Recommended Resources


Following is a list of recommended books for the VFX artist.
Here's you'll find a mixture of technical, artist and 'general coffee table' books.
We have organized this list in order of discipline to make things easier to find.

The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation (Frank Thomas)
Animation (Disney Book Group)
Digital Character Animation (George Maestri)
Cartoon Animation (Preston Blair)
The Animation Book (Kit Laybourne)
Acting for Animators (Ed Hooks)
Timing for Animation (Harold Whitaker and John Lasseter)
The Animator's Survival Kit (Richard Williams)
Stop Staring: Facial Modelling and Animation Done Right (Jason Osipa)
Animals in Motion (Eadweard Muybridge)
The Human Figure in Motion (Eadweard Muybridge)
Moving Innovation: A History of Computer Animation (Tom Sito)
Force: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators (Mike Mattesi)
Acting and Performance for Animation (Derek Hayes)
Simplified Drawing for Planning Animation (Wayne Gilbert)
Action Analysis for Animators (Chris Webster)
How to Cheat in Maya: Tools and Techniques for Character Animators (Kenny Roy)
The Nine Old Men: Lessons, Techniques & Inspiration from Disney's Great Animators(Andreas Deja)

Camera Match Moving
Matchmoving - The Invisible Art of Camera Tracking (Tim Dobbert)
The Art and Technique of Matchmoving - Solutions for the VFX Artist (Erica Hornung)

American Cinematographer Manual (Ron Ryan)
The Camera (Ansel Adams)
The Negative (Ansel Adams)
Cinematography: Theory and Practice (Blain Brown)
The 5 C's of Cinematography (Joseph Mascelli)
Painting with Light (John Alton)
Filming the Fantastic: A Guide to Visual Effects Cinematography (Mark Sawicki)
Techniques of Special Effects Cinematography (Raymond Fielding)
Visual Effects Cinematography (Zoran Perisic)

The Art and Science of Digital Compositing (Ron Brinkmann)
Digital Compositing for Film and Video (Steve Wright)
Compositing Visual Effects (Steve Wright)
Greenscreen Made Easy (Jeremy Hanke/Michele Yamazaki)
The Greenscreen Handbook (Jeff Foster)
Rotoscoping Techniques and Tools (Benjamin Bratt)
Adobe After Effects Visual Effects and Composition Studio Techniques (Mark Christiansen)
Compositing Visual Effects in After Effects: Essential Techniques (Lee Lanier)
Photoshop for VFX Artist (Lopsie Schwartz)
Bluescreen Compositing (John Jackman)
Light for Visual Artists: Understanding and Using Light in Art and Design (Richard Yot)
Nuke 101: Professional Compositing and Visual Effects (Ron Ganbar)
Professional Digital Compositing (Lee Lanier)
The Foundry Nuke 7 for Compositors (Sham Tickoo)
[digital] Visual Effects and Compositing (Jon Gress)
Adobe Photoshop Restoration & Retouching (Katrin Eismasnn)
Digital Restoration from Start to Finish (Ctein)

Digital Matte Painting
The Invisible Art - The Legends of Movie Matte Painting (Mark Cotta Vaz & Craig Barron)
The Digital Matte Painting Handbook (David B. Mattingly)
d'artiste: Matte Painting 1 (Alp Altiner)
d'artiste: Matte Painting 2 (Y Dusseault)
d'artiste: Matte Painting 3 (Ballistic)
Digital Painting Techniques: Volume 1 – 7 (3dtotal Publishing)
Bold Visions: A Digital Painting Bible (Gary Tonge)

Houdini on the Spot (Craig Zerouni)
The Magic of Houdini (Will Cunningham)
Creating Visual Effects in Maya: Fire, Water, Debris and Destruction (Lee Lanier)
Maya Visual Effects (Eric Keller)

General 3D
The Art of 3D Animation and Effects (Isaac Kerlow)
The Art of Maya: An Introduction to 3D Computer Graphics (Autodesk Maya Press)
Introduction to Maya 2016 (Autodesk Maya Press)
Mastering Autodesk's Maya 2016 (Autodesk Maya Press)
Maya Professional Tips and Tricks (Lee Lanier)

General Computer Graphics
Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice (James Hughes, Andries Van Dam, etc)
Fundamentals of Interactive Computer Graphics (James Foley)
Digital Video and HD (Charles Poynton)
A Trip Down the Graphics Pipeline (James Blinn)
Dirty Pixels (James Blinn)
The Magic of Computer Graphics (Noriko Kurachi)
Multithreading for Visual Effects (Martin Watt, Erwin Coumans, George ElKoura, Ronald Henderson, Manuel Kraemer)

General 'Coffee Table'
Special Effects: The History and Technique  (Richard Rickitt)
Industrial Light & Magic: The Art of Innovation (Pamela Glintenkamp)
Industrial Light and Magic: The Art of Special Effects (Thomas G. Smith)
Industrial Light and Magic: Into the Digital Realm (Mark Cotta Vaz)
Digital Domain (Piers Bizony)
The Art of 3D Computer Animation and Effects (Isaac Kerlow)
The 3D Story: Computer Generated Animation and Effects (Christopher Finch)
The Art of Avatar (Lisa Fitzpatrick)
The Cinema of George Lucus (Marcus Hearn)
The Art of Ray Harryhausen (Tony Dalton)
Creating the Worlds of Star Wars in 360 Days (John Knoll)
To Infinity and Beyond! (Pixar)
The Winston Effect: The Art and History of Stan Winston Studio (Jody Duncan)
The Art of Film Magic (Weta)

General Visual Effects
The VES Handbook of Visual Effects (Jeffrey Okun)
Encyclopaedia of Visual Effects (Damian Allen & Brian Connor)
Visual Effects in a Digital World (Karen Goulekas)
Visual Effects Cinematography (Zoran Perisi)
The Art of Visual Effects: Interviews on the Tools of the Trade (Pauline Rogers)
CG101: A Computer Graphics Industry Reference (Terrence Masson)
Special Effects (Ron Miller)
Visual Effects for FIlm and Television (Mitch Mitchell)
VFX Artistry: A Visual Tour of How the Studios Create Their Magic (Spencer Drate)
Fix it in Post: Solutions for Postproduction Problems (Jack James)

HDR Imaging
The HDRI Handbook (Christian Bloch)
High Dynamic Range Imaging (Paul Debevec, etc)

Lighting, Shading and Texturing
Digital Lighting and Rendering (Jeremy Birn)
Advanced Maya Texturing and Lighting (Lee Lanier)
Motion Picture and Video Lighting (Blain Brown)
Maya Studio Projects Texturing and Lighting (Lee Lanier)
Illuminated Pixels: The Why, What, and How of Digital Lighting (Virginia Wissler)
Graphics Shaders: Theory and Practice (Mike Bailey)
Advanced Lighting And Materials With Shaders (Kelly Dempski)
Shaders for Game Programmers and Artists (Sebastien St-Laurent)
Introduction to Shader Programming (Pope Kim)
Writing mental ray® Shaders: A Perceptual Introduction (Andy Kopra)

Production Pipeline Fundamentals (Renee Dunlop)
The Visual Effects Producer: Understanding the Art and Business of VFX (Susan Zwerman)
The Visual Story (Bruce Block)
Inside VFX: An Insider's View into the Visual Effects and Film Business (Pierre Grage and Scott Ross)

Digital Modelling (William Vaughan)
Vue 7: From the Ground Up (Ami Chopine)
Vue 7: Beyond the Basics (Richard Schrand)
Zbrush Character Creation (Scott Spencer)
Introducing Zbrush (Eric Keller)
Character Modeling with Maya and Zbrush (Jason Patnode)
Pixologic ZBrush 4R6: A Comprehensive Guide (Sham Tickoo)
ZBrush Characters and Creatures (Kurt Papstei)
Anatomy for 3D Artists: The Essential Guide for CG Professionals (Chris Legaspi)
ZBrush Professional Tips and Techniques (Paul Gaboury and Rick Baker)
Digital Sculpting with Mudbox: Essential Tools and Techniques for Artists (Mike de la Flor)
Introducing Mudbox (Ara Kermanikian)
Beginner's Guide to Character Creation in Maya (Jahirul Amin)
Mudbox 2013 Cookbook (Roland Jeremy)
Maya for Games: Modeling and Texturing Techniques with Maya and Mudbox (Micheal Ingeassia)

Motion Capture
MoCap for Artist (Midori Kitagawa)

Advanced RenderMan (Anthony A. Apodiaca and Larry Gritz)
The RenderMan Shading Language Guide (Don Ruby Cortes)
The RenderMan Companion: A Programmer's Guide to Realistic Computer Graphics (Steve Upstill)
Rendering for Beginners: Image synthesis using RenderMan (Saty Raghavachary)
Essential RenderMan (Ian Stephenson)
The Renderman Tutorial: Book 1-6 (Chris Armsden)
Physically Based Rendering (Matt Pharr)
Beginner's Guide To Mental Ray and Autodesk Materials In 3ds Max (Raavi O'Connor)
mental ray for Maya, 3ds Max, and XSI: A 3D Artist's Guide to Rendering (Boaz Livny)
Mastering mental ray: Rendering Techniques for 3D and CAD Professionals (Jennifer O'Connor)_
Rendering with mental ray and 3ds Max  (Joep van der Steen)
V-Ray My Way (Lee Wylde)
Photography & Rendering with V-Ray (Ciro Sannino)
Architectural Rendering with 3ds Max and V-Ray: Photorealistic Visualization (Markus Kuhlo)
3D Photorealistic Rendering: Interiors & Exteriors with V-Ray and 3ds Max (Jamie Cardoso)

Digital Creature Rigging: The Art and Science of CG Creature Setup in 3ds Max (Stewart Jones)
An Essential Introduction to Maya Character Rigging (Cheryl Cabrera)
Maya Techniques: Hyper-real Creature Creation (Erick Miller)
Learning Maya: Character Rigging and Animation (Alias Learning Tools)
Inspired 3D Advanced Rigging and Deformations (Richard Grandy)
Digital Creature Rigging: The Art and Science of CG Creature Setup in 3ds Max (Stewart Jones)
Body Language: Advanced 3D Character Rigging (Allen Murdock)
Rig it Right! Maya Animation Rigging Concepts (Tina O'Hailey)

Stereoscopic Film Making
3D Movie Making (Bernard Mendiburu)
Digital Stereoscopy (Benoit Michel)
Exploring 3D (Adrian Pennington)

MEL Scripting a Character Rig in Maya: Modelling and Animation Controls (Chris Maraffi)
Learning Python (Mark Lutz)

The Core Skills of VFX handbook


Following is a list of recommended websites for the VFX artist.
Here's you'll find a mixture of websites covering commercial and open source software, magazines, training and more general sites.


Adobe: After Effects
Adobe: Photoshop
Adobe: Premiere
Allegorithmic: Substance Designer
Allegorithmic: Substance Painter
Andersson Technologies: SynthEyes
Assimilate: Scratch
Autodesk: 3ds Max
Autodesk: Flame
Autodesk: Maya
Autodesk: MotionBuilder
Autodesk: Mudbox
Avid Technology: Media Composer
Blender Foundation: Blender
Chaos Group: V-Ray
Chaos Group: Phoenix
Blackmagic Design: Fusion
Blackmagic Design: DaVinci Resolve
DNA Research: 3Delight
DreamWorks Animation: OpenVDB
e-on Software: Vue
e-on Software: Plant Factory
e-on Software: Ozone
The Foundry: Flix
The Foundry: Hiero
The Foundry: Katana
The Foundry: Mari
The Foundry: Modo
The Foundry: Nuke
The Foundry: Ocula
The GIMP Team: Gimp
Golaem: Crowd
IDV: Speedtree
Image Engine Design: Gaffer
Imagineer Systems: Mocha Pro
Imageworks Open Source / Lucasfilm: Alembic
Imageworks Open Source: OpenShadingLanguage
Imageworks Open Source: OpenColorIO
Industrial Light and Magic: OpenEXR
Maxon: Cinema 4D
Maxon: BodyPaint 3D
Massive Software: Massive
Next Limit S.L.: Realflow
NewTek: Lightwave
Nvidia: Mental Ray
Pixar: Open Subdiv
Pixar: RenderMan
Pixar: Universal Scene Description
The Pixel Farm: PFTrack
The Pixel Farm: PFDepth
The Pixel Farm: PFClean
Pixologic: ZBrush
Planetside Software: Terragen
Science D Visions: 3D Equalizer
Side Effects : Houdini
SilhouetteFX: Silhouette
Solid Angle: Arnold
Vicon: Boujou
Virtual Fashion: Marvelous Designer
Walt Disney Animation Studios: Partio
Walt Disney Animation Studios: Ptex
Walt Disney Animation Studios: SeExpr



3D Total
CG Channel
CG Society
VFX World



American Cinematographer
Computer Graphcis World
3D World
Computer Art
Digital Media World
IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications



Gnomon Workshop
VFX Learning
Pixar in a Box