Visual effects (VFX) artists in Florida work in a variety of fields from film and video to advertising to game design. The state is home to hundreds of employer’s in these areas. Just a few include Universal Studios, Ice Palace Film Studios, Canvas Films, Skyjoy, MDG Advertising, and 3A/WorldWide. The state is also home to a variety of colleges that offer top-tier visual effects programs. Just a few of the best include the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota and The Digital Animation and Visual Effects School (DAVE School) in Orlando
The DAVE School is a 35,000 square foot facility located on the backlot of Universal Studios in Sound Stage 25. The staff at the school consists of former Disney animators and other celebrated visual effects artists. DAVE School alumni work, or have worked, for top studios around the country such as DreamWorks, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Activision, Sony Imageworks, and Digital Domain. Their work can be seen in blockbuster films such as Avatar, Beowulf, Battlestar Galactica, The Expendables and more.
Continue reading to learn more about which Florida schools offer the best programs for aspiring visual effects artists and where to find then.
Florida Visual Effects Schools
The Digital Animation and Visual Effects School (DAVE School) – Degrees Offered: One-year intensive program resulting in an Accredited Diploma in Digital Animation and Visual Effects.
Ringling College of Art and Design – Degrees Offered: BFA Computer Animation, Motion Design
Florida State University – Degrees Offered: BA, BFA Design with a Concentration in Interactive Design or Animation and Visual Effects, BFA Motion Picture Arts
Employment and Salary Trends for Florida Visual Effects Artists
Salaries for visual effects artists vary greatly by industry, geographic location, and more. For example, according to Indeed, the average salary for Miami-based visual effects artists is $149,000 per year, while Orlando VFX artists average $139,000 per year. Head to Phoenix, Arizona and the average salary is $131,000 per year, according to indeed. In addition, the VFX industry is filled with freelance and other independent artists. As of March 25, 2015, independent artists averaged $70,620 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report salary and employment information for visual effects artists.
VFX artists can find employment opportunities in many cities across the state. However, Florida’s largest cities may offer more opportunities. Consider Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Hialeah, Tallahassee or Fort Lauderdale.
Awesome Animation Fact: The next Pixar movie is always hidden in the previous one. Example: The new character of Finn McMissile from Cars 2 (released in 2011) was featured on Andy's wall in Toy Story 3 (2010).