8 May 2024

Search for a Star 2024


Here at Fuse Games, we are always excited to see new talent and we are trying to find new opportunities to help grow young artists.

There is an indisputable value of a fresh perspective, especially coming from someone who is only just starting their career in the games industry. This is why it’s so important to get involved and support initiatives like “Search for a Star”.

Our wonderful Senior VFX Artist, Iryna, recently volunteered her time and expertise to get connected with Grads in Games via their Search for a Star scheme. We interviewed her to get her perspective on the event and why she loves giving back to the community.

What was the trigger for you to get involved with Search for a Star?

I remember myself being a junior artist and starting my career in VFX. Breaking into a game dev industry can be difficult sometimes, and the feedback from someone within the industry is invaluable. Sharing my work and getting feedback from my peers and other VFX artists – is something that helps me to improve, learn from others and grow as a professional. “Search for a Star” challenge is a great opportunity for students to experience that and get advice from the people around the industry.

Students are tasked to work on the project with real time constrains and production requirements, and as a result - get a chance to share their work during the in-person interview on the finals day. I think it’s a wonderful experience that can bring many opportunities down the line and kickstart someone’s career.


There is an indisputable value of a fresh perspective, especially coming from someone who is only just starting their career in the games industry.

Fuse Games

What are the main areas that you look for when you are evaluating work?

The main areas that I look for when I am evaluating the work are timing, colour & value, and composition. I find that sometimes it’s easier to learn technical skills required to make an effect but it’s much harder to get a feel for more visual concepts (artistic principles). If the core concepts are missing, then no amount of technical skill would make the effect stand out.

Timing helps to set the cadence and pace of the effect. In a way, it sets the tone of what’s happening and tells the story. Adding a colour scheme, distributing the value and saturation brings visual interest and helps to accentuate main parts of the effect. Composition ties everything together and helps to ground the effect in the scene. Focusing on all three concepts and finding ways to improve them, will make a drastic improvement to the final result.

Do you have 3 top tips that you’d give to people wanting to get in to becoming a VFX artist?

My advice for someone who is only starting their journey as a VFX artist would be: to do your research, try to tell a story, and remember that simplicity is a key.

It’s important to do the research before starting any VFX work, because a successful preproduction and a concept phase will lead to much better results. Look up the references of the work you are planning to do, find similarities in the natural world and the environment around you, look for references in different forms of media, as well as find inspiration in the works of other artists. Careful planning and research of the artistic as well as potential technical constraints, will help you to structure the work and stay on time with the execution.

Every effect in the scene serves a purpose. VFX helps to shape the environments and bring them to life. It can tell a story of what's happening there, guide the player, or bring clarity and power to the gameplay moment. It's important to understand and acknowledge all parts of the scene and the why behind it. This will help to understand how to approach the effect, and how to ground it to work better with the rest of the elements.

Simplicity is a key, or in other words – less is more. Find the way to simplify the result, get rid of the unnecessary noise, and focus on the main beats and the most important parts of the effect. Emphasising key elements of the effect through size, shape, colour and value (as well as reducing and muting smaller or less important parts) will help to guide player’s eye and bring the area of focus to the forefront of the effect.

What was your favourite part about the Search for a Star challenge?

I have really enjoyed meeting new people, connecting with students and industry professionals. Small talks that spark big conversations, multiple occasions to share and exchange thoughts and ideas – this is why I enjoy taking part in such initiatives. I have really appreciated how open and vulnerable students were during our interview sessions, and I hope that sharing my experience as a Senior VFX artist brought a new perspective and a valuable insight. Our conversations have definitely left me inspired and motivated me to keep learning and trying new things. This is why my advice to anyone would be to always to reach out to the rest of the game-dev community. Share your work and your experience, ask for feedback, connect with new people, and look for ways to improve as an artist and grow as a person.

We'd like to thank Iryna for her time and expertise in getting connecting with emerging talent as they start their journey getting in to games!