More VFX education: what do YOU want?

I quit my dream job today.

For over twelve years, I’ve been honored to work alongside some of the most talented artists and developers in the business. It’s been a wild ride! But through it all, I couldn’t stop thinking about my deeper passion: to teach and inspire other creatives towards their own deeply-fulfilling career in visual effects, and help elevate the landscape for VFX across this industry.

Last September I launched VFX Apprentice, and hundreds of you wonderful VFX artists (newbies and pros alike!) have gathered from around the globe to take your skills to the next level. And I am SO HONORED to see all that you’re accomplishing.

I’ve already put my heart and soul into this project.
Starting today, I’ll be putting all of my time into it as well.

Here’s where I need your help! In the coming months I’m going to be rapidly rolling out new courses, new artist collaborations, and new mentorship opportunities. What content would you be most interested in, and how do you want it delivered? How can I best serve artists like your wonderful selves?

Drop your thoughts and let’s talk about it!

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Congrats Jason! That’s awesome you’ve taken that leap, I’m excited to see VFX Apprentice grow!

How specific can we get for course recomendations, because I’d love to take a course that went into fun things like volumetrics/raymarching for clouds, water ‘simulation’ techniques for things like rivers, etc. But geared towards somebody who doesn’t have extensive programming or techart experience. If there has to be a ramp-up course in tech-art for that as a “recommended pre-req” then that’d work too!

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Congrats Jason! That’s an exciting step. It’s going to be awesome to see more vfx courses and mentorships especially coming from a vet like you.

I try and pay attention to what I see newcomers struggling with. I’ve noticed some of them struggle with basic concepts like uvs and modeling. Maybe some more basic pipeline courses with vfx as the end goal but something that would give someone with absolutely no experience a fairly cheap head start?

As for something I’d be interested in. I know there are 2d courses like bitey castle and stuff like the ones you have thrown on youtube but maybe something more complicated that dives deeper into it.

There are other mentor collectives out there but it would be really nice to see mentorships from people who are really vetted who can focus on different aspects of vfx for games like AAA, cinematic, stylized, etc housed under what you have started.

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Ah! I wanna take that course, too! The nice thing is, i’m collaborating with others who are experts at things i’m not, allowing us to cover a broader range of topics at masterful depth. So yah! Definitely gonna want to dive deeper into that realm of technical vfx after the next couple of classes.

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Yes! I’m very excited to do a deeper dive into 2D FX.

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awesome news @Keyserito looking forward to seeing what you will come up with.
In terms of what would be cool to see it’s probably concepting VFX, procreate courses? definitely animation especially hand-drawn.

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Got it! All on my list :^]

Congratulations, Jason - I look forward to even more of the enthusiasm and knowledge you bring to all your training videos! Sharing knowledge like you and others on this forum do helps elevate everyone’s game and can only help the community grow stronger :+1:

Personally, I find project-based training to be the most effective, building a full setup from scratch from concept to creation. In that respect, the VFX Apprentice content has been a wealth of information for me as I’ve been slogging through the beginner stages of learning Unreal and just how all these effects are actually done in games.

Training for different styles of gameplay VFX under one roof would be extremely useful to have, and even specialized courses like Environmental, Fire/Smoke/Explosions or Destruction workflows would be great to have.

I look forward to seeing what you and your collaborators come up with next!

Congrats Jason! Well I’m looking forward to see a more techinal course about shaders. That nodes can be explained and how they affect the performance!

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Congrats Jason!

I would be interested in shaders for volumetrics and dash effect filter, in a NPR styled way! Taking VFX into the future (or atleast closer to film VFX). Maybe also some procedural mesh generation techniques…

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Congrats Jason! Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you on the business side of things. :slight_smile:

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Yes! That all sounds so good. I am anxious for the day when there’s a more substantial catalog of courses available.

shaders! i can’t wait to dive deeper into shader education!

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That all sounds amazing. Definitely gonna have to seek out an expert to help me with these types of topics!

Thanks! Will do, Nick :^D

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Definitely a series on texture creation for games. I’m not sure how willing or able you are to set up course packages that you could purchase sections ala cart, but it would be handy to have a course on textures for games as a whole, and then break those into sections.

Ex:

Texture Creation for Games

  1. Hand Painted
    a) Trails
    b) Sparkles, Flares, Light Rays, etc.
    c) Bursts, Impact Spikes, etc.
  1. Procedurally Generated (Filters in Photoshop, After Effects, Substance Designer, etc.)
    a) Tiling Noise
    b) Generated Flares
    c) Flow Maps and UV Distort Maps (Creating and modifying UV coordinate textures)

  2. From 3D packages (just covering textures from sims, not how to set up simulations)
    a) Different maps to export
    b) Setting up flipbooks and Sub UV textures from your exported frames
    c) Editing your flipbooks to fix out of place frames and optimizing texture space
    d) What kinds of maps to pack together in a single texture

  3. Concepts
    a) Packing multiple textures into different channels (RGBA packing)
    b) Alpha Erosion as a concept
    c) Using color lookup tables, creating and using color gradients to tint your effects
    d) Optimizing texture space; when to fill the whole space and when to leave edge space for UV distortion.
    e) Tips, Tricks, and hard learned lessons.

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Congrats Jason! I’m already planning out some free time and saving up to take your current courses :smile:

The subject I’d love to learn about is researching/concepting realistic effects and how to do it efficiently in the production environment.

Looking forward to what you’ll come up with in the future!

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Niagara tutorials out the ying yang! :smiley:

I would suggest getting deeper into 3D mesh effects, as it will fit what we learned from your current course! As seen from many chinese RVFX they use alot of 3D meshes, stylized textures and shaders, and it just looks awesome :sweat_smile:

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For general VFX education purposes this might be a bit too narrow and wishful thinking on my part.
But i would love to see a bit more “tech-arty” content, just thinking about the possibilites with Niagara and Niagara Module Scripting makes my mouth water. But again, that’s a bit too narrow perhaps.

Either way, i’m super excited for whatever you have in store for us! :slight_smile:

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