"This is probably one of the best educational materials on the market."

Eran Stern, Creative Cow Contributing Editor


Visual Effects For Directors

Intense training in high-end Visual Effects production for Directors and DPs


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Ready To Learn A Lot?

Years in the making, Visual Effects For Directors is a massive 7 DVD set that covers everything you need to know about shooting Visual Effects.

The course is intense training on everything from green screen, virtual set, 3D, camera tracking, and motion control, to character animation, motion capture, crowd replication, digital set extension, VFX cinematography, compositing, and much, much, much more.


"Should be common knowledge... The set fills a niche that has been sorely vacant for too long."

Mark Christiansen, Pro Video Coalition Review

"It works very hard at making it accessible to all, and yet very strong in its depth. A must-watch for everyone in film who wants to know more about this area."

Dayne Cowan, Visual Effects Supervisor, Batman, Harry Potter

"RESPECT. I think it is a must for anyone who wants to be professional in this field."

Eran Stern, SternFX, Creative COW Contributing Editor

[ More Reviews / Testimonials ]


Everybody Needs It

The course is completely unique, in that it's about understanding exactly what to do on the set, so that more of the budget ends up in front of the camera instead of being wasted on fixing impossible problems in post -- and trust us, it happens every day, even by big guys who should know better.

This is training that everybody needs, from Directors and DPs to highly professional Visual Effects Artists, because the challenge is the same: to make some really good decisions during shooting that you know for a fact will work easily in post. Even many Visual Effects Artists haven't explored this aspect.


High To Low Budget

The course covers everything from basic visual effects to advanced techniques. While part of the series is geared towards high-budget shooting, the majority of it is exactly about how to do things like blockbuster green screen for practically no money.

For example, the green screen cyc stage used in the course was built, painted and lit for less than $700, and we show how it was done. Once you understand what's important, you can do top-notch work for very little money.

Be A Know-It-All

If you don't know what these things are, you need Visual Effects For Directors

These are a tiny sampling of the subjects we cover – many of them very in-depth. Ideally, you should know all of these things well enough that you can at least make decisions about them:

  • Matchmoving
  • Green Screen
  • VFX Cinematography
  • Compositing
  • Planar Tracking
  • Motion Control
  • Rigging
  • Skinning
  • Photogrammetry
  • Rotoscoping
  • Cleanplates
  • Particle Instancing
  • Massive Swarms
  • Motion Capture
  • Virtual Set
  • Character Animation
  • Image-Based Modeling
  • Camera Mapping
  • Final Gather
  • Global Illumination
  • Ambient Occlusion
  • HDRI Lighting
  • Render Passes
  • Animation Workflows
  • Node-Based Compositing
  • Digital Set Extension
  • Crowd Replication
  • Virtual Props / Inverse Matchmoving
  • Fluid Dynamics
  • Green Screen Paint Selection
  • Hard Body Physics
  • Digital Stunt People
  • Camera Animation
  • Inverse Kinematics
  • Color Sampling
  • Telecine
  • Sky Replacement
  • Shadow Extraction
  • Physical Interaction
  • Object Removal
  • Texturing / Bump Mapping
  • Telecine
  • Marker Removal
  • Matching Lighting
  • Receiving Shadows
  • Organic Modeling
  • Matte Tracking
  • 2D Tracking
  • Camera Matching
  • Extending Matchmoves
  • Facial Animation
  • Demolition
  • Survey Shots
  • Keying
  • Raytracing
  • Body Tracking
  • Face Tracking
  • Helper Frames

Visual Effects For Directors is also for...


Directors and Cinematographers are unknowingly often the ones with the power to make a visual effects shot an easy breeze, or a nightmare in post. But too often, shots are done without a VFX Supervisor, often resulting in plates that are extremely hard to track, key, and roto.

Without understanding the exact needs of post production, it's hard to know what to do on the set, and Cinematographers often move on to the next show not knowing that a 5 minute time-saver on the set became a 2 week rescue operation in post.

It's therefore imperative for Cinematographers to have a solid education in visual effects, so that when the animators are tracking a shot, you'll blow their mind by having shot helper frames and survey data for them, and placed a prop to create artificial parallax for a tight shot. Don't know what this means? Watch Visual Effects For Directors to find out.


Producers have the ultimate budget-responsibility, but are also the ones who are often told the most crazy stories about how cheap and simple an effect is to make when it's actually hard -- or how hard it is when it's actually easy.

Producers need to be able to cut through the BS and know exactly what the consequences of other people's decisions are -- including decisions made by Directors, who sometimes need to be kept under control.

It is very hard to fool a Producer who has watched Visual Effects For Directors, and you'll be able to steer the production towards effects that can be made to look good on your budget.

VFX Artists

Visual Effects Artists are often most familiar with the station they work, and it's actually quite rare for VFX Artists to have an overview of the entire pipeline -- and that's exactly what Visual Effects For Directors is.

Additionally, Visual Effects Artists often don't have much experience with what should happen on the set -- which, sadly, Directors and DPs also don't have -- meaning that you need to be the one with the on-set expertise, so that you can tell them exactly what they should do.

If you're toying with the idea of becoming a Visual Effects Supervisor, Visual Effects For Directors is essential viewing, because it's exactly about how all the technologies fit together, so we talk about matchmoving and compositing and shadow-casting and light-matching and rotoscoping and exposure in the same breath.


Production Crew

Whether you're a Production Manager, Art Director, or any other crew member, you're actually around visual effects all the time.

With Visual Effects For Directors, Production Managers can cut through the clutter and know the truth about what's involved in creating an effect, and keep the production on track.

Art Directors can build sets directly with an eye for extending them digitally. And all crew members can automatically make good decisions that help shots become easy composites.


Writers often write effects into stories without knowing how easy or hard the effect will be to make. Producers are automatically nervous about any effect in a script, so you really need to make the case that you've written the script exactly so that the effects are simple and easy to make.

With Visual Effects For Directors, you'll exactly know how. Then when somebody says that it's impossibly expensive to make, you can prove that it isn't.


How To Buy

DVD Set + Download DVD Box Set in Library Case + MP4 Download

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Download-Only MP4 Download

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Individual Volumes Individual Volumes as MP4 Download

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7-Day Rentals Each volume has its own individual 7-Day rental period


Downloads are DRM-Free MP4s in the H.264 codec. Size is approximately 1.5GB per volume, which takes
about 1 hour per volume to download on a 4 Mbit connection.
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