VFX Mentor

Learn one on one from a Foundry Certified Nuke Trainer. I will help you solve a troublesome shot, learn a new skill, or work with you on understanding a program as deep as NUKE. All mentorship training is custom tailored to the individual and flexible.

Online Training


Channel nodes and their operations is the cornerstone to understanding NUKE and the core of compositing. This course will peel back the veneer and demystify the way NUKE operates on channels and understand how, why and when to implement these nodes.  This course is exclusively offered at Plural Sight!

Pixel Fondue free NUKE training “Danswers” Welcome to a brand new series on Pixel Fondue where we get fast answers from Dan or “Danswers” about Nuke, VFX,  and compositing!  It’s like dipping meats and bread into a bowl of melted cheese, all gooey, yummy, and a whole lot of fun!

fus204_thumbIn Fusion Production Workshop II: MicroWorld,  you will learn the latest release of Fusion 8 to build a solid project from start to finish. We will create a cool shot that is a part of the little world in which small machines do mundane tasks in a tilt shift world. Using Fusion’s shader system, advanced 3D rendering, and particles to fully composite this production quality shot.


In this course you will learn about the exciting world of Immersive Entertainment. From LBE (Location Based Entertainment) venues to the emerging world of VR we will employ a combination of complex view dependent techniques to create imagery that is meant to be projected on a flat surface but look three dimensional and have parallax from the point of view of the observer. These techniques are used for multimedia rides at theme parks, building projections, and VR technologies.

In the Fusion Production Workshop prof Daniel Smith aims to show you how this pedigreed software compares with other software, examining where Fusion is strong and and where it falls a bit short. We also will be taking it though several different mini projects which are the core skills to VFX to show you how to use this software to make the most of your visual effects budgets.

I taught a VFX compositing class for nine years and trained over a 1000 artists in the classroom who now are working in the industry.

I no longer teach at DAVE School, but I do offer workshops periodically.  Subscribe to my news letter for more details when a new workshop is setup.

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Learn from a Pro

I am one of the very few, officially certified by The Foundry, NUKE trainers in the United States. Click here for my Bio on the Foundry’s website. Nuke Trainer Daniel Smith. (Select the United States then scroll four down). I now offer private one-on-one or group training sessions via Skype or in person. 
I teach NUKE, CaraVR, Ocula, Stereoscopic Native, Stereoscopic Conversion, MARI, Modo, Maya, RealFlow, PFtrack, PFdepth, and Mocha Pro.
For more information please contact me: training@danimation.com for one on one, on site groups, webinars, or more details.
Students Trained FXPHD online
Students Trained at DAVE School

Daniel Smith, the Block 3 instructor, not only provides a brilliantly in-depth education about visual effects, but does so using examples from his extensive work in the industry. In three short months of knowledgeable critiques, well structured lectures and sound advice, Dan prepared me for the VFX industry.

Ryan Borer

Not only have I gained a wealth of knowledge, but the content is presented in a very entertaining and intelligent way that both makes sense and is fun to learn. The fact that new information is given more as broad concepts instead of specific details allows us to build more of a way of thinking and problem solving than a simple follow these steps to make shit happen approach. The class is fun and engaging and I feel like I will leave well prepared to take the next step beyond school.

Alex Rideout

Daniel Smith is one of the best instructors I've ever had. He will teach you more about VFX production in 3 months than any college could in a year. His course gave me both the skills and confidence I need to pursue professional-level work in the entertainment industry.

Sarah Johnson