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  • Standard Membership
  • $79/month
  • Access to all courses. No limits!
  • Exclusive member-only Forums
  • VPN Software
  • View Online via Streaming
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  • Join Now
  • Premium Membership
  • $99/month
  • Access to all courses. No limits!
  • Exclusive member-only Forums
  • VPN Software
  • Download & Watch Offline
  • Source footage to build shots for your reel
  • Join Now

fxphd is a subscription-based online vfx, production, post-production training program led by professionals. We offer both application and craft-based courses, online forums for feedback, and vpn software.


Our 2016 reel, featuring member's amazing work and behind the scenes footage from our shoots and seminars


Have more questions? Here are more answers.

Basic information

How much does it cost?

The cost is $79/month for our Standard membership and $99/month for our Premium membership. There is no minimum sign-up period and you may cancel at any time and your membership will expire at the end of your subscription.

The Standard membership allows you to watch all of our courses, streaming via your web browser. The Premium membership allows you to download project files and footage (when available) as well as the video classes for offline viewing.

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Don’t you guys have terms?

Not anymore — no more waiting for classes to roll out! You can join any time and get full access to every single course we have on offer. All courses are available for immediate download and over time we will be continually adding new courses.

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What is fxphd?

The founders of fxphd are the team from fxguide.com.
If you want a serious job in the post-production or gaming industries, in feature film or video – locally or overseas – or you want to produce your own work, the professors at fxphd will teach you the real world facts and techniques you need to know. Each course in fxphd is run by a practicing vfx or editing professional — what we call a Professor. Each has been hand picked for the expert knowledge in the field. The professors come from a background of working on a wide variety of projects.

Here are some of the projects the professors of fxphd have worked on:

Films: X-Men 3, Poseidon, Fantastic Four, Aeon Flux, Lord of the Rings, Hunt Angels
Music Videos: Sugarbabes, Will Young
Broadcast Design: Bravo Networks, Discovery Channel, ESPN, BBC
Commercials: Ford, Samsung, Sony, Disney, Budweiser, ESPN, McDonald’s

The key is that fxphd is not random tips or disjointed quicktime tutorials. It is a full professional training center online and 24/7. You can learn during renders, at night or weekends — it is up to you. As you work through the courses, your professor is available via our online forums to answer questions and guide you. There are practical files to download from real shots and projects. You can then compare your results with the final.

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So how does it work?

Just like a university, the course curriculum at fxphd aims to deliver a rounded education and not just tips and tricks (Ok we deliver a lot of those too!). We offer a huge selection of courses from which you are able to choose as many or as few as you like. There is no fixed number of courses – it is completely flexible. Most courses are about five to six hours of HD quality training, but also offer shorter courses as part of your membership.

To help you with learning new software, many courses also have the corresponding applications available for your use on our VPN for non-commercial use. In addition, we have member-only online forums where you can discuss the classes with other artists. The forums plus classes is really what sets fxphd apart from others — no more watching DVDs in a dark room by yourself.

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Classes, downloads, and software

Is the video streamed?

Yes, the standard membership provides streaming access.

For our premium members our class tutorials are H.264 encoded QuickTime movies and you can watch them whenever you wish. And for premium members, many classes also come with high quality footage which allow you to create the visual effects yourself. We own the copyright on the footage and you are allowed to use it for your showreel but not for commercial use.

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Do you have preview downloads of the courses?

We currently don’t have previews of our courses available for non-members. When you pay and become a member of fxphd, you can access all our courses.

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Do I need the software to take the courses?

We recommend you have access to the software for the courses you are taking. Technically, there is no reason you couldn’t take the course without the software, but you’ll get way more out of the material by being able to trying things out yourself.

We have access to several major software packages on the site….read on to the next several questions for more details.

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What software do you offer for members via VPN?

We provide downloads and VPN licensing of the following applications as part of fxphd:

  • HIERO
  • Arnold Renderer
  • Houdini FX 15
  • KATANA
  • MODO 801
  • NUKE v9 (NUKE, NUKEX and NUKE Studio)
  • Maya 2015
  • Mudbox 2015
  • Cinema 4D R17
  • Renderman ProServer & RMS for Maya
  • MARI
  • V-Ray 3.0
  • Ocula from The Foundry
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How does the VPN work?

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection is used to securely connect your computer over the internet to our VPN license server. Basicallly, the software applications ping our server to make sure you can run the software. This way, you can obtain licensing to run VPN versions of different software packages we have here on fxphd. You must be already connected to the internet in order to access the VPN. VPN connections can be dicey at times and many business don’t allow VPN through their firewall…so we can’t guarantee you’ll be able to run the software from your workplace and/or home. Where you have control over the firewall, we can generally quite easily make things work but it is no guarantee.

Access to VPN versions of software is only to be used for non-commercial individual, educational use or generating material for your personal demo reel.

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What are the minimum system requirements?

On Windows we require at least Windows 7. On OS X, we require at least operating system version OS X 10.7. We are unable to provide help and guidance for OS versions prior to OS X 10.7

Our streaming platform utilizes HTML streaming and does not support Flash, due to the fact that it is “end-of-lifed”. You will need to use the following web browsers to view the movies:

  • Chrome version 45 or higher
  • Safari version 5 or higher
  • Firefox version 40 or higher
  • Internet Explorer version 9 or higher

If you are concerned about a particular application working for you, we suggest visiting the manufacturer’s web site for current system requirements.

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How are the courses organized?

We’re using a university metaphor for fxphd to help you understand our class structure. Consider going to university — you start out your first year in 100 level courses and then work your way up to 300 and 400 level courses by your fourth year. It’s the same at fxphd, but you don’t have to start with the 100 level if you feel your skills are up to it. If you are a more experienced artist, you can jump in at the 200 or 300 level. The bottom line is that the 100, 200 and 300 numbers give you some guidance as to the content level of the courses.

We offer introductory 100 level courses for many applications. These get you going and allow you to learn an application fully — we assume a basic knowledge level of the application and that you have been through the manual. Maybe you are flame artist wanting to check out toxik, or a shake artist wanting to learn some 3D, or an editor who wants to learn advanced Final Cut Pro, but also get into keying and compositing.

After you’ve completed the 100 level courses — or if you have been using the software and have a base understanding of its concepts and feel you don’t need to take the 100 level courses — you move up to the 200 level intermediate courses. These dive into the more complex details of the software and approach learning the application from a project-based level.

You then move up to the 300 level courses which are our advanced courses.

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Common questions

Can I use the material on my show reel?

Absolutely – that is the point. One of the great things about fxphd is that we provide you with high quality footage for you to use in creating your own composites. We will give you real clips to work on so you can get real shots on your reel showing what you can do.

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Do I get some kind of certificate for completing a course?

Not at this point in time.

In the past, we had certificates for our term-based program and those are still available for past members. We may re-introduce it but for now our team is hard at work providing you other cool new features – sorry.

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Is There Homework?

Technically, there is no homework. But you will find that you’ll want to follow along with most classes and try to recreate the work on our own, especially if you are a premium member since we distribute so much great footage to go with the classes.

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Joining and paying

I’m convinced. Do I have to commit to a contract or some long term thing?

No.

You will be automatically renewed each month on your “anniversary” date, but you can can cancel at any time by visiting the store account page. Once you cancel, your membership will continue through your anniversary date, as we don’t provide partial monthly refunds.

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When can I join fxphd?

The best time to join is now – you can join any time and have full access to all of our courses.

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How do I pay?

We accept VISA and Mastercard via the online secure payments site Verisign. If you would like to pay another way, please feel free to contact billing@fxphd.com for more options.

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Do you have discounts for facilities or multiple users?

Yes. We offer discounts for 5 or more users, as well as facility discounts. Contact billing@fxphd.com for more details.

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Is there a way to pay for just one course? Can I buy a past course you aren’t currently offering?

No…sorry. This isn’t the way we have things structured at fxphd. Our goal is to create a vibrant learning community and not just sell one-off courses. We’ve had over ten years of providing professional training and we think our new streaming model will serve the majority of users the best.

One monthly fee – no limits.

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