Good packages to learn real fx? Answers please! at

Go Back   DV Info Net > Apple / Mac Post Production Solutions > Final Cut Suite

Final Cut Suite
Discussing the editing of all formats with FCS, FCP, FCE

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 13th, 2005, 10:10 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2004
Location: denton, texas, usa
Posts: 416
Good packages to learn real fx? Answers please!

I know nothing about how to do FX really. I mean, I understand the concepts and stuff, but I'm really a director, not an fx artist. Can anyone suggest good books on getting into certain software packages. I'm looking to deal with green screening, fake BG and mattes, lasers, fire, smoke, etc. And stuff that actually looks real, not like on cheap bad TV shows.

Any suggestions?

Laurence Maher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 14th, 2005, 07:34 AM   #2
Inner Circle
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 3,840
The software used in high-end productions is really pricey, and uses massive computer systems. The people who do those effects, have made a career out of them.

Having said that, you can still learn systems like Maya, Discreete, and Smoke, but the learning curves are very steep.

The effects systems commonly used for desktop computers, would be After Effects, Boris (Red), Commotion,(etc.) and there are plug ins for different specific needs like Ultimatte for green screening, Digital Film Tools for film effects, (Magic Bullet is another). Plenty of people on this board will chime in with their personal preferences.

So to answer your question, if it were easy to do the great looking stuff... we'd all be doing it! Some effects programs will only work on specific platforms, some with specific NLE's... so you'll have do do your homework. All of them have books and traiing tutorials available.

But truly good effects, are another skillset. The problem with most of us who are trying to do it all, is that we just don't have the time or money to master all of the skill sets. There's a reason it takes a huge budget and a crew of people to get those effects you like, and a reason you don't like the 'cheap' effects.
Richard Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 14th, 2005, 11:15 AM   #3
Major Player
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 607
I agree with Richard there. I am Maya certified and still wouldn't do it myself because it's very complex. If you want to just increase your understanding a little better you could play around with tons of programs but I would start by checking out magazines like Cinefex and reading up on what the industry is doing.
You could spend the next couple of years doing NOTHING but training for FX and still be at an entry level. If you really want to just specialize in FX then that's a good road map but if you just want to understand them better and start incorporating them in your own productions you would be better off partnering with a special effects wizard (or someone who wants to become one). Spielberg doesn't do his own effects, he's a producer/director who hires fantastic FX talent.
Rhett Allen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 15th, 2005, 07:05 AM   #4
Regular Crew
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Granada, Spain
Posts: 75
Rhett, you are right about Spielberg, but maybe the reason hes asking to learn one of these power tools is because we are usually a "one man army" and if we dont know a combustion wizard, better start to lear it.

I know its a big problematic, and the curve is as hell, but, better try than run away. Actually im getting better in FCP and im eager to leap into Combustion... Im getting old (near 30s depression...) and have no time to waste!
Ivan Hurtado is offline   Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

Omega Broadcast
(512) 251-7778
Austin, TX

(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

(800) 238-8480
Glendale, CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Apple / Mac Post Production Solutions > Final Cut Suite

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:42 AM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2015 The Digital Video Information Network