VFX for Rookies?

As I stated previously I am pretty much a rookie at this so I guess it is not surprising if I ask what are the tips that is a must for a beginner like me? A crash course will do or we can even go philosophical if needed. I guess I just wanna have an idea of this little as it maybe before going further??? So enlighten me.

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I got started in VFX when I was around 13, and the best thing that helped me was just doing different shots and trying different effects. Most of them were terrible, but it helped get a much better understanding of all the different techniques, like keying, tracking, Rotoscoping, particles, using stock elements, etc.

Understand that the more things you try, the more you’ll learn. A course will depend on the software you want to learn. If you’re looking for something more general, videos like this are super helpful for beginners: https://youtu.be/0-v3NtODgi0

My tip is to just start with what you have :slight_smile: And then it will snowball from there, start small, both gears and concept wise. Especially on the internet, there are so many resources and programs you can get for free. My first VFX wasn’t even a VFX per se, it was an old silly short video I did using a cell phone camera, and the “VFX” was just a jump cut to simulate a teleportation effect. I kept making these type of VFX when I was like 12, and as I kept going, I started learning other effects, like muzzle flash, and then I would do a bunch of muzzle flash videos, and then after that I started doing other more complex FX, and next thing I know, I am learning 3D Compositing, and so on.
enjoy the process, don’t rush it! :slight_smile:
Good luck!

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To a certain extent a crash course depends on your software, just cuz different programs might have general approaches.

One general hint is every shot tells a story. Even if you’re just doing a quick VFX test. Having story in mind always makes a difference…

Basically just give yourself some challenges. Come up with some ideas for shots. They can be simple or have multiple layers of effects. Look through the ActionVFX stuff and imagine some things you could do with it. Just find yourself a couple “point B’s” to head toward.

Your “point A” (start point) will be getting the elements you need for the shot, whether it’s a plate or multiple plates with green screen elements isolated, and/or stuff off of ActionVFX. Then try to figure out how to get from point A to point B by learning stuff from youtube tutorials. That’s how I got started actually, only 8 years ago, now I’ve been a VFX supervisor on tons of films.

Most of the shots I do, I start in my head first, and then do the actual work once I think about out how I will do it. The easiest way to think about it in terms of compositing is like a still frame - you have some flat pictures, and you gotta figure out which pictures need to go on top and bottom and which layers will need to be cut out (rotoscoped or masked) to make the image work.

@danasa Oh wow. That brings back memories. Those type of jump cuts were prevalent when I did my cough super 8 movies as a teenager. That was considered magic.

I actually started at the age of 12! Pretty young don’t you think?