Christmas gift guide for 3D and VFX artists under £100/$125

If you are a 3D or VFX artist, it’s easy to overlook the simple things when thinking about your wish list. Instead you’ll be looking at workstations, that Aero chair, or an Adobe CC subscription. That’s all well and good, but there are so many smaller items that can make your working day better, more efficient, or simply more enjoyable. In this list you’ll find a number of these, handpicked to lighten or enliven the days spent at your desk. 

01. SpaceNavigator 

Reduce RSI while making navigating your viewports more intuitive with the space navigator
  • Price: $121/£95
  • Check out this gift at: Amazon

Reduce RSI while making navigating your viewports more intuitive (and far more efficient) with the space navigator. This little device sits under your left hand and replaces keyboard shortcuts for things like, panning, rotation and zooming, plus more. It’s a beautifully crafted object, heavy enough to stay in place and really does work very well. 

02. Huion H610 Pro Graphics Drawing Pen Tablet

Want to get to grips with graphics tablets? This Huion H610 is a great place to start
  • Price: $81/£63.99
  • Check out this gift at: Amazon

Wacom may be the big name for graphics tablets but if you are on a smaller budget and want to dip your toe into this method of working, or are only a very occasional user, then try this one from Huion. It offers all the benefits of others but with a much lower price. This one is a large 10” X 6” with excellent responsiveness. The only real drawback compared to other makes is that the pen is rechargeable, rather than battery free but that’s a tiny niggle when you look at the value. 

03. Moho Debut 12

Moho is a fun and useful 2D animation programme
  • Price: $78/£61.68
  • Check out this gift at: Amazon

There aren’t many applications at this price that offer huge amounts to a pro but this is one. Sometimes it’s good to step back and look at the fundamentals of what we do. Take Moho for a run and concentrate on things like timing, weight and anticipation, ignoring the fluff of textures and light. As well as being a useful tool for keeping on top of your skills, Moho is a fun and useful 2D animation programme and at this price, is definitely worth adding to your workstation. 

04. Tassimo coffee machine 

This Tassimo coffee machine is small and neat enough to be kept in even the smallest of studios
  • Price: $76/£59.99
  • Check out this gift at: Amazon

We all need that occasional boost – and what better way to get it than with a quick coffee? This Tassimo coffee machine is small and neat enough to be kept in even the smallest of studios and, seeing as it uses pods, is mess free and even makes tea, hot chocolate and many other drinks. A must near deadlines, when a trip to a café is asking too much. 

05. Stick on chalkboard wall planner

Help the 3D artist in your life stay organised with this handy wall planner

We all need to stay organised but finding the best way can be tiresome. This wall planner is a great solution as it’s temporary and adaptable; something that can’t be said for many planners. Yes, you may have an app for it but nothing beats a quick glance at a physical planner to see the week ahead and what you’ve recently achieved. 

06. Mountain Peak mirror

Get instant facial reference with this beautiful grizzly bear-inspired mirror

If you're an animator, a mirror is the single best way to get instant facial reference. No need to video or take photos. Just pull a face and you have immediate feedback. It’s easy to use, simple to adjust the reference and shouldn’t be overlooked for being cheap and simple. It’s a fantastic method for getting your morph chops down. 

07. Grand Living Wall

This wall plant will lift the feel of any room

We spend so much of our time staring at screens that we are almost definitely not exposed to enough nature, even if we do get outside in our downtime. There are a bunch of studies that tell us experiencing nature is healthy and we can bring elements of that into the studio. These planters not only look great but will add that element of greenery that will lift the feel of the room. Plants like Succulents and Mother-in-Laws Tongue are great options for easy to care for plants. 

08. Wire Mesh memo board

Keep notes in order with this handy memo board

Unless you're super organised, you probably have a bunch of notes either littering your desk, or stuck around your monitor. Nothing wrong with that but a cleaner workspace can make for a less stressful day – that’s where the memo board comes in. It’s a fun way of keeping all those notes in order. You still have access to everything but in a much more attractive and controllable manner. 

09. Animator's Survival Kit

Put a smile on the face of the animator in your life with this brilliant reference guide
  • Price: $63/£50
  • Check out this gift at: Amazon

If there's any discussion as to what every animator should own, this book should be top of the list. Covering just about any aspect of character animation you can think of, it’s an essential reference/training book and is worth every penny. What’s more it comes in various flavours to suit your needs, from iPad app, paperback, to multi DVD boxed set. 

10. Multicharger

Never run out of power again with this stylish multicharger
  • Price: $95/£76
  • Check out this gift at: Amazon

These days it’s inevitable that at some point, probably fairly regularly, you will need to charge up one device or another. More often than not you will have a number of different devices but rather than have them spread across your desk, or, worse still, in different parts of the room, grab one of these multi chargers. They cater for various devices and also make your workplace neater and more organised. What’s not to like? 

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