VFX, Particles, Shaders

Recently I’ve been wondering if I could learn something about VFX. Someone told me that when it comes to games, to create VFX I need to learn something about shaders and particles, and the best place to start is Unity. Then I’ve been reading something about VFX in movies, and how they are being made in Maya or Houdini. By reading Internet stuff I got pretty confused, so I was hoping there is someone kind enough to explain it as simple as possible:

  1. What are shaders, can you learn them without much knowledge and skills in programming, where are they commonly used and which software is best (in terms of resources) to learn something about them, and of course are there any good resources/courses to learn (if, as I said, it’s possible for a newbie)
  2. ^^Same goes for particles^^
  3. Same goes for VFX we can see in movies and animations.

I know these things are pretty hard to learn and I might sound like a desperate, uneducated noob, but I really find this things fascinating and would like to learn something more about them. So thank you for anyone willing to help and have a nice day y’all!

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Hey there @dsnvlns!

Check the forums, we’ve got plenty of info! Also try searching for YouTube tutorials and websites such as 80lv, Artstation, Gumroad, etc.

And don’t hesitate to join the RTVFX Discord server and ask your doubts there! Have a nice day.


Welcome to the community! I’d recommend checking out this pinned thread Getting Started in Real Time VFX? Start Here! It will cover a lot of the questions and has links to learning resources for new-to-intermediate vfx artists. It needs a bit of an update, but pretty much everything in there is still relevant. Seems like even with it pinned it still gets lost in the thread stack for people new to the site.

I’ll be moving this post from Resources & Knowledge to General Discussion so it gets more visibility. That’s usually the best place to post general topics for the future too. Resources and Knowledge is more for finished works and tutorials so people can search stuff, but feel free to post any questions in those threads that are related to the topic. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask and we’ll get you an answer when or if we can :slight_smile: