Masters of Visual Effects – Online

Matt Silverman has posted this timeless training series online for free.

Matt Silverman, Creative Director of Bonfire Labs, is a certifiable After Effects old-timer (although he also has experience in many different systems), particularly known “back in the day” as being a roto expert in addition to an all-around top-shelf motion graphics and visual effects artist. Several years ago, he took it upon himself to enlist some of the best users in the field to construct a set of timeless, concept-based, software-agnostic visual effects training videos. These VHS tapes are long out of print, so Matt has started to digitize them and place them online. The links for Series 2 (covering compositing, keying, tracking, paint, and rotoscoping presented by Ron Brinkmann, Stu Maschwitz, and Scott Stewart) are below; watch them while you can:

This course recalls a bygone era when there were budgets to put together top-notch training projects such as these, which in turn sold for a few hundred dollars for a set. At the time, trading a few hours (or worst case, days) salary for high-end training from recognized pros in the field seemed like a good deal. (Indeed, we still remember when we were accosted over 10 years ago by another top-shelf trainer for “giving away our knowledge” when we released VideoSyncrasies for under $100). Ironically, free videos – such as what these are now – have driven down what users expect to pay for training (virtually regardless of quality), resulting in budgets dropping as well. Progress?


Chris and Trish Meyer

Chris & Trish Meyer founded Crish Design (formerly known as CyberMotion) in the very earliest days of the desktop motion graphics industry. Their design and animation work has appeared on shows and promos for CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, HBO, PBS, and TLC; in opening titles for several movies including Cold Mountain and The Talented Mr. Ripley; at trade shows and press events for corporate clients ranging from Apple to Xerox; and in special venues encompassing IMAX, CircleVision, the NBC AstroVision sign in Times Square, and the four-block-long Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas. They were among the original users of CoSA (now Adobe) After Effects, and have written the numerous books including “Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects” and “After Effects Apprentice” both published by Focal Press. Both Chris and Trish have backgrounds as musicians, and are currently fascinated with exploring fine art and mixed media in addition to their normal commercial design work. They have recently relocated from Los Angeles to the mountains near Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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