The FX Power User Program is a new initiative sponsored by VFX Learning and SIM VFX that offers everyone interested in a career in visual effects an opportunity to access more than 90 hours of HD quality video training for Maya Dynamics and RealFlow. This training will take students from absolute beginner to an advance level in the area of dynamic simulations for film & TV.

In the first stage of this training we will focus on the fundamentals course and we will study the main areas of Maya, focusing on giving you a solid understanding of the core concepts needed to begin training in the Maya Dynamics courses and Master Classes. This training series is oriented for students who have none or very little experience with Maya. We will cover all main areas of the application and its importance and usage for Effects Artists.

In the following part of this training series we will explore the main areas of the Maya’s dynamics engine. We will begin with basic particle emission and we will build up week after week working on more elaborate setups that will showcase the power and versatility of effects animation within Maya. The focus of this course is to teach our students how to analyze a particular effect and determine the most time/cost effective way to achieve it.

We will cover generic effects setups for natural phenomena, deformable geometry and basic crowd behaviors while always aiming towards a solid understanding of the core concepts and how to adapt them to suit a variety of situations. We will explore advanced particle behavior and expanding the use of fluids simulations in our effects. Students will also cover how to use Maya’s Nucleus Solver to create optimised simulations connecting cloth, nParticles and fluid elements. We will pay close attention to the use of Maya fluids and the possible applications not only as renderable elements, but also as forces acting on particles and deformable objects.

Students will be shattering and simulating Rigid Body Dynamics using PulldownIt, an advanced solver used in production for the films John Carter of Mars, Harry Potter 7 & 8 amongst others. MEL Scripting, a fundamental area of effects animation, will be covered and this will open a new world of possibilities for controlling and adapting simulations. We will learn to use MEL to create dynamic rigs and to help deal with repetitive tasks. As with any course in VFX Learning, we will analyze effects sequences from films, study them and determine the most cost effective way to achieve similar looks. At the end of this level, students will have a broad knowledge of the dynamics engine in Maya and overall FX procedures and techniques.

In the final stages of this intensive training series we will explore several production techniques used to generate different types of water simulations both in RealFlow and Maya. The goal of this course is to not only teach you how RealFlow operates, but also how to determine the best possible approach to complete the work, we will take into consideration constraints such as budget, time, computer power and scale and use this information to break down a series of shots and come up with the most cost effective and visually interesting result.

After spending years working in the VFX industry focused mainly in the creation of water simulations Luis Pages have managed to collect a pretty creative and solid series of tricks that for the first time will become available to his students. Students will learn to think outside the box and take full advantage of what both RealFlow and Maya have to offer. We will cover the creation of small to large water simulations, drips, splashes, foam, mist, spray, lakes, “abstract liquid simulations” and more.

Students will end up with a shots and simulations ready for their showreel and will be able to use the techniques learned to push their personal work to the next level.

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