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Stage 03 VFX Releases Online VFX101 Class Sampler

Featuring 6 hours of curated training material covering VFX filmmaking, Compositing, Modeling, and After Effects Animation, the VFX Sampler is a superb introduction to the global education program’s comprehensive, degreed, and accredited visual effects instruction.

Stage 03 VFX, the global, degreed, and accredited online visual effects program based at Amarillo College, has released an exclusive VFX101 Class Sampler, featuring six hours of highlights from the program’s first four introductory courses, with an emphasis on VFX filmmaking. The hand-picked videos include selections from Intro to Visual Effects, Animation in After Effects, Compositing in Nuke, and Modeling in Maya. Available to stream for just $18, the sampler offers an easily accessible and low-cost way to learn more about Stage 03’s comprehensive state-of-the-art program, which covers all aspects of VFX production.

A collaboration between Amarillo College and Semkhor, a multifaceted production company involved in both commercial and educational enterprises, Stage 03 VFX provides a flexible online training program, directed by Semkhor’s VFX studio head, Dante Rinaldi, offering students several options for engaging with the curriculum. Participants can enroll in the academic program to earn an Associates of Applied Science Degree or an Academic Certificate, earn non-academic continuing education (CE) credits and a VFX certificate for individual courses, or stream and watch the instructional videos on their own, without faculty interaction.

The respective costs for each option are $199, $798, and $801 per course, with the Intro to Visual Effects running $99/$698. For the two accredited options, courses run for eight weeks, with a week off between terms, throughout the year. A side benefit of Semkhor’s involvement is that students often have the opportunity to work on commercial projects before they graduate, gaining valuable real-world experience as well as potential future employment.

“Those who enroll in the full program,” Rinaldi says, “are going to learn the best practices on the latest software to be a highly skilled, well-rounded visual effects generalist, who is ready to work in the industry upon graduation. We try and approach instruction as software agnostic, showing you the principles of how to be a better artist and how to use the tools. There's digital compositing, 3D modeling, lighting and rendering, texturing and look development, 3D rigging, character animation. It gives you the entire pipeline.”

Moreover, Rinaldi emphasizes that the instruction in Stage 03 VFX courses goes well beyond the basics.

“It's not just like, here's a light, let's light this thing,” he explains. “We want to make sure that we're talking about things like cinematic lighting in general, interpreting light cues, lighting for mood, the color wheel of emotions. We want you to be a filmmaker and have a creative eye, to know the physics of light, the anatomy of a shadow. It's a lot more than just a YouTube video on how to set up an Omni light somewhere.”

To purchase and stream the VFX sampler, and to learn more about Stage 03 VFX’s offerings, visit

Source: Stage 03 VFX

Jon Hofferman's picture
Jon Hofferman is a freelance writer and editor based in Los Angeles. He is also the creator of the Classical Composers Poster, an educational and decorative music timeline chart that makes a wonderful gift.