Christmas gift guide for 3D and VFX artists under £20/$25

One of the problems of trying to buy gifts for CG and VFX artist is that everything they want seems so expensive. Fear not, here are 10 ideas for stocking fillers to give your pixel pusher a present they'll love without breaking the bank.

01. Imperial Walker Vinyl Decal

It’s an AT-AT on a laptop, the perfect gift, well for a CG artist anyway

02. Wooden Phone And USB Holder

This wooden desk tidy is great way to keep track of USB sticks

03. 8GB USB Mix Tape

This Mix Tape USB stick is a unique way to share and archive files
  • Price: £18/$22.34
  • Check out this gift at: Etsy

Speaking of USB sticks, this Mix Tape example may not be particularly practical, but it would be great for pitch or client deliveries. As well as a great retro way to archive work, as it is big enough to write on clearly, unlike most USB sticks. 

04. Xenomorph Wacom Pen Holder

A Xenomorph is now the only way I want to store my Wacom pen
  • Price: £17.52/$21.75
  • Check out this gift at: Etsy

This may gross out some, (there are other design’s available for the less squeamish), but I can’t think of any drawing tablet CG or VFX artist who wouldn’t be delighted with this is a present as it’s sculpted in ZBrush and 3D printed.

05. Industrial Light & Magic - The Art Of Special Effects

Give this classic book on ILM to explore how VFX were created before computers
  • Price: £14.66/$18.19
  • Check out this gift at: Amazon

While there are countless ‘Art of’ books on Amazon for all the latest VFX films and games. Sometimes it is worth giving an older book. This book deals with the early history of ILM through to 1986. As it was written before digital VFX took over, it gives a unique insight into Analogue VFX production.

06. Simian Power Up Water resistant Power Bank

Powerbanks are a great gift for any gadget-dependant artist
  • Price: £9.99/$12.40
  • Check out this gift at: Amazon

I'm a sucker for power banks as they're just so handy. This one can charge a phone, camera or usb laptop, like the new macbooks, and as it’s waterproof it can be used outdoors. It even has a torch. 

07. Reeves 16-inch Wooden Artists Manikin

A wooden mannequin is useful for figuring out character poses, and also makes any computer desk look ‘arty’
  • Price: £12.86/$15.96
  • Check out this gift at: Amazon

While most digital content creation applications now come with Human Mesh figures, it's still always handy to have a real model on the desk, which can help you work out poses, and use as basis for sketching out ideas before getting stuck into 3D. It can also act effectively as someone to talk to when you have to work through the night on your latest CG creation.

08. Lego Medium Creative Brick Box

Random Lego building is great for those boring render moments
  • Price: £13.99/$17.37
  • Check out this gift at: Amazon

CG and VFX artists spend an awful lot of time staring at computer screens waiting for renders to complete. To alleviate the boredom, this box of random Lego can allow practical creativity while waiting for the digital creativity to materialise.

09. Revell Star Wars Build And Play Millennium Falcon

This Millennium Falcon Kit requires no paint or glue
  • Price: £11.99/$14.89
  • Check out this gift at: Amazon

All CG artists like to decorate their desks with models and toys. This Millennium Falcon kit is great value for money and looks great when complete. The best bit is that it requires no paints or glue to finish, but it can be enhanced by a custom paint job after.

10. Ctrl+Alt+Delete Computer Key Coasters

These coasters are great stocking filler for any VFX or CG artist

These coasters are perfect for the copious amounts of caffeine that any and every CG and VFX artist that I know live on. They are also a very handy reminder about which keys to press when it all goes wrong.

Note: prices listed are based on exchange rates at time of writing and subject to change