BA (Hons) coursesVisual Effects Design and Production

Interviews and portfolios

The big question; what are we looking for in prospective students?

Above all, we want to see what you’re capable of and how important VFX is to you as a career. When looking through your portfolio, we’ll be looking for evidence of the following – but please don’t feel you have to tick all of the boxes:

  • Photography
  • Film work
  • VFX work
  • Software skills
  • Drawings and/or painting
  • Sketchbooks
  • Design work
  • A hunger for VFX

The expandable list below gives you an idea of how you can show us each of these:


When it comes to Photography, we want to see your images – either raw or processed. If you have processed these using a programme like Photoshop, we would like to see both “before and after” shots.

We are looking for an eye for composition and use of lenses. We don’t mind what the subject is, as long as it’s of interest to you.

Your images can be taken with an iPhone, compact photography or DSLR.


Film work

Have you made a short film or have you shot a sequence?

If so, we want to see it. It will give us an idea of how you think and react to the concept of cinematics and an audience.

VFX work

Have you done any previous VFX work – for example, compositing elements together? It doesn’t matter what the subject matter is; we want to see how you work with multiple layers of information to create something believable and emotive.

You could use Adobe After Effects, NUKE or another tool that shows thought process for image compositing.

Software skills

You might have experience with Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, or editing software but a basic knowledge of computers and software is all we really we need to see.

You could include screenshots or fully produced images or sequences in your portfolio.

Drawing and painting

As well as computer skills and proficiency with software, the VFX industry is looking for artists and there is no better way to become one than by practising drawing and painting.

We want to see your engagement with traditional skills in drawing and painting. This could be life drawing, observational drawing, storyboarding, abstract painting, still life or character drawings.

It doesn’t matter how rough, we want to see what interests you and how inquisitive you are about the world around you.

After all, isn’t that what VFX is all about?


Your sketchbook is a window to who you are and acts as your “visual diary”.

Don’t edit your sketchbooks, put in what you want to. They are yours and express your interests, passions and skills at referencing the world. We don’t mind what format your sketchbook takes.

Your books can include photos, drawings, collages, rubbings, a homage to your pet goldfish or just your musings on life: just make sure they represent you.

Design work

Our course deliberately includes design in its title.

We want to know that you can design something, whether it’s product design, architecture, modelmaking or character concept work. We want to see how you take an idea from the classic “back of a napkin” to a design plan, ready to be executed.

You can show us your hunger for VFX in your UCAS personal statement and during your interview. Tell us why VFX is your driving passion and why you want to do this as a career. Be keen and well-informed.

the interview

We believe your interview at AUB should be a two-way conversation. It’s as much about you interviewing us as it is us interviewing you.

We want you to be asking us questions about the course, making sure you fully understand what we do and who we are. We will talk to you about the course, outlining the structure and delivery.

We will then ask you to do a drawing exercise. This isn’t a “make or break” part of the interview, it’s designed to help you settle in while we review your UCAS forms and start the one-on-one interview process. It also gives us an indication of your approach to drawing.

We’ll invite you to a 20-minute personal interview where we’ll look through your portfolio and talk to you about what you want from the course. The best interviews are always the ones where you ask questions too.

dos and don’ts

  • Do be prepared; have a portfolio that is focused on VFX and includes roughly twenty minutes worth of content
  • Do be punctual and plan your journey so you aren’t late
  • Do come with lots of questions about the course and us
  • Don’t put any work into your folio that you are not happy with – unless it’s part of a design development process
  • Don’t be late or unsure about what you are applying for