A couple of days ago Keith Guerrette gave a great talk on Real-Time VFX field, its peculiarities, tendencies, basic knowledge, and RealTimeVFX community. Today we’ve gathered his general advice in terms of learning materials for VFX production and a large list of awesome artists who you can get useful tips and inspiration from!
What recommendations would I give to users who want to learn VFX and find inspiration? This is a question that I field frequently, yet have no excellent answers for. The forum (www.realtimevfx.com) is doing an excellent job allowing individuals to contribute to the wealth of knowledge, but there still isn’t a well-curated guide for us to present to beginners.
The path to learning real-time VFX is still required to be largely self-motivated. Fortunately, game engines such as Unreal and Unity allow the curious artist access to every part of our work — downloading example VFX, opening them on one monitor, and recreating them step-by-step on the other monitor is how so many of us learned and is still a practice I use to this day.
For more inspiration, I always look to Jason Keyser’s work breaking down many of the effects in League of Legends, Bill Kladis’s tutorials with ImbueFX, Simon’s fantastic breakdowns at simonschreibt.de, or presentations in the archives of GDC and other conferences. I just tried making a list, but after it reached 30 people I realized that there are far more individuals contributing to this community than I can name. Without intending to be self-serving, following @realtimevfx on Twitter or searching the forum has become my absolute favorite in terms of looking for inspiration.
I’ve thought of a list of the artists to look for inspiration from, here it is along with the usernames on the forum in the brackets. Again, there’s absolutely no way this list does everyone justice so I have to apologize in advance for leaving worthy people out.
Taizyd is a VFX / Technical Artist, currently working on his Master’s Degree at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Also, check out his Github page where he uploads VFX (including the ones below) and very useful breakdowns.
Andreas has spent a third of his life as a VFX artist in the video game industry and recently left DICE where he was the associate lead VFX artist on Battlefield 1. Recently he realized that there is a lack of educational material for Real-Time VFX and has been creating useful tutorials ever since mostly focusing on Houdini. Find more info on his website, SideFX page, and Vimeo.
Sarah is a Senior VFX Artist at FXVille. Previously she worked on such titles as Injustice 2, Shadow of War, Spider-Man PS4, Age of Empires Online, Super Hero Squad Online, and more. Find more information on her website.
Matt has been doing computer graphics professionally since 2010, worked as an FX Artist and Compositor at Blur and has been doing game FX for The Last of Us expansion and Uncharted 4. He is also making his own video game and uploads the progress and random experiments on Vimeo.
Jason currently works as a Senior VFX artist at Riot Games in the R&D department (on LoL). He likes to make stuff blow up and teach others to do the same. He also has a series of tutorials on 2D animation – check it out here. More information can be found on his website.
Yoeri is an active member of the UE4 community and creates lots of high-quality educational content, uploading it on YouTube. Beware, the channel will mostly be about pewpewpewparticle effects, plus has a great series of tutorials on Impact FX. For more information also visit his website.
Michael is an FX artist, teacher, and team leader with a broad range of experience creating computer graphics for commercials, films, and video games. In his posts, one can always find some helpful information about Houdini, for instance, Niagara plugin and Simple Mesh Generators.
Thomas is a freelance VFX Artist, teacher, and Unreal Marketplace content creator. Check his tests and projects on the Vimeo page. Tips & tricks, tutorials, portfolio, and more info can be found on his website.
Leroy is a VFX Artist at Riot Games who started learning VFX by himself after the Riot Games Art Challenge in 2014. Now he has a huge collection of Tutorials, VFX demonstrations, breakdowns, and more on his YouTube channel.
Bruno is a VFX Artist at The Coalition. One of the things you surely want to check is the collection of free Substance Designer tools that can be used in VFX work – find them on the Gumroad page. As for the portfolio, check it on his website.