I had a teacher whose name I cannot remember, but who said that “the next best thing to knowing something is knowing where to find it”. As I’m learning about all of the creative processes behind video and VFX and the software involved, I find myself eager to collect a list of online resources for tutorials and products that I can use and learn from. Here’s a few of the most recent that I’ve bookmarked or subscribed to.

VideoCopilot.net

I have to start with VideoCopilot.net because I somehow ended up on this site, and after watching a single tutorial, I decided to bite the bullet and pay the exorbitant monthly Adobe Cloud subscription just so I could learn how to do the things that they showcase on this site. They sell software and effects and offer some free high-powered plug-ins like Saber, Orb, and FX Console, but their tutorials can help you produce some seriously mind-blowing effects using only what ships with After Effects.

Lesterbanks.com

I don’t know the name “Lester Banks” but one day a search for a particular technique lead me to his virtual door. Many of the links to specific tutorials lead to off-site resources, so the site works as an aggregator for other people’s content. I’m OK with that; it’s helping me pad my resource list with new and interesting sources of information.

MotionArray

MotionArray was my first introduction to third-party content for After Effects, and I somewhat just recently realized they have a tutorials section behind their storefront. There are a lot of good tutorials here which deal with AE and Premiere Pro without relying on tons of thirdparty plugins. Also, you can check out their videos on YouTube.

RedShark News

I was lead here through a “you might also like…” link on another site. RedShark seems geared mainly towards semi-pro and professional production folks, as they talk about software, techniques, and hardware, as well as offer news stories that are of interest to production, broadcast, and VFX folks. There are tutorials, but they seem to be few and far between.

ActionVFX

This site more than any other makes me want to record random footage and splice it with fireballs, infernos, smoke, dust-plumes, and all kinds of other awesome VFX. Their main site sells high-quality video effects (and offers some freebies), but they also produce some great video tutorials accessible through their site or directly on YouTube.

FootageCrate/ProductionCrate

Right now the main site isn’t loading well for me, but this dual-homed outfit sells video effects and has a pretty kinetic YouTube channel where you can learn how to build effects from name brand entertainment properties like Back to the Future, Dragon Ball Z, and Umbrella Academy. Some of their breakdowns use very professional resources (i.e. cameras, rigs, workspaces, etc) which I certainly don’t have access to, but the theories can still be informational for folks on an extreme budget.

CinemaCom.net

As the name suggests, this outlet offers both VFX and cinematography content. Their YouTube channel has a cool weekly feature called “Copy Cat Friday” where they take effects from popular movies and replicate them (on Friday when I wrote this, the video du jour was the “Thanos Snap” disintegration). They also have “Creative Tuesday” with tips on how to accomplish specific tasks, and also offer videos on camera tricks, Ae and Pr tutorials, and even sound and audio tips.

Film Learnin

If you want a channel devoted pretty much to “how’d they do that?” recreations of VFX from popular entertainment, this is your destination. They’ve got videos on the Iron Man HUD, The Flash’s running effects, and Spider-Man’s web shooting among others. I haven’t watched any of their videos yet, as they seem extremely specific for VFX that I don’t have a need for, but their stuff looks pretty cool at a glance.

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