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Hand-Painted Textures for Stylized FX

Instructor: Ali Sorensen
Included with VFX-A All Access

Learn how to paint amazing stylized textures with Ali Sorensen! This course uses the free painting tool Krita, but you can also follow along in Photoshop or other drawing tools.

We recommend using a tablet to draw true "hand" painted textures, but you can also follow along with a mouse. 

In All Access

4+ Hours

This course includes over four hours of stylized FX texture training.

Skill Level

Beginner Level One course for new and aspiring VFX artists. 


Krita or
Adobe Photoshop

Instant Access

This course is immediately available to All Access members. 

Course Breakdown

Lesson overview.

Intro to Krita

Krita is a free open source painting tool. If you're new to texture painting, Ali Sorensen will help you get started by going through the basics.

Go through the layout of Krita and its tools. Follow along and make a fuzzy orb texture that will be very useful in many of the effects you'll be making.

Impact Flair

Use your creative skills to make an impact flash. Get pointers and techniques you can apply to any texture, regardless of whether you're choosing to draw a realistic or a stylized flair.

Learn how to check your texture for issues, how to clean them up, and finally how to export your completed texture.

Shockwave AOE Ring

Shockwave or AOE ring textures are very common in games. They communicate gameplay mechanics like area damage or healing.

In this lesson, layer tools are your friend. Use them to work non-destructively while you test new blur and glow effects. Go through your design and look for areas to improve on each pass.

Embers Sprite Sheet

Sprite sheets are used in both 2D and 3D effects. Using a sprite sheet texture for real-time particle systems gives you the ability to randomly spawn particles.

Learn how to create interesting ember shapes. For embers, there is extra emphasis on blur and layer techniques to create a nice fiery glow. This will be very useful for you in the future when creating any other type of emissive materials.

Zap Sprite Sheet

Make another sprite sheet, this time for electricity. Experiment with different zap shapes and designs to create variation. 

Start by establishing a rough silhouette for each shape. Look for interesting designs regardless of the size of the sprite will be in-game. Then add a polish pass to add that extra oomph to make your zap effects shine. 

Wisp Sprite Sheet

One last sprite sheet lesson to test the skills you've gained. Create wisp textures and focus on creating clean transitions between sharp crisp shapes and soft blurry shapes. 

Focus on using the full range of black and white in your textures. The higher level of contrast will really push your shapes and make them stand out clearer for that stylized look. 

Liquid Splatter

Make a basic liquid splatter and learn how to dissolve it using a Threshold Map. Threshold maps are a little more advanced in the texture painting skillset, but they're quite common and incredibly useful to drive non-linear dissolves for liquids, smoke clouds, and burst effects.

In games, this technique is also commonly called Alpha Erosion.

Tiling Noise

Create tiling noise textures, one of the most commonly used textures in VFX. They prevent the repetition of shapes and add more randomness to your effects.

Focus on the variation of shape size, controlling edge sharpness, and controlling the values of the shapes in your texture. Polish your texture to suit the style of the effect you are trying to achieve. Once you're done with your tiling noise you can save and export it out for use in the engine.

Tiling Trail

Tiling trail textures are often used for the trail of a projectile or as a base for panning mesh particles. 

This lesson will be a culmination of all the skills that you have learned to create a tiling trail texture in Krita.


What members say about VFX Apprentice

Luke Mason

VFX Artist, Blizzard Entertainment

VFX Apprentice is always the first place I suggest to start in the world of real-time VFX. The quality and care are simply unmatched. The comprehensive lessons forever changed how I paint, whether it be for textures or concepts.

Bruno Cano

VFX-A All Access Member

Joining VFX Apprentice was, for sure, the best decision I've made in my early VFX career. The courses are great and the mentors and students are always trying to help. I just love being here!

Learn 2D and 3D FX with VFX-A All Access

All 2D FX, 3D VFX, and Advanced courses are included with VFX Apprentice All Access. Learn stylized and real-time FX from professional artists and animators.


All Access (Annual)


12 months billed once

  • Save $680 vs. monthly
  • 200+ Hours of VFX Training
  • New Lessons Monthly
  • Weekly Live Sessions
  • Project Files + Assets
  • Lifetime Community Access

All Access (Monthly)


Billed monthly

  • 200+ Hours of VFX Training
  • New Lessons Monthly
  • Weekly Live Sessions
  • Project Files + Assets
  • Full Community Access

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