VFX Mentorship

Update: Tiers and pricing have been adjusted after feedback Jason Keyser is creating Real-Time VFX Education | Patreon

For now, I’m keeping it to 10 seats across 3 tiers, so I can focus all my time and energy on this initial group, with my primary goal of helping all y’all reach your career & artistic goals. I’ll be mentoring both students and professionals. More details on the page!

Hit me up with any thoughts/questions you’ve got in this thread or via PM. I can’t thank you enough for your support toward my passion of sharing the VFX love with y’all.

See you in class!


Oh, hey guys! In the (very) near future, I’ll be launching a VFX mentorship program on Patreon. I’ve been hard at work on this for months now, diving deep into what it’s gonna take to help meet the needs of our community. I feel like I’ve come up with something really special to share with y’all.

In the meantime, I’m curious what you’d look for in a VFX mentor. Feedback & thoughts welcome!


Only took you two months. You made it sound like it would be late into the summer! :wink:

Rambling Metaphor: You point out the ingredients, and I’ll make the sauce. But what if I don’t know how to make? Well, then technique comes into play. If everyone makes “Z” mistake, do you let me commit it or save me from it? Ultimately, I’d say the goal should be to massage in good habits that still lets the student keep their flavor artistically. Remove the mystery but keep the magic… I don’t know where I’m going with that last part, sounds cool through. :stuck_out_tongue:

In other words, be as if a guide, to help get though this R-VFX jungle of options both simple and gross. Make method out of the madness. On my studently (which is a word now) side of things, unless the person knows about it already, there is little direct talk of Perforce or LODs or Drawcalls or Alpha Blending. What is the job behind the walls? There are also few who talk about how to be more efficient at the craft. If I could get a bump in my ability to create an assortment of options quickly, that would be great! Let me fall, but not fall off (which I have done in this extensive “Oh-You’re-So-Lucky-To-Have-All-These-Resources” void on my own). You can narrow the playing field to… “What you should focus on is this, this, and this. You are strong at X, but weak at Y.” You can be a context, where there is none. Some people work better with people, then with books or videos. Can you teach experience? If you can, do that too.

I look forward to seeing what you have in store, should I take you up on your endeavors! :smile:

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@Keyserito I’m so glad seeing you doing this. I’ve watched some of your videos already and I find it very helpful. What could be beneficial is probably more of those videos or a bit more flash animation content maybe?
Group (of 5 people?) focused mentorship for a month to develop specific VFX?

awesome idea! - i’ve been thinking about doing something similar for a while now, so if you need any help with anything let me know.

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This sounds like a great idea I can’t wait to see this :smiley: :smiley:

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Always appreciate your train of thought, Mez :wink:. Essentially, yes. I intend to adjust per student, and flexibly meet whatever unique needs i can, in the time given.

This venture will take the focus away from videoa and be much more hands-on. And yes, there will be a group setting option.

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Ooh, hold that thought. Right now I’m just trying to nail down a small-scale setup, and perfect it. The long-term goal will be something much bigger, requiring more mentors than just myself.


Sounds good! I look forward to hearing more about that

This is great, I am always talking about the need of more direct mentor-ship opportunities. I hope you are able to make it affordable but still compensated for your time. Thank you for all or your great work with the community!

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that sounds good to me, I’ll definitely try it out when you announce it

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Hey @Keyserito! I want hands-on training that is practical to the industry. I really like the monthly projects that these forums offer, but I would like daily feedback on my work / questions I have.

A few weeks ago I posted for help on Discord and someone basically told me to figure it out on my own. That response painted a bad picture of the technical community for me and made me not want to participate.

Something Allan McKay is doing in his upcoming FXTD Mentorship are weekly assignments that include a webinar where each person’s piece is critiqued with everyone and anyone can ask questions. I think real-time conversations can help clarify confusion/mis-understanding the written word can sometimes cause.

If this is your first time hosting a mentorship program, be aware of the scale of supply and demand. From what I understand, there are less mentors than mentees. I would love 1 on 1 time, but I know that isn’t exactly realistic.

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I think for too long, we’ve all had to just “figure it out” on our own. May seem cheesy, but my vision is to be a catalyst for changing that mindset that we’ll forever be stuck doing things “the hard way,” just because it’s the status quo. Gonna change that quo to a better quo… ya know?

Also, I didn’t realize Allan was approaching his mentorship that way in the pre-rendered space. Sounds incredibly similar to what I’ve got planned. Gotta love receiving that validation from the universe <3

As for supply and demand for mentors, I’m painfully aware of this aspect. Unfortunately, seats are going to be quite limited at launch (since quitting my dream job isn’t in the cards atm). Once a handful of students are growing and thriving, I plan to take that model and expand it to a bigger ecosystem with more mentors (the dream).


I played with the same idea while I freelanced. I just couldn’t figure out how to make it work financially. I mentored a small group for a while which was more worthwhile. The problem is, to be able to quit your regular job you need to make a certain amount of money and the coin per hour needs to be at a certain level. Unfortunately that was higher than most students were willing/able to pay.

If you figure out a concept that works, I hope I’ll be able to join you down the line.


Yeah. That’s why I’ve reduced the amount of time posting here… well one of the reasons. On average everyone seems too busy to care on my end. We all have our own nonsense to deal with, and I obviously (?) care too much for it not to be reciprocated. I’ll just go somewhere else, and I will meet my goal.

@Fabio_M_Silva has one too.

Not that I’ve been a student of that class for the last 8 weeks or anything. (¬‿¬)

♪~ ᕕ(ᐛ)ᕗ

Yup. Plenty of nonsense going on over here, for sure ;^]

That’s so cool that Fabio is doing a class. Looks like a good introductory resource for getting started in UE4. How are you liking the course?

Oh, man. I hear you on the challenges of time well spent, both for the mentor and student. Like any artist, I have a complicated relationship with getting paid for my work, and yes, I have mentored on an hourly basis before, which simply wasn’t sustainable or even valuable for the students (low cost/hour = low value for students). All of my planning and preparation in the past few months has been aimed at delivering the maximum amount of value with the limited time I’ll have with each student, set up in a sustainable way, with clear benefits to the student.

I would hate for anyone to think of it in terms of X amount of value per X amount of my time. If that were the case, a mentorship business could never be viable (not only for me, but for anyone). Instead, I’m aiming for X amount of value per X amount of change in career prospects & ability to follow dreams. In that world, maybe we can pull off the miracle of exchange, with both sides more than happy to do business.

The biggest issue I have trying to learn more about creating VFX is how to generate proper textures and maps to use in photoshop.

Most tutorials I find show you how to generate the shader and particles but already assume you know how to create an effective map that works with those processes.

Is it possible you misunderstood the direction they were giving you? I dug all through the how-would-you-do-this section and the critiques-and-feedback (more than a month back) and I only saw one instance of something like that, which was a valid response from the people trying to help that person. Or did you ask in a different section? Maybe I could point you in the direction you’re looking for?

I’d love to learn concepts that are applicable across a wide range of effects and styles; teaching us how to fish, as it were, for different aspects of fx.

Ex: layering elements is something I have had some difficulty improving on, especially on more artistic driven or abstract effects. I’ll look at something I do and think “yeah, that looks pretty good” and then someone will suggest adding X or Y to it, and it ends up looking much better immediately, but I never would have thought to add X or Y on my own. When I’m slowing down LoL effects and looking at them frame by frame, I notice all kinds of little bits, flares, and elements that only last .1 or .2 seconds. But I bet if I removed them, I would probably think it didn’t look as good as before.

A rule, or what your personal experience has been on where and when to add these extra details, or ones that you commonly forgot to add early in your career would be super helpful.

Other stuff would be things like contrast in FX. When do you keep an effect in the monochromatic range and contrast with value, vs when it’s good to contrast with a complimentary color?

I think it would be helpful to learn things like this that can be applied across the board no matter the effect, be it explosion, fire, magic etc.

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