Short course


This brand new five-day course introduces you to the world of visual effects, how to make them and how they are used in film and television.

It is an introduction to the visual effects pipeline through hands-on creation… of a hand! One of the key parts of visual effects work is observation and reference, and the reference we need for this project is at the end of our arms. You will build a hand, texture, animate, and composite it.

Led by Andrew Schlussel, Director of Global Talent Development at Framestore, the course covers: 

Modelling in Maya

  • Introduction to Maya
  • Modelling in Maya
  • Using photo reference (photographing our hands)
  • Modelling your hand


  • UV Mapping
  • Painting Textures in Photoshop
  • Texturing the hand
  • Cleaning up seams
  • Film backplate: film a short sequence of a table top, and reference for animation.

Rigging and Animation

  • Rigging Concepts
  • Rigging the hand
  • Animation concepts
  • Begin animating the hand

Animation and rendering

  • Animation continued
  • Using Arnold Shaders
  • Adding HDRI lighting
  • Render in Arnold (each student will need to launch a render that will go overnight)


  • Introduction to After Effects
  • Composite hand into scene
  • Final composited render of scene

Each student will complete a 3D model of their hand, texture, rig, and animate it, and composite into a background shot. At the end they will have a short video of a 3D model of their hand walking on a table top.

This course is for computer literate people who want to learn about visual effects. Applicants should have some of experience with computer graphics, for example, experimenting with Photoshop. 

Andrew Schlussel is the Director of Global Talent Development at Framestore in London, where he leads and creates strategy for all training at their studios around the world. He has taught classes and written curriculum for animation and VFX over the past 20 years in colleges, universities, companies and non-profits internationally as well as online. He has worked as an artist in visual effects for film, video games, iPad apps, music videos and was the cinematographer on an independent feature. Teaching classes at Pixar helped lead him to his role as Education Manager at DreamWorks Animation and Global Head of Training at MPC prior to his role at Framestore.

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

Freelance Rate: £645
Corporate Rate: £1215


Bursaries, supported by the Scottish Government, are available for those who are eligible.

As an entry level vocational course, this course is also part of the Channel 2 Bursary Scheme. 

The Channel 2 Bursary Scheme aims to improve access to Scotland’s Film and TV industry by helping people from low-income backgrounds access entry level training with vocational outcomes. The bursary fund is aimed at people who, without financial support, would find it difficult to access training and therefore job opportunities within the sector. 

The Channel 2 Bursary Scheme was created by individuals working within the Film & TV industry, the funds are raised by individual sponsorship from industry practitioners.

Read about the fundraising here

If you wish to apply for a bursary to contribute to the costs of your course, please read the bursary guidelines below carefully to confirm your eligibility. Please do not apply to a course unless you are sure you meet the bursary eligibility criteria or are able to pay for the course. 

Once you have submitted your course application, your bursary application should be submitted to

Channel 2 Bursary Guidelines 

NFTS Scotland Bursary Guidelines

NFTS Scotland Bursary Application Form (Please also use this form for Channel 2 Bursary Applications)

If you are not eligible for an NFTS Scotland or Channel 2 bursary, please also read our Alternative Funding Avenues document which points you in the direction of a few other places which may be able to help.

How to apply

Application deadline: Register your interest

This course is not currently open for applications. Please register your interest to be advised of future dates as they become available.