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Booms & Blasts Bundle

Learn design fundamentals for the most popular visual effects, then put your skills to work creating production-ready assets from scratch.

(26 sessions / 3 hours of work per session)

Make the most impact with your education, by enrolling in "BOOMS AND BLASTS: PART 1 - CONCEPT ART" and "BOOMS AND BLASTS: PART 2 - PARTICLE ANIMATION" for one low price!

During over twenty hours of video training, you will learn concept painting, particle animation, texture painting, and 3D modeling while working in the premier tools of the trade, including Unreal Engine, Unity, Photoshop, Maya, and Animate CC. Exhaustive source files and project files are included as part of the course, so you can analyze every aspect and develop new creations of your own!

As with all VFX Apprentice courses, your enrollment includes lifetime access to both the course content and our exclusive Discord Server, where you can join in on regular live feedback sessions & get your questions answered by one of our instructors!

  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Video Subtitles: English, French, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Russian

Return Policy

If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, please reach out to [email protected] within 7 days to apply for a refund.

Course Schedule

Session 1: Welcome To Class!

Watch these introductory videos to get you on-boarded and prepared, and totally psyched for what's to come! (2 lessons) 

  1. Orientation
  2. More things to know

Session 2: Concept Art - Guiding Principles

A high-level introduction to inform your efforts while creating compelling VFX concept art. (1 lesson)

  1. Guiding Principles Lecture

Session 3: Concept Art - Photoshop Fundamentals

These 4 videos cover the basics of Photoshop, and are available on YouTube. The full playlist is embedded here. (4 lessons)

  1. Photoshop for VFX Artists - 1: Tools
  2. Photoshop for VFX Artists - 2: Layers
  3. Photoshop for VFX Artists - 3: Adjustments
  4. Photoshop for VFX Artists - 4: Pro Tips

Session 4: Concept Art - Photoshop Painting Techniques

Watch & learn: In this quick demo series, you'll see a variety of the painting techniques that David Shovlin uses in the concept art tutorials. (4 lessons)

  1. Intro + Fire Technique
  2. Wisp Technique
  3. Zap Technique
  4. Goo Technique

Session 5: Concept Art - Fire Explosion

Learn how to make a fiery explosion, and follow along in Photoshop! (4 lessons) 

  1. [version 1] Thumbnails
  2. [version 1] Painting + Commentary
  3. [version 2] Painting + Commentary
  4. 5_Fire_Explosion_Paintover_Jeff_Gates

Session 6: Concept Art - Wispy Cloud

Learn how to paint a magical wisp from the nether realm, with a punchy inner light, and ambient cast light hitting the outer edges! (1 lesson)

  1. Painting + Commentary

Session 7: Concept Art - Lightning Zap

Learn how to create sharp shapes full of energy, and the importance of sometimes using more than one concept painting to convey an idea. (2 lessons)

  1. Thumbnails
  2. Painting + Commentary

Session 8: Concept Art - Goo Splat

Learn the unique surface qualities of a substance that scatters light inside its mass as you follow along with David Shovlin painting this toxic gooey splatter. (2 lessons)

  1. Thumbnails
  2. Painting + Commentary

Session 9: BONUS - Elemental Illustration

Learn how Jeremy Anninos painted the compelling splash illustration for the VFX Apprentice website. (1 lesson)

  1. Time Lapse + Commentary

Session 10: Particle Animation - Guiding Principles

Learn the driving principles behind animating effects in any game engine. (1 lesson)

  1. Guiding Principles Lecture

Session 11: Particle Animation - Unreal Fundamentals

Follow along in the YouTube series giving you an introduction to Unreal Engine 4, focusing just on the tools and techniques you'll need in this class. (4 lessons)

  1. Intro to Unreal
  2. Intro to Cascade
  3. Intro to Materials
  4. Intro to Kit Bashing

Session 12: Particle Animation - Unreal Project

Download the Unreal Engine source assets in this session, and get oriented to how this project will fit into your VFX education. (1 lesson)

  1. Unreal Project Walkthrough

Session 13: Particle Animation - Unity Project

Download the Unity source project, and get an overview of how to use the software. (3 lessons) 

  1. Unity Introduction Navigation and Project Overview
  2. Unity Kitbashing
  3. Unity_Particle_Systems_30fps

Session 14: Modeling: Maya Fundamentals

If you're new to Maya, this session will give you a quick overview of how to work in the software. (1 lesson)

  1. Maya Basics

Session 15: Texture Painting - Fiery Noise

See the process involved to create fiery noise to be used in an in-game material. (1 lesson)

  1. Texture Painting + Commentary

Session 16: Unreal Particles - Fire Explosion

See how the fiery explosion is constructed in 3D, with an in-depth explanation of all the moving parts. (1 lesson)

  1. Particle System Breakdown

Session 17: Unity Particles - Fire Explosion

Get a breakdown of how to animate a fiery explosion particle system in Unity. (1 lesson)

  1. Unity Fire Explosion Breakdown

Session 18: Texture Painting - Wispy Textures & Meshes

Learn some powerful techniques to create dissolve maps and normal maps using a combination of Photoshop techniques, custom painting, and Maya's 3D painting tools. (3 lessons)

  1. Sphere Meshes in Maya
  2. Offset & Normal Map in Photoshop
  3. Dissolve Map in Photoshop

Session 19: Unreal Particles - Wispy Cloud

Get an in-depth explanation of all the parts that make-up the wispy nether (2 lessons)

  1. New Material Setup
  2. Particle System in Unreal

Session 20: Unity Particles - Wispy Cloud

Learn how a soft and magical explosion of wisps is created in Unity Engine. (1 lesson)

  1. Unity Wispy Cloud Breakdown

Session 21: Texture Painting - Zappy Flipbook & Dissolve

Learn how to create a flipbook texture from scratch, which will be read and animated in-engine. (5 lessons)

  1. [Flipbook] Lightning Design Phase
  2. [Flipbook] Lightning Animation Phase
  3. [Flipbook] Lightning "In-Betweening" Phase
  4. [Dissolve Map] Burst Gradients
  5. [Dissolve Map] Burst Color Pass

Session 22: Unreal Particles - Lightning Zap

See piece-by-piece how this 3D effect is achieved in Unreal Engine. (1 lesson)

  1. Zap Particle Breakdown

Session 23: Unity Particles - Lightning Zap

Learn how this impactful bolt of dark magic lightning is put together in Unity. (1 lesson) 

  1. Lightning Zap Breakdown

Session 24: Texture Painting - Gooey Dissolve Maps

A detailed breakdown of how to create high fidelity, well designed shapes in your textures. This session covers meshes, dissolve maps, and normal maps. (4 lessons) 

  1. Bowl Meshes in Maya
  2. Gooey Shape Painting
  3. Dissolve Map Photoshop Tricks
  4. Normal Maps

Session 25: Unreal Particles - Goo Splat

Learn all the parts that make the gooey splat come to life in all its 3D animated glory, using Unreal Engine. (3 lessons)

  1. Material Setup
  2. Particle Setup
  3. Particle Refinement

Session 26: Unity Particles - Goo Splat

Learn how a toxic splash of viscous goo is brought to life in Unity Engine. (1 lesson)

  1. Goo Splat Breakdown


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