7 Best useful resources that can help you get started with the Basic and Advance Techniques of Vfx, Motion Graphics and 3D Animation.
Vfx, Motion Graphics and 3D Animation changed the entire cinema industry as Film Maker’s can now create scenes which are impossible to shoot practically.
Earlier the Technique’s of Visual Effects was limited to a number of people who were so called Professional’s. As technology evolved, Visual Effects Software came in handy and software developing companies like Adobe and Autodesk released software’s like After Effects and 3ds Max.
These types of software gave the power of Vfx to a common teenager and the outstanding outcomes can be seen on the video sharing website’s like YouTube and Vimeo. A teenager or any person with very little knowledge of such software’s can easily produce Visual Effects on his/her home computer.
During my Visual Effects and 3d animation learning process, the most usual query which I receive is ‘How do I learn Vfx, Motion Graphics and 3D Animation’.
There are a number of resources to learn anything but finding the most useful one is the key to learn something new in a well planned way. Of course, you can opt in for a carrier course in a Visual Effects school, but before that, consider a look at few resources which can help you get started with Visual Effects, Motion Graphics and 3D Animation.
Let’s start off with the most common and widely used website to learn anything – YouTube.
YouTube is the number one video sharing website and also the best place to learn almost anything. Artist around the universe are constantly sharing their work and creating tutorials for others.
In case of Visual Effects, there are tons of great basic and advance videos that you can watch. For a beginner, After Effects, Photoshop and 3ds max tutorials are great to begin with.
Simply use the search form and use keywords like After Effects Tutorials, After Effects training, After Effects tutorials for beginners, After Effects cs6 tutorials (or any other version of After Effects) and you will get plenty of results to learn After Effects.
For 3ds Max tutorials, simple search for 3ds Max tutorial or if you are interested in a specific topic like lighting, modelling or Texturing, use the appropriate keywords.
To find out more about Visual Effects, search for Visual Effects Breakdown videos on YouTube, for example, Transformers Age of Extinction Visual Effects breakdown or subscribe to channels like Industrial Light and Magic to know how the industry standard Vfx are made.
A company formed by Andrew Kramer, is a useful resource to learn visual effects. They provide in-depth training in Visual Effects and Motion Graphics. You can find a number of After Effects and 3ds max tutorials on their website. You can also download the project files associated with a particular tutorial for free.
Video Copilot also provides with plugins and presets which you can purchase directly from their website to enhance your creativity. They also created a 3D software known as Element 3D which is quite similar to 3ds max, but works natively inside of After Effects and is very easy to use.
You can use Video Copilot After Effects In-Depth training to learn the basic and advance techniques of Visual Effects and Motion Graphics.
Creative Cow is the largest Visual Effects artists community where artists around the world contribute in terms of editorial content and video tutorials.
You can get a broad scope of tutorials on After Effects, 3D modelling, Motion Tracking, Rendering etc.
The Creative Cow forum can be used to link to other members of the community. You can post your queries and let the experts handle it for you.
Lynda.com is a major learning website and more than 4 million people use it to learn something new every day. Though, they offer a wide range of topics such as programming, photography, Web, Business etc. but our main focus is 3d Animation.
Unlike Video Copilot and Creative Cow, where you can get free tutorials, Lynda.com is a paid learning website and one needs to spend few dollars to access the tutorials.
The quality of the tutorials is good and you can learn in a well planned manner, i.e. from basic to intermediate and then the advance vfx techniques.
Digital Tutors is a website dedicated to Visual Effects and 3d Animation tutorials. You can learn a number of software’s on Digitaltutors.com, such as 3ds max, After Effects, Maya, all sorts of Motion Tracking software and much more.
Like Lynda.com, the tutorials on Digital Tutors are also paid and you need to sign up for a premium membership to access the tutorials.
You can either sign up for a monthly membership or go for yearly plan which will save you a few dollars.
I recommend getting a monthly membership first and if you are satisfied with the quality of the tutorials, grab a yearly membership afterwards.
Software Developer Website
Most of the software developer’s like Adobe and Autodesk create video tutorials for their software which can be viewed directly on their website.
These tutorials are absolutely free and are produced by professionals. So, you get very high quality and detailed explanation on various features of the software.
I personally use the Mocha official website to learn the software and other Motion Capture or Motion Tracking techniques.
Learn Vfx with Software Manual
Your software comes with a manual which teaches you how to use it, just like any other manual which comes with an electronic product. These manuals contains a detailed overview of the software as well as its features.
You can find the manual by going into the help tab of your software or get it from the developer’s website.