What do you want to learn this year?

Hey FX buddies! It’s a brand new year, and that means it’s a great time to think about all the new and shiny things we want to learn. No matter if you are just starting or an old vet we all have a VAST wealth of knowledge to share!

So I’m curious, for my own tutorial making porposes, as well as generally what are you interested in learning?

This year I’m really interested in learning how to paint better stylized ground decals like these:

They’re so pretty /swoon

If you know of any good tutorials or references send them my way :slight_smile: Happy New Year ~


Right now I’m going through Jason Keyser’s tutorial playlist at:


But would really like to learn a lot on mesh based visual effects like the stuff done here:

I love this kind of stuff and my goal this year is to be proficient at making these kinds of vfx by the time I start grad school in the fall. My only problem is that I think I need something a bit more basic to get me started. Something that assumes I am a complete idiot in regards to mesh based vfx. More fundamentals in regards to how to set up your textures and meshes and how they interact with each other to get a desired effect.

In regards to stylized ground textures and decals there is a great thread on polycount you can check out here:


Happy New Year !

I’d particularly like to learn more about hand-painted textures and 2D animated sprite sheets. So, mostly 2D techniques and drawing in general. :slight_smile:

I’ll try to set aside some time to follow Jason Keyser’s tutorials at some point. /prays

I’d also like to finally learn more about water and fire-based elements/vfx. Those two are my ultimate nemesis, and I really need to tackle them down. Just wish I had a bit more free time. :c

And also, I’d like to keep improving my timings. I’ve learned a lot on that subject recently, but I’d like to keep pushing further. :smiley:

Also, @Clicker, feel free to ask if you have any questions regarding my vfxs. I’ll probably release the Unity sources soon-ish. Just need to clean that up a bit (a lot). o/


Happy New Year!

This year I’d like to learn about some basic shader works (Shader forge seems a great tool to start with). Also like everyone else would love to learn hand-painted textures and 2D flash VFX making.

And also, I would like to stop being stubborn and lazy :triumph: and start participating in VFX Sketches.

P.S. Would love to explore your source files @Sirhaian :slight_smile:.

oh and yeah … Unreal …


I would rather like to know how you guys are planning to master these fields on time schedule. 2 Hours per day or the whole weekend until March etc etc.Terminate your goals


Would love to delve into houdini and hand drawn vfx.

how I am planning to master these? heck, I cant even plan a proper walk cycle for my own body…
So its mostly hoping I find time atm :stuck_out_tongue:



Seriously though, I’m new to VFX, I began looking into it just out of necessity at work and discovered it’s ridiculously exciting stuff and I’d love to focus on it more! It sounds like that’s how a lot of people get into it from what I’ve seen so far actually. Feel like this should have been in the introduction section :smiley:

Using this site and loads of stuff people have already mentioned I’m working away at improving fundamentals - timing, colours, hand painted elements etc.

As a longer term goal, by the end of the year I’d love to have a more sophisticated insight into approaching some of the more subtle aspects of VFX - some of the visual language, shape + colour etc… Can’t get enough of some of the breakdowns and the thought processes behind them the resources here.


I want to learn FumeFX more and have a deeper understanding of what-controls-what so that I know exactly how to make fire and smoke behave how I want it, instead of spending 3 days tweaking values and settling with a result that’s 60-70% what I want. Especially abstract/stylized smoke, which seems to make awesome plasma and energy fx.

I would also like to learn how to do stylized 2D effects. Specifically, but not limited to, anime-style lightning and electricity. I’ve always felt that those stylized bolts, arcs, and zaps look and read much better than realistic forking electricity; somehow it always feels cheesy and too noisy to me.

Also @ShannonBerke I’m sure you’re already and amazing painter, but try starting in zbrush, sculpting some terrain and rendering it out with a light or two in the scene. Then do a paint over on it to start, until you feel like you’ve gotten good at just straight painting the terrain with no ref. It’s fun, and almost like… an adult coloring book for hand painting :smile: helps learning to “color inside the lines”


Want to deepen my understanding of shaders and how to use them, start diving into the world of compute shaders, and just understand and know how to use the rendering pipeline in general. End goal is being able to create real time volumetric stuff.


Because I have a lot going on with school right now, I have made a weekly/daily schedule. There was a quote from Arnold Schwarzenegger about going to the gym ever day. It does not matter if you just sit in a chair and read a magazine, eventually you’ll get to where you want. It is about building a habit of doing it ever day. So, I take this and try and apply it to my game art. It doesn’t matter to me if it is five min or eight hours of work when I’m just starting something new. Eventually I get the hang of it and it takes off for me. Anyways, I have a sudo schedule. Even days I do my python practice, some sort of art (sketch, oil paint, digital paint, etc.), and work on my University capstone game. Odd days I work on VFX stuff, (Flash animation, Unity/Unreal VFX, etc.)

I won’t lie though that over the last week I have slacked a bit due to the holidays ending but I still try to do something everyday.


started off this year, by signing up for a weekend python class taught by a friend. I want to be able to do write my own tools. I also want to do more with Houdini, after purchasing an indie license last year and barely using it. Lastly, work on 2D stylized effects as i see a lot of your also wanted to do :slight_smile:


I’ll share a timeline if you share what you want to learn :slight_smile:

Where do you want to start with hand drawn FX? I’m thinking through various tutorials to share, or even make. What would be most beneficial from your perspective? :slight_smile: What would be fun and motivating to learn?


I’m excited to see anything outside of the wheelhouse of tools I know. FumeFX is one of those cool shiny things :slight_smile: Pumped to see what you come up with this year, even if it’s just playing around.

Ahh, I’d have to get a licence for ZBrush /sadness I do miss sculpting though. It’s a great idea :smiley:

@ Sirhaian

Sounds great. Can’t wait to see the sources and I’ll be sure to ask questions.

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I’m going to be working on improving at Houdini over all, but I have a personal goal of getting better at cloth and cloth physics

I plan to learn more about unreal vfx and hand-painted textures.see more guy’s shareing then use the things to my works.
PS:how much things must be grasped as a good vfxer:dizzy_face:

I am very excited something about indie stuff. Looking forward to learn those tools :slight_smile:

Im going to be working on juicey timing. Ill be trying to build at least 3-4 quick effects a weak just to practice impact and oomph. Using basic shape textures to no cloud any of the timing. After watching a lot of stuff on here and through 2d. Its certainly always the thing that hits home most with me.

I wonder how a timing tutorial would look haha.

“first we are going to make the BVVVVVVV of the effect. Then the NNNVM and then then the BVOOOOOOp!”


^stolen from Keyseritos thread



I found watching learn the basics of FumeFX very helpful.
Watching videos about the “basics” allowed me to see what ground work
was needed, to then go on and build from. Sometimes rushing to the end and
trying things out on your own, means you miss out on a input or a vital parameter etc as you didn’t know about
it. Especially when FumeFx can be so fiddly.

Also I would say save out a few different scenes with a basic fire, a basic
smoke etc, that way if you mess up your FumeFx file, you can easily just reload
a white box version, saves having to start from scratch.


Big thing I found with Fume is the spacing you use to
create your FX in, have it at the level you wish to render at. Yes it makes
sims slower, but the balancing and viewing your sim at a large spacing will
make it look and behave different, to when you come to finally do your low
spacing render. So I always try to work around 0.3 spacing, then maybe knock
this down to 0.2/0.15 for the finally thing.

Finally Vimeo is a excellent sauce, Google the parameter then vimeo after it,
and there will be a video on exactly what it does, and what it looks like: Like
this for example: FumeFX Study - Vorticity and Grid Spacing on Vimeo

Hope this helps.