Foundations of VFX Course

Learn VFX online from artists who have worked on major films and video games

VFX course run by industry artists

Launch your career with expert career training & mentorship

In just 9 months, this VFX for beginners course will give you a solid foundation in 3D modeling, animation and VFX, so you can get hands-on practice with each discipline and confidently decide which area you'd like to specialize in. You’ll learn VFX software used by top production studios all over the world, and start your journey into the industry!

Why study VFX at CG Spectrum:

  • Get the latest skills studios are hiring for
  • Be mentored by VFX artists with real-world experience
  • Learn Maya, Substance Painter, Houdini & Nuke 
  • Private 1-on-1 or small group classes (max 4 students)


CG Spectrum is an online visual effects school where you are personally mentored by some of the best film and video game artists. You'll be guided step-by-step through the entire VFX post-production process, develop a solid understanding of CGI and motion graphics, get hands-on experience, and graduate with original work for your demo reel.

Enjoy a personalized education experience like no other with unrivalled support and feedback from a mentor who is invested in your success. On graduation, you can further your career training with an advanced course in your chosen discipline.



Study duration

36 weeks


40 hrs weekly

Skill level



Basic computer skills & min. computer specs


Weekly online classes, feedback and support


Maya, Substance Painter, Houdini, Nuke

Start date


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Why study with us

Learn VFX from seasoned industry pros with years of real-world experience

Specialized expert-led visual effects programs to help you build job skills and a competitive edge

Flexible Scheduling

Plan your studies around your work and family commitments

Industry Mentors

Learn from mentors who have worked on major films and games

Job-Ready Skills

Build practical, relevant job skills that studios are looking for

Payment Plans

Options to help you pursue your passion and start working sooner


An industry-approved curriculum to get you started in the film and games industry

Term 1: 12 weeks

Animation & Modeling for VFX

Dive right in to your VFX course with 3D modeling, animation and visual effects exercises using Maya, Substance Painter, and Houdini. Practice setting up a proper workflow–a vital skill you’ll use throughout your career. Have a go at creating a realistic animation using the 12 Principles of Animation, then move onto basic 3D props. Finish with portfolio pieces including animation walk cycles, character jumps, 3D models such as stylized props or weapons, plus a space rover or robot model.

Animation Foundations (Stream A)

  • How to navigate software used by VFX studios
  • Animate and build 3D models from scratch
  • Create believable motion in your animation
  • Retopolgize hi-res objects for clean line flow

3D Modeling Foundations (Stream B)

  • How to set up proper workflows in Maya
  • Retopolgize objects for clean line flow
  • Create 3D assets from film & games
  • Texture using Substance Painter

Animation Foundations (Stream A)

  1. Introduction to 3D Animation & Rigs
  2. Posing a Character
  3. Timing & Spacing
  4. Overlap & Follow Through
  5. Pose Transitions 01
  6. Pose Transitions 02
  7. Lower Body Walk Cycle
  8. Lower Body Run Cycle
  9. Full Body Walk Cycle
  10. Full Body Run Cycle
  11. Walk With Prop 01
  12. Walk With Prop 02

3D Modeling Foundations (Stream B)

  1. Introduction to Modeling
  2. Blocking a Model with Reference
  3. Model Finalizing & Cleanup
  4. Retopology Basics
  5. Modeling Project 2A
  6. Modeling Project 2B & Presentation
  7. Hard Surface High Poly Modeling for Film
  8. Hard Surface Low Poly Modeling for Games
  9. UV Theory
  10. UV Layout & Texture Preparation
  11. Introduction: Substance Painter
  12. Texturing & Presentation
Term 2: 12 weeks

Character Art, Animation & Environment Modeling

Build on your animation and 3D modeling foundation knowledge with more complex projects. Start animating characters interacting with their surroundings and see how they respond to physical force by creating combat actions for film and games. Next, you’ll learn all about human anatomy and create your own 3D character with clothing, hair and accessories. Finally, using a concept design as a guide, you’ll create a realistic 3D environment with assets like buildings, trees, rocks and props.

Intermediate Animation (Stream A)

  • How to animate action sequences
  • Body mechanics for animation
  • Create 3D environments from scratch
  • Texture, light and render 3D assets

Intermediate 3D Modeling (Stream B)

  • How to create 3D characters & environments
  • Set up a basic scene for rendering
  • Model organic & hard surface assets
  • Apply lighting & rendering techniques

Intermediate Animation (Stream A)

  1. Run and Jump Blocking
  2. Run and Jump Polish
  3. Parkour Blocking
  4. Parkour Polish
  5. Forces & Weight Blocking
  6. Forces & Weight Polish
  7. Weight Lift Blocking
  8. Weight Lift Polish
  9. Combat Actions Blocking
  10. Combat Actions Polish
  11. Fight Scene Blocking
  12. Fight Scene Polish

Intermediate 3D Modeling (Stream B)

  1. Introduction to Character Modeling
  2. Character Modeling
  3. Clothing and Accessories
  4. Character UV and Texturing
  5. Hair in Maya
  6. Character Presentation
  7. Introduction to Environment Modeling
  8. Environment Basics - Modeling
  9. Environment Basics - Texturing
  10. Trees
  11. Making props
  12. Environment Presentation

*Curriculum subject to change based on industry input

Term 3: 12 weeks

FX for VFX

Your VFX training is not complete until you can confidently produce stunning visual effects for the film in Houdini. Learn how to create dynamic particle effects and seamlessly implement them into a scene with lighting and rendering. By the end of this course you will have a hands-on understanding of the VFX pipeline, several portfolio pieces, and a clearer idea of which specialty you wish to pursue in the film industry.

  • How to create unreal visual effects for film
  • Use simulation and particle techniques
  • Light and composite your shot
  • Professionally present your work

VFX Production

  1. Introduction to Houdini Networks
  2. Creating Motion in Houdini
  3. Particle FX Project
  4. Transforming Attributes
  5. Intro to RBD FX
  6. RBD FX Project
  7. Intro to Smoke and Pyro
  8. Pyro FX Project
  9. Intro to FLIP
  10. Flip FX project
  11. FX Project Introduction
  12. FX Project Presentation

Get direct access to VFX artists and learn from the best

All VFX classes are taught by industry mentors with years of experience working on films and video games at major studios around the world

Study Options

Small Class

The most affordable way to learn from top industry mentors in a fun, collaborative environment, while still getting plenty of personalized feedback.

  • Max. 4 students per course
  • Affordable high-quality education
  • Network while you learn
Study Options

1-on-1 Private

Progress faster and enjoy more flexiblity with private mentorship. Ideal for busy schedules, career-changers, or artists upgrading skills or changing specialties.

  • Maximum level of mentor interaction
  • Greater flexibility to schedule classes
  • Customized learning experience


$1,185 USD

(9 x payments)

Save 10%

Per Term
$3,200 USD

(3 x payments)

$1,750 USD

(9 x payments)

Save 10%

Per Term
$4,725 USD

(3 x payments)

Frequently asked questions

Foundations of VFX Course FAQs

For this course, you will need basic computer skills and a computer that meets the minimum specifications (see next question).


Students can sign up for an educational license for Maya, Houdini and Substance Painter.


You will need a dedicated graphics card and a computer that meets the minimum requirements for Autodesk Maya and Substance Painter.



Student Showcase

High quality student work that speaks for itself

With a focus on portfolio preparation, we help students build their competitive edge with high quality work that gets noticed. See what they are creating.

Studios that hire our students