What is "Indie Rebel: VFX"?
"Indie Rebel: VFX" is a training course that teaches how to create visual effects, using practical examples and free software. The course teaches fundamental concepts in working with nodes and teaches a variety of shot "types" that the budding or independent filmmaker might want to include in their films.
Why are you charging money for the course when the software is free?
It took almost every second of free time for five months to put this course together. Aside from my personal projects, I've also been working professionally in this industry for over five years and have learned many tips, tricks, and techniques along the way. For a low cost, my time is saving you time.
Why are you teaching us free software instead of what Hollywood uses?
The software that Hollywood uses is extremely expensive, costing around $5,000 for a single license. Many filmmakers today have resorted to illegal practices such as piracy in order to use the same software Hollywood uses. Fortunately, in recent years, an open source compositing program, Natron, has surfaced that almost completely mimics the $5,000 software of Hollywood. So if you learn VFX with Natron, you'll find it easy to make the jump to the industry standard down the road if you so choose.
Can't I find all this information on YouTube?
Perhaps, but it will take a while to find the answers for all the questions and skills that I address in the course. In an age of instant gratification, Indie Rebel is a lifesaver.
What software will I need?
We will do all of our compositing in Natron, using Blender to generate 3D and 2D assets when needed. A text file containing a list of all the software and free plugins is included with your purchase of the course. We will also utilize DaVinci Resolve for color grading and workflow management.
Have you heard of After Effects? It's included with my Adobe subscription. Can't I use that?
Sure, you can use whatever software you want, that's the beautiful thing about being an independent filmmaker. Given that a lot of filmmakers today do use Adobe products, it's a valid question - "Why shouldn't we use AE?" I actually address this early in the course, but the short answer is that layer based compositing really isn't well suited for high end visual effects work. Once you discover the power and flexibility of nodes, it can be difficult to go back to layers. And not everyone uses Adobe either but Natron is available for free, for anyone.
What is node based compositing?
Node based compositing is simply putting together a shot using modules called "nodes", rather than layers like you'd find in After Effects or Photoshop. Nodes actually work more like how our brains do- it's all about signal flow, much like a flowchart. Nodes allow for some difficult and complex shots without the need of precomposing and nesting.
Do I need a fast computer?
No. Any laptop that is 3 years old or newer is capable of running the software in this course. Some older ones might work too, the software is pretty lightweight.
Is this course Windows only?
While I only demonstrate the Windows shortcuts, both Natron and Blender are available for Windows, Mac and Linux, so you can use any system that you like to follow the course.
Do you work for Natron?
No, I'm just a user who wants to help empower people to be able to tell their stories.
Why does the commentary video look horrible? I expect better from a filmmaker
In order to keep the download size within limits, I had to lower the bitrate like crazy on that video, since the audio is really the important part.