I've gotten a huge amount of notes from people who are interested in game VFX - interested enough to dive in and start trying to learn on their own and... holy crap there's a lot of information out there, and none of its organized, and a lot of it assumes you already know some key terminology or this one skill or what-have-you.

So hopefully this page will alleviate that.

  • Where to start?

    • Let's make an effect! Just one with particles in an engine, we'll worry about the rest later!​

  • Tutorials:

    • Unity​

    • Unreal

    • Fire

    • Water

    • Magic

    • 2D / Photoshop

    • Blender

  • Theory

    • VFX Principles​

    • Animation Principles

    • Gameplay

    • Color Theory

    • Shape and Composition

  • Next steps

    • Materials and Texture types​

    • Meshes and Animation

    • Theory

where do i even start?

I'm a big believer in just diving in and just making something before you get too caught up in all the theory and . So that's how this is built, and hopefully it helps you feel like you can do this before all the :gestures at everything: kicks in.

So you're gonna download:

  • Unreal or Unity: these are free game engines that have robust documentation and communities, lots of (often disorganized) tutorials floating around, and are popular with studios as well (by example, the last two projects I worked on are both built in Unity, and my current project is in Unreal).

  • This Unreal Packet or This Unity Packet

    • It contains some simple textures, a mesh, and a material, along with 

  • That's it. There's plenty more to learn, and that's future us's problem. You can do a ton with nothing but 2D textures in some particle systems.

beginner-friendly tutorials
downloadable resources

Particle Module Demos

-Unreal / Unity

Terminology + Examples

Demo VFX Packet

-Unreal / Unity

Portfolio Checklist!

vfx theory 

Principles for VFX

Artistic Principles for VFX by Jason Keyser and uh.. me!:D

Art Principles of VFX by Jason Keyser

Cool Shapes​ by Jason Keyser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQDQLS_gNXM

vfx communities, resources and channels

Real-Time VFX Forum

As far as I'm aware this is the biggest game VFX community on the web.

Discord Channels?


Not a community in and of itself, but many VFX artists on Twitter regularly post to this so it's a great way to find people to follow.

Unreal Forums and Documentation

Unreal Optimization Advice

Unity Forums and Documentation

Jason Keyser

How much of this page is already Jason Keyser videos is a pretty good . He's released a lot of cool videos, tutorials, and breakdowns, and also runs VFX Apprentice, a paid class series for stylized VFX.

Harry Alisavakis / Technically Art

Harry regularly compiles cool VFX and Tech Art tweets 


An Unreal-focused channel with an incredible range of tutorials for heckin rad VFX.

vfx terminology

​Look I'm gonna level with you: VFX terminology is a disaster, and I love it. Everything has a slightly different name between every engine and team, it gets baked into the culture in weird ways and from obscure sources, and there's a lot of it..
That said, these will hopefully enable you to navigate search results and tutorials, as well as have a conversation or ask for help.

  • VFX / FX / Particle FX

    • This can refer to either the overall/final/composite effect, or the individual pieces (a

  • Component?? Birth? Death? Idle? Impact??

    • Birth / Idle / Loop

    • Missile / Projectile

    • Impact​​ / Burst

    • AoE

  • Textures

    • Color​

      • In *many cases*, especially with ​

    • Flipbook / Pickbook

    • Dissolve / Erosion / Alpha Erosion

  • Shader / Material

  • Trail / Ribbon

  • Mesh / Model

  • Panner mesh / ribbon / scrollercoaster / noodle / twirtlywhirly

    • This is the worst one and I am sorry​