Being proficient with a coding language when working in games and visual effects is one of the smartest moves you can make. Coding languages are not just for development teams and technical directors, they are for "creative" artists too. Not only will they make you work faster, but being able to write simple scripts can help production teams and make people want you on their teams.

With so many coding languages out there, it's hard to know which one to start with. Some hard-core coders will skoff if you don't start with C or C#, but this isn't essential. There are benefits to this, but most people don't have time, or even need to get this deeps into the true core elements of code.

Trust me, once you run your first script that completed a repetitive and mundane task in 0.03 seconds you will be hooked.

For this reason, I strongly recommend cg artists start by learning Python Scripting language. It's great as a first language because it is concise and easy to read, and it can be used for everything from web development to software development and Machine Learning applications.


Why you should learn to code

Everything from Linux to your latest creative software package can benefit from Python. You can even built a solid website using it - not that I'd recommend that for game and visual effects artists as there are simpler solutions.

  • Learning Python lets you automate the boring parts of the job, so you can focus on making art.
  • It helps you understand how software is created which means you better understand how it behaves and allows you to think more openly and creatively.
  • Finding digital artists that know Python and Creative Skills is hard, which means you will be more desirable to recruiters.

Still don't think it's worthwhile? Check this case study done with Industrial Light & Magic who have been using Python since V1.5.

Python Success Stories
The official home of the Python Programming Language

First Steps: Learn the Basic Syntax

Like any coding language, you have to learn the very basic syntax before you dive deeper into your chosen area. Unfortunately this first step is pretty dry and boring for most people who are not coding ninjas. My advice would be to jump into a few of these free training resources to help get you moving. Even if you only get partially through the courses, you will be in a great position to start trying some tutorials. Here are some great resources to help you learn the basics:

  • Codeacademy — an online interactive platform that offers free coding classes in 12 different programming languages
  • Learn Python the Hard Way — misleading name, but it takes you from absolute zero to able to read and write basic Python to then understand other books on Python.
  • The Python Tutorial — a truck load of training material from the people who wrote the language.

Next Steps: Free and Premium Training Resources

It's time to have a little fun and start unlocking the power of Python. There are loads of other place you can start playing. Here are a few that I recommend to get you started.

How to Learn Python for VFX Pipeline - [Free] YouTube series  that will help you to start with python and help you to make your python foundation from very basics.

Pygame Tutorial for Beginners - Python Game Development Course - [Free] another YouTube video course where you will learn Pygame by building a space invaders game.

Learn Python by Building Five Games - Full Course - [Free] This course takes a project-based approach. We have collected five great Python game tutorials together so you can learn Python while building five games.

The Complete Python Certification Bootcamp Bundle - [Premium] This Enormous 85-Hour Bundle Will Teach You How to Build Programs, Analyze Data, & More with This Leading General-Purpose Language

Python 3 Complete Bootcamp Master Course: Build 15 Projects & Games - [Premium] Learn Basic to Advanced Python & Build Games, Desktop Applications, and Data Visualization Applications On Your Own


Don't have time to learn Python?

I get it, there is so much to learn out there, but maybe this simple Python script might get you to see the potential of learning this language.

Quick Wallpaper Changer
This script will take a keyword of your choosting and randomly pick a HD image from Google Images and set it as wallpaper.

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