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Become FX Artist - Job description

The FX Artist creates special effects (such as liquid, fire, destruction, explosions, clouds, particles, hair, crowd, etc.) in real time or pre-calculated.

He works for film productions, video game studios, TV series, advertising...

The FX Artist job combines both artistic and technical skills.

What is the FX Artist job

Missions of the FX Artist

  • Translate the Creative Director's vision and concept into high quality 3D visual effects
  • Design real-time or pre-calculated FX of natural, supernatural, photorealistic and stylized elements
  • Create systems for particle, fluid and destruction/explosion animation...
  • Respect the artistic direction, artistic and technical expectations of the project
  • Model, texture, animate, light and optimize FX assets
  • Ability to integrate visual effects into sets and with characters using compositing techniques
  • Ensure the artistic and technical quality of the FX
  • Participate in the development of the FX production pipeline in collaboration with other departments
  • Solve complex technical and artistic problems in FX animation

Skills of the FX Artist

To fulfill his or her duties, the FX Artist must mobilize a range of skills and master:

  • Various FX animation techniques, including procedural animation, keyframing, and simulations such as rigid bodies, soft bodies, fluids, particle dynamics, etc.
  • One or more software programs such as Maya, Houdini, Nuke, Cinema 4D, Blender, 3DSMax, Photoshop
  • A game engine (depending on the sector of activity)
  • Programming (Python) is a plus
  • Monitoring of the latest trends and technologies in the field of visual effects
  • Research and development of new techniques and tools to improve the quality of visual effects


3D/FX professional jury

Ciné Story

Ciné Story

Mickael NEZREG | Promo 2019

Les Pros parlent d'ISART

Les Pros parlent d'ISART

BUF Compagnie parle d'ISART

Other names of the job FX Artist

Other job titles may be used, depending on the sector of activity (video game, cinema, 3D animation studio and digital special effects, advertising...) :

  • Special Effects Artist
  • 3D Artist specialized in special effects
  • Simulation Artist
  • Particle Artist
  • Fire Artist
  • Smoke Artist
  • Fluid Artist
  • Destruction Artist

Qualities of a future FX Artist

  • Be passionate about animation, technology and special effects
  • Be creative and have a strong artistic sense
  • Have a great capacity of observation and analysis
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Ability to interact with a wide variety of profiles
  • Demonstrate adaptability, autonomy and resourcefulness
  • Attention to detail
  • Respect deadlines

How to become an FX Artist

ISART's 3D Cinema training (3D Animation and 3D Special Effects training) allows students to acquire the necessary skills to work in the film, animation and special effects industry, from pre-production to post-production.

What training to become an FX Artist

At ISART, a school specializing in 3D-FX animation, students benefit from personalized support and a caring environment, conducive to the success of their studies.

During the five years of the 3D Cinema program (3 years Bachelor + 2 years Master) students develop the technical and creative skills necessary to rig, animate, and composite the elements of a full CG and live action film or video game project. They are trained in the latest techniques and trends in the industry.

The project-based teaching method allows students to work together on ambitious projects, whose organization and requirements are modeled on those of industry studios.

Students benefit from regular and personalized monitoring by ISART teams (pedagogical, school life, corporate relations) to help them progress in their work and succeed in their first professional experiences.

The school offers total immersion in the industry:

  • Teachers are experienced professionals with recognized expertise and teaching skills
  • Internships or work-study periods in companies are mandatory throughout the curriculum to develop hard skills and soft skills in a professional setting.
  • Opportunities for professional contacts are frequent, thanks to the meetings organized by the school throughout the year: ISART Talents, ISART Connect, Sponsorship, meetings with alumni...

The school provides all the software used in the industry.

Equipment made available 

ISART has the necessary facilities for methodological, progressive and rigorous learning of the different techniques of special effects creation:

  •  green lab studio
  • fab lab
  • cinema control room
  • motion capture equipment
Green Lab

Green Lab Green Lab

Green Lab
Fab Lab

Fab Lab Fab Lab

Fab Lab

Tournage cinema control room


Maquette Fab Lab : Western Project


Which high shool diploma to become an FX Artist ?

ISART's 3D Cinema program (3D Animation and 3D Special Effects) is open to students with a high school diploma.

Admission is in the first year of the Bachelor's program (Digital Art).

It is possible to enter the program in parallel admission in the following years (depending on the student's academic background and portfolio):

2nd year Bachelor 3D Cinema | 3D Animation - 3D Special Effects

3rd year Bachelor 3D Cinema | 3D Animation - 3D Special Effects

1st year Master 3D Cinema | 3D Animation - 3D Special Effects

Degree in Special Effects - 3D FX

At the end of the five years of study, ISART delivers the RNCP title of level 7 "Expert in digital design, 3D animation and special effects".

Advice for successful FX Artist studies

  • Be curious, creative and motivated
  • Work assiduously to develop your skills and creativity
  • Enjoy working in a team to develop communication and project management skills
  • Be regularly informed of the latest artistic and technological trends in special effects and 3D animation
  • Develop your professional portfolio with ISART projects and personal work
  • Get involved in the life of the school and in your training course 






Invasion Day

Invasion Day



Which companies recruit FX Artists?

FX Artists can work in a variety of industries, such as:

  • Animation and visual effects studios in France and abroad: Illumination Mac Guff, Buf, Rodeo FX, Mikros Animation, Dneg, The Yard FX, MPC...
  • Video game studios to create immersive environments and special effects for real-time video games
  • Film productions to design special effects for feature films, short films and documentaries
  • Audiovisual productions (animated TV series, documentaries, streaming programs)
  • Advertising
  • Event management to create special effects for concerts, live shows, sports events, etc.

Employment opportunities

FX Artists have employment opportunities in many countries, including France, the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and India.

Employment opportunities can be offered under different salary statuses: permanent contract - fixed-term contract - temporary contract - freelance.

What are the career paths for an FX Artist?

Depending on the degree of involvement and level of professional expertise, an FX Artist can move on to positions such as:

  • Visual Effects Supervisor (or Lead FX Artist) (ou Lead FX Artist) to manage project teams or FX departments.
  • Art Director to define and implement the creative direction of a production using 3D animation techniques.
  • Trainer to pass on his skills and train the next generation of FX Artists.

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