What is FX TD?

FX Technical Directors (FX TDs) mainly create physics-based effects such as fire, smoke, water and various kinds of destruction. Sometimes an FX TD will be called upon to create non-physically realistic effects such as magical spells or physically impossible objects.

Whatever the FX TD is creating, the basis will almost always reference a real-world simulation or object. Because of this, a good FX TD must have a great eye for motion, as well as an analytical mind and, because simulations often take a long time, perseverance and patience. The best FX TDs combine artistic and technical skills.

Our 5-month programS

Our Effects diplomas are intensive 5-month programs, preparing you to work within Effects (FX) departments on high end feature film & episodic visual effects productions.


These are the core concepts that will be covered in our Effects programs using the industry standard software from SideFX called Houdini. Our curriculum evolves and adapts to fit Industry needs.

Procedural Systems

This is the foundation of Houdini. Geometry, attributes, points, primitives, volumes. In this module we analyze natural phenomena and teach how to procedurally generate the subject matter using a variety of techniques and workflows in the most efficient way possible. This module arms you with an arsenal of Houdini knowledge to propel you into the world of dynamic simulations.


Here we explore how to simulate smoke, fire, and explosions and how to set up fluid and ocean simulations. From Honey to blood we study viscosity, motion, particle flow and everything else that falls under the category of fluid simulations.


In the Pyro module we drift away from the land of Geometry/Particles and explore the world of Volumes/Voxels to produce state-of-the-art high impact effects related to hot expanding gases such as fire, smoke, and explosions. Time to blow stuff up!

Digital Destruction

Often the goal of digital painting in visual effects is to paint something out, (company logos, stunt equipment, reflections of the camera and crew, etc.). You will learn multiple methods to complete high level paintouts, as well as advanced techniques related to digital makeup and de-aging effects. The end goal here is to make your paint work invisible and believable to the audience.

Particle Logic

In our Particle Logic module we study how to build relationships between particles, giving them an awareness of their surrounding environment and their fellow neighbour particles to produce crowd like behaviors that we can then attach animations and effects on to.

Soft Body Dynamics

By understanding what each of the different layers in a 3D element does, a Compositor can separate a specific pass to make quick changes. Integrating 3D elements into a live action shot and making it look like they were both shot on the same day is one of the toughest challenges Compositors face, and we teach you how to do it successfully.

Jonathan Franklin

Effects Technical Director instructor


Jonathan has an educational background in animation, worked as a freelance artist, FX artist for animation, advertising, and AR. He has worked his way through a number of educational roles ranging from tutor to mentor to teaching assistant to assisting instructor, and finally to lead instructor.


Jonathan believes that an FX artist should be strong technically and artistically, and isn't afraid to delve into the more technical aspects of the trade, including mathematical and programming fundamentals. He also believes in the power of good reference and in training the eye to see the nuances of natural behaviour.

Industry involvment

He believes that good quality work can come from anyone, from anywhere, given access to time and the right resources. By coming to Campus VFX, he believes that you will be provided with the resources you need to succeed, including knowledge, working time, access to decent machines and software, and access to industry professionals via studio visits and networking events.


We believe that progress toward our mission can be measured by the profound impact our graduates have on the visual effects industry. Our alumni continue to engage and shape the world of entertainment. Through our project-based learning and the unique curriculum of each of our veteran instructors, our alumni have proven time and time again that Lost Boys produce extraordinary artists ready to start on the ground floor.

Admission Info

Academic Start Date

See application form for further details.

The following criteria provides a general idea of what we look for in the personal letter and portfolio that you must submit in the application process. It is important to note that the quality of these items are considered together with the general requirements needed to apply to Campus VFX. 

Personal Letter

In your personal letter, we want to know about you as a person and your feelings towards visual effects, movies, film-making, art, design, or technology. Also, illustrate to us your ability to work independently. What do you plan to accomplish by being part of Campus VFX?

In your portfolio, include 8-10 pieces of your best work in any visual medium that demonstrates your artistic proficiency. Caption each piece of work and tell us about your process, how you came about this work, and why it is significant. 

Tuition Costs

Our Intermediate and Advanced FX TD Programs are unique curriculums that are not offered anywhere else. From our veteran instructors who have moved the visual effects industry forward to our project-based learning system, Campus VFX provides the best education to aspiring artists who seek a position in the VFX industry. With our outstanding placement rate, we are confident that the investment you make will be rewarding.

Tuition Costs

(Intermediate program)

$18,499.00 CAD

(Taxes included in price)

Tuition Costs

(Advanced program)

$19,499.00 CAD

(Taxes included in price)

Interested in the program? Check out the admission process!

Ready to take the next step toward your career?