From absolute zero to VFX Junior in 4 months! [Is it possible?]

I thought about the importance of having a detailed schedule earlier. And, thank you, after that, I’m sure that the sooner I can approve a strong work schedule, then better.
I will make my first plan (with dates) over the next two days. And then will post it here.

Good luck Alex and know you aren’t alone. Make sure to join the Facebook and Discord channels. I’ve found so much help working with the beautiful guys and gals here. :slight_smile:

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Hello! I am like you but 30 years old) Russian guy too(from Black sea). I wish you good luck! I know you can handle this because you are Siberian. I am now with family and full time job but i really like VFX and i am trying to learn it and your thread is beatiful and really helpful for guys like we. And with the @Keyserito words in this topic all newbies will be very motivated to learn this sphere)) And of course thanks to all guys who make this learning stuff! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:
After VFX tutorials i got this :sweat_smile:

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Hey Alex! Good luck, you got this! As mentioned above, a good idea is to set smaller goals and plan concrete dates, it will help you feel less overwhelmed.

What usually helps me is deciding on a concrete task, similar to what you would have in a real studio. Not just ‘I want to make fire vfx’, but ‘I will make a burning barrel effect in this style using these references and I will give myself X days to do it’. Even for learning and personal projects setting constrains for yourself helps a lot!

Btw your English is fine and I’m Russian too so feel free to DM me if you need help with anything! I live in the UK now though all thanks to realtime vfx :smiley:


Hey Alex, great first attempt! It’s certainly possible if you put the work in, there’s a lot to learn but if you put in the work and check in here often you’ll have no problem! There are lots of great tutorials around, don’t forget older ones from the likes of imbuefx, the tech might not be the absolute latest stuff but the principles and techniques are a great starting point. If you post here frequently you should get plenty of feedback and advice, good luck! :smile:


Hello! Some news!
I finally started writing my study schedule.
My small curriculum
Briefly available



  • Replication of all (except sketch #2, and tutorial #9(mb later)) Sirhaians tutorials VFX (with own rework)
    P.S. Look at the finished result and do it yourself. If something does not work, go watch the tutorial.
    1-4 =3d
    5,6,7=1d\1.5d on each (or more if very excited about one of these) ~ 4d
    total ~ 7d

  • It seemed to be interesting to try to start my own effects with the effect of fire from here (as advised by an experienced guy 1 and 2)
    total ~ 9d

  • And then I will try to do some cooler and mb bigger fire with smoke (with help of this)
    total ~12(±1)

  • After this, I will another type of fire (mb fireball) with help of this
    total ~15(±2)

  • I don’t know yet what I will do tomorrow

I ask all of you (who is reading this) to give feedback about this because this is the work of a complete newcomer to VFX (from me)
And @Keyserito @ShannonBerke @whtsrnm

I’m also presenting to you my third VFX, made on the basis of

Dis .


Full here


Start small, and remember that everything you learn is a tool in your toolbox.

Get used to the box before trying to think outside of it :wink:

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Because my English is very bad, use the machine

Hey, I am very glad to meet you, I am also a newcomer, from the Asian continent.
But I am younger than you, only 18 years old. Now I am confused about the Unity shader, I hope you can stick to it.
I learned about particle systems and movements and painting earlier.
I hope that you can go all the way.
Let me give you some advice on VFX now.
First lay the foundation for your color matching and particle system, and determine the basic operation, otherwise you will not be able to achieve the goal.
△ Remember that all tools are your friends.
△ Please learn to use most of the plug-in and with the use of tools, if you do not have money can try to crack.
good luck!


Next step

Over these days I rewrote my schedule a little and…
I finished a small campfire task with help of Sirhaian’s Tutorial.
(Not in one try)

First try


Second try


Of course, this is not perfect campfire, but It seems to me that I need to move on to the next effect. (Fireball)

If you think that this campfire is bad in something and it would be nice to modify it…
Or if you know other types of fire that would be cool to try for me (for learning)…
Or if you just want to give feedback for me.

Be sure to write here!
It will be awesome!

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I like the flame man! but the gif quality is making the fx look less good :frowning:. Might worth to check that out.

Also the particle burst would be more fitting when you light the fire, think of when you light the bonfire in dark souls.

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It’s still very difficult getting gooed gif quality, still have the problem myself to

Yea, thank you! I thought my effect maybe was not juiced enough.
Grateful for the confirmation.

But can you give advice about some good ways to do gifs ?
(anyway those will be better than mine)

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You can use licecap :), right now I use that for my gifs

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Ohh… I have already…

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do you rec at 60 fps?

DM may be better for these talks.
Answered there.

No DM please :grin: For me very useful messages :grin:

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Ok then :wink:
@SmearKees advised to me try to upload some gifs after Licecap into giphy and then use that link in realtimeVFX.
Also he asked on VFX Discord about cool ways to create gifs. He was offered several other similar programs:

  1. ShareX
  2. Snagit
  3. ScreenToGif
  4. Ezgif
EzGif comment

"So by using ezgif you can turn videos in HQ gifs.
I recently uploaded a 4k video into it and you can choose your options for quality resolution 800p and 25fps
Made a pretty heavy gif of like 100mb xD but the quality was great.
It was just a gif of my cat climbing a tree on ping pong so he went up & down & up & down on repeat lol.
Buuuut in HQ :stuck_out_tongue: "

We haven’t tested it yet. But you can try!


There is also this thread.

You are not the first to have this issue. :rainbow:Internet!:rainbow:

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Hello !

This is another checkpoint on my way to junior VFX Artist.

After my last post about the effects made, quite a lot of time (8d) passed in my coordinate system.

All this time I was engaged in crafting a fireball. And now I will tell you why I spent so much time on it, and will show you what I did.
(only fireball without caste and reaction VFX)

Not as cool as you expected, is it?
Oh… Yah, but it is mine…
Not high-quality video

Initially, I set out to make a fireball with using some things. (It was my milestones)

  1. Curve trajectory with variable speed

  1. Elementary mesh for head effect

  1. Shader with UV offset and dynamic alpha erosion

  1. Alpha erosion based on lifetime of particles

  1. Export animations and models from Maya to Unity
Let's not forget

Let’s not forget that I had no background in these areas, and I had to learn everything from scratch.

For those who want to find out how I did it, below are links to something, with the help of which I did it.

My way
  1. Curve trajectory with variable speed
  • Animation along the way in Maya
    Editing NURBS curves, Snapping curves to animation
    (Everything I read was in Russian(Animation along the way), but you can easily find it by yourself.)
  • Baking animation
    Coped without help
  1. Elementary mesh for head effect
  1. Shader (in Shader Graph) with UV offset and dynamic alpha erosion
  1. Alpha erosion based on liftime of particles
  • Using Custom Vertex Streams and Custom Data in Unity Particles System
Only this

Through custom data in the particle system. In the shader: UV - split - (B channel) to the value that you want to change in the particle system. In the particle system in the render tab - use custom vertex stream, select custom1.xy (zv), turn on the custom data tab in the particle system, set the x value to 1, change it to a curve and control the dissolution from the particle system.

  1. Export animations and models from Maya to Unity
    Units and Scale Factor

And now the things that I did right or wrong (in my opinion):

Right or wrong
  • Perhaps I took too big VFX for me and therefore received little feedback from what I was doing, and understood little what I was moving to.
  • Some days I lost concentration and worked for a maximum of 4-5 hours (instead of 8) May be due to reason above
  • Not all intermediate goals were so helpful to me at that moment. And they might be put off until next time. (dynamic alpha erosion)
  • Perhaps it was necessary to share here the intermediate stages of my work.
  • Despite the minuses, I achieved those intermediate goals that I set and studied a lot of useful information.


  • I believe that instead of doing complex VFX, during this period of my training, I need to create as many effects as possible here (inspired by So You Wanna Make Games??) and do not try to learn a lot of new stuff for one effect, and stretch new information for several different effects. (Soon I will add it to my Small curriculum and Knowlege)

  • During the preparation of large VFX, make more checkpoints and set more intermediate goals.

I would be very grateful to you if you give me feedback about how my effect looks like and about the right or wrong conclusions I made.

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