Where are the Junior Flame Artists?

Back when you did roto in house, you had a ready group of potential artists ready to go. Where do you go to pick a few good apples off the tree now?

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In Auckland there is an excellent Media Design School.
Lots of students graduating and looking for intro positions, so long as they are not absorbed into Wētā.

Everyone in our CG departmet has graduated from there and our two eager beavers in 2D, graduated a couple of years ago. I’m not too sure how we snapped them up. Sometimes there are graduate shows but I have never activley hunted.


Probably should have said that LA based strongly preferred.

@DannyYoon uses the place with the autistic students and he likes them…I forget what they are called


So true!

I’d argue Nuke is more of the issue than outsourcing.

The path to senior Flame is many years long and I think a lot of kids coming up look at that path and chose to get into Nuke, where you can get to a senior level much quicker. Flame might pay better in the long run, but it is indeed a long run. Plus there are more Nuke jobs out there, in more varied areas.

Shops/people are reluctant to promote junior ops in flame. Flame is the last stop and we are expected to know and see everything (hahahaha), so the concern is valid, but shouldn’t be the hilariously big wall that it usually is. We are, after all, not saving lives here. This lack of promotion creates a situation where flame juniors will spend years doing simple stuff while their Nuke peers are delivering shots for the next Star Wars.

So I guess one place to try and find juniors is the Nuke pool.

“Hey kid, you wanna run with the BIG dogs?” haha.


That’s a great idea. @SamE, direct them to your awesome course at FXPHD:


Nuke is def. taking part of it, but I bet also Resolve and AE. Good thing is, it should be easier to understand Flame from a good Resolve, NK or AE knowledge. These softwares are easy to get as a student, from free demos to cgp***. So going from them to Flame and while understanding the workflow, it was never easier to do than now.

Sadly some more issue could be, ‘noone’ dreams to be a flame artist nowadays. (Dunno how it was 15 years ago in reality, but it always sounds like the interns 15 years ago got told that flame is the final stage for being a Superhero). Nowadays it wouldn’t be a wonder most vfx students don’t even know it exists.

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I got to know about Flame of a friend of mine. I was strongly enthusiastic about the versatility and have started an apprenticeship with him in 2019. My training end this year and I will probably start in the company as a Junior. It is also very nice for me to see how Flamer stick together and help each other. I am glad to have chosen this path, I know that it is not easy and still will be but I am motivated!


A lot of the issue is Autodesk doesn’t promote the software outside of its existing circle of users, or have a pricing model for individual Freelancers working at a lower tier. This is the new version of what a junior artist is - Up-and-coming freelancers in their twenties (like me) learning on the job outside of a proper post house, doing lower budget music videos and branded stuff for the peers they met in film school.

Whatever software is available to folks during these formative years, they stick with as they graduate to either starting or joining a proper post house. I happened to go to the one college that teaches Flame, and in the music video community I was the only artist who used it. I’m just now breaking into doing freelance Flame work at larger houses and it’s been a great experience as there’s a lot of empty positions to fill. Still, I don’t think it bodes well for the software that rarely meet anyone else in their twenties using it.


It’s not a marketing problem. Flame is fundamently not a mass market product. Have you forgotten how hard it is to learn, be good, excel, or heck, EVEN INSTALL AND USE Flame? Name any other software in the world that requires a static IP address or a hostname to be linux friendly, or heck, even to install the software sometimes?

Rumor has it back in the day someone put a civilian in front of a Flame and asked them to import an image. Granted this was pre-anniversary days but something like 45 minutes later the civilian gave up.

Flame is like being an American Formula 1 fan. Sure, you might see it in action, but, a vast majority of the population will never engage nor have all the millions of lucky stars align to get mixed up with it.


Respectfully, I started teaching myself Flame on a 2012 MacBook fairly recently and now my work is the splash screen. It has plenty of potential as a mass market product for individual freelancers on Macs at a different pricing bracket.

I think DaVinci’s a great case study of a product that occupies both low end and high end worlds gracefully. No reason Flame can’t do that in its current form.


Hahaha. In Flame’s credit, making it more “civilian usable” usually just means adopting whatever shitty UI most people are used to: Probably a drop down menu or Command-I if we’re lucky, and one of the best things about Flame is how it’s so purpose built. Yeah learning it is a bit wonky, but once you understand it, it’s so nice to work with.

This also goes a long way to explaining why I’m so crap at other software. (I mean, in addition to me being lazy)


Of course its possible, but you are the exceptional exception. :slight_smile:

I’ve started measuring the size of communities based on how many members are in its respective subreddit.

Photoshop subreddit? 496,000 members
Photoshop Battles subreddit? 17,600,000
VFX Subreddit? 63,000
After Effects Subreddit? 199,000
Nuke subreddit? 4,700
Davinci Resolve subreddit? 21,700
Editors subreddit? 86,000

Autodesk Flame subreddit? 58. Last post over 6 months ago.

When Andy and I have major announcements on social media or Facebook or here on the forums, we get about 50 interactions. During a Logik Live the most we’ve ever had watch anything might be 50-something.

It’s a niche product in a niche business and has been for almost 30 years.


This is a good point! I always just sort of assumed all node-based compositing programs were inherently unintuitive and dense though. Complex jobs need complex tools. True believers find a way! (Sorry for the deleted post, couldn’t figure out how to use quotes lol)


It def is a good choice. But you are not likely to run into it when you are new in the field and it also doesn’t feel like that it is some milestone for your career to aim for. If told, that some companies have Flame, professors on collage even taught, that Flame is the worst idea to think about (I bet because ‘Flame won’t make it one more year longer’ for like how many years now? 15? xD). Dunno why.

Vice versa I lately got a few endclients, who havn’t heard about flame for ages and also thought it died about 10 years ago. Some changes on their spots later in the acceptance and they always loved, how good and fast a software can get their wishes done. Sadly that only won’t bring new flame artists into the market but maybe the ‘fame’ for flame is coming back to do so.

I would love to get my feet wet again with Flame. Unfortunately I don’t have a license to get my chops up. And then to become a Junior Flame Artist. Does anybody have advice on how to obtain a license for training and probably the 1st few jobs to start up a freelance career?

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You can start with the 30 day trial for the training part.

After that and for your first few jobs you can use flex tokens. Flame requires 18 tokens per 24hr period. That comes out to about $60/day. That’s expensive for training, but once you charge for your first few freelance jobs you can build that into the rate. And you only pay on days that you’re working on Flame. Once the work is more steady either subscribe per month or eventually per year. The point where the annual license is cheaper than flex tokens comes when you use Flame more than 42 days per year.

You can also check out fxphd.com, which provides access to an education only Flame license via a VPN. You have to subscribe to the higher tier to get that feature. That’s $99/month and also includes all their Flame courses, some of which are a bit dated now, but still good depending on what you need.

Except for fxphd, these are all licenses tied to your autodesk account. All you need is setup an account, download the software and install on a suitable machine - most Mac’s should work well when you start out.


There are four main pillars of learning something new.

  1. Awareness - ya need to know something exists

  2. Inspiration - ya need to be able to give a shit about it

  3. Education - ya need to know how to use it

  4. Access - ya need to be able to install it or use it

Over the past 2 years or so @andymilkis and I have been mostly focusing on 2, 3 and a little bit of 1. We hope to be able to chip away at #4, whether it be cloud machines or a reservation system of an on prem device.

What would be really helpful for you @MumblingEditor ?