YouTube Got Her Started, VFX Apprentice Helped Her Get an FX JobSep 04, 2022
When YouTube tutorials and breakdowns weren't enough, Jasmin Wodarczyk discovered VFX Apprentice and then landed her dream job as a video game FX Artist.
From falling in love with a dragon named Spyro to discovering the world of visual FX, Jasmin Wodarczyk tells us about her path to working on video game FX. After starting her journey with VFX Apprentice to now working at at Beyond-FX, Jasmin tells us about her initial curiosity that led her to discover game FX and YouTube breakdowns.
Jasmin is a graduate of our Booms and Blasts and Tradigital 2D FX courses. Well, technically she admits she didn't finish all the lessons. After watching the foundational and elemental studies lessons, Jasmin began exploring and creating her own unique FX within the course's Unity and Unreal sandboxes. With feedback from our passionate and growing community of students, she concepted and created her own FX, like this Electro Shield.
Even since the recording of this interview, Jasmin has excelled in the industry, first working as a Game Artist at Volkswagen AG to now working as a Junior VFX Artist at Beyond-FX where she currently works on games like Legends of Runeterra.
To view more of her work, be sure to check out her wonderful portfolio on Artstation. Now let's dive into our chat with Jasmin, and hear her advice to aspiring FX artists.
Full Interview Transcript:
Just to kick things off, I figured you could speak a little bit about your own journey with VFX!
Well I used to wonder how it was possible to be so immersed in video games and I always wanted to be involved with making video games! I knew I wanted to learn VFX so I started looking on YouTube for tutorials about different programs to learn but I couldn’t really follow along with the videos because I knew nothing about the topics. I was always curious about the effects in the games I played, specifically how they were made. So I was searching on YouTube for breakdowns on the effects and I fortunately found your breakdown of Tristana from League of Legends and the fireball recreation. I tried to understand how it all works which then I found VFX Apprentice courses.
I have to smile because every time I play with Tristana in the game, I think about the start of my journey.
Suggested Read: 10 Design Tips from the League of Legends VFX Style Guide
That’s awesome! I love to hear that. So, you got into FX Apprentice in the early days, I remember you were always creating stuff and making cool things all of the time. What was your experience like coming into the community as you got into our content?
Oh it was a total breakthrough! I finally found content I could follow along with and there was so much to explore and to see. It was all high quality stuff, too. YouTube isn’t exactly known for its high quality. I did the courses and it was so funny to see how the effects evolved from concept to implementation. After a few lessons I caught myself trying a lot on my own. I’m not even sure I finished all of the courses but I really just got hooked on the project and was sidetracked. I had so many questions but the best part was that I could talk to the community about it because they also had questions and ideas that we could share with each other.
That’s awesome. Tell us a little bit about the effects you’re most proud of? How much time did you spend on them? What challenges did you face?
I made an effect, I called it the electroshield effect. It started very harmless as an aesthetic effect, nothing too exciting or powerful. But then I talked to the community and they were like “oh but there are the metal symbols in the crystal, why don’t you animate them and make them come together.” Which was a great idea, so I did that!
That’s funny, so it started harmless and then got very dangerous and difficult, haha!
Yeah! So I started to animate them and put the electricity beams and started to connect them together. At that point it started looking awesome and amazing how the electric bits are in between and then I started to move them around. It was so much fun to see the effect was born based on the feedback of community members.
The greatest challenge was to find the punchy timing, the punchy polish phase at the end. At the end of creating the effect when you can’t figure out the timing, you get tired of looking at it for so long it stops meaning anything. So I usually take a nap or lay down to refresh my mind when this happens. So the next day I’ll come back to it and see it with fresh eyes.
You previously mentioned your passion for games, playing games, and now it's clear you have a passion for creating effects for games, have you always been passionate about creating?
What pushes me to make games. For example one of my favorite games is Spyro and I saw this little dragon running around and I didn’t understand how! I didn’t know the code and I was wondering how this works? It was so confusing! I started to wonder and seek out 3D models and textures and everything started to make sense and then I knew that I wanted to do this. I think the VFX are the most amazing part!
I agree. For anyone who likes blowing stuff up and making the game mechanics come to life, I think VFX is a good opportunity for them. So you now have a portfolio ready? Now you’re in the process of getting your first full time VFX job, you’re in the application process right?
It's pretty exciting! It was so nice to see what kind of challenge laid in front of me and how I proved my skills and put all my knowledge to the task. I’m pretty excited about all of it.
Since the recording of this interview, Jasmin has accepted a role as a VFX artist at Beyond-FX
So, tell anyone who is reading/watching this, if you want to get a job in this industry and they want to improve their VFX skills, what would you say to them?
I would say explore and try as many things as possible. Find what effect is most fun for you to make. When you find something you like, everything else will fall into place - you’ll experiment and have fun. This is when the coolest and most original effects come to life!
Want more like this? Check out these articles and interviews:
- 10 Design Tips from the League of Legends VFX Style Guide
- From VFX Apprentice to Working on Fortnite for Epic Games
- From VFX Apprentice to 2D FX Artist on Netflix's Arcane
- From VFX Apprentice to Working on Overwatch 2
Start Your VFX Apprenticeship
Begin your journey towards mastering FX for games and animation. Join VFX-A All Access and discover cutting-edge 2D, 3D, and real-time FX training.