Bit off more than I can chew

Ok, I think I have bit off more than I can chew. Here is my dilemma. I figured out exactly what I want to do (Or so I think), I want to be a compositor and visual effects artist. I want to do these effects: – I want to create these effects, and composite them (Green fire, fire snake, magic) I want to be able to create the meteor and composite it perfectly (Meteor, fire, smoke, Composite)

I could go on, but I think you guys get the idea. My problem is this, I cant seem to focus on the craft. My plan is to get really good with AE, then move onto NUKE, or some other node based software. Along side the compositing part, I want to get more involved with boujou. And to top it off I want to learn the effects part of Maya.
But Im not exactly sure where my focus is. As of now, I don’t wanna make the next toy story, I don’t wanna make the transformers models. I want to do the effects and compositing. I DO understand that all of these takes entire teams of people doing their own part. But when it comes to learning the 3d elements, what do I learn?

Im sure its good to learn most of the 3d basics, which I do. But for what I want to do, what areas do I need to focus most on? For example, to create the ocean or lasers, Im sure I don’t need to master rigging and lighting. Im assuming lighting and particles? That’s the thing I don’t know. There are millions of tutorials out there, and Im just not sure what the heck I need to learn. As of now,

As of now, Im a nobody. So Id like to start out small, and work my way up. With that, I know maya somewhat, what parts of maya should I put most of my focus on? For small video stuff, should I even give Blender a try? How is its particles and dynamics? Or am I missing out on learning 3ds Max? I know so little, I would like advice from anyone on what tutorials I should take and which I don’t need just yet, in order to be somewhat proficient in my goals. If anyone has any suggestions on specific tutorials that would be much appreciated as well.

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