Short course


Delivered in the NFTS Scotland Virtual Studio on Discord

This five-day course delivered online 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 render 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

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)

Each student will complete a 3D model of their hand, texture, rig, and animate it.  At the end they will have a short video of a 3D model of their hand animated. 

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.

In order to take part you must have the following installed on your computer for the course:

Maya (available from Autodesk by paid subscription and also for a 30 day free trial) 
Photoshop (available from Adobe Creative Cloud by paid subscription and also for a 7 day free trial) 
Discord (Free digital community software)

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: £495
Corporate Rate: £765


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

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

NFTS Scotland Bursary Guidelines

NFTS Scotland Bursary Application Form 

The bursary deadline for this course is Monday 14th December at 9 am

Please note that bursary funding availability from NFTS Scotland is limited and we encourage you to seek alternative avenues of funding as soon as possible as well. 

Please read our Alternative Funding Avenues document which points you in the direction of a few other places which may be able to help.



NFTS Scotland Hardship Fund 

With support from Screen Scotland, a new fund aimed at practitioners who have experienced significant work and financial loss as a direct result of the impact of COVID-19 is available for our online courses from May 2020 onwards.

This fund is available to those who are not able to evidence their eligibility for the NFTS Scotland bursary fund with the required supporting documents, but who now meet the income threshold criteria. 

It is a small, discretionary fund aimed at supporting those most in need. You should only apply if you are a Scottish resident and your finances have been directly affected by loss of work in March 2020 and beyond as a result of COVID-19.

To apply for support, please complete this application form and submit it to at the same time as making your course application.  

How to apply

Application deadline: Book Now

Please complete the application form to apply. You will also be required to upload your CV. 

Begin your application