View Full Version : need quailty LW training

06-07-2004, 06:12 PM
I have just graduated from highschool and have gotten some thing and a check for 1000 dollars. know since i need that cash for my car repairs and insurance, which will cost about 500 dollars, so i hought i might get some good advance training for lightwave. The only good training DVD's, that is not for beginner, is ADVANCED Courseware. What is your guys comments on this triang dvd's if you own them or hav eseen them all?

06-07-2004, 09:21 PM
What are you interested in learning? You can check out what I have at http://www.3dtrainingonline.com.
I would take a look at my online support forums for my students at http://www.learningstop.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi
login as guest and use guest for the password. If you have any questions drop me an email. Youve seen examples of the material I have on the 3rd party CD that came with LW8. :)

06-07-2004, 09:30 PM
You may want to check this out. Real pros from the industry, looks very cool...


Larry already posted his link above and you can also check out http://www.3dgarage.com/ which is Dan Ablan's advanced courseware. He's who i learned from...

06-08-2004, 09:04 AM
@ splinegod: so since i did precoder my copy on 1001 tips and tricks i can order the intro to lightwave for 230 (which is 35% off of the 295 price) or is it 295? Plus it there any other way to pay for it other than paypal, I have had some problems in the past with it and will do anything not to use it?

06-08-2004, 09:43 AM
Hey Zecryan,
Actually on the page it says $35% off the FULL price which brings it to $255.00. You dont have to use Paypal. Email me directly for details. Thanks! :)

06-08-2004, 10:21 AM
regarding the animationmentor site...

It drives me crazy when people create sites that maximize the window across your whole desktop, and also make it impossible to resize the screen. Anyone using dual monitors and Nview will have the screen split between the two monitors. Do they think people are too stupid to resize their own screen to see the site properly? Is their design so very important that they have to take over the controls of the window?

So just a hint to anyone creating a website, don't do this.

06-10-2004, 04:10 AM
well now i have bad news, I car service light came on so i have to wait till the tell me how much it will cost to fixand depending on that, it might take me a little longer to get the money i need to buy the training (however i am starting a job so i should be bring home more about 400 - 500 dollars a month, instead of 100 - 200 dollars a week so it should not me to long). Splinegod, how long is the wordware deal good for me to use on your site, since i now the book are either shipping now or shipping any day now?

06-10-2004, 04:41 AM
No problem. Ill still honor it. :)

06-10-2004, 12:56 PM
Dan Ablan's advanced courseware is awesome (I'm a customer). He takes you through stuff step-by-step. Even though I wasn't a newbie when I started following along, I learnt loads....

IMHO well worth the money.


06-10-2004, 02:03 PM
WEll, I can't really tell by the website and not sure, but the in the intro to lightwave include stuff on Lightwave 3d 8 or only 7.5 splinegod?

I think i may, money providing, but some of the course 3dgarage is going to come out with, from what i hear, he is goibg to sell some sized training only on certain things, even tho the advanced character set looks very good but 600 dollars, ouch!

06-10-2004, 02:35 PM
Lightwave 7.5 and 8.0 are more similar then they are different. Most materials wont change much other then to reflect some of the new modeling tools and so on. I tend to upgrade my course material as I go since the courses are self paced and the support time unlimted which means that you will be receivingLW 8 updates on a regular basis during the course.

My Intro course is over 35 hours of material and growing. I also tend to answer questions on my forums by posting new videos. That way its more like a class then just buying a series of tutorials.

My Character course is over 65 hours of material and even with the new character tools in LW 8 it hasnt changed that much. I already have additional materials available covering some of the new features that are pertinent to the course. Again anyone signing up is automatically upgraded to Lightwave 8 materials which I make available online or on CD.

If youre looking at any courses I would suggest:

1. Figuring out what you would like to learn.
2. Look at the instructors work and see if you feel either one will meet your needs.
3. Look at the videos that came on the LW 8 3rd party CD as well as what each has posted online. Youve seen the videos I did on that CD as well as several for KURV. This makes it easier to determine who fits your learning style better.
4. I have a support forum and so does Dan. Check them out and see which seems to be a better fit for you.
5. Find reviews, check out student work etc. etc. like this thread. http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=20460

Ive spent most of my working career out in Hollywood. I tend to teach tools, tips and tricks that Ive used on the job doing modeling, texturing, lighting, rigging, animating and technical directing. I do my best to make that knowledge available to students. :)

06-11-2004, 03:20 PM

Email me with your specific questions at dablan at earthlink dot net, and I'll fill you in on the courses. 7.5, 8.0, and Advanced.
I'd like to learn more about where you are in your learning, and at what stage you think you're at, what types of things you wish to create, etc.

And, I'll give you a free copy of Inside LightWave 8, my new book -984 pages, free DVD-ROM as well.

06-11-2004, 09:45 PM
That's awefully generous of you Dan. Can I have one too? :D


06-12-2004, 07:16 AM
Thanks dablan, I have sent you a e-mail.

07-20-2004, 01:12 PM
Ok Guys,

How does all this training compare to Desktop Images DVDs? I'm looking for a complete set for LW8 from the basics and it seems a bit limited here in the UK to Desktop Images stuff!

I've bought previous books written by Dan which were great but I'd like to take recommendations from the group.


07-20-2004, 01:57 PM
Hey Jonny,
thanks for supporting the books. I've taken that same tone throughout my 3D Garage Courseware. You can download samples from the site (www.3dgarage.com) and check out what comes on the DVD's. Note that these are high quality DVD-ROMs, not DVD video. The difference you'll find between the 3D Garage Courseware is that we take our time and allow you to absorb and understand the interfaces, workflow, and techniques. Too often with actual video tutorials, you're limited to 2 hours or less, and then the lessons become rushed.

We have literally hundreds of users who've been thrilled with the quality and pace of the content of the 3D Garage courseware. There is about 60 hours now available.

Let me know if you have any more questions.

07-20-2004, 02:25 PM
well here's what i know...

i have quite a few of dan's books and they are really neat...frompwerguide days of lightwave 5.6 to inside lightwave 8.0 dan's book are always well written and have a stack of relevent information about lightwave and CGI in general.

i also bought several cdrom training discs from splinegod and feel they are excellent and he involves the listener well on his instructional cdrom training so it's informative and entertaining..i have the world tour, nextdimentsion tour the introduction to lightwave 3d and 2 additional video cdroms on ikbooster and bone tools in lightwave 8.0...all of which opff a great insight into a proffessional approach to 3d modeling and animation.

i personally teach 3d [3dsmax, lightwave and discreet combustion] at a college in nottingham u.k and have found these cdroms have helped me teach students more problem solving skills and tricks n tips for lightwave and for 3ds max as you can port the methods over to other 3d apps as well.

i also have lightwave 101 tape from dan who takes you through as a novice to lightwave in a gentle and easy to learn manner...

in addition i have several tapes from desktop images and they are good no doubt but i find myself comming back to larry shultz [splinegod] as his learning method seems to suit me best...i like the adventurous method he employs to get the job done and on most occasions the uses a couple of methoods and puts them up against on adn onther so you can see why one way is better than another...give you a informed education so you can also solve you own problems when they arrive on a project.

steve g

07-20-2004, 02:40 PM
Geez Steve, how much money have you spent on training material?! Sounds like it's been worth every penny though....

Do you do any commercial work as well as your lecturing?


07-20-2004, 03:43 PM
Thanks Steve! I appreciate the comments. :)
Ive got over 130 hrs ( and growing) of training materials. Ive been working in the CG industry for many years and in Hollywood at several major studios for several years. Im currently working at Warner Bros.
I have done just about every kind of job that can be done in 3D: modeling, texturing, lighting, animating, rigging, particles, F/X and so on. Ive been a lead artist and technical director on various projects.
The benefit for my students is that I share whatever I know with them. Take a look at my support forum. Youll find that it has a great deal of information. Ive been doing online courses for Lightwave much longer then anyone else.
login - guest
password - guest

Heres another thread that might be helpful. :)

I also have over 4 hrs of free videos online that go into some depth on a variety of topics. Check them out. :)

07-20-2004, 05:18 PM
adrian, yeah, i also do some commercial work, currently i'm involved in 3d images for print work using lightwave/3ds max and i'm on my 7th book making on average 80 images per book at print res using 3d characters in scenes depicting sport science training...not exactly "pixar" but it pays the bills and keeps my hand on the pulse in commercial work alongside teaching...not long back i did rigging and character animating for some t v commercial work for a canadian project and also i feature in discreet's character studio 4 product as a contributor to character model and animation for that product's release.

since then i made the switch to lightwave and i'm still working in lightwave and 3dsmax as well as combustion and lightscape...

all the apps are very cool and fun towork in ..i'm not a total "lightwave head" but use the best tool for the job...

currently i'm more interested in lightwave as i seem to have more "fun" in lightwave than 3ds max...though max still has several excellent feartures in there so i will continue to use it on some projects.

...larry keep up the excellent work...oh any chance of a reply on the email i sent recently?..i realise your busy etc...

s'cuse my typo's!....i just go n type...then read back what i typed!
...so much to do in so little time!

07-21-2004, 02:56 AM
I think you'll find training is a personal thing.
Each trainer has methods which "fit" the trainee better, so your best bit is to grab as many free videos off the net as possible and decide for yourself.

Personally speaking, I prefer Dan's style when it comes to teaching, laid back but without overly long pauses or 'fumbling' for tools and blatant mistakes, which frankly, should not appear as frequently as they do on some training videos.
After all, not only are you paying to learn from a professional, but most of these people have access to editing software, and one would hope, had actually gone through the process several times before starting a training video.

Dan can sometimes appear to skim a subject, but on a replay you find, he's only giving you what you need to get the job done. You don't need 5 mins of background detail when all you want it to figure out what the tool does. He has a dry humor which suits me fine, plus of course, with so many books behind him, he understands how to get training across consisely.

One of the people I consider "top" in his old training videos (ehh, the mwere the days), was Dave Warner, bless him, he's a wonderful bloke, but I couldn't watch his videos without nodding off. He has a very deep calming voice, even my wife noticed it! ;)

So anyhow, to re-iterate my point, grab all videos from all places, Dan, Proton, Carm3D, 3DPalace, etc... As you watch, you'll soon pick out a favourite for you.
Also, given the amount of free videos, or very cheap (in the case of http://www.simplylightwave.com/ you can always start learning whilst life is whupping you upside the head with unexpected bills (I feel your pain! :p)

07-21-2004, 02:26 PM
Cheers Guys,

That was all really helpful. I'm sure I'll try to get as much demo stuff as possible before picking up a complete series with additional stuff to fill in the niche stuff.

It's interesting why most of the dealers in the UK only sell the Desktop stuff... must be a bigger margin! ;)


07-21-2004, 03:21 PM
If you want to learn Lightwave quickly, training DVD's is the way to go.
I was fortunate to land a package very reasonably from E-Bay a couple months ago, which included 11 training DVDs (mostly from Desktop Images). I'm also finishing up Larry's intro course.

My findings....
DesktopImages Learn LW series are good. Very scripted because each disc is only 90 mins long This means every single sentence is important. You'll get a solid overview of the software, but you'll need to buy all the discs (about 10 in all) and view each one a couple times. This could be very costly if you buy them new.

Todd Grimes Character series is great. He teaches from start to finish the process of character modeling, rigging and animating by demonstrating and explaining, while working on one cartoon style superhero character. If your an advanced beginner or intermediate user this may be a wise choice.

My only exposure to Dan's videos were the ones bundled with LW8 so I can't really offer an opinion on his stuff.

Larry's CD's are not highly polished. He has a clear goal in mind but they are not scripted. Despite this, I've learned more from his videos than any other. In one of his videos he was modeling an object and something went amiss, so he proceeded to do like like 10 undo’s! I thought to myself, "What the f*** is he doing?! Why didn't he edit this out!" But as he was undoing and re-doing, he explained his thought processes as far as problem solving in Modeler, how the tools are related and workflow issues. I learned more in that few minutes than in many hours of previous trainings. His style is loose, so if you like tightly scripted tutorials you may get frustrated. But in my opinion, of all the DVDs I've watched, I've learned the most from his videos. His experience really echos through the lessons.

As stated above, check out the demos and pick a teaching style you like.


07-21-2004, 04:02 PM
Thanks Kev! :)

When I started creating my materials my goal was not to do scripted videos. I wanted to treat the material like an actual classroom where an instructor may make a mistake or change his mind. To me it is as important to see how to fix a mistake or see why someone changes their mind. I feel a bit cheated sometimes when videos only show a scripted linear way of working. I want to know how to fix mistakes I may commonly make or know someones thought process.

A huge part of my job is always troubleshooting. An artist or TD that can pick apart a problem and solve is worth their weight in gold. Showing only one rigid way of doing something removes some of the luster for me. CDs can hold a lot of material and theres no reason for me to edit out what is ultimately useful.

On top of the way I do present my materials is the forums I have for my students. I have well over a thousand posts on their and I go into detail on what I feel needs work or needs to be fixed or changed. Like a real classroom I also tend to post new videos to answer questions. To me the forums are the best part of the course because of the feedback. :)

07-29-2004, 10:34 AM
I'd like to confirm Kevin's words on Larry's course... In the modelling tutorials for instance, Larry shows the entire modelling of a male character from the ground up. In particular there is never a moment where he'd say "after 10 minutes of tweaking this is what you get"... You actually SEE the 10 minutes of tweaking, mistakes, corrections etc... It's like sitting next to the guy ! For me, seeing this was very important because I realised how much tweaking is involved in modelling and what the thought process is. This is also true for the other sections in the course, e.g. the rigging part.
This strength of Larry's video's is also a weakness because sometimes you just think "how did he do that trick again?" and you'll have to scan through the whole video to find it. Not always easy to find again... But at least Larry is always there to show you the thing again and again ;-)
Anyway, I learned a lot but of course, teaching style is all a matter of personal taste...

07-29-2004, 11:22 AM
Thanks Exether. :)
It takes more time to edit out that stuff then to leave it in and turn things into teaching opportunities (just like in a real classroom). As I mentioned before showing how to correct mistakes can be as important as showing a particular way to do something. One of the complaints I have and I hear often from others is that a lot of canned tutorials on video tend to be full of fluff and sugar coated. CDs are cheap and I try and pack as much info into it as I can. :)

The nice thing about the support forums is that you can ask questions at any time. Its certainly easier then trying to look up a particular part of a video again. Again this is no different then what would be done in an actual classroom. :)

07-31-2004, 06:20 PM
Sorry to post in a forum, but I know there are users out here who could benefit from these - and probably don't search for these too often on ebay. I'm selling my Todd Grimes Character Modeling & Animation DVDs on ebay. These are the original DVDs with the cases, not copies. I purchased them to help me get going for a project-and they were very helpful. But now, I no longer use them.
Here is the link:

07-31-2004, 06:54 PM
Larry's stuff is too ****ed complicated. Too much info.

That is sarcasm. :D ;)

IF you are looking for top notch learning material, Larry's stuff is hard to beat. I took advantage of the 1001 deal and must say that I am overwhelmed as to the depth of his material. Ha, I thought I would be done with the material in a few weeks... three months, tops.

Yeah, right!!

I will be referencing and learning from this material for years to come. Make sure to spring for the IKB cd, too, as you will find this the quickest path to understanding all that is good about IKB. Easy to find what's bad on your own. ;)

I thought I was learning something; Larry tells me it's just elementary stuff. SHeeesh!!
{I've had access to lw since before it was lw so I'm no neophyte. It's really good stuff.}

08-01-2004, 11:09 PM
Hey Robert!
Im very glad to hear that the materials have been working out for you. Its also nice to feel like you got a lot more then what you paid for too. When I created my materials I wanted to avoid the thing I hate the most: sugar coated information and fluff. :)

08-02-2004, 06:15 AM
For me, it's the thought pattern, the FEELING of rawness: this is the first time for making this head.
While one knows it's the thousandth...

{Falling over, over the top kudos on this training tool snipped}

You succeeded, Larry. Quite well, I must say.

08-09-2004, 08:41 PM
Hi all.

Ok, this is where I am at right now. I have just made my last payment on my VideoTOASTER, with LightWAVE. I have every thing that NewTEK has to offer me that I am interested in, except for DFX. At this point.

I was planning to get my car on the road. I have not driven for quite some time now as I only live less than 10 block's from where I work, So I have been walking it for the past 10 years now. Instead of wasting my money on my car, I have been investing it in video productions. I have made something like almost 50 productions so far. Half were with my toaster. and the other half was with my EditBAY by DPS.

Now that I have paid for my toaster. I have some extra cash to spend. I am trying to decide if I should take a LightWAVE course or if I should waste my money on my car. The advantage of me spending my money on my car, is that I can use it to take full advantage of my toaster and actually start to make some money with it. The disadvantage of spending my money on my car is that I well not have any money to invest in my video productions. How ever I could afford to take a LightWAVE course if I choose not to waste my money on my car.

So I went to my boss today and told him about my situation. and asked if I could invest into a LightWAVE courses on the payroll deduction plan at work and spend my extra money on my car. And he sad YES!

Now I can afford to invest into a LightWAVE course . and waste my money on my car at the same time. So I am looking into Larry Shultz, Todd Grimes or Dan Ablan's courses. I am hoping that I can hear from these three people as soon as possible, as well as other courses .

08-09-2004, 09:06 PM
Hi Lester,
please email me privately at dablan at earthlink dot net, and we can discuss a workable training solution for you. Better to do it this way than on this list.

I can tell you that I'm in LA right now at SIGGRAPH, and meeting with many animators at various Hollywood studios (Digital Domain, EdenFX, Sony Imagworks, etc.) that have all learned LightWave from my books and training courses.

Talk with you soon -

08-10-2004, 11:52 AM
Hey Lester,
I would say take a look around and see what others have had to say about the various courses.
I would also take a look at what kind of work your potential instructor has done and what kind of work theyre doing now.
I would also look at the type of support you can expect. My support forum for my students is here: http://www.learningstop.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi
login as guest and use guest for the password.
I also have several hours of free video tutorials online which can give you a good idea of what to expect. I tend to go into a great deal of depth with the tools rather then just cover basics. I also share lots of professional level tips and techniques.
Ive been working in Hollywood for several years and am currently working for Warner Brothers Feature Animation. Ive worked for many studios in many different capacities. I make sure that all the experience I have gained from working as a lead artist for a large video game company and as technical director on a large CGI TV series and the rest of my experience is made available to my students. Drop me an email and I can make it worth your while. :)

08-10-2004, 08:22 PM
Thanks Dan and Larry.

Boy is this a hard decision. I already have some of Dan's Videos., from class on demand that I purchased with my toaster. as well as one from Desktop Images, featuring Don Ballance that I got win I purchased my EditBAY,

All that I can say is that I do have the go a head from my boss to invest into something on the payroll deduction plan at work. And I am still looking and asking questions about which course that I should take.

Choosing LightWAVE was a no brainner for me. As far as the toaster goes, I only invested into my EditBAY, because the toaster was not available on the PC at that time. If it was, I would half invested in that, instead of my EditBAY.

As far as witch course. I can tell you that this is something that is keeping me awake at night.

On the other hand. I know that I can not take foul advantage of my toaster antell I get my car on the road. I kneed some way to get my toaster to the shows, besides relying on friends or taxi cabs

08-11-2004, 12:39 AM
No problem Lester.
Take your time, and just let me know if you have any further questions. I was just at an event here at SIGGRAPH and was talking with a bunch of guys who have used the 3D Garage courseware - one of which is Ron Thornton, who you might have read about in 3D World magazine this month. He's working on some great new programs, and is a LightWave pioneer. He's a big fan of 3D Garage. You can read an interview with him HERE (http://www.newtek-europe.com/uk/community/lightwave/thornton/1.html)

Feel free to email me anytime, and I can tell you about some of my latest projects for United Airlines and NASA.


08-11-2004, 01:41 AM
Hey Lester,
Im down at Siggraph myself demoing for Newtek. Ive run into several people myself who have used my courses that work at several studios including Warner Bros. Some of these people have worked on large film projects like Anaconda, Stuart Little, Army of Darkness and so on. Its nice to hear positive feedback from people who still find my courses useful despite working on high profile projects. Speaking of 3DWorld Magazine, I have an article that is out in the next issue that you might find interesting.
Last months issue had a lot of my videos included with the CD.
I would say that if you really want to learn LW in depth at a professional level I can do that. Do some poking around on this and other forums such as CGTalk. Drop me a line when you get a chance. :)

08-11-2004, 07:17 AM
Thank's Dan and Larry. You guy's are grate. I fined that the more information that I have, the more it motivates me to keep on trying.

I have watched the 3 videos that I already have of Dan's at least 10 times each or more now. I also got the book 1001 tips & tricks that I read during my brakes at work.

I do have some issues of 3DWorld Magazine and one of KeyFrame that I have enjoyed very much. .Now I am thinking of subscribing to something soon as well.

08-11-2004, 08:08 PM
I am going to send Dan and Larry either a private message or a E-mail on the weekend with some questions.

I am mostly right now interested in mastering character animation to the best of my ability at this point.

How ever I do have 2 questions right now.

1) What about Todd Grimes? I am quite impressed by his stuff at desktop images. Has he surfed the NewTEK forms?

2) From what I understand. From the government of Canada. If I take a course. It qualifies for a 100% tax deduction. Can Todd's Dan's, or Larry's course qualify me for this tax deduction?

I hope to hear from Dan, Larry and especially Todd about question #2 before the weekend.

08-11-2004, 09:09 PM
I see you grace:)

08-12-2004, 12:18 AM
For our canadian shipments, we don't send them with invoices, and mark only $5 for customs. This relieves tax burden on your end. We also mark the package 'educational'.

Now, for character animation - you can't go wrong with Todd Grimes. I'd recommend his DVD's before anyone else's.
If you're looking for LightWave fundementals, and a clear, concise understanding of the workflow, tools, and layout, my 3D Garage courseware is for you.

08-12-2004, 01:17 AM
Hey Lester,
Ive been sending courses to Canada and other countries for a long time so getting thru the tax issues is not a problem.

As far as Character Courses go mine is definately the most comprehensive. Todds stuff is pretty good. His full series is roughly 13 hours total. Mine is over 70 hours. Just my character modeling module is about 15 hours. Todds materials dont come with any support. Mine come with unlimited online support.

Ive been doing character modeling, rigging, texturing and animating for a number of years at various studios. As I mentioned before the most current place Ive been doing character work for is Warner Bros Feature Animation.

Ive also been doing online courses for much longer then anyone else. I would encourage you to check out my support forums and anyone elses to see what you can expect to get in the way of support and at what level.

If youre looking to learn Lightwave at a professional level rather then a very basic level I would recommend my courses. Youll definately get more hours for the buck and excellent support. :)

08-13-2004, 07:25 AM
Youse guys is funny.

08-13-2004, 07:34 AM