronts are some of the considerations to attend to as well. This is why sometimes having an instructor lead you in your 3D animation journey is helpful when getting started. 


On the other hand, 2D animators must familiarize themselves with a variety of strategies too. Losing one dimension means that it can be trickier to achieve natural-looking motion, and as a result, it often demands a closer understanding of anatomy and physics. Inbetweening, which means creating additional drawings between each frame, is another such method commonly used in 2D animation.


Should I Learn 2D or 3D Animation? Which is Better?

As art forms, neither one is better than the other. There are, however, differences in where and how each is used, an important consideration interest-wise. 2D animations are used in social media content creation, such as short-form videos, infotainment, online advertising, and explainer videos. In the pre-Internet days, 2d animations were predominantly used in cartoons and that still continues today.


On the flip side, 3D animators work is most often seen in movies, TV, and video games. From an industry stance, though jobs are plentiful in both fields, 3D animation is on the rise more so than 2D. Nevertheless, 2D animation boasts a few distinct advantages too. Its biggest plus is that it’s cost-effective, demanding fewer platforms and with more manual, artistic work.

3D Animation & Modelling

Why is 3D Animation More Popular?

For many, it’s simply a matter of the heightened realism that can be created with 3D animation. This enhances its versatility, enabling 3D animators to work in a variety of media. For instance, live-action movies can be smoothly combined with elements of 3D animation. Its overlap with VFX, another burgeoning field, boosts its popularity as well. In our increasingly complex digital landscape, 3D animation might be the better option if you are wanting to work in film and television. At this 3D animation school, you will learn everything there is to know about 3D animation for film and television. 


If I Want to Learn Both, Should I Learn 2D Animation or 3D Animation First?

Some say that more artistic minds choose 2D animation, while more technical minds choose 3D animation. It’s short and sweet, but when it really comes down to it, there are a myriad more factors in play. Both disciplines involve a wide-ranging set of skills, and your interests could pull you in many directions. So the best advice? Try them both.


Firsthand experience — and even just working on a couple animations — effortlessly guides you through the tasks. It’s the best replica of a day in the life of an animator there is! From there, take note of what draws your eye, what spurs your imagination, and what makes the time slip, slip away.


Check out our step by step guide for beginners on how to learn 3D animation to see how you can get started!

what is difference between 2d and 3d animation

What 2D and 3D Animation Resources Are Out There?

Before you go out there, we assembled a handy list of animation software and platforms to help you dip your toe into the field. If you want to learn quickly, 3D animation schools are another excellent launching pad. They give you the resources you need always at your disposal. This means the sooner you can break into the industry and get animating!


2D Animation Software & Resources

Toon Boom Harmony is the industry-leading software. It has all the features a 2D animator will ever need, from compositing to deformers, but is on the pricier side.


Adobe After Effects is part of Adobe Creative Cloud. It’s the industry-standard visual effects and graphics software, with high-quality 2D animating functions.


Pencil 2D is an open-source, free software with a minimalistic user design. It works with both raster and vector, and hails as one of the most commonly used softwares.


The Animation Magazine is an online publication, featuring news, technology, events, and business pertaining to the animation industry.


OpenToonz is another open-source and free software great for both student and professional animators. This software was also used in some Studio Ghibli cuts!

what is the difference between 2d and 3d animation


3D Animation Software & Resources

Autodesk Maya is the industry-leading software. It boasts functionality from explosions to cloth simulation — but be sure to note that it is one of the priciest platforms out there.


The Animator’s Resource Kit is a site focusing on 3D animation that includes anything from a job spreadsheet to an animator’s survival kit, all free to access!


Animate, also in Adobe Creative Cloud, allows animation of just about anything. It supports multimedia interests and enables users to publish to any platform.


Blender is an open-source, free software offering a 3D graphics creation suite. It includes animation and rigging tools, as well as an array of modelling tools.


Animation World Network is a journalistic culmination of all things animation, with both digital and print options. Commercial releases and advice from industry experts are just a few of the headlines.


Forums & Networks

Animators’ Reddit is an online forum that keeps users anonymous and features discussions from animators of all disciplines around the world.


Unity Forum: Animation is an accessible hub of online discussion. Its format is question-answer based, with anonymity for users as well.


The Internet Animation Database is an animator-specific compendium that focuses on gathering animation information and research, along with a frequented discussion channel.


The Animation Cafe is a safe space for questions and debate on aspects of the animation industry. Many experienced professionals pitch in, making it a valuable destination for insight into the art and business of animation.

what is the difference between 2d and 3d


At the end of the day, 2D and 3D animation each have their particular processes and demands, with differing pros and cons depending on who you are! Some might take pleasure in the fine-grain work of inbetweening in 2D, while others are ready to mix in some motion capture with their days at the drawing board.


So, the name of the game is to follow your interests. Dip you toes into 3D animation courses. Try both 2D and 3D animation, and take a stab at each of the phases along the way. In short, explore, explore, explore! Then you’ll know when you’ve found the one.


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being queer in the film industry

We sat down with the founder of InFocus Film School on his experience being queer in the film industry, some of his career highlights, and his favourite queer filmmakers!

being queer in the film industry

By: Kennedy Randall

In January of 2010, founder Steve Rosenberg opened InFocus Film School’s doors to the public. For the past 25 years, Steve has been working as an independent filmmaker in Canada. He is an alumni of The Canadian Film Centre, one of Canada’s most prestigious film institutions.

His dramatic shorts, Corona Station, Watching Mrs. Pomerantz, Vannica, Divine Waters, and Shanti Baba Ram have screened at various prestigious international festivals and played on the Sundance Channel, CBC, WTV, and Bravo. Watching Mrs. Pomerantz earned numerous international awards, including the award for Best Director at The Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival.

Steve has followed up his 25 years as an independent filmmaker by sharing his knowledge with his students at InFocus. He took the time to share his experience as a queer filmmaker. As well, he shares advice for young LGBTQ+ filmmakers making their way in the industry.

Q: What made you want to become a filmmaker?

A: I grew up in Toronto, Ontario. I have always been drawn to the film industry and always wanted to be a part of the creative industry. It was all so disappointing for my parents to have a gay son and secondly to find out that I am not going to take over the family lumber business. 


Q: Did you face any challenges being queer in the film industry? 

A: I grew up in an era when if you announced to your family that you were interested in a career in the arts, they would be worried you would starve. I am making light of it now, but at the time, it was a huge struggle to come out one as gay adolescent and a second time as a budding artist.


Q: Do you have any regrets?

A: I think this may sound strange, but I believe not having kids is a huge regret for me. At the time, fatherhood for gay couples was extremely rare. Children are such a huge endeavour and not having them left a void in my life. In turn, I was able to really embrace my creative work and feel a huge sense of accomplishment.


Q: In what ways has your sexuality influenced your creative work?

A: My films are not overtly queer, however, my first short film Watching Mrs. Pomerantz has a queer subtext. It follows a nine-year old boy who is in love with his glamorous neighbour Mrs. Pomerantz. In contrast to my mom, who ate chicken with her hands, Mrs. Pomerantz drove a fancy car, dressed in chiffon evening gowns and ordered take-out Chinese food for lunch. From a young age, I related to the strong female role models and wanted to feature them in my work.


Q: Who are your favourite queer filmmakers?

A: My attention to strong female characters is a reason I am drawn to Pedro Almadóvar’s films. I also admire is Ang Lee, a straight filmmaker who was brave enough to tackle a very outwardly queer films like Brokeback Mountain and The Wedding Banquet. I also love the camp of John Waters and the TV work of Ryan Murphy, both queer giants in the film industry.


Q: What are things you notice about queer film before and now?

A: The gay films I watched in my early twenties, which seems like yesterday, featured themes like coming out, overcoming shame, and eventually leads to self respect. I can relate to all of that being queer in the film industry. I believe that these stories are still relevant today, everywhere in the world. In today’s age, however, I am really happy to see gay characters who are depicted facing challenges and having storylines that are not limited to their sexuality.


Q: Any advice for young people who are queer in the film industry?

A: Gay cinema is here to stay and not just marked to the LGBTQ+ community anymore. These stories and identities are important for everyone to hear, not just people within the community. If I could give one piece of advise to queer filmmakers, it is just to keep exploring their own experiences. Their work will feel authentic. This is something that has always worked for me.

being queer in the film industry


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seven indigenous filmmakers in canada that you need to know

Here are seven Indigenous filmmakers located across Canada that you need to explore!

By: Sophia Lin

With National Indigenous Peoples Day around the corner, we are spotlighting some of the incredible Canadian Indigenous filmmakers in the business today. Working as directors, producers, screenwriters, and actors, these talented artists have lent their skills and unique voices to some of the best work in Canadian film.

1. Tracey Deer

Tracey Deer is a Mohawk director and screenwriter. In her words, she seeks to better the world “one frame at a time.” Her feature film Beans (2020), is a coming-of-age tale set during the Oka Crisis. Recently, it was screened and honoured at the Toronto International Film Festival.


Additionally, her work was screened at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. As well, she has been broadcasted on CBC. With her own production company, Mohawk Princess Productions, Deer plans to produce fiction shorts.

seven indigenous filmmakers from canada that you need to know

2. Jeff Barnaby

A Mi’kmaq filmmaker from Quebec, Barnaby has two acclaimed feature films under his belt. His first film, Rhymes for Young Ghouls (2013), premiered at TIFF. It tells a harrowing story in the context of the residential school system.


A year later, Barnaby was contacted by the National Film Board of Canada. They reached out for him to film a short documentary. His film Blood Quantum  (2019) showcasing Mi’kmaq voices, putting a twist on the classic zombie genre.

seven indigenous filmmakers

3. Loretta Todd

Loretta Todd began in TV and documentary work, before getting into directing. Her debut narrative feature was Monkey Beach in 2020. Adapted from Eden Robinson’s eponymous novel, it opened to much acclaim at the Vancouver International Film Festival.


She is a filmmaker of mixed Cree-Métis and European ancestry and has worked in a variety of media, including animation and interactive. In 1998, she received a lifetime achievement award from the Taos Talking Pictures Festival.

seven indigenous filmmakers in canada that you need to know

4. Bretten Hannam

Hannam is a Two-Spirit L’nu screenwriter and director. With their latest film Wildhood (2021), they sought to tell a never-before-seen Two-Spirit story of a young man rediscovering himself. He embarks on a road trip through Eastern Canada and reconnects with his heritage. It received six Canadian Screen Award nominations, marking a historic moment for queer BIPOC Canadian artists.


Their work, both shorts and feature-length, focuses around themes of community, culture, and LGBTQ+ identity, and has been honoured at festivals around North America.

seven indigenous filmmakers in canada

5. Amanda Strong

A multiple award-winning Michif filmmaker, Strong’s work lies mainly in the realms of stop-motion, animation, and virtual reality. She takes an interdisciplinary, multi-layered approach to her work, creating some of the most innovative projects out there — including Biidaaban (2018) and Four Faces of the Moon (2016).


Her production company Spotted Fawn Productions is a large part of her mission to reclaim Indigenous histories, lineage, and culture.

seven indigenous filmmakers from canada you need to know

6. Danis Goulet

Sundance, Berlin International Film Festival, and MoMA have all screened many of Danis Goulet’s films. Of Cree-Métis descent, she is one of the foremost emerging Indigenous filmmakers today. Most recently, she won the TIFF Emerging Talent Award with her debut feature Night Raiders (2021). 


She got her foot in the door as a casting coordinator, then dove into the directing side of the industry. By doing so, she honed creative control over Indigenous stories. In 2021, she completed production on a thriller film for Netflix.

seven indigenous filmmakers in canada you need to know

7. Christopher Auchter

Chris Auchter grew up in Haida Gwaii, BC. An animator, illustrator, and documentary filmmaker, his work deeply roots his storytelling in the Haida people and their land. His 2017 short, The Mountain of SGaana (2017), creatively combined traditional animation with elements of Haida art.

The films he creates are often hailed as innovative and integrative. How People Got Fire (2009) was an animation film he made, entirely using charcoal, for the National Film Board of Canada.

seven indigenous filmmakers in canada


These seven Indigenous filmmakers are incredibly influential in the Canadian film industry. Their work is redefining Canadian film and we cannot wait to see what stories they share next.

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8 great lgbtq+ filmmakers

Film has been home to queer and LGBTQ+ people, visibly or not, for the entirety of its history. Here are eight LGBTQ+ filmmakers still paving the way today!

8 great lgbtq+ filmmakers

By: Kennedy Randall

From pioneering gay director John Waters, to Canadian LGBTQ+ filmmakers making waves in the film festival scene, trans filmmakers, and queer filmmakers of colour, here are eight LGBTQ+ filmmakers to check out.

1. John Waters

With a wide variety of work, John Waters’ iconic musicals and comedies have gained a cult following since the 1970s. He is the man behind the original Hairspray (1988) which found even further popularity as a Broadway musical. His fabulous sense of humour continued with classics like Cry-Baby (1990) and Serial Mom (1994). 

One of the first openly LGBTQ+ filmmakers, Waters has inspired many filmmakers through his oeuvre. His creativity doesn’t end with moving images either; he experiments with photo-based art and installations. 

john waters

2. Lee Daniels

Lee Daniels is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. His work spans from arthouse film to hit twist-filled television as producer and director of FOX’s Empire and Star. His 2009 film Precious, went on to receive great critical acclaim and received nominations at the Academy Awards, Screen Actor Guild Awards, and many more.

Growing up, Daniels had pushback from his father about being gay, with many of those experiences inspiring the narrative of Precious. Though his father did not provide emotional support, Daniels’ grandmother supported him and his career. 

lee daniels

3. Xavier Dolan

French-Canadian actor and director Xavier Dolan has gained international acclaim for exploring complicated relationships between friends and family, often revealing the ingrained homophobia present in society. He was born in Quebec, Canada and has been busy making 9 films in his 11-year career. His Canadian LGBTQ+ films have received widespread recognition, in particular his 2009 film J’ai tué ma mère (I Killed My Mother) which he wrote, starred in, and directed.


With a semi-autobiographical narrative, I Killed My Mother explores the love-hate relationship between a young man discovering his homosexuality and his mother. The film’s coming-of-age narrative reveals the raw experience of growing up gay in a thought-provoking film style.

xaiver dolan

4. Kimberly Peirce

Prominent American indie filmmaker Kimberly Peirce operates through a feminist lens in her directing, writing, and producing. Her first feature film Boys Don’t Cry (1999) analyses the life and tragic death of a trans man, Brendon Teena. 

She went on to direct an episode of the popular series The L Word, influenced by her own experiences being openly lesbian. Throughout her career, Peirce has remained a prominent activist with many other LGBTQ+ filmmakers for feminist movements and beyond.

kimberly peirce

5. Chase Joynt

Trans and gender diverse individuals haven’t always been represented in a fair light. The documentary film lens can sometimes be inaccurate portraying some things as true. Further, often the individuals on-screen are not involved behind the lens. Trans Canadian filmmaker Chase Joynt aimed to remedy these issues in his documentary Framing Agnes (2022) which explores the buried case files from a 1950 study led by sociologist Harold Garfinke at UCLAl.

In Framing Agnes, a cast of trans actors turn a talk show inside out to confront the legacy of a trans woman (Agnes) being forced to choose between honesty and access. The documentary-turned-feature film defies genre boundaries and was screened at Sundance 2022 and Hot Docs 2022. Though Joynt was the only transgender director featured this year at Hot Docs, Framing Agnes achieves their mission of widening trans history and getting trans voices heard.

6. Dee Rees

Screenwriter and director, Dee Rees started her career with the feature film Pariah (2011), which went on to gain international acclaim. Inspired by her own experience as a queer filmmaker of colour, Pariah follows a young black woman named Alke. The main character grapples with her sexuality and the world’s response to it. The movie won many awards, notably the N.A.A.C.P Image Award for Outstanding Motion Picture. Also, her series Bessie with Queen Latifah earned an Emmy for Outstanding Television Movie.

Rees also acknowledges the need and desire for content aimed specifically at black consumers. She has said “We’re the consumers and we’re the producers” which she expresses in her LGBTQ+ and black characters, creating an intersectional picture of contemporary experience in America. 

dee rees

7. Isabel Sandoval

Recently, trans Filipina filmmaker Isabel Sandoval has made a splash in the indie film scene. In 2019, she was the first transgender woman of colour to compete at the Venice Film Festival with her feature Lingua Franca. This film, starring Sandoval herself, follows an undocumented Filipina trans woman who falls in love in Brooklyn. Lingua Franca was bought by Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY and released on Netflix, bringing Sandoval a widespread audience and recognition. 


As a trans filmmaker, she is trying to bring trans characters and narratives out of the periphery. In so doing, Sandoval creates layered, complex and multi-dimensional characters who convey the reality of living as a trans individual in our political climate. 

isabel sandoval

8. Goran Stolevski

Macedonian-Australian filmmaker Goran Stolevski took the 2022 Sundance Film Festival by storm with his feature debut You Won’t Be Alone. His folk horror film brings together questions of genre, queerness, and human connection in 19th century Macedonia. At Sundance, Stolevski took home Best International Short.


Stolveski often favours female protagonists and outsider perspectives. In You Won’t Be Alone, a young witch shape shifts and learns how to be human in the 1800s. Informed by his experience as a queer filmmaker, Stolveski’s work meditates on feeling out of place. However, he reminds us that we are never truly alone. 

goran stolevski


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become a vfx artist

Wondering how to become a VFX artist? We have everything you need to know about how to learn VFX compositing and make your mark in the industry!

become a vfx artist

By: Kennedy Randall

Visual effects (VFX) makes up the computer-generated images that you see on the screen. Whether it’s the monster that comes out from under the bed, the epic good vs. evil superhero battles, or the dinosaurs in Jurassic World, these characters and scenes come alive through VFX. And this is true in all forms of media in the entertainment industry today. Not only do blockbuster movies need visual effects, but so do advertisements, commercials, TV series, and more. 

Pursuing a career in VFX means you are creative, handy with technology, and looking to tell visual stories. There are many different roads you could take in the VFX industry. In this guide on how to become a VFX artist, we’ll tell you what VFX artists do, where VFX artists work, and VFX artist salary. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about a career in VFX. 

Compositing for Visual Effects | InFcous Film School

Click here to learn more about InFocus Film School’s Compositing for Visual Effects Program

What Do VFX Artists Do?

VFX is a wide term to describe artists who use computer software to create computer generated images (CGI) that are unable to be captured by a camera. These digital assets are combined with live action shots and are integrated into most movies and television shows nowadays. 

Within this broad umbrella of VFX, there are dozens of different roles that are employed at the studio, which we will go over in a moment. This is called the VFX pipeline, which is the process of different VFX roles who work together to make computer generated images and bring all these different elements to life on screen. If you become a VFX artist, there are many different roles you could undertake. 

Below, we have outlined some of the roles that make the VFX pipeline run smoothly.


Types of VFX Work

become a vfx artist

1. Previsualist

Firstly a previsualist, you will create 3D animated versions of film storyboards. You need to know how to use 3D software to create the director’s vision. 

2. Concept Artists

Concept artists take a brief, prepared by the client or a supervisor, and turn that into something that can come alive on screen. They guide the rest of the pipeline artists as they create the movie. 


To create the environment on screen, modellers create the objects, characters, and landscapes in 3D. You will have to know how to model just about anything, because your projects will vary! Modellers need immense flexibility and skill.

4.Texture Artists

After the models are created, texture artists apply shaders to the mesh, which is the primary structural build of a 3D model. This is a time consuming process, as this is what makes the models look realistic on screen. Use your patience and skill to work with the rest of your team to create a realistic end result. 

5. Riggers

From there, riggers take a model and build the character’s skeleton so it can be animated and move on screen. You will bridge the work between the modeller and the animator, making sure that the animator can create visuals that move realistically from the model. 

become a vfx artist

6. Matte Painters

Matte painters work from the concept artist’s work to create realistic environments for the animations to be integrated on seamlessly.

7. 3D Animator

At this stage, it is passed to the 3D animator who takes a character and object and makes it come live! Because this is a hefty job, some studios spread out the types of animation across different roles like junior animators, assistant animators, stop motion animators, and many more

8. Technical Directors

Technical directors (TD), then use special effects to create effects such as explosions, water, debris, and more. There are also lighting TDs who replicate realistic lighting in the shots. There are also rendering TDs, who ensure that everything is running smoothly on the computer end of the pipeline. 

9. Compositor

The compositor puts all of these elements together, using a keen eye for detail to integrate elements of a shot. Unsurprisingly, this takes a lot of patience and time to figure out solutions to get all the various elements of the pipeline to work together. 

10. Roto Artist

Roto artists work alongside the compositor to create the mattes they need. These artists are huge team players, making everyone’s lives easier. Many compositors begin as roto artists, meaning this is a role you can move up from!

11. Pipeline TD

Finally, there is a pipeline TD who is a team player, overseeing the entire pipeline and making it run efficiently and smoothly. You need to know how to troubleshoot the entire pipeline, using knowledge of each position and how they work together in order to solve problems that may arise. 


Where do VFX Artists Work?

VFX artists work wherever entertainment industries are found. VFX artists either work with a studio or freelance, working on things from games, film and television. This is especially common in major city centres that have companies looking for VFX artists. The first places people think of are Los Angeles and London but prestigious studios exist everywhere. There is WetaFX in New Zealand or Animal Logic in Sydney, Australia. 

You also might be surprised to learn Canada also has many VFX studios, mainly located in Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto. The VFX industry in Vancouver (otherwise called Hollywood North) is booming, with many companies growing and relocating to the area. There are also many opportunities to study in these VFX hubs, with courses like this 6-month program that can set you up for success in the VFX industry and become a VFX artist.

Sony Pictures Imageworks is one of Vancouver’s largest VFX and animation studios. With opportunities to work on movies like Guardians of the Galaxy and Spiderman, keep your eyes posted for job listings once you learn VFX and compositing

Industry Light and Magic (ILM) is a visual effects studio located in Vancouver that has worked on Marvel Universe films like Infinity War, Black Panther, Thor: Ragnraok and more. Further, DNEG (Double Negative) is a star in the VFX Vancouver world. They have won a slew of awards including 5 Academy Awards, 5 Bafta Awards, and 11 Visual Effects Society Awards.

A city like Vancouver is a great place to become a VFX artist, full of opportunities and impressive companies. 

As well, Montreal has many companies like Digital Domain, Mill Film and Mr. X Inc, which has offices in both Montreal and Toronto. Canada’s VFX industry is booming, and there is no better place to get your career started!


What is a VFX Artist’s Salary?

When considering how to become a VFX artist, you may be wondering how much do VFX artists earn? According to Glassdoor, Vancouver’s VFX industry is paying well! A VFX artist’s salary in Vancouver is around $57,179 and is predicted to rise. Across Canada, the average VFX artist salary is $55,741, meaning wherever you go in Canada, VFX is booming. As the demand for VFX grows, the average Canadian VFX salary increases with it, with expected growth in the next couple years. 

become a vfx artist

Why are VFX Artists in Demand?

Nowadays, VFX artists are in high demand and continue to be as our world becomes increasingly digitized. Most of the movies and television shows nowadays use VFX and this will increasingly continue to be the case. As well, VFX artists are needed now outside of the entertainment industry, in advertisements, various commercial companies, and more. 

With this in mind, VFX is a highly employable industry and it will continue to be for years to come. Now that it is the standard for visual effects to be used in many films, it will never go away. Rather, it will continue becoming more advanced and creative. If you become a VFX artist, the opportunities where you can work will continue to grow. 

become a vfx artist

Overall, when wondering how to become a VFX artist, there are many different roles and places where you can work. Therefore, all that’s left to do is to master the skills and follow your dreams. Once you learn VFX and compositing, nothing can stop you. Work hard, be persistent, and soon we’ll all see your work on the big screen. 


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