The Effects Technical Director (FX TD) Diploma is an accelerated 12 month program specialized in the craft of feature film simulated phenomenon and effects. This program is offered in both Montreal and Vancouver locations.

This accredited diploma program is currently the only program in the world which focuses exclusively on learning the tools and techniques necessary to become an FX artist. It also complements this skill set by training students in highly advanced Houdini workflows.

If you would like your future career to involve movie destruction, creating environmental phenomenon, particle and crowd logic, pyro and fluid simulation, and/or many creative and bizarre combinations of art and science than this program is your opportunity.

Learn more about What makes a good Effects Technical Director (FX TD) from our free 16 page Article, written by our Program Lead, Andrew Lowell. FXTD_Article
Houdini Training: Certified by SideFX Software

Houdini Training: Certified by SideFX Software

We are proud to be one of the few schools Certified by SideFX Software

Check out some of our FXTD Program Graduates

This is our Effects Technical Director Program Lead, Andrew Lowell's amazing showreel which should give you a better idea of what Effects TD's contribute.

This is our Montreal - Effects Technical Director Program Lead, Sean Lewkiw's showreel which should give you a better idea of what Effects TD's contribute.

Alumni Testimonials

What our FX TD Alumni have to say about us

  • "Lost Boys was my only choice when I applied to Canadian VFX schools. Former educator work experience allows me to differentiate what schools offer that really matters to grads from merely marketing and hype, which is the reason Lost Boys attracted me.

    Being in the FX TD program was my most memorable and rewarding experience. Our Jedi Master Andrew prepared us thoroughly for not only the ability to complete production shots, but also more importantly, career professionalism to thrive in a studio. How often do you get a brochure of studio do's and don'ts from school career counseling?

    The FX TD program is designed to simulate a studio environment so much that later I never felt unfamiliar with studio schedule or culture. Besides countless studio tours, we had recruiter visits and industry mentor portfolio reviews. In the end I was able to land an offer at my dream studio. I can't thank Andrew, Ria, and Mark enough for their help."
    Xian Guan
  • "The Lost Boys FX TD Program was an easy decision for me. Its FX focused Houdini program was exactly what I was looking for. The course is unique and really well put together by Andrew, who besides being a Houdini Master is also a fantastic teacher.

    It was not just about learning the software but learning about how to think and observe like an FX TD and hone your problem solving skills.

    The class sizes are small, which is a huge advantage and gets you a lot of personal attention.The environment is really friendly and supportive, which is important to have when you are working on very challenging projects. The project based learning structure mimics a professional studio environment and has been really helpful.

    Going to Lost Boys is one of the best decisions of my life and I have really fond memories of the school. I got way more out of the program than I had expected. I would highly recommend it to anybody wanting to get into VFX and animation."
    Kunal Deshpande
  • "Upon deciding on FX as a career path, Lost Boys was the clear choice for my training. Their FXTD program is unique in that it teaches 100% Houdini based FX, the industry's leading software."
    Brian Sundman
  • "At Lost Boys, every project was quite challenging. We learned not only important skill-sets but also mind-sets to be an FX TD. Those lessons help me keep my career in VFX industry."
    Naoki Kato
  • "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - The Litany Against Fear - Frank Herbert, Dune

    "Before coming to Lost Boys, I was living in Hawaii and worked in Communications. However, all of my free time was consumed with learning about visual effects. I loved it. But like most people, I was afraid of change. Afraid of the unknown. Afraid of failing and afraid to turn a hobby into a career. After all, it would mean starting over. But, I kept coming back to a short passage from a book that I read many years ago. That passage from Dune played on a loop in my head. Committed and unafraid, I decided to do some research on schools. Lost Boys kept percolating to the top of the list as one of the best schools in the business.

    Going to Lost Boys changed my life. The FX TD program delivered everything it promised. Through hard work and perseverance, along with the support of staff and fellow students, I gained a solid and focused foundation of professional FX skills and an introduction to the working realities of the visual effects industry. Because class sizes are managed, you get to know everyone. Not just in your class or discipline, but alums and new students as well. Those connections become the glue that bonds people for a lifetime. I became we because of Lost Boys."
    Kevin Luttrell
  • "Lost Boys school has helped me transition from stylistic animation/cartoon work to high end photo real feature film FX. I wasn't too sure about going back to school, especially as I was already working in the industry as an FX artist. But I'm really happy I've made that decision.

    Being able to learn from the industry's best (Andrew and Mark) was definitely an experience worth remembering."
    Amir Manavi
  • "My journey with the Lost Boys | School of Visual Effects was a great experience. Lost Boys boosted my confidence and gave me very useful practical approaches and experience of what I use to read before joining the FX program.

    The project based curriculum simulated real world production experience better preparing me for my transition to a working professional.

    The staff is highly experienced and supportive at any time in any type of difficulty. Every single minute in the premises counts, the studio was fruitful in many different ways whether it with friends or with the faculty. Special thanks to Mark, Ria, Ganz and our mentor Andrew for helping us in every possible way they could.

    I am really happy and proud of my decision of joining Lost Boys. Some memories are worthy to remember; for me Lost Boys is one of them."
    Sudhanshu Srivastava
  • "The Lost Boys | School of Visual Effects, FX TD Program has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I met many great staff members and classmates. There were a lot of techniques and knowledge that seemed impossible to understand at first, but with the help of Lost Boys, learning the FX TD craft became a really enjoyable time and it continued to excite me every time that I got to learn more.

    I really feel like Lost Boys is one big awesome family that will help each other to pass through the obstacles and achieve their dreams."
    Wannita Sirikul
  • "The Lost Boys | School of Visual Effects FX TD Program offered me all I was looking for to help me fulfill my dream to join the movie industry. The experience in production from Andrew and the way he teaches helped us to understand how to become good FX TD's and to keep growing as we work. I enjoyed every single day at Lost Boys.

    I had the pleasure to meet people from around the world with common goals and all the enthusiasm to learn more. We are a big Lost Boys family now."
    Miguel Ortiz
  • "Lost Boys was a clear choice for me when I had to choose a serious school for teaching about what an effects artist should really know in order to step directly into the feature film VFX industry.

    An exclusive teaching on Houdini with a famous Houdini guru such as Andrew Lowell, has to be considered pure gold in the most active city (Vancouver) of visual effects in the world.

    I've considered other schools in different areas of the world prior my final decision to register to Lost Boys in Vancouver. I found this school the perfect combination of quality of the teaching, length of the course, size of the classes and job placement assistance.

    The contained size of the school and the classes is big advantage. The human touch and the friendly environment that grows into the school helps a lot to get more into the mood of how the VFX industry is made. Vancouver is a not a huge city and the degree of separation of the VFX people are really small. It's important to know each other, sharing knowledge and consider ourself as part of a team a not just as a standalone artists.

    Giving up to my job in Italy and moving into the other side of the world to start fresh a school is something that can be trustfully considered to be crazy thing. Instead I found solid ground in this new adventure with classmates, teachers and passionate people that gave me the tools and the help I was looking for to make my step into the Vancouver VFX Film industry."
    Filippo Maccari
  • "Ten years ago I was making Star Wars videos with my friends in my backyard, prior to attending Lost Boys I had even done a few more through high school. Experimenting with filming to post production to editing and sound in the most basic manners, it was always a one man show.

    Today I work at Industrial Light and Magic with an amazing team of people working to further make history in visual effects.

    Lost Boys is the one and only place I could ever see myself going to now that I’ve made it through and landed successful jobs. With each one having been a stepping stone leading to something greater, Lost Boys has proven to be that “first step into a larger world” Obi-Wan speaks of. In my time there I realized more and more that Lost Boys is more than just a school, to some it’s a home, or a home away from home. And the FX TD program is more than a course, it’s literally everything you could ask for and more in the way of a ticket to work in post. Same goes for the compositing program.

    A huge thanks to Lost Boys and it’s lovely staff for being such loving hosts and amazing people!"
    Josh Methven
  • "I am a 2014 graduate from the first batch of the EFFECTS TECHNICAL (FX TD) DIRECTOR Program at Lost Boys Studios. Being the only international student lacking basic knowledge about CG I risked to apply for Lost Boys. But, it was worth the risk. The specialized programs at the school are very well structured and has provided for a strong base to build my career as an FX Artist.

    The staff at the school is very knowledgeable and very helpful. The most important thing is that you receive one on one attention which helps a lot in terms of understanding and getting the hang of concepts, which in many of the schools is hard to come by.

    The teachers are involved as much as the students in the projects, and tackle problems along with them, which leads to good development in thinking process and at the same time bridges the communication gap between the students and the teachers, which makes for a comfortable learning environment.

    Another great thing about the program is that it isn't confined to the four walls of the studio. Gathering references for projects outside in the real world is also a unique part of the program.

    Industry visits to various studios around the city gave us a great exposure to the professional working environment and also gave us an idea of the various exciting career opportunities after graduation.

    Being at Lost Boys was one of the best decision I made and one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. The knowledge I have gained is immense and also had the opportunity to meet some very talented students across the globe."
    Yash Polke
  • "If it wasn't for Lost Boys, I wouldn't be working for my favourite company Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) on my favourite series (Star Wars).

    Thank you, Lost Boys. You make dreams come true."
    Tanner Scott