Hi Elliott, This is a great breakdown and very generous in sharing your process and insights, you came a long way from the vending machine days!
Are you planning on releasing the UE4 project to the public? Or only builds? I'd love to play around with it in the editor if possible!
Famous visual effects specialist Allan McKay published a free 4-part course on VFX. He will provide the video tutorials and will even give you the 3D models he had been using during the preparation for this course. This is a one time opportunity t get his courses for free.
Allan McKay us a Visual Effects Supervisor and Technical Director in Hollywood with almost 20 years experience. He worked for many leading studios – including Industrial Light + Magic, Blur Studio, Atomic Fiction, Pixomondo, Ubisoft and others. He worked on such movies as The Equalizer, Star Trek Into Darkness, Flight, Superman, Metallica, 2012, Daybreakers, Transformers 3.
McKay is also a very well-known public speaker. He has spoken at various worldwide events including SIGGRAPH and Autodesk University. Allan also held talks at Remedy Games, Industrial Light + Magic, Ubisoft, Frantic Films, Prime Focus and contributed to 3D World Magazine and various other publications (you can browse his articles here).
The first episode of the 4-part VFX-tutorial can be found in our Video section.