VFX Artist's Secret Code: 50 essential vocabulary you need to know! :: Frameboxx 2.0

VFX Artist's Secret Code: 50 essential vocabulary you need to know!

 03 Feb 2024  121

VFX Artist's Secret Code: 50 essential vocabulary you need to know!

In the world of VFX artists, there is a new term every other day to remember and learn. It can get overwhelming and confusing at once when you don’t know where to look for it. If you’re into VFX or learning a course from an academy like Frameboxx 2.0, you might be familiar with many of the essential vocabulary.

However, it’s best to have a comprehensive list of these ready at your beck and call. That way, you can be the best version of yourself when you impress a recruiter during an interview or delight a client with your hands-on knowledge and experience.

So, read the post ahead and bookmark it for future use and relearning purposes.

List of 50 top essential vocabulary any rising VFX artist must know!

Academy aperture

It’s one type of film framing with a 35 mm measurement.


It is the process of focusing the eyes’ lenses to change the object’s shape and put it back in focus.


It’s the short form for Academy Colour Encoding Specification. It’s the industry’s set standard for managing and exchanging colour and image to make colour artist’s workflow easier.

Adobe after effects

It’s an application for motion graphics, video editing, and creating multiple VFX assets. It’s a flagship product of Adobe. VFX artists use this software application mostly for animation, keying, or/and tracking of the VFX objects in the frames at the post-production stage.

Ambient light

This is a directionless source of light when it comes to CG or computer graphics. It distributes light in all possible directions to illuminate the object in focus in a very efficient and inexpensive manner.


An object in the frame or storyboard is animated when it changes characteristics over time.


It is the process of creating moving images based on frames per second with the help of animated software or applications online.


This is a person who creates animated objects or elements using the frames. Basically, this person is responsible for the animation of the art assigned to him/her.


It is the technique used to reduce the artifacts in the frame caused by the lack of resolution.


In a camera lens, it’s that opening that allows light to pass through. In a camera, it’s the area that helps to define how much film to expose to each frame. In a projector, it defines the film area to be allowed to get projected on the screen.


An undesirable or unwanted item in the image that needs to be modified later on.

Aspect ratio

That’s the number we get when we divide an image's width by its height.


In a composition, it’s the bottom item over which all other items or frames are added.


It’s the short form of the British Academy of Film & Television Arts.

Bake in

This term means that whatever number of settings and filters you have used in the shot are fixed permanently. That can include settings like colour, layers, animation, etc.

Baked out

To bake out a project means to output a file in a format where settings are fixed. That means the model is no longer available to get animated for further edits.


Banding is also often times known as contouring or Mach banding. This term means there is an artifact in the colour gradient area of the image or the frame.

It shows that the resolution in that area is less, which causes banding and hinders the smooth transition of the frame into animation or motion graphics.


It’s the short form of background.


It’s a very famous platform where artists can upload and showcase their artwork, from graphic designs to vector frames, images, animated films, videos, and shorts.

Blue screen

In the photography, it is basically a blue coloured background added to the frame, when clicking an object for extracting matte later on.


These are the point-of-light sources appearing in the image around the out-of-focus area, with the help of the depth of field of a camera lens.

Camera shake

It’s a well-known camera effect that enhances a viewer’s experience as one of the VFX impacts on the screen. These shakes help to create better explosives and destructive scenes on the screen for viewers for an engaging live-action experience.


Computer Generated Imagery consists of all digital art created by artists either in the 2D or 3D form to be added onto a scene or a frame.


It’s the process of combining your selected live-action footage into a sequence to create a shot with all the pre-approved CGI elements and objects, adding VFX effects, if needed, onto the frame for a delightful viewer experience.


It’s the way you arrange CGI elements or objects in the different 2D or 3D art forms. VFX artists pay focus on developing the right environment in the 2D or 3D art to set a balanced composition and create a desirable scene to look forward to.


PC or CPU coolers protect your processor from the issues of overheating with the help of in-built fans in the personal computers or desktops.

Creating digital art demands your systems to be cool and process the digital art at a faster speed than usual. So, PCs are prone to getting overheated. Coolers help to postpone this issue and extend your system’s life.

Depth of Field

DOF, or Depth of Field, defines the distance between the closest and the farthest object to the camera. In VFX, DOF helps to define which objects the artist must blur and which ones to sharpen for a better viewing experience.


Double Negative, or DNEG, is the world’s best-known animation and VFX studio where movies like Harry Potter and Interstellar have been edited.


Extrusions help you to create refined 3D geometric models by taking 2D planar sketches as the source of reference. To put it in simple words, you take the 2D art and convert it into a 3D one with extrusions when you expand the 2D art outward.


Film and Media Exchange (FMX) is a world-renowned conference for animators, gamers, and VFX artists that takes place in Germany.


It’s the single image out of all the images that make up a video when stitched together in a sequence.

Frameboxx 2.0

Frameboxx 2.0 is a renowned and prestigious course provider in the Media & Entertainment Industry in India. It offers a great range of specialisation courses in Visual Effects, Gaming, Animation, Web Designing, Photography, and even Graphic Designing.

It offers a blended program of Techno Artist Training to train a neophyte or novice artist on different software, projects, and aesthetic knowledge to develop an artist's sense from various perspectives.

Frame rate

Frame rate per second, or fps, is also the rate at which you capture an image in a sequence.


Graphics Processing Unit helps to render 3D tasks and objects, used in digital platforms like online games.


It’s the process of colouring the scene you have shot and are currently editing in the video studio. It’s also often or commonly termed as colour grading to enhance the saturation and colour of a scene.

Green screen

It’s the chromakey or monochromatic background added at the back of live-action moves, frames, or photography to be shot.

It is an easy background for the VFX artists to remove and add visual effects later on without messing up the quality of the video or sequence to render later on with finalised effects and transitions.


It is literally what it means, that is, to groom the CG characters or objects in the frame. That can mean you add hair or fur to the objects and make them aesthetically appealing for the audience.

As a VFX artist, you should also have acquired knowledge of how these grooming items attached to the CG character or object might further interact with other items in the environment, like water, mud, sand, air, fire, or dust. That is because then the appearance of the CG character will change.

Hard-surface modelling

It is the process that helps the animator or VFX artist to smoothen the surfaces of non-living objects like cars, weapons, utensils, accessories, etc., in a frame.


High Dynamic Range refers to the high-quality image that you can see on the screen.


It is a famous tool in the animation industry that helps you create animated objects. You can perform tasks like modelling, animation, adding or editing visual effects, and rendering when using this software.


It is the short form for Industrial Light & Magic.

In-camera effects

You can add in-camera effects to the picture of live-action footage while recording the same with your camera. These effects are provided in the device itself as one of the features to capture epic and amazing footage.

Live-action footage

It’s the real-life image or footage that you capture or record with a camera. It is mostly the non-edited footage or shots you record with a camera, be it for your indie project or a big banner/budget film.


It is a reference for a 2D character that 2D animators need to start designing the same. However, there can be 3D maquettes as well when animators need to develop 3D artwork.


It is an interesting process for filmmakers and visual effects artists. During this process, they capture the live-action footage. Then, they reproduce the same with a computer for a CGI-operated and orchestrated scene.

Matte painting

This technique lets artists or animators alter/edit the environment in which they shoot. They can either edit on the computer or redraw it completely from scratch like the process of matchmoving. Matte painting is often used for creating historical or fantasy scenes which are impossible to create in real life.


It is a web of elements or components to describe a 3D object or model. It can comprise of edges, vectors, and faces from point or axis X to Z.


It is the short form for motion capture. When you practice motion capture, you are capturing all the little and essential moves of an actor in real life. This way, you can recreate those for a CG character using any of the latest animation and CGI software.


When you are morphing, you infuse one shape into another to create visual effects, mostly for horror and fantasy movies or shots. It helps to turn simple characters into ghosts or monsters.


It is commonly known as film grain. You can call it an artifact, or an in-camera effect that you might get in your camera device to create an atmosphere look for an object or character. Noise in a frame, shot, or image makes it look grainy, distorted, or faded.

Organic modelling

It is the opposite of the technique called hard-surface modelling, referred to and mentioned in this blog above. It is used to smoothen the contours of living characters or species in a shot, sequence, or frame. This could be done to people, plants, birds, and/or animals for making the shot, image, or scene more appealing, engaging, and stimulating to the viewer.


The blog above discussed 50 essential vocabulary every aspiring VFX artist must know about to enrich their knowledge of the field. However, when you get enrolled in a comprehensive and updated animation, gaming, or visual effects course from Frameboxx 2.0, you will come across multiple new vocabulary on the go.

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