Visual FX Masterclass - Part 1 - A Crash Course in Advanced Visual FX

In this first DVD of our 2-part Masterclass series, instructor Jeremy Baldwin begins by giving visual examples to explain volumes in UDK and even 3ds Max using a maxscript. He then goes into creating a material function sub-library which dramatically helps speed up the process when creating other shaders which includes materials such as: custom distortion, multiple vertex animation techniques, and generating fake caustics. Next, Jeremy guides you through creating several unique and power shaders like an ice shader with amazing customization, a very powerful "dust falling" material, and even a dust particle system. If that wasn’t enough, he goes into constructing a tiled lava shader with many different variations. From there Jeremy constructs a concrete material that works on world coordinates instead of UVs. Finally, Jeremy demonstrates how to create an incredible holographic door effect inside UDK. He starts the door effect by showing how a custom mesh was created and rigged inside 3ds Max and then moves into UDK to create the script-controllable shader and finally wraps it up by creating the full effect using kismet and matinee.

With over 4 1/2 hours of content, this DVD is perfect for those who want to go beyond the basics and create some amazing and custom VFX inside UDK.

You can save 20% by buying both DVDs in this series from the discount bundle page here:

DVD Chapters:
00 - 05min - Introduction
01 - 16min - Maxscript Demo
02 - 17min - Unreal Radius Demo
03 - 21min - Water Caustics
04 - 20min - Sprite Dot
05 - 07min - Vertex Static
06 - 06min - Custom Distortion
07 - 10min - Manual Radius
08 - 37min - Ice Shader
09 - 23min - Magma Shader
10 - 17min - Smoke Shader
11 - 09min - Dust Shader
12 - 22min - Concrete Shader
13 - 15min - Holographic Door - Rigging
14 - 38min - Holographic Door - Shader
15 - 30min - Holographic Door - Kismet
Apps Used: 3ds Max, Unreal Development Kit (UDK July 2013). You can download it free HERE
Duration: 4 1/2 Hours
Instructor: Jeremy Baldwin
DL Filesize: 369 MB
Project Files: Provided is the final UPK package and map files for your reference.

User Comments


January 23, 2015 - 12:19am

Hi hnimja,

That does seem odd. There are a few shader errors with later version of the UDK build and thus, this could be the reason in which some of the shaders seem to not be working. If you use the recommended build (or port these over to UE4) they should work fine.


December 28, 2014 - 1:18pm

Firstly I would like to say that this is a great DVD and very insightful. But I'm currently stuck on lesson 14 - door shader.

I am up to the point where you create the tree to plug into the world position offset but it gives me an error saying "vertex shader uses too many constant registers for shader model 3.0!". I have spent the whole day going over, and over it again but I can't figure it out. I am using the latest UDK3 2014-08 so I'm not sure if that is the issue.
It seems as though the completed file lesson provided in the Eat3d package also has this error.

I am the only one with this problem?


July 15, 2014 - 1:32pm

@Mediochrea - Everything is easily translated over to UE4 and this is 95% applicable. The only thing that might need re-work is when dealing with the new UE4 PBR shader lighting. That is about it though. I have already seen someone work through this whole dvd series in UE4 and not have problems.


June 29, 2014 - 12:28pm

Greetings! I've got a question: can the techniques described in this series be applied at least in part to UE4? The end result looks amazing, and it would be a shame if it became outdated so soon after the release.


February 18, 2014 - 3:25pm

Glad you found them useful Smiling


February 16, 2014 - 10:12pm

The material functions in this video are off the wall.


February 14, 2014 - 12:04am

@Anton Boiko
Thank you for the support! If you ever need help or would like to take any of the content further than the techniques presented in the DVD, feel free to make a thread on the forums here and we will happily brainstorm or do our best to answer any questions.

A basic to intermediate knowledge is required for the kismet scripting. If there is something in the DVD that you are not sure of, you can either post in the thread here to recieve help, or look on the UDN. Either one will work Smiling


Anton Boiko

February 13, 2014 - 12:45pm

Thanks, Jeremy. Purcased both DVDs, great stuff)


February 10, 2014 - 3:48pm

What's my skill level need to be for scripting in order to make it through this series?


January 27, 2014 - 11:51am

No problem Smiling


January 27, 2014 - 12:32am

Thanks JBaldwin. Your help is appreciated. Even the few minutes i have spend reading up on materials has already helped me close a lot of gaps in my understanding of materials. Again thanks for your time.


January 27, 2014 - 12:02am

To answer your question in regards to learning the basics of Materials: (A few links below)
Material Compendium:
Eat3D Materials DVD:
Trigonometric Functions (This is more for advanced use - but a must have):

In terms of learning the basics of Cascade:
Cascade User Guide (A bit outdated but still helpful for basics):
Eat3d DVD:

However, if you are looking for exposure to some of the more advanced possibilities in Shader Creation and Visual FX, I do recommend this DVD as well as part 2.



January 26, 2014 - 10:45pm

Hey jBaldwin thanks for the answer. I think i have formulated my question to vaguely. What i meant is, where does one go to learn the basics of materials in UDK. Is the documentation on UDN enough to learn what one needs to know? and is the same the case for cascade. The answers i am hunting is the "whys" rather than the "hows". again thanks for taking the time to answer me i really appreciate it.


January 25, 2014 - 11:39am

Hey Gunsong,
A lot of the techniques I use stem from multiple practices. If there is one thing I recommend, it is being diverse. A technique you learn during Environment Production may come in handy when you are trying to create a unique method for developing and tailoring visual fx to meet a certain style requirement. Well rounded knowledge is truly a key component.

- Example: If a you are required to make an ocean and your focus is visual FX only, then chances are you are limited in what you can do. However, if you expose yourself to Trigonometry, programming, and tech art, then you will have more flexibility and your quality bar will most likely improve.



January 23, 2014 - 8:55am

can't wait til i get the cash together for these two vfx dvds. By the way just i quick question if i may. where does one learn the principles that guide the decisions you made in this dvd. many of these material and VFX decisions seem to stem from magic(i know perfectly well that magic is practice an studies). is there any further reading/watching that i should do once i am done with these dvds.
in advance thanks and keep the awesome dvd's coming.