VFX Programme 2022: Term One | Assets

This term, we'll be diving into the nuts and bolts of creating photoreal assets for VFX. To compliment your technical skills, we'll also be studying the fundamentals of topics such as storytelling, cinematography, art and colour.

Term schedule
07.02.2022 - 30.04.2022
Jahirul Amin
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Learn how to create a photorealistic asset suitable for high-end VFX


This term will be tutored by Jahirul Amin and we’ll also have guest interviews and discussions from industry professionals working at companies such as ILM, DNEG, MPC, Framestore, Rebellion Film Studios and more.

The aims of this term is to give you a solid understanding of the primary tools used in the VFX industry and give you the skills and knowledge to create a believable photorealistic asset. Working from a high-quality scan provided by Clear Angle Studios, we will learn to:

  • Model and UV unwrap our asset
  • Texture and create photorealistic materials
  • Light and composite our asset into a CG environment
  • Grade and edit our final shot
  • Look at upcoming and game-changing tools and technology

To compliment the technical skills, we will enforce the teaching by taking a deep-dive into fundamental topics such as:

  • Storytelling and observation skills
  • Form, function, relationships and hierarchies
  • The science behind light and matter
  • Cinematography and the Art of the Cut
  • Art history and colour fundamentals

Delivery and Schedule

The VFX Programme 2022 is a full-time course and will require dedicated time for both attending lessons and completing the weekly assignments. This term will be delivered as an online and interactive course, allthough some pre-recorded supporting content will also be presented where beneficial. The schedule for the term will be as follows:

  • Mondays: Lectures and discussions, 6hrs
  • Tuesdays: Workshops, 6hrs
  • Wednesday: Self-study and 1-to-1 supervision, 8hrs
  • Thursday: Self-study and 1-to-1 supervision, 8hrs
  • Friday: Dailies and Q&A, 6hrs

Term Details

  • Type: Online
  • Level: Foundation
  • Duration: 12 weeks
  • Format: Online live lessons
  • Assignments: Weekly and 1 final
  • Tools: Maya, Arnold, Nuke, Resolve, Substance Painter, ZBrush, Unity, Unreal
  • Course Access Time: Lifetime

Learn the fundamentals of VFX, storytelling, modelling, surfacing, lighting and more

Industry partners

Lessons in this course

  • Week 01. Storytelling | Introduction to the VFX Pipeline

    This week, we'll study the importance of storytelling and how it can elevate our work. We'll then take a deep dive into a traditional VFX pipeline before introducing our primary application for the term, Maya.
  • Week 02. Observation | Modelling

    Our attention this week will be on observing the real world and how this can then be applied to art, both traditional and digital. Following on from this, we'll introduce you to modelling in Maya and how to work with scan data.
  • Week 03. Form and Function | Sculpting

    For week 03, we will study the fundamentals of form and how it is driven by function. We'll look at the importance of design and it's influence on creatures, characters and the world around us. We'll then take a look at how we can add high resolution detail to our model in ZBrush.
  • Week 04. Relationships and Hierarchies | UV Unwrapping

    This week, the focus will be on building connections and how one thing leads to another. With our model now complete, we'll also look at the process of UV unwrapping and organising our UV shells.
  • Week 05. Light and Matter | Look Development

    Now that we are at the stage where we can add materials and colour to our model, let's break down the science behind light and matter. We'll then look at using Arnold to create a series of base materials and a calibrated look development template from which we can assess our materials.
  • Week 06. Material Analysis | Texturing

    This week, we'll continue to push the look of our asset by creating texture maps both procedurally and from photographic references. Before doing so, we'll also spend some time getting to better know the materials we'll be creating, such as leather, metal, plastic and glass.
  • Week 07. Cinematography | Lighting

    In order to create powerful imagery, we need to explore the camera, the lens and the art of visual storytelling. We'll do this by exploring composition, light and shadow.
  • Week 08. Visual Language and Artistic Principles | Compositing

    This week, we will look at the art that came before us and explore how it has influenced and shaped our visual age. We will then turn to Nuke to see how we can push our renders using compositing techniques.
  • Week 09. Colour Fundamentals | Grading

    Emotion, mood and atmosphere can all be driven by colour. Here we explore the fundamentals of colour and look at how we can evoke emotion using grading tools in Resolve.
  • Week 10. The Art of the Cut | Editing

    Here we will study the core fundamentals of editing and the importance of the cut to create drama, structure, storytelling, rhythm and pacing.
  • Week 11. Future Tools | Real-Time Visualisation

    Tools and techniques are everchanging and advancing. Here we will look at some of the game-changing approaches for storytelling and how to ensure your skills are transferable and relevant.
  • Week 12. Final Dailies | Assessment

    For our final week of the term, the focus will be solely on completing your asset. Let's render an asset suitable for high-end VFX.

Tutor: Jahirul Amin

VFX Trainer

Jahirul Amin is a Computer Animation and Visual Effects Trainer and Consultant. He specialises in designing and delivering courses to create solid and diverse production ready skills in all 3D related departments and across a number of facilities worldwide. His background in academia feeds into his ongoing connections with Universities and Colleges which provide Computer Animation and Visual Effects courses. He is also involved in course and examination design as well as lecturing, running workshops and mentoring.

This course is now full.

Click on the link below to stay up-to-date on when we will be re-running the course.

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