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VFX Artist

This is a creative profession in video games that requires good technical skills. A VFX Artist will create special effects and integrate them into the rest of the game. They know how to use 3D modelling software and the entire graphics chain because they must create an explosion, a boat flooding, or even a creature out of nowhere.

Technical artist job description
Last update
Level of studies: master’s degree
Recommended high school specialisation: Artistic
Employability: Good
Starting salary: € 2,500
Salary after experience: € 3,166
Mobility: Good
ROME code: L1510
FAP code: U1Z82
"A VFX artist in video games creates visual effects in real-time to visually dress the game or create impactful visual responses to communicate certain information to the player. They must always keep the technical and artistic aspects of their work in mind. They need to make sure their work is visually "pleasing" and responds to artistic specifications. However, they must ensure that the technical aspect is not neglected. They must optimise the effect, properly integrate it, and meet the game's gameplay requirements. "
Roll7 Theo Droulez
Théo Droulez
VFX Artist for the Roll7 studio

The responsibilities of a VFX Artist

Whether they work as a studio employee or at home by being freelance, a VFX Artist will have to meet their manager’s expectations. In other words, they will have to follow precise specifications to achieve the special effects. In detail:

  • It will take specifications into
  • They design special effects and can draw them on a storyboard or create a model beforehand.
  • They are consistent and work to deadlines
  • They integrate effects into the game engine and make the necessary adjustments
  • They carry out technical and artistic oversight
Capture d'écran du jeu vidéo Battlefield
To bring the special effects to life on the screen, a VFX Artist will integrate them into the game engine, as seen here in Battlefield.

The qualities of a VFX Artist

A VFX Artist should be a person who knows how to work in a team, but that is not all. They must also be able to:

  • Listen
  • Work hard
  • Be creative
  • Be inventive
  • Be meticulous

The skills of a VFX Artist

Their job is a mix of technique and artistic skills, and so a VFX Artist’s skills are varied and can only be learned by completing a high-level training course. They must understand:

  • How to animate images
  • Understand the graphic production chain
  • 2D and 3D software
  • Content integration tools
  • Game engines
  • The concepts of anatomy, architecture and art
Capture d'écran du jeu vidéo The Witcher
With their artistic skills, a VFX Artist can create creatures and explosions. They are seen here in the video game The Witcher.
"The nature of a VFX artist's job means that they will have to work on extremely different things. They can work on VFX for a game's characters, its environment, or even the UI. The work constantly provides a challenge, and it is gratifying. However, a VFX artist often spends time on tasks that are not always very exciting and are quite "mechanical"."
Roll7 Theo Droulez
Théo Droulez
VFX Artist for the Roll7 studio

Avantages et inconvénients

While working as a VFX Artist is passionate and has several advantages, it is also necessary to be aware that it has disadvantages.


  • A profession based on passion
  • Freelance
  • Interesting and progressive salary
  • Good employability
  • Possibility to work anywhere in the world
  • Work in video games but also cinema


  • Working hours
  • Resist pressure
  • Constantly monitor
  • Standing out

What level of study is needed to become a VFX Artist?

Without a higher education course, it is challenging to do this job. A VFX Artist is someone with a solid background as a graphic designer and specialisation in special effects. After high school, after choosing a general high school diploma in mathematics or digital sciences, for example, a future professional can go on to higher studies in a video game school and follow a master’s degree course.

Capture d'écran du jeu vidéo Spellbreak
A VFX Artist is the perfect illusionist and will achieve special effects that blend perfectly into the graphic atmosphere of the game, as seen here in the game Spellbreak.
"I chose this profession because I was passionate about the ideas of rhythm, movements, shapes and colours. They are crucial for a VFX Artist. This job also presented more technical notions, allowing me to learn more technically and fill in specific gaps. In addition, it has a considerable advantage as the job market has growing demand and is not at all saturated. With a solid skillset, it is straightforward to find a job. And it would be best if you weren't afraid to go and see the opportunities abroad. "
Roll7 Theo Droulez
Théo Droulez
VFX Artist for the Roll7 studio
Which course should you choose?

The 2D – 3D Computer Graphics bachelor’s degree of the G. Art school allows you to acquire a gaming culture while learning the basics of the profession of VFX Artist. It is a three-year course in Lyon whose professional contributors teach the basics of graphics software, video creation, rendering and compositing / FX software, dynamic drawing, lighting, materials, etc. In addition, you’ll learn communication, management and project management. Each week is an opportunity to carry out concrete projects and to acquire new skills.

Then, to reach a higher level and improve in special effects, our school allows holders of a bachelor’s degree to continue onto an MBA in Game artistry. It is a two-year training course during which the student is trained to become a versatile and innovative video game artist. They will be able to master FX techniques, for example.

Company internship

We place immense importance on professional experience made within our school. This is why, throughout their course, students will practice what they have learned in class during internship periods. These periods last two months in the first two years and three months in the last year of the bachelor’s degree.

Then in an MBA, you have to do a six-month internship in a company. Finally, the last year of the diploma takes place on a work-study basis.

Salary of a VFX Artist

Depending on the company they work for and their level of experience, the salary of a VFX Artist is variable. It can start at the start of a career at 30,000 euros per year and reach 38,000 or even 40,000 euros and more after experience.

Abroad, they can earn more. Everything will depend, again, on the environment in which they operate. Nevertheless, in Montreal, the average salary of a VFX Artist is 50,000 dollars, while in the United States, in Los Angeles, they can hope to earn 80,000 dollars.

Where can you work?

Many video game development studios have a VFX Artist on their team. They are a professional sought after for their ability to create and integrate special effects, so they can work for a company developing triple-A games and mobile games.

Therefore, it could be in a studio such as Artefacts in Lyon, Dontnod in Paris, Darewise Entertainment, or even Eko Software. Or Ubisoft and its mobile game branch.

« I had the opportunity to work on the game ‘Destruction AllStar’ with, for the first time, a team of several VFX Artists. It was a very enriching experience. I am currently working on the game OlliOlli World, which has a super lovely artistic direction, » explains Théo Drgez.

Career evolution

As a VFX Artist, there is the possibility of career development. First by taking on responsibilities such as supervision and management by becoming lead FX Artist. Or by becoming an artistic director. They may very well also become a graphic designer. And from there, the field of possibilities is vast. Another option could be to work in cinema or television.

Photo de la manière dont peuvent être conçus les effets spéciaux
A VFX Artist can work from a synthetic image that they have created or from filmed images that they will then have to integrate

Freelance VFX Artist

Like other video game careers such as graphic design or video game development, a VFX Artist can very well become a freelancer by working independently. They will nevertheless have to be organised, professional, and competent, but above all, demonstrate work ethic, autonomy and be forthcoming with ideas. They can’t be afraid to work alone, at home.

Also, being a freelancer, you are required to have the right powerful technological equipment.

In summary

How can you become a VFX Artist?

To become a VFX Artist, you must go through a master’s degree level training with skills in effects specials such as mastering lighting, special effects and movements, while knowing how to use 2D, 3D or animated image software. Why not apply to our G. Art school in Lyon. In five years, G.Art will train you to be a special effects graphic designer thanks to the school’s high-level education, with concrete projects being carried out each week.