VFX Mentorship

learning
mentorship

#41

Great step in the right direction. I know we all have to get the $$ to survive but I wonder who can afford anything beyond the student tier?

Its such a double edged sword. Art cost a lot of time, money, and general investment but yields so little financial gain for most of us.

I consider myself beyond student level as I am luckily working on an unannounced project at the moment. I am not making tons of money, but more than someone working at taco bell as they try to get into this field and I cant afford any of these tiers. A game art class at a community college where available would be less than a 100$ a credit for an entire semester. It wouldn’t be tailored to VFX of course but you could learn all the basics between that and youtube for a fraction of the cost. More importantly I assume most of us just dont have any other option financially.

Again I love what your doing, its just tough out there. Just to live…

p.s. I have only just been able to give back small amounts to patreons including you in the vfx industry. (this upcoming month will be my first time as a paying patreon user)


#42

Yup. Most of my work is in more exaggerated styles, for sure. The thing about “realistic” is that it often uses houdini renders or photo textures in its materials, but is often stylized in other ways, such as silhouette or motion. I can only teach houdini basics, but certainly can help with creating the realistic textures, unreal materials and particle systems needed to pull off a realistic style.


#43

Lets be honest, most of the “realistic” stuff we re create for games is pushed waaay over the top. If you’ve ever seen footage of a real grenade exploding, it’s one of the most disappointing reference videos you’ll ever watch. That, and buildings being destroyed by wrecking balls; biggest letdown ever.


#44

First, you bring up an excellent perspective. Certainly, we’re all familiar with the cash-in-cash out involved with making art, and paying for art education, and we have a general sense of standard pricing for all these types of services. Then how did I arrive at my pricing? I’ll try to explain:

The service I offer is fundamentally different from schools in a few ways: first, it’s a commitment to each person I mentor that they will get my focused attention to help them in highly targeted ways, on whatever they’d prefer to focus on. No prescribed blanket method. No wasted time at all. I believe so much in this new way of teaching, it’s got a money-back guarantee, something no school offers that I’m aware of.

As for the tiers above students, I have a very specific audience in mind for those: working VFX professionals who either A: Aren’t satisfied with their current job, and are willing to invest a short burst of time, energy, and funds to launch them over to their dream studio. Or B: Don’t have the resources at their current studio to help level up the art on their project, and the studio is willing to invest in their employees’ growth by paying a consulting fee.

When I look at the current VFX education landscape, all 3 of the above needs are 100% unmet for a lot of VFX artists: There’s no way for students (outside a handful of schools that effectively teach VFX) starting at different points to get help navigating their own unique VFX growth trajectory, some artists express feeling “stuck” in their current position, and VFX departments at some smaller studios don’t have the knowledge resources to put that final polish on their effects.

As you mentioned, there’s a lot of content out there, but it’s scattered and doesn’t really solve any of these problems 100%. So that’s what I’m aiming to do.


#45

I hear you on the focus of this program there is no denying its value. Its more about basic economics. I am sure you can and will find those that can afford this treatment but I just had a gut reaction and didn’t know how to communicate that best. ( Who is paying for this that isn’t in a position of knowledge and financial stability already? ) I definitely see your point on the value of tailored learning and consulting.

I went through two different predatory art schools that charged a lot and offered little to no direct applicable guidance. I had to find my own way within these programs before I decided to leave and continue my education myself. I have always thought mentor ship is just a better way to learn.

I work a couple jobs as well to make sure I am stable between contracts.
Everyday is a struggle to survive, learn more, and some how get the work in.


#46

Totally hear you. I should also mention that more affordable options will come later on, built on the foundation of the current “keystone” mentorship services: Pre-recorded sessions, larger group live demos, and source assets. I could have waited until i had all those ready, but thought it best to get what i had out to the community asap.


#47

Absolutely, the net of all this is great work. Speaking for the community, Thank you! <3


#48

Totes. Mother nature does occasionally wreck us (lava flows and steam geysers, anyone?), but a lot of the things we commonly think of as realistic (both in film and games) is actually quite far from it.


#49

I’m working on something right now that fits into that. I’ll probably make a post about it in the future for newer fx artists, talking about making stuff in terms of what a game needs vs what is realistic or “right” and how to find middle ground.


#50

The mentorship is a great idea and looks really cool. Thanks for offering this.

One question though… I noticed that the tiers are priced by the month. Does this mean that, unless otherwise specified (I did see you mention that some of the benefits like the group call happen weekly), the rewards are also monthly? e.g. the $1520 tier would only have one 30-minute one-on-one video call for an entire month and the $460 tier would just include the weekly group calls and a single e-mail based critique for the month? Anyway I’m sure you have very good reasons for the pricing, but speaking as someone who is actually more willing than most to pay large amounts of money to learn and has done so often in the past, these prices seem way beyond what is usually charged for art/programming mentoring, or any mentoring that I’ve seen really.

I guess for me it would come down to how much effort goes into the paintovers/critiques and how fleshed out they are. Just my two cents, perhaps others will see these prices as less prohibitive.


#51

Ah, to clarify, the group class is one Saturday per month, not weekly. Higher tiers also get a recording of the class, and a live Q&A demo.

And you’re absolutely right about the quality of feedback being central to the the $ value. I could have done a better job at defining that portion on the page (and plan to do so, now that you mention it).

Essentially, the email feedback is to the satisfaction of the student, doing whatever it takes to move a certain effect asset to a clearly improved state. This will be different per asset, but includes paintovers, detailed how-to’s, artistic feedback on precise aspects, etc.

Think of it as trying to deliver an effect for a AAA game, and getting the needed feedback required before shipping it.


#52

Alright, so first I want to say I heard your feedback on the cost of the courses. Both students and pros wanted more affordable options, so I’ve overhauled the tiers in response. I’m doing my best to strike the right balance that works for everyone, and it’s super helpful hearing your perspective.

Here’s the fine-tuning I’ve done as a result (and more feedback is welcome!)

Student Tier: $230 - I wanted to find a way to give you hands-on guidance and mentorship toward your dream job that is both affordable and valuable.

Apprentice Tier: $460 - Essentially what July’s “Student” tier was, with some clarifications of what is included. The feedback from those in this tier has already been very positive, telling me it’s hitting that value-to-cost sweet spot.

Professional Tier: $760 - Designed for individuals and organizations that are able to devote significant resources to VFX training and/or consulting. Certainly not for everyone, but a competitive price point for what it delivers.

With July’s mentees, I’ve started tracking my spent, as well as what’s expected of me as a mentor. The lessons I’m learning are eye opening, encouraging, and humbling all at once. It’s been a fantastic learning experience so far, and couldn’t go anywhere without this awesome community.

As always, feedback welcome! Here’s the link again:


#53

This has been a great experience for me so far.! And im sticking around for the foreseeable future.


#54

I’m sorry you had to adjust your cost structure, I know your free time is valuable, but the price re-structure will probably allow me to sign up for Apprentice in the near future :+1:


#55

Definitely appreciate the sentiment, but I was very willing to adjust pricing, given how things have played out so far. What I mean is, I’ve been rapidly learning how much time each aspect of the mentorship requires, and see more clearly now what appropriate costs should be (still more to learn in that arena in the long-term, I’m sure).

That being said, I’ve not yet learned and optimized enough to do this at scale, so I’m quite happy with a small class size for now ;^]


#56

what time and zone do you run your live classes from?

I am in Australia and hoping that it would be at 4am for me haha.


#57

We typically do our live sessions at 2:00 pm PST on Saturdays. So that’s 7:00 am in Sydney.


#58

Aye that is definitely doable


#59

Hey @Keyserito

I’m trying to send you a private message but for some reason I can’t. Could you send me a pm? I’m really interested in your mentorship program and have some questions! :smiley:


#60

Quick suggestions as you grow… More mentors sharing load - specifically across time zones / language barriers. Which would also allow for more 1 on 1 time.

Cool idea though. Hope it all works out and grow!