View Full Version : training video's...MY personal view

12-10-2003, 06:06 PM
okay...just to start this off on the right [correct...not left or right!] foot....

...."tis the season to be jolly"....
..good will to all men [and women....]..

there's enough training tapes/cdrom's/dvd's and seminar's to fill a good sized rooom for lightwave

i'd simply reccomend people who are having a difficult time choosing what to get...

desktop video collection
3d garage
todd grimes dvd collection
splinegod courses/collections
or D.A.V.E school

plus there's a few more around [my own will surface at sometime in the new year....]

down load the demo's that are avialable and some have several free tutorials as well to look through

as see what suits you and your budget...
it's a personal thing..abit like being taught to drive you need an instructer that you can identify with etc...

i'd say that all of the above are excellent courses you just need one to fit into your way of thinking/working...

i have several tapes/dvd's and cdrom's from learning max and honestly all of them were worth the price and taught me max and how to animate etc..but some of them were "not for me" in their delivery...so that was the only cdrom i bought from them in that instance...

so i'd be tempted to buy a single dcrom or short course before splashing out a ton of money just in case the tutor "wears thin"
on you listening to him/her over several hours!

i have a dual character studio disc for max that is quite irritating to listen to for longer than 20 mins at a time..his accent and delivery to myself comes across as partonising...but...
yup..."but" the content of what he's delivering is top notch so i'll put up with it!...though i won't buy anymore cd's from them uinless they are my only option for a course subject...

i really think that there's no "bad choice" with any of the cd's list above...just choice...

adn at least one person know's where my next training will be coming from..and i based that choice on watching their free videos to asses what "works for me".

have a great time learning.

steve g

12-10-2003, 06:27 PM
I'd also recommend Lee's classes for the new LW releases... they are usually less expensive and they throw you into the new features. you walk away wanting to experiment.

Let me add that the above comments are for people who already know LW and want continuing education...

Dan's books have been referred to as the other Lw manual, so Dan's inside LW books are highly recommended, and far more affordable than a several hundred dollar course.

there are also free resources on the web...

12-10-2003, 06:46 PM
yeah i bet there's load i've missed off like Lee's classes ,proton and duce at siggraph...
the idea is i'm more interested in "how" they teach rather than the simple content list of a course.

i feel that a certain amount of good humour and entertainment can really make a video a joy to watch over and over again.which we usually do for training in 3d.

with the release of lw 8 these going to be quite a few books to choose from so on the introduction side they'll be plenty of choice from users who like books as well as cdroms/dvd/video tapes.


12-11-2003, 12:45 AM
I think what great about Lee's classes is that they morph into a two way discussion that becomes an orgy of ideas and discussions. Since he often brings in specialist, you often hear each one of them overlap each other in discussing concepts. All the while, Lee tries to wrangle them back on course...

Not for everyone, but since I take his classes as refreshers for revisions to LW, I can't comment from a totally green LW newbe's point of view... I dig it though....

Getting Dave's Inside book is a given, if only because of its affordability compared to a class..

Bougen's book Lightwave Lighting is something I just started and it looks really thorough. I think keyframe mag did a review of it recently that was quite on the money...

Albee and Ross have a LW book on animation called LW7 character animation that shows some really great animation theory that just happens to use LW.

Training-wize there are different approaches. the above is mainly for continued education. For the newbie, probably an intership where you are sitting besides other LW people. If thats not possible, try a goal oriented training.

For modeling (which I suck at by the way) its fun to make something out of clay, and then model it in the computer. that way you are familiar with the shapes and you are learning how to model it in LW, not just how to model it.

For lighting , its been tough for me to understand the deficencies in LW lighting... like tweaking the fall off and toning down the hotspots. Since this is related to surfacing, its a whammy.

Perhaps the best but hardest way to train is to take a photograph of a some simple shapes like a cone, a cylinder a ball and a block. Paint them a flat white and then light them with just one light with a matte white card on the back and to the side.

then in LW, try to replicate it with just the standard point/spot/distant lights to get a feel for how it falls off. expect to use like 10 or 20 lights to replicate the bounce and fall off. I found this to be helpfull in understanding the basic LW lighting model before diving into the exotic stuff light area lights and radiocity.

Look at me I'm rambling...


12-11-2003, 03:06 AM
I like Lee's style, actually Larry, Lee and Dan should team up to form one super school.

12-11-2003, 07:18 AM
Timothy Albee's book on chracter animation is very good. I was hoping it would go a little more into some more advanced rigging options such as expressions or morphing but I wouldn't say I was disappointed. It definately helped clarify some personal issues I was having with rigging.

Not getting Dan's Inside Lightwave book isn't even an option for me. I do consider it to be my second Lightwave manual. They're written so that both beginners and experienced users gain knowledge from them.

Bougen's book on lighting was good but I felt it was a little lacking. I guess it just depends on what you're looking to get out of it. I was hoping for more of a project based approach to LW specific lighting rather then a lot of explanation of real world lighting which I already had a pretty good foundation on. Again though, I wouldn't say I was disapponted.

All of the tutorials that Lee posted a few months back were all very good. He is enjoyable to listen to and I found his tutorials extremely helpful. It's too bad that they didn't continue.

12-11-2003, 02:05 PM
Lee is also a figure for nostalgia... the old toaster dayz.... :rolleyes:

Something relating to training, but not involving computers, is traditional training...

I really suggest that LW folks take a photography class (for composition and lighting), a figure drawing (especially for char animators) and a landscape painting class (for color and lighting).

If I were designing a curriculum for a 4 year CG class, well, I'd first learn how to spell curriculum :D , and then I would have the fiorst two years be traditional art and illustration and sculpture.. the last two would be digital..

12-11-2003, 03:48 PM
Definitely -
get away from the computer and do other things. I started out as a photographer, studying photojournalism in college. Now with the digital age, it's fantastic not to be stuck in a darkroom developing, but rather shooting and getting instant feed back.

There's some great photo forums on the net. Lee is an excellent photographer.

One of these days, I'll get a gallery going for the thousands of images and negatives I have piled up.

12-11-2003, 03:56 PM

Maybe you should put a collection of some of your photographs on your CD's that ship with your Inside Lightwave books(or courseware for that matter) for either use as textures, or background plates. That would be excellent!

12-11-2003, 04:16 PM
I have a bunch of textures we put out for free with either course. But those are tiles, woods, reflections, etc.

I'd love to get my old black and white's online. I have a ton of photo studies from here in Chicago, as well as Lake Tahoe. The Lake Tahoe stuff was in the mid 80's during my "Ansel Adams" phase. Lot's of red and orange filters. In B&W photography, using a red filter brings out the clouds, while darkening the sky. I've saved all of the negatives - I must have thousands, and now with negative scanners, I can bring them all in the computer, archive them, clean them up, re-print, etc. It's wonderful!

I just got a few new Photoshop books too for digital photography. Great info!

12-11-2003, 04:22 PM
A lot of my clients are photographers. I did this Flash site a little while ago which is worth a look.


I also do the Australian Centre for Photography's website.


12-11-2003, 04:27 PM
Riki -
that's awesome! Someday I'll learn Flash. That would be great.

Photography is a great outlet for computer people I think. Getting away from the computer and looking at things in a different light is ideal for 3D animators.

12-11-2003, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by dablan
Getting away from the computer and looking at things in a different light is ideal for 3D animators.

Wait...I can get up and move away from my computer? People actually do that?:)

12-11-2003, 04:47 PM
Well, only to get something to eat...

12-11-2003, 04:51 PM
.. Then you'll need a bigger chair...

I notice too, Dave, that you didn't mention going to the bathroom as a reason for getting up... you use a bed pan too? yeah me too... ah genius minds think alike.... :p

12-11-2003, 04:53 PM
How come you keep calling me Dave?

But oh yeah - bathroom breaks. Although, I'm thinking of getting one of those all-in-one chairs. :)

12-11-2003, 05:00 PM
Sorry about that dan... Ha ha.. my mistake.. That is too funny...

Heeeellllllllllllllllooooooo Dave.

I hear the new Aeron chairs are going to feature flushing handles in the arm rest and self cleaning charcoal filters...

..or did I dream that?

12-11-2003, 05:07 PM
No worries -
we have Aaron chairs at the studio - but they don't have any way to refridgerate things or remove uhm, waste :)

12-11-2003, 05:14 PM
Wow, I should work for you... even DD didn't have aeron chairs...

12-11-2003, 05:26 PM
Yeah, but DD has A LOT more people.
We have 3.


12-12-2003, 05:32 AM
Thanks Dan, Flash is a lot of fun. I need to get back into it. But waiting till I can afford the upgrade.

12-12-2003, 01:21 PM
Originally posted by archiea
Heeeellllllllllllllllooooooo Dave.

Huh? :D

Dave Adams
I,ROBOT/Digital Domain

12-12-2003, 01:24 PM
Nope -
they be talkin' to me.

Get lost LWD!