Tools and Software

Welcome to the arsenal of innovation and creativity – the Tools and Software section dedicated to the backbone of the VFX industry. Explore a comprehensive array of cutting-edge software, indispensable tools, and state-of-the-art technologies instrumental in crafting mesmerizing visual effects. From industry-standard software to emerging innovations, delve into a curated collection designed to equip enthusiasts and professionals with the resources necessary to bring imagination to life in the world of VFX

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Game Engines

Unreal is where it all began for me – the first engine I got my hands on, and throughout my career, I’ve stuck with it, wholeheartedly recommending it as a starting point without a second thought. While I dabbled briefly with Unity during my school days for learning purposes, my experience with it was limited. On the other hand, Godot is a bit of a newcomer to my toolkit, and although I’ve only dipped my toes into it, even in those short stints, I could sense its immense flexibility and potential.

Unreal Engine

Unreal Engine

A bit more complex than Unity but still approachable. Great for beginners due to its documentations and Blueprint system, allowing visual scripting for game logic.



Excellent for beginners due to its user-friendly interface and extensive documentation. It's used for game development, handling assets, and scripting interactions.



Similar to Unity and Unreal but slightly less beginner-friendly. Good for those with some game development experience looking for more control.

Texture Creation/3D Modeling and Animation

Adobe Photoshop has been my go-to for image manipulation and refining visual elements. Krita has proven handy, particularly for digital texture painting and illustration work. Blender, a real gem during my early 3D learning phase, was a lifesaver with its free accessibility and abundant tutorials and documentation.

Adobe Photoshop


It's not exclusively for beginners, but it's relatively easier to grasp for basic image editing and texturing.



A free painting software suitable for concept art and digital painting.



Perfect for newcomers as it's a free, open-source software that covers modeling, animation, texturing, and rendering. Great for asset creation

Texture Creation/3D Modeling and Animation

When I began, 3Ds Max and Maya were my primary tools, extensively used for creating geometry and simulations. Substance Designer became another staple in my toolkit, a go-to for generating textures to enhance effects. Admittedly, it has a learning curve, yet the outcomes make the effort entirely worthwhile once you’ve grasped its workings.



Ideal for those familiar with 3D concepts. Widely used for modeling, animation, and rigging. It has a steeper learning curve but is powerful once mastered.


3Ds Max

Offers extensive modeling and animation tools but might have a steeper learning curve compared to Maya for beginners.

Substance Design

Substance Designer

Used for creating materials and textures procedurally. Requires some understanding of texturing principles but highly valuable.


Houdini is long-term journey – nine years and counting! I’ve been delving into pyro particles and destruction, and there’s still so much more to learn. I get it, it might seem daunting at first, but my advice? Start small, especially with Pyro—it’s a great entry point. EmberGen is a game-changer when it comes to simulations. Its real-time results make it super fast, and I’ve used it countless times for prototyping and crafting explosive effects.

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Known for its node-based procedural workflow. It's complex and used for creating complex simulations, VFX, and procedural content generation.

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Advanced fluid simulation software used for creating realistic fire and smoke effects. Requires knowledge of simulation and rendering.


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FluidNinja VFX Tools

Bake fluidsim to Flipbooks and Player Materials. Drive Niagara and Volumetric systems with fluid data. Create stylized and realistic fire, smoke and clouds. Make your own VFX assets, inside Unreal.

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FluidNinja LIVE

Fast, responsive Fluid Simulation for Character and Environment VFX: sea, rivers, clouds, smoke, fire, sand, snow and foliage. Drive all dynamic systems with fluidsim.



is a sparse GPU-accelerated volumetric fluid solver for computer graphics and visual effects. What sets it apart is the ability to run true sparse simulations fully on a GPU.

Miscellaneous/used in both games and CGI

I’ve used AE in the past for making flipbooks, Using awesome scripts that streamlined not only the flipbook process but also looping and other neat functionalities. Nuke was a blast as well, providing a great experience in manipulating textures to make them stand out, whether by adding extra flair or fine-tuning the intricate details. However, my current tool of choice for this is Houdini. As for AA/Harmony, I’ve primarily used it for drawing frame-by-frame for ZBrush, I’ve used it to sculpt hands for some FX and bake textures.

Adobe After Effect

Adobe After Effects

Primarily for compositing, motion graphics, and visual effects. It's approachable but can get complex when dealing with intricate animations.

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A node-based compositor used for high-end VFX and compositing in films and games. It's intricate and requires a solid understanding of compositing.

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Used for high-detail sculpting, especially for characters and organic models. A bit complex for beginners but very powerful for detailing.

Adobe Animate

Adobe Animate

Adobe Animate is advanced 2D animation software, used for creating interactive content and animations.



Harmony is advanced 2D animation software with features for character rigging and advanced animation techniques.

To learn more about VFX tools used in games, visit This page
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