View Full Version : Comparative Training Opinions?

12-07-2003, 02:29 PM
I'm interested in purchasing some training series.

It seems my options are between Larry Shultz's courses and Dan Ablan's.

Can anyone tell me why I should buy one over the other, or can you give me an alternative to consider.

I have seen individual reviews for each product, but nothing that is a head to head comparision.

I would consider myself a beginner with broadcast/post house aspirations.

Even though I have the utmost respect for both, I would prefer to keep Dan and Larry out of this conversation because the previous comparison posts always seem to degenerate into 'buy my product' fiasco.

This is kind of a big deal. I mean, I'm looking a spending almost as much on training as I did on LW.

12-07-2003, 02:57 PM
Larry's Course (http://www.3dtrainingonline.com/) is really good.

Plus with his current


Lightwave 8 Special - $600 plus 2 Tour CDs or $150 any module plus FX CD

Wordware Bundle (http://www.wordware.com/tnt/) - Preorder Wordwares Lightwave 8: 1001 Tips and Tricks and get 25% off any Course or CD.

Dan's Courses are good to as they stuff from the basics to advanced. However if you can only get one I would say get Larry's course first then Dan's. Or get Both at same time :)

12-07-2003, 03:10 PM
I've heard a lot of good stuff about Larry's advanced courses, but what about his Intro Courses?

I think I need to learn some more basics before jumping into full character modeling/animating.

Are the Intro courses rehashed in the advanced lessons, or are the advanced lessons built on the Intro?

12-07-2003, 03:28 PM
if your finding it hard to choose then download the free tutorials from both of them and you'll see which "style" of trainging suits you personally.

both trainers are very respected so which ever you choose you'll not be throwing money away for sure.

also there's the todd grimes character dvd setto look at which is/was free when you buy lightwave as an alternative to the digital fusion app.

12-07-2003, 03:37 PM
I would probably opt for Dan Ablan's training course because I believe right now he's giving away a free copy of Inside Lightwave 8 with his courseware and you definately want that.
I agree that you should probably download both of their free tutorials and see which one seems to work better for you.

12-07-2003, 03:41 PM
I did download all the freebies I could (Both Larry and Dan). Both of their styles were very comfortable and easy to follow as well as informative, but now I'm more concerned with content.

I'm looking for the product that can best get me through learning basics, intermediate and advanced techniques, concepts and output.

I'm willing to put in the effort and time so I would like my time and effort to be rewarded with the most valuable content.

(i know, i know. value is always subjective)

12-07-2003, 03:45 PM

I'm not so concerned with the giveaways, because Larry is giving away free stuff as well. And I'll end up getting Inside LW8 anyway.

Dan's product looks like it really gets into the fine details of the tools and tabs of modeler and layout while Larry's seems to be more project based.

I can honestly learn quite effectively from both styles. I just want to make sure I get the best overall content.

12-07-2003, 03:55 PM
You should send each of them an email and ask them why you should buy their course instead of the others. Perhaps you could get more fine details that way.

12-07-2003, 03:58 PM
Yeah, that's probably the best thing to do.

I was just hoping to keep away from 'sales pitch' and get some user feedback.

12-07-2003, 05:28 PM
Well I cannot speak for Dan's course, but as far as Larry's Intro
Course is concerned I think it's EXCELLENT. It is project based, but i find this to be good for me. Through the project he goes through multiple ways of doing things and he shows you how versatile Lightwave is, there are many,many ways to skin a cat(Or model it, texture it, light it, whatever). He also has a support forum where he will personally answer any of your questions if one of the other students doesn't first. I'm not sure if Dan also offers this, but it is very helpful. It is also my understanding that his character animation course builds upon his intro course, but that there is some review of simple tools. Sorry that this is not a comparitive analysis of the two, but I figured I would just let you know my feelings about Larry's Course. I am still finishing up the Intro Course Myself and soon I will be starting the CA Course.:D :D

12-07-2003, 06:38 PM
Larry's video's are great I just wish he'd stop saying "Okay". Okaaaaay! :-)

Reminds me of the school teacher from South Park.

"Drugs are bad!" "Okaaaay!"

But seriously I don't think you can go wrong with dan or Larry.

12-07-2003, 06:40 PM
I have all four modules of Larry's Character Course that I am trying to sell. PM me if you are interested. It of course does not have personal support by Larry so if you do not need that it would be a bit cheaper than buying it new. (I did not use the personal support).

For the most part the course is great, especially if you would like some sub-div or spline modeling tips.

12-07-2003, 07:38 PM
Perhaps you may be interested in this training course I just put on ebay:


Pretty good, but aimed at a total newbie which I can finally say that I am not any longer.

12-07-2003, 07:51 PM
I have no exposaure to Dan's courses. I have taken Larry's and I can recommend it whole heartedly. You watch the video. You try the project and post it, and then Larry or other members of the forum are available to offer help if you need it. It is about as close as you can get to having a personal mentor in a classroom setting. Hope this helps even if it is only one sided.

12-08-2003, 03:23 AM
I appreciate the comments guys, Seriously! :)

Ive never seen any of Dans courses so I cant make a direct comment on them. I can comment on mine though. :)
Let me see if I can throw a bit more info into the mix here.
Ive been doing online courses longer then anyone in the Lightwave community. All you have to do is go onto my forums to verify what several ppl have mentioned regarding the support.
Theres a TON of great info there. Im very active on my own forums and check it daily. The courses are challenging enough where people do take advantage of the support. I feel that its there, its part of the course so use it.

If I get questions that seem to be topics that several people are interested in I will post up new quicktime movies. I also give out additional assignments if I feel that there might be some holes or someone is moving through the material quickly. I will give out more challenging assignments. Some of the free material I have posted on my site have come from several of the answers/clarifications Ive posted up for students. In this way the course is always growing instead of staying the way it is.

I think its important to look at the instructors backgrounds, experience and examples of their work. The bottom line is these will determine the level youll be taught at:

Ive been directly involved with teaching and training for a very long time...since the late 80s. My first training videos I ever did were done on the Amiga computer for a company I beta tested for called Digital Creations (later to become Play Inc). I had 6 Videos for two of their products; Brilliance and DCTV. I also did some training videos for a 3D program called Aladdin 4D. Ive taught and trained teachers and students in various school districts and colleges over the years to do CGI and video. Ive developed online courses for 3D Exchange, Foundation Institute and was an instructor at Video Symphony in Burbank. Ive done countless seminars including ones sponsored by Newtek. Ive demoed for Newtek at every Siggraph since LW 7.0. Ive worked with Lightwave since before it was called Lightwave. Ive been doing CGI for a very long time.

Ive started and run my own animation company (The Animation Factory) and did very well. I was living in Albquerque at the time which was more like the Silicon Gulch as opposed to the Silicon Valley. But I did well for a long time. I was also a lead artist for a company called American Laser Games (a fortune 500 company at the time). Ive worked on so many commericials Ive lost count and even things like a Discovery Channel episode (Living Fossils). Ive worked as a 3D artist for Sony Development, Netter Digital, Foundation Imaging, Amalgamated Pixels and Squarehouse Media and Ive freelanced for years. Ive worked on just about every type of CGI project out there; Ive done commericials, corporate projects, accident recreation, TV Series, Film and Video games. Ive been a modeler, texturer, rigger, lighter, animator and a Technical Director on many many projects. Ive been working out in Hollywood for several years and have a TON of hands on experience under wildly different conditions. I dont hold back any of that information. Again anyone who has asked questions on my forums knows that I bring all of that to the table.

I have examples of my work on my website. You can see what I can do and what Ive done. The type of work your instructor has done, its level of quality and artistic ability are all things that should, IMO, be looked at and weighed. After all thats the best your instructor will be able to teach you.

Again look at my responses to questions on here and CGTalk to various questions people have posted. You can determne from those if I do know what Im talking about or not and how useful the information is. I also provide the most hours of any courses out there and the lowest cost per training hour and, as Riki pointed out, more "Oks" too. ;)

As an update to Wizcrackers post:
My Lightwave 8 Special:
Im also giving a way a free book, Wordwares new Lightwave 8:1001 Tips and Tricks at http://www.wordware.com/tnt AND both Tour CDs (20 extra hours). My Character Course is over 60 hours already. My Introduction to Lightwave Course is over 30 hours. Anyone who signs up gets an automatic update to the Lightwave 8 materials for my courses.

Wordware Special:
Preorder Wordwares TnT book and:
You get 35% off my Intro Course.
or 25% off my Character Course
or 40% any module in my Character Course
Again, updates to the LW8 materials will be automatic.

I would again encourage you to check out my forum, the information there and the level of activity from myself and my students. You can check it out
HERE (http://www.learningstop.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi) . Login as guest, password is guest
You can see for yourself the progress the students have made by viewing their threads in the WIP sections.

Feel free to ask questions, I certainly would if I was going to spend money on something like this. :)

12-08-2003, 10:22 AM
Hey Mamurphy,

You need to find what works best for you. The 3D Garage Signature course is used around the world, even in US Government Military, as well as the Defense Intelligence Agency. The Signature Course comfortably walks you through every panel and button and tool, so you understand LightWave's workflow. This is key to moving on to do your own projects. The Signature Course also provides many small projects which helps demonstrate what a tool does. For example, what's the difference between Pole 1 and Pole 2? There are many features within LightWave, both Modeler and Layout that are clearly explained in the course.

There is a complete 18 page INDEX (http://3dgarage.com/3DG_Signature.pdf) which will give you an idea of the amount of information covered in the course. From there, you can upgrade to our Advanced course, which covers more complex projects. You create it all - from organic shapes with splines, to sub patch modeling, to UV mapping, IK, Bones, cool camera work, graph editor, HDR Lighting, and much much more.

I've been teaching LightWave for 10 years now. With columns in magazines such as LightWave Pro, Video Toaster User, 3D Design, and now as Editor-in-Chief of Keyframe Magazine, I take into consideration feedback from users around the world. Additionally, I'm currently working on my 8th book for New Riders Publishing, "Inside LightWave 8." My LightWave books are now translated in 7 countries around the globe, from Japan, to Spain, to Russia and more.

Beyond that, I've personally taught LightWave to everyday users, as well as many Hollywood artists. I've been contracted to teach LightWave to television stations as well, such as ABC in New York City, CBS in Indianapolis, WTTW in Chicago, and NBC in Tampa, FL.

All of this experience is put into the 3D Garage courseware. You'll find that our users are learning LightWave faster than they ever thought possible. We have forums setup for discussion and critique, and it's widely accesible right from the 3D Garage site. Feel free to stop in, whether you use the course or not.

One final note - we've made sure that our courseware is top quality, at full 1024 x 768 resolution, many students have told us that they accidentally click the movie file thinking it's their LightWave interface! This is the clearest, highest quality course.

Please let me know if you have any questions -

Best of luck!

12-08-2003, 10:30 AM
there you go then!...replies from both instructors about their courses.

i think that no matter which you choose they are both very proffessional and deliver top quality courseware..all you need to decide is which is best suited to yourself and you can do that by looking at what's delivered on the courses and the demo avi's that both have for download.

steve g

12-08-2003, 10:52 AM
It's cool to see both instructors active in the online community...can't beat that

12-08-2003, 05:56 PM
Go with Dan. He knows his stuff and gets knowledgeable, experienced, first rate people to contribute to his materials...alot of them Emmy winners/Nominees, etc. He is ALWAYS up on the latest gizmos and updates in the software, and even experienced users get valuable information out of his books and courseware.

Nothing will make you a 3D artist. But his stuff is the best LightWave assistant out there without being in a working VFX facility. Don't fall for the shams, get the real deal. Then throw your current reel away and start again after you study the material.


12-08-2003, 06:10 PM
Thanks a lot silencer.

I've been doing this a very long time - and still animate for a living. I take all of those real world projects, including any problems or advantages and put them into not just the books, but 3D Garage Courseware as well.

12-08-2003, 06:44 PM
I'd personally suggest the 3D Garage courseware for a number of reasons.

First off, look at the quality of the videos. Dan's are very high quality output. Very sharp, very clear.

Then look at the QUALITY of the material. what is your end goal? Dan has trained many of the top artists in this industry. Dan's material is almost a must have at most all Lightwave studios. Don't believe me? ask around.

Dan is the editor of one of the only Lightwave based magazines around. His attention to detail is second to none.

Just look at the quality of the free videos, that will tell you more than enough to make your decision on.

12-08-2003, 06:46 PM
I have to say Larry's courseware is in one word awesome!!!

I know I am using it. We do not just promote anything here at Wordware and no Larry is NOT paying us to promote his material.

I looked at a lot of training material before we decided to promote some of it. Larry’s is simply too good to not tell the community about, I am all about the LightWave community, ask any of my authors!!!

I have seen a lot of training material being a publisher. Do yourself a favor...get Larry's training courses!!! I have saved myself a LOT of time with it!!

Now, you can save yourself a bundle of money, let me tell you how!!

Pre-order our book LightWave 3D:1001 Tips and Tricks and not only will you save 40% off of the retail price of this book, but Larry will give you 25% off minimum on his training material...any or ALL of it (I recommend all of it)!!! Then, if that was not enough...NewTek will give you a $50.00 Tim Buck to spend anyway you like at NewTek. Upgrade LW, buy yourself and a few friends hats, etc...

This is a heck of a deal...

12-08-2003, 07:21 PM
If you are looking at starting right out knowing what is expected of a professional, it's best to tune into pro-instruction as soon as possible. I know that a lot of courses trumpet their simple techniques for newbies, but if you have professional ambitions I would steer you toward Dan's courses and books. They rock, and the have the guys who are in the business showing you how it's done.

Dave Adams
I,ROBOT/Digital Domain

12-08-2003, 07:23 PM
No problem, Dan. When I was green, your books helped ALOT.

Now that LightWave's paying for my house, your books make GREAT doorstops!


Seriously, any new user will benefit immensely from professional, well put together materials like Dan's. When the clock is ticking and you're struggling because you learned something the wrong way from clunky material, and money is bleeding out of the shop and the client is not too happy, you're going to wonder when you get home that night "I'll bet this was covered in Aban's books and courseware. I should KNOW this."

His book contracts get renewed for reason, folks. Check one out, and you'll be glad you did.

12-08-2003, 07:29 PM
Hi Wes,
Thanks for the comments.:) Its nice to see how far and how quickly someone can progress with Lightwave in a short (2 - 3 weeks?). Its very gratifying to see what youve done with my lessons, exciting stuff!
I agree with Silencer, its fantastic that youve been able to corral so many top industry professionals into contributing to your new Tips and Tricks book. I also like that its covering from LW5 all the way thru Lightwave 8! When I saw who you had contributing to the book I HAD to be involved. Great stuff!

Dan is publisher of Keyframe now? Congratulations! :)

12-08-2003, 07:39 PM
Well, I appreciate everyone's replies.

I still have no idea what to do.:(

They seem to be six of one, half a dozen of the other.

I wish I could buy courses from both of these guys, then I would not have to decide.

My first purchase after the software was Dan's Inside LW7 (A great book), but I'm very much an audio/visual learner.

I can only get so far before drooling on the pages of a book. Oh well.

I think I'm going to go on a self-teaching blitz for the next 3-5 days (The manual, Inside LW7 and free vid tutorials) and see where I end up and what I feel I need.

Probably before Christmas I will have a good idea of what to do.

I will say thanks to Larry "Splinegod", Dan, Riki and his Suture.net, Lee Stranahan and anybody else who has provided help and free knowledge.

ps-please keep posting your opinions and suggestions. I could still use help deciding.

12-08-2003, 08:12 PM
I don't envy you your decision. My choice was easier because Larry's was the only course available other than videos from desktop images. Check learnlightwave.com I think Lee and Larry are having a low cost set of training events coming up for lightwave 8. Dan's books rock and most of the major online book stores are taking preorders for his new ones. If you have not purchased his digital cinematography don't delay. I keep waiting for someone who has taken both courses to pipe in. I may have to take the plunge and order Dan's stuff for my son, so I can look over his shoulder and see if I can pick up some new tricks.

12-09-2003, 11:56 AM
hi mamurphy,

I haven't seen all the courseware that you're reviewing so can't give you the back to back opinions. All I can say is I started off with Dans Inside LightWave series several years ago and it's the only LightWave instruction I've ever had.

Inserting an edit here realizing I lied... Also broke the bank (at the time being a student) purchasing some GREAT Ron Thorton instructional tapes. Those were also great. Even though they're like version 5.0 or something, I still have the news junior we hire watch them.

With the help of Dan's books I have gone on to work on major feature films for studios, had the chance to work in other countries, written for LightWave publications and now am a CG Supervisor on a scifi TV show seen in 100+ countries. It's pretty cool to see your work in the theater, on TV and on DVD! So that being said I know Dan's books are great and from what I've seen that quality carries over into his videos.

No teaching alone will make you a pro, but good teaching guides and hard work on your half are essential to making it. Every place I've worked including LightWave powerhouses in California all have assorted Inside LightWave books sitting around. I think that alone speaks volumes.

Best of luck with your schooling, it's a great career to get into.

12-09-2003, 12:13 PM
Hey Thanks Pete!

Just wait until Inside LightWave 8!

It'll be even better than the previous.

12-09-2003, 01:23 PM
Hi Dan,

will there be a downloadable demo of the advanced courseware any time soon? I'd like to have a look. A view short samples would be appreciated!


12-09-2003, 01:31 PM
Hi -
thanks for asking.
You know, my time has been short lately and I just keep loosing days, everytime I think to get them up.

I'll make a point this week if I can. The AVI's now play on both Mac and PC.

I'll see what files will be good to put online.

12-10-2003, 06:27 AM
Hi Dan. Your courseware looks great and your books rule.
Any chance getting your courseware on DVD in the future?

12-10-2003, 09:50 AM
Hi Lib,
thanks much.

Well, we did offer DVD-ROMs in the beginning. But it was hit or miss with the users, so we had to scrap them for CD's. Sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn't.

Once we get a standardized format that we KNOW works, we'll do it again.


12-10-2003, 12:48 PM
Here’s my attempt at a comparative opinion.

Rule #1. (there is no rule #2 but that make a great intro :D )
You have to know yourself very well. If you know the style that you like to be taught, then the decision will be a lot easier. In other words, if you pick up things very fast or it is a bit slower then this will have a big impact on your decision. When you are being trained for a new position or job you know immediately if the person training you is going to do a good job. If you are in school and have a class that you enjoy chances are that the instructors style of teaching is what makes it fun to learn. Moving on …

Situation: Two instructors with lots of recommendations and experience.
Results: Those facts cancel each other out making them equal in that area.
Answer: Chose the one whose teaching style matches your personality and preferences.

Comparison (my opinion only):

Larry – His depth of knowledge shows in his material. After completing one of his projects you will think “hey, that was cool”. However, it is very slow paced. If you pick up information fast you will feel like your being beaten over the head with it. It is like making 3 left turns to go right, instead of just going right. I feel he takes 10 mins. to explain what should have taken 4 or 5. This is a good thing if you need that level of instruction. Professional quality is another concern, again this is only my definition of it. Larry’s videos feel like he wasn’t very well prepared for the them. As if, perhaps, he thought “I’m going to make a video tutorial of a gizmo” then simply hit record. Also, the video quality needs improvement. They are very grainy. His compression ratio should be fine tuned a tad. This causes problems when trying to drag the video slider backwards if you want to re-listen to a small part of the instruction. This final critique is more of a personal preference of mine. Larry’s delivery of his instruction is weak. He uses a lot of the word whisker “Uh”, so much that I found my self wanting to scream, although that may not bother others. With all that said, I will repeat that I believe his intruction will get you where you need to go. His knowledge is not to be taken lightly. He has a wealth of information to offer. His style of teaching just doesn’t fit my personality for learning.

Dan – His instruction is straight and to the point (fits my personality). Being of a faster pace you may find yourself using the slider much more to replay a part or two of the instruction. This is where his quality of video excels. Very smooth playback and high visual quality motivated me to learn. His videos and delivery of instruction feel very professional. It’s not a flashy salesman tone either. We already established he has the experience. It is faster paced in the sense that once he tells you where a button is he assumes you will remember it. So later on he will tell you “use the knife tool here” but not tell you where to find it. Why should he? He already explained it. If you don’t remember where its at (this is the cool part with videos) you can always grab the video slider and drag it back see where the tool is and then return to your place. This is something I wish Larry would realize, that since it is a video the student can simply rewind any portion. No need tell him repeatedly throughout the instruction because it slows things down. I feel a basic knowledge of Lightwave will help you get more out of Dan’s material.

I personally hate to pay for something that with a little time invested on the students part could get him that understanding. In other words, I don’t want to pay someone to tell me where the basic buttons are or what the basic tools do when I can see that for myself. For example (I hate to have to do this but…), in one of Larry’s videos he says, “This is the box tool (he points to the box button) it makes a box” then moves on to the other buttons and does the same thing. Sorry, Larry I don’t mean to pick on you it’s just that I feel if you streamlined your courses you would be the clear leader for first timers. I favor Dan because I pick up things quickly and have a pet pieve for professional quality.

Both instructors have their "pluses" and "minuses".

12-10-2003, 12:53 PM
Thanks handron -
this is very helpful information for future courses.

Happy Holidays

12-10-2003, 01:50 PM
Thanks Handron,
I have a question or two if you dont mind.
Youve mentioned the compression quality and all that which is pretty easy for someone to find out for themselves by going to my site and Dans and downloading the movies. The other things youve said about the pace, delivery etc can also more or less can be viewed from the free movies from both sites.

Im pretty certain mamurphy has seen the free videos from both sites and has a pretty good idea of the things you bring up ie. compression quality, who says "um", the pace, personality etc.

Based on his initial question of asking for a head to head comparison it seems he would like to know more about the course material itself, support etc. With that in mind:
1. Have you taken any of my courses and have you taken any of Dans? If so, which ones?
2. What did you learn from both courses?
3. What did you expect to learn and did each course meet your expectations? Why or why not?
4. Do you have examples of what you produced based on your work in each course?
5. What was the support like?
6. Did you have questions answered in a timely fashion?
7. Was your work critiqued or reviewed? Were you asked and expected to make corrections?
8. Do you feel like the material covered in each course was challenging?

The reason I ask these questions is because I think those are the relevant things to ask. Its hard to tell if your complaints about the pace, "preparedness" etc are based solely on the free stuff I have posted or on taking an actual course.

A small amount of the material I have posted comes directly from my courses. The rest are movies I created to answer questions posted by students and as such are completely unrehearsed.
Some are additional assignments I give my students. Others are just free stuff Ive posted up in response to questions on this or other forums and again as such are unrehearsed. I also am probably not going to spend a great deal of time rehearsing material that will be free and hope that people will look past the fact that they are created "on the fly" and find the knowledge itself useful. So with that in mind I think mamurph is more interested in a comparision of the actual courses as I mentioned.

Actually it would be nice if anyone else could post more of a review. :)

12-10-2003, 01:59 PM
I have been watching this thread and just wanted to jump in and post some of the pros and cons of Larry's courseware.

I have had Larry's course for almost four weeks now and I love it.

On the other hand, I have never seen Dan's courseware, so I have no opinion of Dan's. I do have some of Dan's books and while I have a certain bias :) Dan knows his stuff!

Handron, I just went through those sections of Larry’s course and do not recall it being on the basic level as you describe. Personally I have years of training myself and the best training is done when the teacher works through a project with you…for the first time. That’s what I felt Larry did. When he ran into a issue that needed some thought, he said so, then performed that task two or three different ways so you knew the options you had to complete that task.

I have watched other LightWave videos that were excellent quality, great production and were scripted so you did not get any of the “um’s” and such. I also found my self lost because when they did something on the screen that was not in the script…it lost me. Like not saying what key they pressed or such. I got so frustrated going back as you say to view it again and again and finally realized they just hit an area where the script did not work in real life while the person was modeling it on screen. I have rewound Larry’s videos plenty of times and had no problem…I am even running them from my CD Rom, not my HD…

The reason I got Larry’s courseware is simply…he cares about the LightWave community.

If you look at the posts on this forum, CGTalk, and all the others… Larry helps people, he cares, he spends hours a day posting helpful information on countless threads to help other along.

I am sorry, and PLEASE…no offence but I felt that the only time the other people who have courseware posts on these forums is when they are talking about their products. I never see them posting to help people.

THAT and that alone was my deciding factor, and I have been extremely happy.

In the first week, I made the rocket from Larry’s course, and decided to re-do the whole thing from memory and was able to! In my first week of training I made the following columns from a photograph after talking to Timothy Albee (he challenged me).


Then in the second week I made the second training rocket from memory here.


Then in my third week modeled this organic ship.


and now I am off to texturing… Here is my first texturing project. I decided to enter a contest on another forum, I had to texture an apple (now if any of you are from LWG3D don’t look at this apple below, that’s cheating!!!) It is still in process...


Anyway, I am posting this because I feel like I owe a lot to Larry. We (Wordware) have decided to promote Larry’s courseware because we feel it is of the highest quality.

If you have any questions to ask someone who HAS Larry’s courseware I would love to try and help you. Feel free to email me anytime at [email protected]

12-10-2003, 02:13 PM
Larry, I'm still curious how many of your students have gone on to become pros themselves, if any.

Do you have any references from industry pros you trained?

Take your average Newbie poster who wants to learn 3d. Maybe they have aspirations of becoming a CG Artist in film and television. At some point, they are going to invest in some training of some sort. CD's, DVD's books or online tutorials. They have a right to know the strengths and weaknesses of each potential product being offered for sale, especially when it costs hundreds of dollars.

Not everyone has talent, and some people will never go beyond forum hopping and posting really bad looking images. Others will inevitably become well known for their talent.

We have seen testimonials from numerous industry pros that have stated that Dan's books gave them the head start they needed to become successful.

I am, as are many others, understandably curious to know if your training is capable of providing the start needed to acheive those kinds of goals, however I have been unable to locate any kind of endorsements from any industry professionals regarding your program.

Can you help us out on that?

12-10-2003, 02:49 PM
Larry and Dan have in fact both been major contributors to the online community over the years, with literally thousands of informational posts responding to other users' questions. They both produce courseware that comes highly recommended by many of the folks who have taken their courses. This thread has offered some interesting comparative information, but I sense that the discussion is taking a turn from discussion toward argument. Let's not go there.

12-10-2003, 03:12 PM
The comparative posts are a good idea, but perhaps if vendors have long lists of questions, that part could be done as off-forum r&d?

Dave Adams
I,ROBOT/Digital Domain

12-10-2003, 03:23 PM
Larry, I'm still curious how many of your students have gone on to become pros themselves, if any.
Several actually. Many are also already working in the industry and wanted to polish up their skills or learn something new like character modeling, texturing, rigging or animating. Some wanted to learn for personal projects or personal reasons.

Do you have any references from industry pros you trained?

Yes I do but how relevant is that? Are you saying that everyone who has read Dans books or taken his courses have gone on to become pros? It would probably be fair to state that MOST people who have read Dans books have NOT gone on to become industry professionals. That probably goes for his courses, my courses and Wordwares books as well. This is a very small industry and those who make it do so regardless if they have training or not. Also what is the percentage of pros in the CGI industry that are NOT Lightwave users? The question you ask is irrelevant. I can say this: NOBODY is going to get a industry job based on what they learn solely from a book. I can definately say that I feel that the training I give WILL be at a level to get someone a job. I know this because they have

Take your average Newbie poster who wants to learn 3d. Maybe they have aspirations of becoming a CG Artist in film and television. At some point, they are going to invest in some training of some sort. CD's, DVD's books or online tutorials. They have a right to know the strengths and weaknesses of each potential product being offered for sale, especially when it costs hundreds of dollars.
No disagreement here. Ive always said that.

Not everyone has talent, and some people will never go beyond forum hopping and posting really bad looking images. Others will inevitably become well known for their talent.

Yes? And your point? Some people do have talent but lack training. Some people lack both. Thats not for me to judge. If they want training they expect some kind of professional level to it and support. They need someone who has 3 things to teach them:
1. Professional experience
2. In depth knowledge of the software
3. Artistic ability
If you were going to shell out money for training would you prefer to learn from someone who considers THIS (http://www.3dgarage.com/frogleaf.jpg) to be advanced work or
would you prefer something like THIS (http://www.3dtrainingonline.com/anims/bullfrogshots.avi) ?
Animationwise.....which would you consider to be "advanced"?
THIS (www.3dgarage.com/images/movies/Eagle.mov) or THIS (http://www.3dtrainingonline.com/anims/firelizard_test.avi). Which of those show artist ability or a professional level? I find it interesting that Hadron didnt point out that the animation on the eagle is completely wrong....oh well

We have seen testimonials from numerous industry pros that have stated that Dan's books gave them the head start they needed to become successful.
First of all what does Dans book have anything to do with his courseware? They are two COMPLETELY different things. Dan did NOT write a lot of the material his books. My understanding is that whats in his courseware is all his. Most industry pros as I stated go to where they are on their own. Yes many do have Dans books and typically a lot of other material as well. Thats pretty normal. But to equate getting a job with Dans or any books is a gross misrepresentation. How hard is it to get someone to endorse things? Luckily most people are intelligent enough to dig more then just reading endorsements.

I am, as are many others, understandably curious to know if your training is capable of providing the start needed to acheive those kinds of goals, however I have been unable to locate any kind of endorsements from any industry professionals regarding your program.
Of course it is. Far better then a book too. I have at least as many endorsements from students on my site as Dan has. Most of them ARE working professionals or aspiring to be. Several have posted in this thread. Apparently your definition of industry professional is a bit too narrow. LOTS of people do make a living in CGI outside of Los Angeles or Mad Cow. Have you taken Dans courses? Did you get your job (Im assuming you have one) because of Dans courses? Again dont mention the book again. I know you like to hammer on that one but mamurphy asked for a comparison of the courses NOT Dans books. In fact he said he has Dans book(s) and apparently feels it isnt enough or he wouldnt be asking about courses.

A big part of courses is the support. Both Dan and I have support forums. I would suggest checking out both forums. Which has more participation? Lots, little? Is that because the courseware is challening or not? What kind of feedback is there on student work? Dans forums are public mine are not. I prefer to allow students to stay focused without outside distractions. Most guests on my forum are amazed at the level of activity, the amount of information and feedback that is there. :)

12-10-2003, 03:55 PM
Sorry to get off track here. I keep hearing about Gnomon which I believe teaches Maya. They seem pretty well established. I'm just wonderring if we have anything like that for Lightwave and how LW courseware compares with courseware for other APPS.

12-10-2003, 03:56 PM
While the tone is getting a little, shall I say, pointed, the information is extremely helpful.

I've seen a good heads up pros and cons from handron. How about some more of that from different people.

I will say this about professionals or non-professionals....I don't expect to become a pro modeler/animator from watching and copying someone elses mouse clicks and keystrokes.

I expect to become a pro from a butt-load of hard work, trial and error and a little "direction" from people who have already walked the path I'm on now. (Training)

I need help with the Lightwave work flow. I need help with getting a concept to creation.

That means helping me see how subpatches, the bevel tool, layered textures, UV maps, IK chains, deformations, etc, etc, etc, ... can be utilized to to get me there.

I chose Lightwave because of the price/performance ratio, but I want to stay with it because of this great community and it's willingness to share valuable information, technique and concepts.

So, maybe with that diatribe over, can we get some more responses from those who wish to help me plus anyone else who has had the same questions about training?

Did I mention I love this community!!!


12-10-2003, 04:04 PM
They need someone who has 3 things to teach them:
1. Professional experience
2. In depth knowledge of the software
3. Artistic ability

For course ware to learn software, I would order it more like:

1. In depth knowledge of the software.
2. The best application of that knowledge based on proved professional experience.
3. Teaching skills to present that knowledge in a fast and clear way.

The artistic ability does not have to come from the teacher unless you actually want to teach a course to discover Artistic Talents in you students. But honestly, i don't think you would be the right person for that based on your work.


12-10-2003, 04:13 PM
Since we couldn't avoid descending into argument, that's enough for this thread.