Visual effects have revolutionized the film and television industry from the very beginning. Today, filmmakers and producers can tell a compelling story by creating lifelike, digitally enhanced images. You can easily see the magic of visuals in shows, and movies like Avatar, The Lord of the Rings, and Stranger Things; the list is endless. This shows that visual effects have left a permanent mark on television production and have dramatically changed storytelling over the years. Hence, in the age of ‘The Avengers’ and ‘Brahmastra,’ there is no doubt that working in the VFX field will be a booming profession in the coming years.
Special effects enhance a story by creating imagery that is impossible to achieve in the real world. The majority of this is done through computers; thus, figuring out the best machinery is the core. If you’re among the ones who are curious about creating on-screen magic, then here’s a quick guide to figuring out what kind of computer configuration you need to edit and render visual effects.
Laptop or Desktop Which is Better
It depends on the type of work you do and how you operate mostly. If you are a fan of hybrid work or your job requires you to travel frequently, then opting for a laptop would be the best idea. But if you are looking to establish an in-house studio for business, then desktops seem more feasible.
Budget is also another factor. Laptops are known to be costlier than desktops, but this is 2022. According to the current market scenario and price of components, laptops offer better value-for-money deals these days. So, if you are stuck with a tight budget or you are just a newcomer who wants to learn the skill firsthand, then a laptop is a superior choice for you.
On the other hand, if you think about upgradability and scalability, then you should go with desktops. The desktop features more upgradability in terms of replacing CPU & GPU and offers better room for RAM and storage expansion.
But these days, laptops come with components of the same caliber as desktops. So you can choose a laptop for VFX designing without any worries. Check out the HP ENVY Laptop 15-ep1087TX powered by Intel Core i9, RTX 3060 (6 GB GDDR6), 32 GB RAM, with a freaking 17 hours of battery backup.
This is the most vital component in your machine. Rendering your finished assignment is constantly going to be a challenge that makes your pc sweat the maximum. During this, it’s your processor that’ll be grinding. You need an effective and efficient CPU to deal with the extensive rendering in a feasible amount of time. A first-rate CPU will flip your renders from day-long toil right into a matter of hours. Ideally, a quad-core that operates at 4Ghz at the very least. One that can work with DDR5 RAM would be even better. The Ryzen 5 5600X is an excellent CPU for multi-threaded workloads. For video-editing tasks, a higher core count improves performance by a considerable margin. It can handle single-threaded workloads without a hitch as well.
You can check out the OMEN by HP 25L Gaming Desktop GT15-0004in PC that comes with 12th gen Intel i7, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 (8 GB GDDR6), and 16 GB RAM. With that, this device features a 512 GB M.2 SSD and a 1 TB SATA HDD for a heavy-duty storage solution. Depending upon your game and streaming requirements, you might need a dual PC and multi-monitor setup.
A competent GPU is vital, specifically when you have your heart set on 3D. A top GPU will permit your system to easily carry out modeling, mapping, and animation work in 3D spaces and with greater stability. Ensure to ascertain which brand your selected software program prefers; incompatibilities will cause crashes and disabled features. Ideally, you need your GPU to have a minimum of 4GB of VRAM, at least. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 is an entry-level 30-Series card with Ray Tracing and DLSS features which is a decent choice for video editing. The Nvidia Quadro RTX A1000 would be a great option for high-end cinematography and multi-layer video editing.
But if you are new to VFX and are learning the skills yet to join a real job, check out the HP Pavilion Laptop 14-ec1003AU powered by Ryzen 5 5600U, inbuilt Radeon GPU, and 8 GB RAM. This device costs only 55,000 INR and will be an excellent addition to the life of a novice video editor.
Motherboard dictates the longevity and upgradability features of any PC. Sub-quality motherboards can damage due to overheating, and it can cause serious consequences. Hence it is best to invest in a good motherboard, even if it is quite expensive. With the release of 12th generation Intel Core processors and 5th generation AMD Ryzen processors, many brands started launching high-end DDR5 boards with heat shields installed on them. B660M and Z690 series are great for the latest-gen Intel CPUs with DDR5 compatibility. Z690 series motherboards support Quad-channel RAM up to 128 GB and three onboard M.2 SSD.
Having more RAM in your system allows the pc to store information on what’s being worked on. Essentially, it permits you to carry out multiple tasks at once and help with processor performance, rushing up your workflow. There are many manufacturers to pick from; however, HyperX Fury is a great brand to opt for for a dependable and value-for-money option. All Hyper-X RAM modules come with 5-years of warranty. If you are going with DDR4 RAM, then opt for the 3200 MHz modules, and in the case of DDR5, 4800 MHz as the starters. If you will be working with 4K footage, it is recommended to go with a 32GB kit. However, it’s not essential. You need at least 8GB to start with the video editing in 2022.
Storage/Hard Drive (HDD or SSD)
This is where you’ll be storing your projects, different files, and the cache. As with the maximum of the objects mentioned here, more is simply better for video editing. If you are going to work with 4K or 2K videos, the files are going to be gigantic. At least 1TB SSD is a must for such a job. If 1 TB feels like plenty for you, then clearly, you’ve never worked with VFX, video editing, or animation before. However, high-quality initiatives complete with audio are quite chunky files. For professionals opting for a combination of SSD and HDD is recommended. So, 1 TB M.2 SSD with a 1 TB HDD is the best combination to make sure you neither face issues related to running out of storage nor low data transfer speed.
There should be good ventilation inside your PC case so that your CPU, GPU, motherboard, and other components don’t face thermal throttle issues. When buying a case fan, the most important aspect of a fan you should look at is its airflow quantity. Your system must feature separate fans for air intake and exhaust. Fans with inbuilt auto ESC will improve the cooling and save power consumption, as such fan speeds are regulated automatically according to the system temperature. A Video editing Workstation like HP Z2 G8 Tower Workstation Desktop PC would be an excellent companion for an aspiring cinematographer. With the 12th gen Intel i7 CPU and Nvidia Quadro RTX T1000, it will be a perfect companion for any extent of video editing.
Whether you are configuring your own PC or buying one, you need to consider these few important things. Video editing is fairly resource-demanding on most systems; you need a machine with some power behind it. There are plenty of computers up to the task; you just need to know what to look for. A high-end graphics card, a powerful processor, plenty of RAM, and access to a high-fidelity monitor; thus, a combination of all mentioned above will do the job.