Success Story: How Learning Blender Led to a VFX Studio Job in Just One Year

Nov 24th 2023

Right from the start of Martin's CG Cookie Membership, it was clear he had a goal in mind. He rapidly progressed through Blender tutorials, submitting many exercises, and it was a proud moment when he shared the news of securing his first job at a VFX studio.

We suspected Martin might have gone from opening Blender for the first time to landing a job in just one year, but that seemed almost unbelievable. 🤔

Curious, we inquired, and incredibly, it was true: the day he got the job offer marked exactly 365 days since he first downloaded Blender. How did he remember the exact date? By the creation date of his first Blender donut. Naturally, this intriguing story made us want to delve deeper and share with the community.

So let's get started.

A little bit about Martin

Martin, now 29 years old has bounced around a few professions from music to engineering to industrial design, but none of them ever felt like the field he wanted to focus on for the long run, until Blender. 

"When I first started playing with Blender, I quickly felt the hype; I went straight into the rabbit hole and dug deeper into what Blender can do (basically... everything you can think of), so the more I knew, the more I wanted to know and the faster I would learn."

Martin had come across Blender as part of studying photography.  He had become frustrated with finding quality assets to use in photomontages and decided to make his own instead.  The free and open-source nature of Blender made it more appealing than the other options he found in his research.  

As many do, he started learning Blender on YouTube.  After a few months, he was ready to invest in his Blender education.

"I decided that I liked Blender enough to actually pay for education, so I could grow faster as an artist, and again, I did a bit of research. The Cookie seemed like the most organized and well managed site for learning, and I already liked your YouTube videos, so I kinda trusted you guys right from the start."

...dug deeper into what Blender can do (basically... everything you can think of), so the more I knew the more I wanted to know and the faster I would learn.

Martin had successfully consumed a majority of the CG Cookie library in his first six months of membership and was well-ingrained in the community.

We asked if any standout Blender tutorials contributed to his learning:

"I first started with the CUBICITY course. It was a hard one for a novice, but I completed it and I learned so many cheeky techniques for bigger projects, and even geo nodes, I was amazed with that one.

Here is Martin's first CG Cookie project. 


I enjoyed the 2 VFX courses by Kenan Proffitt

And they are harder to watch because they are a lot more technical, but the courses by Jon are great too, like all the shading courses and the ones about particle systems and hair.

I still haven't finished the Animation Bootcamp but that course is GOLD too. 🥇"

Martin had his breakthrough moment about six months into learning Blender.  

"Suddenly, I felt a bit like Neo, I could now read and manipulate geo nodes setups that were too complex for me earlier, still not like a real Node Wizard, but yeah, I was amazed at myself hahah."


Martin started looking for freelance jobs in April with no luck, though left his job in May.  This freed him up to dedicate 100% to learning Blender and his job search.

"I sent so many job requests and It took 3 months to get my first answer, it was from a VFX Studio in Buenos Aires (where I live), they were looking for a CG Generalist, so of course I said yes! They "tested" me with actual work for a client, to see if I was fit for the role, and after two weeks I think, I got confirmation for the job! I was so happy, and that very same day was my 365th day since I downloaded Blender for the first time. What a crazy world we live in."

Martin's main tools at his job are Blender and Photoshop.  The studio was incredibly impressed by his ability to keep up with the studio's pace as a new junior artist.

We asked Martin if he had any shout-outs he'd like to give to other Blender educators and resources that helped you out along the way:

"Oof, where to start? If Kent Trammell is my 3D dad, then Ian Hubert is my 3D mom; he is brilliant. I learned a lot too with DefaultCube, Ducky3D, Erindale, Cartesian Caramel, Bad Normals, Corridor Crew (they taught me so much about VFX), and so many others."


Now, we leave you with some invaluable tips from Martin to kickstart your CG career in the fastest way possible.

"It is not enough to copy tutorials, you have to take the knowledge and apply it in your own unique way.

If you want to learn fast you need to think about Blender every minute. For example, even in bed I would still try to solve problems that I couldn't solve on screen, to the point of dreaming about my node setup hahah, and quite often I found solutions outside of Blender because of this."

It is not enough to copy tutorials, you have to take the knowledge and apply it in your own unique way.

But also, try to take specific moments to rest your brain. Walk a bit around the house, and drink water while you wait for renders. You do not want to have a burnout. I could dedicate so much time to it because it really makes me happy, but don't force it! Mental health always comes first :)


And show your work to friends, and ask them what they think, people that are not into CG usually make for really good judges for what is weird and what could be improved.

And don't be hard on yourself, you will get there for sure!


Martin recently won our SESSIONS Halloween Challenge, which is small potatoes in the midst of his accomplishments. 

Congratulations Martin and well done!


Amber Kelly
Add a Comment

Get the latest

Sign up with your email address and get the latest, straight to your inbox.