VFX Pipeline in Games? Guide with VFX Process and Tools

VFX Pipeline in Games? Guide with VFX Process and Tools


Game Animation


October 11, 2023


3 min read

VFX Pipeline is the most critical process in the television, movies, and video game industry. It serves as the foundation for creating game characters, environments, art, and game assets. 


Famous games such as Grand Theft Auto V, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and The Last of Us Part II give a realistic look to the game by using the VFX pipeline for development. 


This blog will look at the complete workflow of visual effects and the technology it uses to achieve visual objectives in a game.


What is a VFX Pipeline?


VFX pipeline is a structured and organized workflow that maps the stages and procedures to create realistic visual effects for video games. For a VFX pipeline of any production, the stages might vary. However, there are three primary stages of creating game art, i.e., pre-production, production, and post-production. The process includes research and development, asset creation, animation, rendering, and compositing for producing the final product. 


The VFX Workflow for Game Development


The VFX workflow is a detailed process that consists of three stages. Let’s take a look at three main stages and the processes that come under them. 


VFX Workflow for Game Development




The pre-production phase includes the preliminary aspects of developing visual effects. In this stage, three processes are involved: research and development, storyboarding and animatics, and pre-visualization. 


Research and Development 


As the name suggests, all the resources, VFX supervisors, and technical directors discuss the project's requirements. They discuss the technical aspects and technical documentation of the visual effects in the game. During this process, the visual directors also ensure that all the files are compatible with the process and can work smoothly. Once all the requirements for storyboarding and workflow are completed, it's time to start storyboarding and animations. 


Storyboarding and Animatics


In this process, the VFX artists visually represent all the actions, characters, and animations to create a compelling storyline. It starts by making rough sketches of the game objects (environments, characters, props) and illustrates the frames shot-by-shot. The purpose of storyboarding and animations is to give a solid stor