What are visual effects? According to a definition these are "Alterations to a film's images during post-production." The visual effects are basically a sub-category of special effects in which images are manipulated for an enhanced effect for films or video. It includes amalgamation of live action recording and CGI so as to produce an ambiance which looks real. This effect may be very dangerous or expensive or simply too difficult to capture on real time basis. The demand for enhanced effects has increased manifold, especially with the films that are made with huge budgets. Since a lot of money is at stake, film-makers are seeking professionals who are experienced in this field and can generate mind-blowing visual effects, which are uncommon yet interesting and will keep the public glued to the screen.
This theory, in turn justifies a great demand for schools which can train and offer courses to individuals. The visual effects schools offer a variety of media training programs like animation, audio recording, broadcasting, digital film and video production etc. One of the best schools across the globe, in this area is Austin Visual Effects Schools. Austin is the state capital of Texas and also the fourth largest city. It is home to some of the finest fashion design and photography schools as well as art colleges, which offer comprehensive courses with the help of modern software. The courses are more than a simple practical training with software.
Some of the photography colleges are:
o The Art Institute: It offers a program in commercial photography, digital photography, photography, photography and design and visual arts. It offers Bachelor's as well as Diploma in this field.
o Westwood College: It offers a Bachelor's degree in Visual Communication.
o The University of Texas at Austin: The Department of Radio and Television Film (or RTF) proffers some fantastic summer media camps for the young in 7th through 12th grades. These camps are held in the campus of the University and the campers can use the equipment provided by the RTF. The students get an opportunity to look at various aspects involved in film making. Generally a camp lasts for 5 days and the fee per session is $ 475.
Visual effects can be divided into 4 broad categories:
1. Models, in which miniature sets are used
2. Digital and / or traditional paintings: These are required to cater to the background elements
3. Live action: Here the main characters perform. The performances are keyed through the blue-screen or green-screen.
4. Digital animation: This involves computer graphics, texturing, animation, generating 3D characters etc.
These Schools also offer Graphic Designing courses which include studying design, animated typography, creating logos, Photoshop image manipulation and web sites etc., along with a hands-on training of the software that is used in the industry.
Once you graduate from these Schools, you can obtain employment in the entry level positions of advertising designers, computer artists, Video Editing, Motion Graphics, and Visual Effects Supervisor etc.