If you are uncertain about your career path and wondering whether becoming a matchmove artist would be a good prospect for yourself, here are a few basic things you need to know.

The pre-requisites of becoming a matchmove artist

As you might already know, the Visual Effects (VFX) industry is both a highly technical and creative field. It involves a perfect mix of storytelling, technology, and creativity. So you will need to be sure that you have a flair for the following—that is if you want to excel in your career as a matchmove artist:

  • Passion for film
  • Photography & visual aesthetics
  • Digital art
  • Mechanics & movement
  • Eye for detail
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Communication skills

An overview of the Visual Effects industry & Matchmoving

Visual Effects (VFX) is the process of manipulating or enhancing digital imagery of real-world video camera shots to create environments or characters that seem real but are not, either because these are fictional, or dangerous, time-consuming, expensive, or impractical to capture on film.

Matchmoving is one of the most common jobs in the VFX industry. It is about tracking a scene to place computer-generated (CG) elements into it. Often referred to as camera/motion tracking, solving the movement of the camera in a shot to recreate an identical virtual camera, which automatically sets matchmoving as the by-product of this elementary procedure, aka camera/motion tracking.

Learning Options of a soon to be matchmove artist

Once you have determined that VFX is the right career path for yourself, all you need to do is to decide whether you opt for going to school or going self-taught.

Here are a few things to consider when weighing down your options:

  • Time & money to invest
  • Photography & visual aesthetics
  • Network opportunities
  • Access to industry expertise
  • Access to industry expertise
  • Overall wellbeing
  • Mentorship
  • Future job prospects

The benefits & rewards of becoming a matchmove artist

The cool part about working as a matchmove artist is you will have the possibility of working with other artists and film crews. Besides working with great production studios and being able to travel around the world, you also have to option of working remotely and making a decent salary. According to information gathered by government databases and industry surveys, here is what you can make, approximately.

*Currency Conversion, April 219 (source: the rookies):

Entry-level artist

US: $22,000 – $52,000 | GBP: £17,000 - £40,000 | AUD $31,000 - $74,000

Senior artist

US: $67,000 - $100,000 | GBP: £52,000 - £78,000 | AUD $95,000 - $143,000

Supervisors & Management

US: $100,000 - $136,000 | GBP: £78,000 - £104,000 | AUD $143,000 - $190,000