Registration Closes Until Next Year In..


allan mckay fxtd mentorship

This Isn't Just a Course.. It's a Transformation









This is exclusive pricing just for Live Action Series students.

As part of the FXTD/LAS family you have the opportunity to be a part of the FXTD Mentorship with a discounted price.

Signing up from this page you'll save a couple of hundreds dollars off the regular pricing of the mentorship that the general public would pay. 

I want to make this accessible to the LAS students as I've always designed these two courses to go hand in hand. And, as focused as we are in LAS on 'finishing shots' in FXTD we are much more diversified, learning scripting and many different types of effects. It's going to be an epic year and I'm excited to get started.

I hope to see you inside of the FXTD Mentorship!

Your Mentor For The Next 12 Months..

Introducing: Allan McKay

Emmy Award Winning Visual Effects Supervisor

Allan is an Emmy award winning Visual Effects Supervisor working in Hollywood. He has worked on films including Star Trek 2, The Last Equalizer, The Last Airbender, Looper, Transformers Dark Side of The Moon, Flight, Superman, Blade Trinity, Metallica, 2012,  Game of Thrones, Avengers Endgame and many more

Allan also has worked for many leading games studios on titles like Call of Duty, Destiny, Halo, Half-Life, Bioshock, Evil Within 2. As well as award winning game cinematics such as Bioshock, Warhammer, Evil Within and many award winning shorts such as Gopher Broke, In The Rough and Flight.

As well as speaking at many events world wide, regularly at Autodesk University, SIGGRAPH as well as holding private classes for Ubisoft, Prime Focus, Remedy Games and Industrial Light + Magic. Sharing the stage with speakers like Facebook & id Software's John Carmack, Apple Founder Steve Wozniak, Pixar's Neil Blevins and more.

Awarded as an Autodesk Master and Emmy award winner, and Promax award winner alongside working on dozens of projects that have been nominated or won both Oscars and Visual Effects Society (VES) awards.

Allan's Podcast is ranked in the top 200 in the Business/Careers section of iTunes - which focuses entirely on teaching artists and creatives alike to build a successful career and stand out. interviewing many inspiring artists such as Ben Snow (Senior VFX Supervisor for ILM), Andrew Kramer (Video Copilot, JJ Abram's Bad Robot), Jeff Okun (VFX Supervisor & Chair for the Visual Effects Society), Derek Spears (VFX Supervisor for Game of thrones R&H), Aaron Sims (Ready Player One, Stranger Things creature designer), Gini Santos (Pixar Animation Supervisor), Josh & John Baker (Directors of the movie Kin with Michael B Jordan, James Franko) and hundreds of other outstanding industry experts.

allan mckay fxtd mentorship profile photo

The Magnum Opus of Technical Director Courses

Over 700 hours of training, Live reviews, Bonus "portfolio reviews" and "career intensive" sessions throughout the year, as well as other bonuses that are not mentioned here.

Get the FXTD Certification.

Once you complete the course you will have a certificate for participating in the 1 year mentorship along with Allan.

Allan is constantly endorsing and connecting his students with studios throughout the course.

Being in the mentorship means you are part of the FXTD community. Join and interact with the other FXTD students and alumni in our private forums and chat room. As well as frequent live reviews where we all hang out, and review our work and progress together

As a Visual Effects Supervisor..  Allan hires and supervises FX TD's by the dozen, on many demanding projects.

Allan designed this course to encapsulate not only what you need to know to be a successful FXTD but all of the critical skills that will set you on a path to success

To have the right knowledge and tools to set yourself aside from the competition in your industry and be a valuable asset to every visual effects studio.

This course is built on results.

"This isn't fluffy fun tutorials" learn and be personally guided by Allan - to have the exact skills to not only be an ideal candidate for any upcoming FX project, but have the skills and knowledge to be able to sit down in a chair and have the confidence to DO THE WORK and the momentum to never look back.

Have an irresistible demo reel, core scripting and technical knowledgecompositing skills, and most importantly understand every single aspect of what's needed to tackle any visual effects shot or sequence. 

Most importantly, have all the skills and capability and confidence to attract studios to you. By investing in yourself and in the program, Allan will provide you with the necessary skills to set up your career up for life.

"Work with Allan for an entire year on building up your skills, knowledge and career - as he shares his knowledge and experience to push YOU to your full potential"


My career was going 'good' but it wasn't until I started to invest in myself, and pinpoint the really critical skills I needed that everything changed.

I was fortunate enough to get work, but I felt like I had a bigger calling, and I felt like my 'calling' was being wasted by not doing what I really wanted to do. But, I wasn't getting callbacks from the big studios, I didn't have a reel that could WOW people. I felt like I was always a step behind where I should be.

After learning to really understand all the daunting areas of visual effects, pipelines, both technical and creative challenges, everything changed. I went from someone that was always worried about the "what ifs" - What if I lose my job, What if I can't get work, What if someone better than me comes along.

And started to see everything naturally fall in place. I got a promotion at my job, I started getting recognition around my workplace and I started becoming seen as the 'go to guy' at the studio. I cut a new reel, and when I sent that reel out - I got callbacks, my work got recognition online, that was the year I made the change, and started working on Feature Films, and for many of my dream studios, and I never looked back.

That was 15 years ago, and I still think about that moment, that I decided rather than having my career on cruise control, I decided to take action, and start to lean in to the pains that I typically avoided. I started to look at what I honestly need to do, whether I was excited to, or not - to know, a year from now my life, my career, my finances, my skills, my ability, MY SANITY would all have completely changed. 

Finding the right people to support mementor me and push me when I lose focus, and be brutally honest with me about where I'm at and where I needed to go was vital. It meant I could download their decades of experience, and fast track my career to where I wanted to be.

I wanted to fully immerse myself in a group of like-minded people who all have similar goals, so we can all move forward together and have that support system so learning and growing can become easy.

I needed a path laid out in front of me, that was proven, that I could commit to and measure my success, my confidence and my abilities grow consistently, the more I committed to it.

More importantly, I needed to make a decision, a year from now - I am going to be one year older.. Where do I want to be with my career?

Registration closes in..


I want lifetime access to the FXTD Mentorship

For course questions, email Allan directly at

For bulk signups (studios and schools) please contact


When You Join Us Inside The FXTD Mentorship Community

  • 16 Modules of Intense FX Training - Learning FX from the inside out
  • Real production shots, rather than strictly developing code - we focus entirely on both FX and shot creation but also developing code and controlling our effects for more control and power! 
  • Particle scripting! We not only develop tools but also dive into scripting particles in popular software such as Particle Flow, Thinking Particles and Realflow! 
  • Learn Python scripting for compositing inside The Foundary's Nuke to build comps and heavy duty production tools!
  •  Also dive right into Python scripting for particles within Realflow to manipulate and control and coreograph your fluid and particle simulations!
  • New platform, new forum, new video delivery, live classes, weekly interactions on the forums and private Facebook group. All the things you've been asking for! 
  • Become an absolute Bad-Ass at your studio, by acquiring unique skills that put you in your own category. The skills you will learn in this course will train you up to qualify for FX lead positions, as you will be able to develop tools for shots both for yourself in production as well as for other FX teams and generalists!
  • Become faster, powerful and more skilled. This course will bridge high-end production FX with Coding and Automation, and complete power to customize and create your own FX tools for shot development!
  • Work on REAL SHOTS, REAL EFFECTS! Learn to create realistic fracture effects, fire and explosions and then dial them into powerful tools to use again and again to create shots faster and more easily, this is a whole other way of working!
  • This is the LATEST, HIGHEST LEVEL, HIGHEST QUALITY FX TRAINING CONTENT! And specifically designed to be scripted and coded and built into tools for REAL PRODUCTION! 
  • WE DO THIS COURSE - TOGETHER! This course we work together as a group, and we will progress together each week as well as with your mentor Allan McKay working side by side. The major difference between the original Technical Director Transformation, is this course will be designed to all work together rather than it be a week by week update of material, we will be completely interacting with each other and the Allan.

Besides assigned homework and live webinar classes, and set goals, we will have a robust forum where you will be assisted with your work and given advice. This is a chance to do something epic and you won't be alone throughout this experience!


'Some' of what you'll get, once you're in..

  • The natural progression for FX Technical Directors is to move into an FX Lead position. Typically this means developing tools to work faster and better, and for other artists to use.
  • FX TD Transformation will show you everything you need to create amazing FX tools, as well as specifically write code for even specific shots! If there is ever a wall you run into in production, you will know how to build OVER it.  
  • Create our own tools to create proprietary naming conventions and file structures, auto construct shots, automatically create folders and paths for point caches, particle caches, FumeFX, and renders, automatically configure renders with elements pathed automatically when we version up our files.
  • This course is aimed 100% at FX. Learn to make scripts and tools for for PRODUCTION, by working on REAL PRODUCTION SHOTS. Each lesson is hands on focusing just as much on how to create the FX as how to create the code. 


Registration closes in..


I want lifetime access to the FXTD Mentorship

For course questions, email Allan directly at

For bulk signups (studios and schools) please contact

Become fastermore skilledmore confident - this course will bridge high-end production FX with Coding and Automation and complete power to customize and create your own FX tools for shot development. To move you up, and transform you into an Effects Technical Director

The Basics

Here's a small glimpse at just some of the things we focus on in the FXTD Mentorship

  • Real Film Lighting & Shader Techniques using industry standard software
  • Photo-real Rendering and Integration
  • Regular live reviews (with new improved review platform which has webcam support and other features)
  • An overview of studio pipelines, workflow and studio terminology
  • Learning how to code and create production tools, from the ground up, in-depth and moving step by step through to becoming confident artists who can code and script
  • Advanced industry compositing techniques and compositing workflow
  • Render, Lighting and Shading techniques for feature film and game cinematic production
  • Everything possible to know about effects, from character driven effects, atmospheric large and small scale effects, vehicle effects, fx rigging, and more
  • Studio pipeline development for automation and ways to work more effectively, faster and more efficiently
  • Understanding the anatomy of what makes a shoot go from good to GREAT and all the critical knowledge needed to raise the quality of your work and bring the quality level high enough to get final approval from the director
  • Brand new membership platform
  • Maxscript & Python in 3DS Max 2020
  • Career mentoring
  • Get the FX TD Certification
  • Killer feature film sequences aimed at photoreal delivery - taking shots start to finish through the entire feature film visual effects pipeline all the way through to completion at the highest quality
  • Private Facebook Group for FXTD Alumni, Forum, Chat, all the things we love about FXTD
  • Brand new forum!
  • All production assets provided
  • Bonus software deals not available anywhere else
  • INCLUDED BONUS training from Allan McKay - You receviee for FREE
  • A crash course into grading shots for feature film
  • And a heck of a lot more!!


  • Even if you're just starting out
  • Even if you're not specifically an FXTD, Lighter or Compositor
  • Even if you're stretched thin with a million to-do's

Course Features

  • A 360 learning environment - fully immersive
  • Access to private brand-new members only forum, Private Facebook Group, Group Only Chat, Private FX Wiki
  • Live Reviews, every two weeks - Live with Allan McKay and all members of the course as we review our work together as a team
  • Global Meet-Ups twice a year. All alumni of FX TD Mentorship and Live Action Series are invited to meet up in Los Angeles and Paris in 2018 and 2019 at events organized later in the year.
  • Live Career Intensives as well as Case Studies. Where Allan will break down film projects and how to approach them using both his own past projects, discussing many of the techniques and experiences on those projects, as well as students voting on other film projects to discuss and deconstruct.
  • Lifetime Access to the FX TD Mentorship. Upon signing up, all videos, forums and membership will be lifetime access
  • Access to all live reviews archived in the video vault - access each weeks reviews later, in case you missed them or want to go through much of the critical advice and information given in these sessions, as well as if you're just curious about previous sessions.
  • All video shot on RED Dragon 6k, RED Weapon or Blackmagic URSA cameras - 2k footage supplied to all students for use in the course
  • Additional assets such as roto mattes, HDRI, Camera Tracks, 3D assets and other resources supplied also
    • Much more inside!
    • Real Film Lighting & Shader techniques using industry standard software
  • Photo-real rendering and integration

This completely immersive experience is how you're able to accelerate your learning, by having total access and total immersion to the information and others motivating you as you move through the course. This is by now means a distraction, by having things like the Facebook group and chat room, it just becomes part of day to day life rather than needing to take time out to dedicate to all of this, no longer is it a distraction but instead it becomes fun!

All of this rather than being scattered around is all tied into the main FXTD Members Area, for easy access. In addition to a news blog with need-to-know updates, a regularly updated calendar of upcoming events so we know what's coming up. And links to all of the latest reviews to sign up for, and an archive of all of the previous reviews in case you wish to re-watch previous reviews to see what advice Allan had given in the last one or see what other artists have been working on, there is a wealth of information in these!

Not to mention the Career Intensives, Reel Reviews, Case Studies and other great information coming up!

(Student Inside The Mentorship)

Zsolt Poczos

VFX Supervisor

FuseFX - Hollywood, CA

Long story short, do yourself a favor guys and sign up!

..Consider this: the FXTDT course is a never seen before, fully comprehensive training course delivered by possibly the best professional in the field and one of the very best in the VFX industry.

As a lighter and CG supervisor I never looked into FX, let alone scripting before. In fact I considered both as a form of dark art. 

That said, I'm a big fan of optimization, finding efficiency and improving workflow in general. Also as a sup the more you understand about the various parts of post-production, the better position your are in to oversee and lead it with credibility.

I thought the FXTDT course was going to be a great next step and I'm happy to report that signing up was one of the best decisions I made in a long time.

If you pay close attention to the video lessons, follow the online discussion and take part in the live reviews you will be amazed by what you will be able to achieve and create. Even with no related previous experience.

All I can say is, if you have the slightest interest in this field, then you will not find a better way to get a thorough insight into it. Chances are, Allan's FXTDT course will be a career changing experience for you at a rather affordable price. I can only recommend it.

Zsolt is a CG Supervisor in LA, and currently part of the mentorship and just recently finished on the upcoming sequel - Independence Day 2, and working at FuseFX on many high profile projects such as Supergirl.


Registration closes in..


I want lifetime access to the FXTD Mentorship

For course questions, email Allan directly at

For bulk signups (studios and schools) please contact


The problem with most courses out there is they typically have the mentality of 'just a tutorial'. They're 6 weeks long, each video about an hour in length and never really get all that in-depth. The instructors are just looking to make a 'quick buck' doing something on the side and because of that they are happy to show the basics but they don't want to give away any of their real tricks or valuable ways of working, and hand the mindset of what they're giving is 'good enough' or 'tutorial quality'.

Rarely do you see lessons that take you all the way through from start to finish, rather they cover a small piece, and the output, the final image or end result of the lesson is never at the level of quality that you would see a real production. So you're learning to do 'tutorial quality' work and never anything that you can do in the real world.

The thing is - it's that last 10% or 20% that you don't ever get to see, which makes up for most of the result. The little tweaks, subtlety's or getting your work approved are what are so critical and seems to without-fail be overlooked in every single course or lesson you ever see.

Some Of What Allan's Previous Students Are Saying...

Wirginia is now the FX Lead on DOOM for id Software

"As VFX artist I'm always looking for efficient and more interesting ways to learn. Starting from Allan's first FumeFX DVD series, through his Real Flow and Destruction Dynamics classes at CG Society - Allan has been best professor I have ever had.

What I like about this training most is the practical, production approach, techniques I can apply at work. This is what makes me a better VFX artist."

Wirginia Romanowska (FX Lead - id Software, Ubisoft)

Ruben is FX Domain Director at Weta for Avatar 2, Avengers Endgame

"As a student in Allan's courses, learning to script was one of the key decisions I made in my career. Being able to write a few lines of code and to save hours or even days of works allows me to focus on my shots instead of spending time setting up imports, exports, renders, etc.. This is exactly what this course will allow you to do. By the end of this course you will be able to write your own tools increase your productivity."

Ruben Mayor (Senior FX TD, Weta Digital)

Niall is an FXTD on Game of Thrones, Rampage & Justice League

"Allan McKay has been a key part of my VFX training, as an FX Artist from an early age."

"Allan was always one of the leading names in the industry, with his offering of training from the basics all the way to the advanced that FX Artists/TD's like me need. From Max, to Maya and Fume to Thinking Particles, Allan's training has helped me succeed in my personal projects and RnD, build up an FX heavy showreel, and start getting job offers from big name studios."

"I would highly recommend taking Allan's Training, he's an awesome guy, with amazing knowledge on FX and our industry as whole!"

Niall Horn (FXTD - Scanline VFX)

Fabio is an FXTD for Warcraft and other games

"This course series is phenomenal.

Just by watching some hours in I was able to start writing my own scripts (with completely different content from the stuff shown in the videos) that I am definitely going to use in production and are going to be a huge time saver.

Allan was able to teach me(someone who never had scripting experience) how to think, actually script and look for scripting info on my own. The videos are amazing, can’t wait to watch the full course and become an FX technical director."

Fabio M Silva (Senior FXTD - Blizzard Entertainment, Naughty Dog, Epic Games)

Massimo is a VFX Supervisor & Technical Director

"Amazing stuff !!!

Very detailed course, scripting oriented like no others.
Allan gives you the right tools to became a great FX TD. All the videos are absolutely amazing, useful to start building a solid production pipeline.

The most professional FX course ever seen on 3DS Max."

Massimo Cipollina (FXTD/VFX Supervisor - Double Negative, MPC)

Ricardo is a Shader & FX Artist for Digital Domain

I am loving this! Even tho i am a Texture artist, i was able to use a lot of the ideas i learned here to create tools for my team and without a doubt we increased the overall performance quite a bit because of it! And now the entire studio is asking for it, they wanna make the tool a permanent shelf tool, that was quite unexpected and it felt awesome! =)

Ricardo Ribeiro (Senior Environment Artist - Digital Domain, MPC)


The fact is that as artists working in 3D, whether it's in animation, modeling, rigging, lighting or even FX - we all can benefit drastically from ability to write our own 3D tools and automate a lot of the tasks that we do day to day!

Even simple things like having 3DS Max automatically update where it's saving out it's renders to, and render elements every time you save a new Max file, or automatically convert your renders to quicktime .mov files and upload to your dailies folder for review once your renders are complete. Building asset publishing systems, automatically light your shots, scale scenes or even launch photoshop or other tools from inside of Max! There are so many cool things we can do with 3DS Max, utilizing Maxscript that pretty much any artist is going to benefit from taking the plunge and learning these unique skills, that instantly set you aside from every other artist in your studio!

Typical courses like this you are expected to pay something in the price range of $4,500 per term. The course, going for over 40+ weeks, with every module containing in-depth high-end lessons on subject matter not available anywhere else, online or anywhere. Completely unique material built from the latest film productions - the type of stuff built under the need to deploy for directors such as Michael Bay! I'll be honest, this course is insane! Every module receiving access to new videos, new content and mentoring from Allan McKay and even additional print-outs and other bonus gifts along the way! This course is by far the most robust course I've ever taught, whether it be online, or even private classes that I've taught at ILM, Ubisoft, Prime Focus, Autodesk, Activision, SIGGRAPH, or many other events. NOTHING IS LIKE THIS!



Course Outline

Module 1 - FX TD Fundamentals

  • The very first week is all about getting up to speed FAST! Covering all of the material that we are going to be doing over the coming MONTHS! There is so much to do that this entire module is about getting your feet wet in many different areas and making you comfortable NO MATTER what your SKILL LEVEL and EXPERIENCE is!
  • Foreword from your Mentor, Allan McKay
  • Scripting 101: Scripting can be intimidating for those not familiar. And all of the training out there is made from programmers, FOR programmers. Here we learn the ins and outs of scripting, as ARTISTS. We approach it how we would any other task in 3D, this unique approach is what has taught hundreds of Allan's students who never dreamed they would even understand the basics, how to script and automate many of the tasks they now do, day to day. We will go through from the ground up, hand in hand through the fundamentals of scripting in a low pressure environment to fully grasp the fundamentals of scripting step by step.
    Particle Scripting 101: Taking what have learned, we now apply it to particles. Learning to create advanced tasks through scripting particles, to give us total freedom in every shape and form.
  • Building an FX asset library similarly based on studios like ILM and Blur Studio with interactive view previews, extended interface options and publishing system to automatically drop effects into shots with ease.

Module 2 - Essential FX Tools For Production

  • Render-Pass Generation: We create our own tool that will automatically create all of our render passes for us based on profiles we set up. This allows us to easily be able to set up renders to go out automatically with zero manual set up, and later can be used for much more advanced and ambitious tools we develop.
  • Auto scene set up tools: Automatically setting up our scenes and doing the grunt work, more importantly setting things up right to minimize human error down the line. These are tools we 'fire and forget' once we've set them up, we never have to worry about setting up a scene ever again!
  • Interactive Fire pass generation for automated lighting of shots based on fire and explosions. Why light your shots, when you can have your fire and effects create all the lighting for us? We demonstrate this in the 'Fireball' training, but here it becomes a one click render pass, never have to manually set this process up ever again, have a one click checkbox and have it automatically create all fire for our shots.
  • Scripting with Thinkbox Deadline - in-depth (Industry standard tool for advanced render management and automation). Understanding how to submit jobs to the render farm is critical, especially when it comes to automating our jobs. Not only can we submit renders, but then automatically submit the interactive lighting pass (mentioned above) as well as custom jobs. Want to submit your FumeFX to simulate, and then Wavelet, and Post-Process? What about have your jobs render, after they simulate, and then get automatically composited inside of Nuke or After Effects once they're done? Learning and understanding how to use a render farm or render management tool to your complete advantage is a MUST so you can set up many advanced tasks later on, including dynamic shot creation and other ways to work without you needing to lift a finger.

Module 3 - Advanced FX Caching Tool Automation

  • Advanced Auto-Cache tool: Krakatoa (deadline): We develop critical tools such as being able to remotely cache particles through Deadline, allowing us to batch complex particle set ups such as with Krakatoa and other tools without us having to manually set them up. Now this will become a one click button we do whenever we want to cache our particles out.
  • Advanced Auto-Cache tool: Particle Flow (deadline): Like above, we develop critical tools such as being able to remotely cache particles through Deadline, allowing us to batch complex particle set ups such as with Particle Flow caching and other tools without us having to manually set them up. Now this will become a one click button we do whenever we want to cache our particles out.
    Advanced Auto-Cache tool: FumeFX (deadline): Creating an auto submission tool for all of our FumeFX needs, to remotely cache as many grids through deadline as we want. Simply select all of our grids and hit GO!
  • Advanced Auto-Cache tool: Thinking Particles (deadline): Thinking Particles remote caching
  • Advanced Auto-Cache tool: X-Mesh (deadline): X-Mesh geometry caching tool to quickly turn anything into a fast loading, easy to use geometry cache to work with
  • Advanced render submission and caching submission tools with callbacks: Getting into more advanced subjects, allowing for literally anything to be done when jobs are loaded to render on the farm, we are able to perform advanced render tasks to create literally any kind of task.
  • >> All of these tools in the end, will free us up hundreds of hours of our time, protect us from making mistakes, and make us look like rockstars when we are able to create tools like this for others to use at our studios!

Module 4 - Environmental FX

  • Static FX vs Dynamic FX Environment Tools overview: Learning environment effects is one thing, but creating tools to automate the roll out of them is another. Here we dig heavily into creating realistic atmospheric and environment effects, but also then taking it a step further and building them into assets, that we can roll out into shots easily. This gives 'legs' to our work, as we learn to never need to create the same effect twice. This is the beginning of building our own effects assets, both static effects and dynamic effects, that can adapt to any shot.
  • High-Storm dust simulations over desert asset creation: Creating a large scale dust storm, we go through understanding how to create effects at this scale and a lot of more advanced techniques for controlling the motion and having total control over the look and feel of our simulations.
  • Sand terrain simulations of sweeping sand and rocks dynamically over terrain. Creating effects used heavily in almost ANY effects project, we create the effects as well as rolling it all into a tool to easily apply to any environment - to create sand sweeping across terrain, both atmospherics and fluids, but also particulate matter that hugs the terrain and interacts with the environment. These are the subtle effects that typically take a lot of work to do, but we approach everything learning to automate the painful parts of the process and free up time to focus more on the look and feel of our effects.
  • Particle and scripted operations with Krakatoa
  • Developing Environmental FX scripted tools and exposing controls to art direct effects from within our GUI

Module 5 - Pyrotechnics

  • Explosion styles, creating explosive effects. This module focuses entirely on explosions! There are many types and here we focus on the key techniques to develop amazing explosive effects! Both fuel based explosions as well as more heavy duty larger styles as well as mortar blasts that impact creating dirt, smoke and dust. We cover many styles and wrap these into tools to make for a one click pyro-technic suite! (Michael bay would be proud!)
  • Explosion styles and how to create realistic explosive pyrotechnics! Looking at new ways to create realistic explosions, we dig deep into the art and science of digital pyro, and understand completely how to create realistic jaw dropping explosions
  • Full blown mortar blast and impact system, dirt, debris, dust and realistic effects. Another commonly needed effect yet also one that can be done terribly at times. We go through from the ground up, creating realistic earthy dirt explosions and mortar blasts, and really focusing on the weight, feel and timing of the shots. Although this is aimed at creating the mortar blast effect, it's also one to focus on really controlling the scale of your effects, and the timing, really understanding the critical aspects of all of this, which will affect all the future effects we do.
  • Pyro Tool development to create completely customizable and dynamic explosions of all types from a click of a button! Both static and dynamic types! Whether you always want to start from the ground up, or sometimes you want to knock out shots fast, here we develop a tool to quickly generate explosions at a click of a button, imagine what else we could do with it?

Module 6 - Fire and Dispersion FX

  • Dispersion and Randomonium tools. Creating effects wrapped in a tool for easily controlling characters and items dispersing into millions of particles at a click of a button. Advanced lessons on this include effects similar to Weta's amazing nano-bots cloud effects for consuming matter. Going over several exercises we learn to create amazing visual effects and wrap them into tools for complete control and easy to roll out into dozens of shots with ease!
  • FumeFX Instant Fire. Using the latest techniques for creating ultra-realistic fire, we develop several styles of fire and develop a tool to instantly generate dynamic fire onto many objects in multiple shots with ease. Here we are able to make the task of fire as easy as a few clicks to create, and then submit to Deadline. We focus on the style and control and really learn what it takes to create realistic high-quality feature film fire!

Module 7 - FX Pipeline and Workflow

  • Sparks and embers, discussing the different types and the typical 'epic fails' most artists tend to do when working on these types of effects. How these sorts of effects typically sound straight forward but there is a lot of subtlety that comes into creating stunning effects
  • Spark generation impact tool - learning to create realistic spark effects, but now taking it a step further and generating production ready tools to generate sparks whenever we need them, so we can focus entirely on creating effects of the highest quality, FAST!
  • Flying embers tool - Learning to create realistic ember effects, but now taking it a step further and generating production ready tools to generate embers whenever we need them, so we can focus entirely on creating effects of the highest quality, FAST!
  • Fire tool updated to also generate embers. Much like a lot of what we do, we look at ways to do things better. Here we are able to plug embers directly into our fire simulations to automatically create embers from our fire simulations.
  • Cloaking effects design and tool developed for easy controls to make characters or objects cloak and to generate all of the render passes easily for mass distribution through many shots and sequences

Module 8 - Creature Effects and Character FX Pipelines

  • Create an actual vampire burning shot 'sequence' start to finish all the way through compositing!
  • Based around various feature films Allan has worked on, we go through creating a realistic effects shot of a character breaking apart into ash. We go through the entire workflow, from start to finish. Understanding how to create realistic fragments, dynamics, secondary effects, fluids and pyro, embers, sparks, smoke, shaders, lighting, rendering, render passes, compositing.
  • We focus on how to set up a shot, how to work on the timing and plan everything we do ahead of time, focusing on creating a realistic workflow and process to what we are setting out to accomplish.
  • Going through many of the advanced stages of rendering and compositing the effects, and really focusing on the timing, look and feel of our character collapsing and breaking apart into ash right in front of us!
  • Taking the latest and greatest concepts for burning characters and creating an entire creature 'ashing' or 'creature death' effect and creating it from the ground up. Designing an entire application around this to not only create the effects from scratch but completely create the entire process and art direct it with dozens of controls to take the entire effect through from initial design to simulation and submitting all creature render passes. The end result is a canned open ended powerful application to create effects for one or dozens of creatures specifically tailored around our design for use in high-end production! This is a core concept that will allow you to literally take anything and build it into your own custom software solution!

Module 9 - scene Submission Scripts & Playblast Tools

  • Rain/Drip/Splash tool - creatively constructing an effects shot involving rain, to allow for rain splashes to automatically happen in any given shot very easily. After which we move further into developing extensions to the script to automatically cache and retrieve particle and geometry assets of the rain back into the shot after they are submitted from the GUI for remote generation.
  • Snow FX - we devel a robust multi-purpose tool to do everything from footprints in the snow to snow flakes and massive blizzards, snow procedurally generated on top of surfaces, mist and atmospheric effects and procedural shader effects as well. This is a great example where we develop a suite of tools built within the system for ease and ultimate control!

Module 10 - Vehicle simulations and Car Crash Effects

  • This is a brand new high-end visual effects module fully focused on creating realistic car dynamics and a car crash sequence
  • Set up over multiple shots, we start from the ground up with a photorealistic car model, crashing at high speed and interacting with it's environment as it rolls and rips apart
  • Aimed at total photorealism, the shot will go through the entire process from start to finish, including photorealistic lighting and rendering and compositing back into it's environment.
  • Procedural vehicle deformations, vehicle dynamics, fluids, particles, rigid bodies, everything needed to take this shot to the highest level!

Module 11 - Developing Robust FX Tools for FX Automation

  • Probably the most ambitious module. We take what we accomplished in module 8 (taking a full character shot and having the character break down into ash and fall apart). And automate the entire process. Creating our own script to allow us to easily select a character and dial in the look and feel we want, and then let it automatically create the entire effects process for us, including simulating, rendering and compositing. This is a very advanced process, but one that has allowed Allan to work on multiple feature films at any given time, rather than focusing entirely just on one. By freeing up time through automating a lot of the heavily lifting. VERY POWERFUL and a massive game changer!
  • Introducing Python scripting in Nuke
  • Creating an auto comp tool to automatically build comps of all of our elements automatically, combing spec, ambience occlusion, diffuse, reflections and everything else together automatically and assembling shots with ease, correctly naming and pathing nodes and developing a workflow which we will use moving on, and you definitely will begin to use in your day to day productions!
  • Further Nuke tool development and automation through Python

Module 12 - Fracture & Destruction Tools

  • Destruction 101 - learning the in's and out's of destruction. Here we go through the system of developing a robusy fragmentation and dynamics pipeline for breaking surfaces dynamically based on many differnt conditions. Utilizing Thinking Particles and other tools. We then take the concept and completely expose it through scripting to be completely dynamic and customizable to almost any situation. This lesson allows us to develop very robust and powerful tools for using in almost any given situation for destruction very easily. The end result is a powerful tool that will smash objects or cause building collapses or many other things very easily with as little as a few clicks to set up the entire event. Lastly with added network support we can submit our simulations to bake and then even mesh via Deadline to return a published asset to bring back into our shot! For a completely robust and powerful destruction application!

Module 13 - Interfaces, Distribution & Databases

  • Taking a look at soft body's and cloth we develop a completely customizable tearable material system for creating paint peal (or skin or many other ways this can be applied) to allow for a very popular subject seen a lot these days (however not necessarily always done right) to build a powerful scripted tool to allow to easily peal paint or other effects off of an object. You will expose many controls to allow for easily choosing where the peal will begin and for how long as well as many properties of the peal itself. This is something that once created is so customizable you'll be able to use it for many different effects very easily!

Module 14 - Python Script with Realflow & Scripting Water Simulations

  • This module is exceptionally powerful, as we dive into both learning many production tactics for creating realistic fluid dynamic simulations of liquids but also how to develop robust Python scripts to control a lot of the conditions of our fluids. We will go through multiple exercises in this mega-module to showcase the real power of scriptable fluids!

Module 15 - Atmospheric Clouds & Atmospheric Effects

  • This module we dive into the development of cloud assets, and sculpting photorealistic CG clouds both built for daylight and nighttime shots. This massive lesson goes through the initial creation and developing a workflow to eventually build our own library of 'cloud types' and then developing software around it to be able to easily roll our epic cloud shots completely intuitively designed for making large cloudscapes and cloud fly through sequences for the masses! Using many of the concepts behind movies such as 'Flight' for creating photorealistic clouds on the go, we take it much further, creating photorealistic clouds are very frequently in high-demand, yet there are not that many sure-fire solutions for creating them within 3DS Max, more-so developing large cloud shots typically take weeks, here we develop a tool that will give you complete power and flexibility, and SPEED!

Module 16 - Architecture and Building Destruction Shot Creation

  • Using everything we've learned - we set out to create an entire visual effects shot of a cabin being destroyed by a spaceship from above. Going through from start to finish through creating the initial concept, blocking out the effects, timing, and creating all of the destruction effects, rigid body simulations, fluid and digital pyro and more. Covering rendering, lighting, compositing and all tools and production advice as we give this shot EVERYTHING WE'VE GOT!
  • Advanced Compositing and Render techniques
  • Massive explosions, Fire, Dynamics, Destruction, Particle and Vehicle FX, Atmospheric effects, Shaders and more!





Registration closes in..


I want lifetime access to the FXTD Mentorship

For course questions, email Allan directly at

For bulk signups (studios and schools) please contact

"This course is for everyone fascinated with Visual FX!!!!

I am an architect by trade and I guess that's where I began with 3D modeling. I've done accident reconstruction visuals for civil lawsuits which is where I first learned about Allan. (trying to recreate a vehicle explosion) But now I'm an aspiring filmmaker who would like to add production value to my independent projects. There is no better way to do this, than to be able to add Visual FX.
If this course can teach a novice like myself how to script, learn particle simulation, as well as to create tools that will speed up your work 10x fold, then it can teach it to anyone determined to learn and with some basic knowledge of the modeling software (3DS max).
In essence, Allan clues you in on some of his magic settings and efficient workflows that will have you creating Visual FX in no time. All this while teaching you how to customize 3DS Max so that it behaves as if it was specifically programmed for your individual tasks.
Mind blowing, and amazing!!! It would take years and years to gather this knowledge all by yourself!!!

The best course I have ever taken and one that will position me ahead of 95% of the curve!"

Luis Sinibaldi

Legacy Entertainment


Upon completion of this course you will receive a Certificate of Completion, representing that you have gone through the entire 12 months of training and what subjects were covered. This is something not all of us need, but can be important to some of us to have. Simply request the certificate at the end of the course for it to be sent out to you.

Reference Letters & 'The Whitelist'

During the mentorship, because of spending an entire 12 months working directly with Allan, it's not been uncommon for students to reach out and request a reference letter from Allan to attach to any job applications or positions students were applying for. Provided you HAVE been participating in the mentorship and showing up for reviews, Allan was always happy to write up an honest assessment of his experience with that particular student on his studios letterhead to pass on.
The same applies in the FXTD Mentorship 2018, provided you are participating and showing your work, communicating (ie. Allan knows who you are from showing up to reviews) Allan is more than happy to continue with this, and offer a letter of recommendation to students who request it.
More so, Allan has created a 'Whitelist' for students who do exceptionally well. These are the rockstars of the course who are demonstrating hard work and growth within the course. These students Allan will personally reach out to studios and recommend them, as he builds up his Whitelist of students of exceptional capability. When Allan is offered work he is too busy to do, this is the list he wants to be able to turn to to recommend artists directly to these studios.

Lifetime Access

Upon completion of this course you will receive a Certificate of Completion, representing that you have gone through the entire 12 months of training and what subjects were covered. This is something not all of us need, but can be important to some of us to have. Simply request the certificate at the end of the course for it to be sent out to you.

I want it to be easy for you to get started

That’s why I’ve created a no-fee payment plan, in addition to my unbeatable money back guarantee.

Given that similar length courses range from $40K to $108K per year The FXTD Mentorship is a steal.

Not only will you have twelve full months to complete the entire course — but you can get started with a monthly plan and with zero interest, making it easy to pay off the remainder over the year with a total of 12 installments.
And frankly, any one of the lessons could make you 10 times that before your second payment is due.

You have a decision to make - but the Thanos training was what we managed to cover in just 2 weeks. I am excited to know what we can do with an entire year TOGETHER.

So you’ve got a decision to make.
Just remember, FXTD Mentorship closes to new members soon. If you’re interested, you need to act now.

Quick note about the course

Here's the deal. I've been listening to what everyone has been asking for, And what I've learned from holding courses for over the past 10 years - what this course is - is a chance to have interactive sessions with myself, and work with other FX students who want to substantially ramp up their career and skills as well. Become accountable and push yourself further, gain a new ability you can use to better your career and gain both stability as well as position yourself in a way that you no doubt will have the upper-hand when applying for work at studios, as well as literally give you the keys to go out there and set new goals without any limitations you might have had before.

More so,this course is designed to do actual shots, one of the killer road blocks people experience is "must have feature film experience". Firstly, that's B.S. if you're good you're good, one of my closest friends is the director of animation at Weta, didn't have more than a year of feature film experience going there, if you're good you're good. But the reason that filter exists is because they ARE concerned if you can actually sit down and start knocking shots out.

By even a 3rd of the way through this course you'll have transformed the work you've done so far, and have completed feature film quality shots that you can put in the face of any hiring manager or supervisor and say "I can do this, here is proof" - I've discussed this with other supervisors recently which we all agreed if you can even show a single finished shot that shows you can do the work, without a doubt we would hire you. By being able to show consistently you've managed to do sequences of shots, at the highest level, and you not only did the FX but rendered, lit and comped it all BY YOURSELF, I'd be more concerned you're gunning for my job.

The course launches July 2nd, When you sign up for the course you will be supplied with a course schedule, which contains dates of each module's release, and our online get together live classes, and other upcoming events. Keep this with you, as in addition to all of the typical interactions, homework and reviews we will do, these will be the big fun sessions where we all get to hangout live and go over what we have done, Allan will answer questions and show you many cool ways to improve on your effects! This content is priceless!

With registration about to close - this is your opportunity to secure your spot before anybody else,It's more than likely it will sell out before July 2nd, so seats are first come first served.

I look forward to seeing you in the class, and I look forward to frequent reviews with all of you as I push your work,your skills and really journey with you through the next 52+ weeks!


Registration closes in..


I want lifetime access to the FXTD Mentorship

For course questions, email Allan directly at

For bulk signups (studios and schools) please contact

This course is really loaded with amazing stuff that been carefully chosen by my beloved mentor Allan who dedicated alot of his time to bring us this material. I learned some cool stuff and we are still just at the beginning so I'm expecting more to come.

The thing I like about his way of teaching is the blocking stage and how you plan your tool and breaking it up into steps and then you start scripting, once you are happy with the result you finish by building the interface. He teaches you how to think so you will build your own version of the tool.

I can't wait to see what will be next in this course.

MHD Ala Alnahlawi

Technical Director

VFX Arabia

Kevin McCullough - VFX Artist - Power Rangers Production, Auckland

After 11 years in the industry I decided to take a break and had a year off.
After deciding to get back into the industry I though what better way but to up skill and do some training. I've done a couple smaller course by Allan which I really enjoyed so this new FXTD course has super exceeded my expectations, I'm learning heaps, I've jumped into scripting which previously I have never done before and I also get to blow S%#t up, how cool is that!

I'm not even half way through the course but I have learn so much. Can't wait for the next module.

MHD Ala Alnahlawi

Technical Director

VFX Arabia

Mahmoud Hisham - Technical Director - Filmakademie, Stuttgart

Allan McKay is literally a great mentor, I am graduated from his Technical Director Transformation course and It was a BIG FAT PUSH in my career,
Now I am in his FX TD course and It's just amazing!

MHD Ala Alnahlawi

Technical Director

VFX Arabia

Tim Catalano - FXTD + Senior Pipeline TD - Scanline VFX, Vancouver

Allan knows his stuff, there's no better training out there than what he offers, and on top of that he knows how to push people in just the right ways for them to excel.

Allan's feedback in the live reviews and the ability to connect and discuss with the other students in the course is a value all of its own. I like to say you get what you pay for, but in this instance, I'm getting way more than I'm paying for!

If you're serious about working in one of the most challenging and fun industries, this is the de-facto standard in training.

MHD Ala Alnahlawi

Technical Director

VFX Arabia

Is This Course Right For You?

This course is not for everybody, please read the information below to help decide if you are the right fit.

Who is this for

  • Whether you're just starting out - or an established FX Artist - this course is designed to give you the strong core skills necessary to be an FXTD and set you on the path to a strong FX Lead.
  • Those willing to put in at least 1 hour per week to the training. Visual Effects is not a job, it's a career - it takes hard work and discipline. The course is proven time and time again - but if you cannot commit at least an hour of time to the course each week - you will not get the results you're after.
    Allan goes above and beyond for the students who show they're willing to put in the time to improve themselves.
  • You don't have to have a strong 3D background - but you do have to have the willingness to commit to the training and understand that you can get amazing results - as long as you show up, and do the work. 
  • Minimum system specs: ATypically most gaming PC's are fine - but your PC has to have at least 16GB of RAM (the more RAM the better).  Also running Windows (some students have done the course on a Mac but please make sure you are running Windows).

Who is this not for

  • If you're expecting this course to be easy and something you can just watch a few videos and become 'instant bad-ass' then this course is not right for you.

    The mentorship is designed to be flexible with anyone's schedule, and it's designed to be easy to follow for anybody - but you get out what you put in. The the mentorship requires you to show up, it requires you to take the advice Allan gives and it requires you to apply yourself. Many students have gotten amazing results - because they attended the live reviews, they watched the lessons - they did the work - and they got stuck, overwhelmed and lost from time to time. But they took advantage of the amazing community, and Allan and they kept with it.
    As Allan says - "Nothing worth doing comes easy. But when you finally cross the finish line and get the results you worked hard to achieve - the pay off is so much more sweeter"

    As Allan says - "Nothing worth doing comes easy. But when you finally cross the finish line and get the results you worked hard to achieve - the pay off is so much more sweeter"


Try the entire FXTD Mentorship Course. If you don't LOVE it, I insist that you get 100% of your money back.

I'll even eat the credit-card processing fees.

Let me tell you why I offer this unbeatable guarantee:

My entire business is built on helping people get results and build successful FXTD teams for production — I created the mentorship because I couldn't find enough FX artists with the proper training for my productions, or that I could recommend confidently to the jobs I pass up.

Our track record for helping our students is why we’ve been able to grow so much the past 10+ years. It's the reason most major studios have sucked up many of the mentorship students, and the course holds clout at many studios.

And that's why I guarantee The FXTD Mentorship.

It's simple: Take the course and see for yourself. If it doesn't work, I want you to email me. Show me you did the work, and I'll refund you 100%.

This guarantee covers you for a full 60 days, which completely covers the duration of multiple modules in the program. Try the course. If you don't love it, just email me at ANY TIME during the course and show me you're doing the exercises and not getting results. I'll refund 100% of your price. You can even keep the bonuses — at my expense.

By the way, I ask you to show me you've done the exercises because I know how powerful they can be when applied. I have no intention of keeping your money if you're dissatisfied, but the only way to get results is to take action. I know you’re busy, but If you can’t commit to at least trying the first exercise, then you shouldn’t join.

But if you’re willing to commit even a single hour to just one module, then this course is 100% risk-free.

Our goal is to help you use the insights we learned — and tested, at the cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars — to grow your career. Considering that this course could help you completely transform your career and create unbelievable future opportunities for you, we believe this is a fair offer.

Hell, I think it’s a fantastic offer, and I hope you’ll agree.

Bonus Section

These are just some of the additional bonuses you get with the course

BONUS #1 - Thanos Decimation Course

After registration closes - so does the Thanos training. But if you are signing up to the mentorship this week - relax - you will have LIFETIME ACCESS to all 10 videos in the training. This course will only later be available for $297 - but it's yours FREE when you sign up for the FXTD Mentorship.







Registration closes in..


I want lifetime access to the FXTD Mentorship

For course questions, email Allan directly at

For bulk signups (studios and schools) please contact


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:


How long do I have access to the course?

Do I need a fast PC to do the course?

What if my question is not covered here?

Where Do You Want To Be One Year From Today?

© 2019 Allan McKay - Catastrophic FX. All rights Reserved