Digital, or Visual, FX is the process of incorporating computer generated images (CGI) with live-action footage to create photo-realistic environments or effects that would otherwise be too dangerous, costly, or simply impossible to catch on camera.
While time consuming and often exceedingly tedious, digital FX can be the independents best friend in helping concoct a bigger and better movie when on a budget, you just have to know how to employ the programs and plug-ins that are available.
Below is a list of 5 great resources for learning digital FX- all of which cover the basics as well as more advanced or specific techniques that will aid you in creating spectacular effects simply and cost effectively for your next production.
1. Video Copilot
Started by Andrew Kramer and Sam Loya, www.videocopilot.net is a wonderful site for easy-to-follow video tutorials encompassing effects for both After Effects (AE) and 3D programs such as Maya.
The site offers both paid and FREE tutorials, which comprise of a diverse catalogue of digital FX. Not to mention that they’ve also developed a handful of amazing products and plug-in packages that has been utilized on a number of projects, including big budget films and national television ads!
2. Digital Tutors
Comprised of a brilliant group of artists and visual FX professionals, digital tutors maintains the world’s largest CG training library for film and video games. www.digitaltutors.com
www.youtube.com/deepfriedectoplasm is a superb YouTube Channel containing more than 100 FREE in-depth Maya video tutorials!
4. Creative Cow
Featured in our last post: How to Improve the Look of Your Film in 30 Minutes, www.creativecow.net distributes a plethora of information, products, stock footage, etc. Visit this site and you’ll discover and endless list of impressive tutorials for AE, Maya, Nuke, Red Giant, etc.
5. 3D World Magazine
More than just the leading 3D magazine out on shelves today, www.3dworldmag.com offers a score of free downloads, tutorials, models and much, much more. In addition, they also supply their readers with insider information on how to land jobs and better prepare one’s self for a career in the animation world.
Digital FX is a challenging but rewarding undertaking requiring practice, patients, and discipline. But, once learned your arsenal of film tricks will be endless; allowing you to fully achieve anything your imagination can think up.
I hope these 5 digital FX sites help you gain a better understanding of the art of visual FX and expand your knowledge on how to use these tools to your advantage.
As always, if you have any questions or comments regarding this post or would like to share some digital FX sites of your own be sure and drop us a line at the bottom of the page, we’d love to hear from you.
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