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newtekker04
05-11-2006, 09:35 PM
Hey, everyone,

I would just like to get opinions from anyone who has bought KURV training. How would you rate the quality/thoroughness and pricing of their course material? Is there any other material out there, commercial or free, that is comparable? Your opinions/suggestions are greatly appreciated.:D

Silkrooster
05-11-2006, 09:57 PM
Best thing to do check out the free tutorials that are on Kurv's web site. Some of the tutorials were created by Splinegod. Who is very well known to the Lightwave community.
But to be fair, below is a list of sites for new lightwave users.
Enjoy,
Silk


Lightwave Resources

Tutorials
Scott Cameron’s Collection of Lightwave tutorials on the web: http://members.shaw.ca/lightwavetutorials/Main_Menu.htm
Newtek’s main tutorial page http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave/tutorials/,
Newtek video’s http://www.newtek.com/lightwave/tutorials/videos/index.php (Most of Proton’s listed here)
LW 8 Demo’s by Newtek http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave/product/demos.html
LW9 Demo's by Newtek http://www.newtek.com/lightwave/lw9_demos.php
Spinquad list of tutorials http://www.spinquad.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=40
Kurv Studio www.kurvstudios.com
3d Training Online http://www.3dtrainingonline.com/ – by SplineGod
Dan Ablan www.3dgarage.com
Simply Lightwave www.simplylightwave.com
puff and larkin http://www.puffandlarkin.com/lightwave/tutorials/character_modelling/
Lost Pencil www.lostpencil.com
Desktop Images http://www.desktopimages.com/index.shtml
Toby Gaines Smoothing tutorial http://www.tobygaines.com/smoothing.html
Starbase1’s Lightwave Ringed Planet http://www.starbase1.co.uk/tutring.htm
Silkrooster’s Video’s http://www.silkrooster.com/tutorials.php
Silkrooster’s list of tip’s tricks and how-to’s http://www.silkrooster.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=17
Second Reality modeling tutorialshttp://www.secondreality.ch/tutorials/tutorials.html
CGTutorials http://www.cgtutorials.com/c5/NewTek_Lightwave_3D
Asile FXhttp://www.asilefx.com/products_tutorials.htm
Tutor FXhttp://www.tutorfx.com/

Books
Inside Lightwave 8 by Dan Ablan
Lightwave 3D 8 Texturing by Leigh van der Byl
Essential Lightwave 3D by Timothy Albee
Lightwave 3D [8] Cartoon Character Creation vol 1 and 2 by Jonny Gorden

Forums
Newteks http://www.newtek.com/forums/
Spinquad http://www.spinquad.com/forums/
Kurv Studio www.kurvstudios.com/forum
Simply Lightwave http://forum.simplylightwave.com/
Lightwave Group V3 http://www.lwg3d.com/v3/index.htm
CGTalk http://forums.cgsociety.org/
3Drecursion http://3drecursions.com/forum/index.php
Silkrooster’s www.silkrooster.com/forum

Wiki’s
Wiki3Dpedia www.silkrooster.com/wiki
BeeVee’s Lightwiki http://www.lightwiki.com/wiki/mediawiki-1.4.4/index.php?title=Main_Page
Wiki CG, Computer Graphic Encyclopedia http://www.wikicg.com/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
Darkling Simulations http://www.darksim.com/dswiki/index.php/Main_Page

Plug – in database
Flay is a web site where you can search other web sites for plugins. If you need a plugin for Lightwave this is the very first place to check. The address is www.flay.com

If I missed anyone my apologies as this is going to be a growing database. Anyone wishing to be listed, please pm me or access my forum and post a message.

Steve Reeves
05-12-2006, 03:09 AM
I have just started working on the "Advanced Modelling: Project VIPER" training DVD and I am finding it useful - some stuff (and ways of working) that I didn't really appreciate before. I anticipate by the time I finsih the 7 hours of training - which of course translates into double that for when when I am following the steps - I am confident that I will have learnt a lot.

My suggestion to Kurv (and I must email them about it) is to include a 'tools used list' for each chapter to make it easier to go back and remember how a particular tool was used.

Also recommend signing up to their mailing list - Kurv do some specials now and then which make the training even more affordable (for me anyway - hobbyist/cheapskate bloke here).

I'd recommend them however on the strength of this experience.

HTH

pixelinfected
05-12-2006, 04:48 AM
i bought zbrush dvd and is good product, i don't other

mythek1
05-12-2006, 04:49 AM
That's a great list of links Silkrooster, I appreciate the time you took to post them. http://www.anchoredbygrace.com/smileys/xyzthumbs.gif

Chris

newtekker04
05-12-2006, 09:21 AM
Wow, thanks, Silkrooster, for all those links. It seems the consensus is that KURV makes good training material. I'll take Silk's suggestion, though, and try some of their free training before I go ahead with any buying. I have already used Dan's Signature 8 courseware and Inside Lightwave 7/8 books. All his training has been fantastic, along with his support. I'm looking to take my training to a more intermediate level, and it seems KURV has a variety of advanced, subject-specific courses that would probably take me there.

Thanks again for all the links.:D

SplineGod
05-13-2006, 01:01 AM
Newtekker,
What sort of advanced training are you looking for? Much of what I do is on my site and also available from KURV. All of the material Ive produced are tools and techniques Ive used or come up with in production. Ive worked in the industry (mostly in the Hollywood area) for a number of years and have been a lead artist for a video game company, a Technical Director etc. and I figure thats the sorts of things people would be interested in learning.
Ive also got a couple of courses that are self paced and include unlimted support. One is my Introduction to LW course (35 hours) and the other is my Professional Character Series (80 hours). Both are project based which, IMO is the best way to learn and remember the tools. Ive also been doing LW online courses longer then anyone else. :)

dalecampbelljr
05-13-2006, 10:29 PM
I without a doubt recommend Larry Shultzs training CD/DVDs. They are detailed and leave nothing out! They are the best in my opinion. Right now you need to have someone available to answer your ever question, when that question arises and Larry is always available and give the best support when it comes to Lightwave. I own every cd/dvd he has, and they are all great. Personally I can't wait till his new stuff for Lightwave 9 comes out! Lightwave 9 is an awesome update! and Larry knows his stuff!

geothefaust
05-13-2006, 10:35 PM
Newtekker,
What sort of advanced training are you looking for? Much of what I do is on my site and also available from KURV. All of the material Ive produced are tools and techniques Ive used or come up with in production. Ive worked in the industry (mostly in the Hollywood area) for a number of years and have been a lead artist for a video game company, a Technical Director etc. and I figure thats the sorts of things people would be interested in learning.
Ive also got a couple of courses that are self paced and include unlimted support. One is my Introduction to LW course (35 hours) and the other is my Professional Character Series (80 hours). Both are project based which, IMO is the best way to learn and remember the tools. Ive also been doing LW online courses longer then anyone else. :)

:i_agree:

I'll follow that up with a monstrous agreement!! The professional character series is quite exhaustive. It covers everything you could want or need in creating a character from start to finish.

I have not personally purchased anything from KURV, I bought it directly from the 3Dtrainingonline site. I'm sure KURV is just as fine as his site for ordering.

gatz
05-14-2006, 12:45 AM
Because I'm really impatient.;) I've gone through a lot of the instructional material available. The Kurv material is some of my favorite. They are accessible enough to start with, and deep enough to keep around for future reference. Well priced, cheaper than many books. I've gone through Taming Sasqatch and Bone Tools and I have IK Booster waiting in the wings. I'll probably pick up their Zbrush set and the Advanced Sasquatch disk if they release it. The Bone Tools should really be called something else because, while it does cover the 8.3+ intro'd bone tools, is a great rigging guide.

For what it's worth, my take on the materials I've sampled:

Desktop Images - The current set (Character Modeling etc) uses LW7.5 but is still useful. The sections can be quite long. They play as a DVD only.

Gnonom - I have a some of their environmental, creature and Zbrush disks. While LW isn't the app of choice in any of their offerings they are quite inspirational/humbling. Some of the procedures are translatable to LW, but many of the titles are quite specific (GI in 3DMax, Zbrush/Maya Pipeline etc) With this and the steep pricetag you'll want to cherry pick from this library. The disks are Director based, so they play on your computer. The interface is irritating and intended for large monitors (>1152 x 870). Smart users can remedy this.

rg

SplineGod
05-14-2006, 03:39 AM
Thanks for the comments, much appreciated. :)
Gatz,
The rigging I did in the bone tools videos would not be what I would call complete overview of rigging. What I do show is quite basic but correct but is mainly intended to show how the bone tools are used in the rigging process.
The last video I finished about 3 weeks ago (rigging a quadruped) goes into the process much deeper. I am working on a completely updated fundamentals of rigging series that will be replacing the rigging part of my course but broken down so that people can elect to buy it all at once or in stages. This version will reflect all the changes in LW9 that effect rigging (which is quite a bit). I am also working on a much more exhaustive treatment of IKBoost. This is one powerful part of LW in fact way more powerful the most people know. As such is deserves special treatment. :)
Its a bit trickier to break down because its hard to separate the rigging process from the animation process. Now that Ive had a few months to use it Im VERY excited about what it can do. This will definately be an eye opener. :)

riki
05-14-2006, 03:52 AM
I bought quite a few of the videos, and just about every book published on LW9, but haven't had a chance to read or watch any. duh, no more training for me until I learn to start using it :)

SplineGod
05-14-2006, 05:00 AM
Thats hilarious Riki! Should give you something to do if you ever get bored.
BTW what are you doing in Japan these days? :)

riki
05-14-2006, 05:35 AM
Yeah spreading myself too thin :) Japan is good though, we went to a Ninja park last week. Very B-Grade but it just added to the fun. Here's some pix.

http://www.spinquad.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12014

newtekker04
05-15-2006, 12:08 PM
In response to SplineGod:

Well, I feel as though I am definitely passed the beginner stage of learning Lightwave. I have been using it pretty constantly for almost a year and would really like to take my training to another level. You say you have an 80 hour character course, and that is exactly what I am looking for. I know character modeling/animation is one of, if not the, most challenging area of 3D. I know there is a lot more to Lightwave and animation, but characters is where I'd like to shift my focus next. Does your character course cover the spectrum, i.e., modeling, rigging, and animation?

Also, I read that you have some [9] training comming out. I've just ordered my upgrade, so would it be better to wait for your new stuff, or would your character course still be useful now? I've read some of your tips in 1001 Tips and Tricks, and it seems that you definitely know your stuff. Give me your sales pitch and I'll decide from there.:D However, seeing as I'm still a student, and I just ordered the upgrade, I'm a little strapped for cash at the moment, so it may be a while before I buy your stuff. :thumbsup:

EDIT:
BTW, I live in Canada, so how do you ship? I've had my experience paying duty on items that were shipped UPS or not marked as "Gift." I once had to pay $20 duty for a $15 CD! If I have to pay any border fees, I'm going to have to cancel.

pixelinfected
05-15-2006, 01:14 PM
the teachers of kurv are very good teacher.
people like splinegod, and especially Timothy Albee, i read many book of tim, and i think is a very good teacher, he show in simple way complex thing, it use simple sample to show all thing that he want teach, and result is fast and quality learning.

p.s. from splinegod i see only free video, and i think he is a good teacher, but i not buyed its video, then i can't tell you about splinegod video...

JeffRutan
05-15-2006, 03:52 PM
I started learning LightWave this past December, and KURV videos have been an important part of accelerating my learning curve. I also got some private lessons, I attend user group meetings, and I learn a great deal from studying projects in the WIP forum here.

I am focused on hard body industrial product design- mostly stills and rarely some very simple animations, so I don't need everything offered at KURV, but I have learned something from every video I have from there and felt like it was money well spent.

I also get to experience Larry's tutorials from time to time in local user group meetings and other free training events. I very much appreciated a recent one-hour session he gave on his quadruped modeling and rigging, even though I don't do soft bodies. I would surely buy that one if I was interested in doing a soft body. His approach was very clean and makes a lot of sense to me.

Here are my quick reviews of the LightWave KURV videos I have:

LightWave 3D From the Beginning: My first introduction to LW. A great way to get started from scratch quickly!

Get Into Spline Modeling: Nice intro to using splines for a variety of things. Very inspiring.

Industrial Modeling Product Modeling Series Vol 1: Not as well focused as others, but still provided some useful new insights and inspiration.

Vehicle Modeling Vol 1+2: I got so excited and motivated from watching these that I started my first sub-d project and have been posting my progress to the WIP forum here (1997 Ford F-150 Lariat). I really think this is a must-have set for anyone interested in learning to do this type of project!

Introduction to Lighting and Shading: Have not watched this one yet but will before I finish surfacing, lighting and rendering my truck.

Project Viper: Have not watched this one yet either, but looks like it will offer some valuable new insights as well. I plan to watch this one before starting my next project.

-Jeff

SplineGod
05-15-2006, 04:34 PM
In response to SplineGod:

Well, I feel as though I am definitely passed the beginner stage of learning Lightwave. I have been using it pretty constantly for almost a year and would really like to take my training to another level. You say you have an 80 hour character course, and that is exactly what I am looking for. I know character modeling/animation is one of, if not the, most challenging area of 3D. I know there is a lot more to Lightwave and animation, but characters is where I'd like to shift my focus next. Does your character course cover the spectrum, i.e., modeling, rigging, and animation?

Also, I read that you have some [9] training comming out. I've just ordered my upgrade, so would it be better to wait for your new stuff, or would your character course still be useful now? I've read some of your tips in 1001 Tips and Tricks, and it seems that you definitely know your stuff. Give me your sales pitch and I'll decide from there.:D However, seeing as I'm still a student, and I just ordered the upgrade, I'm a little strapped for cash at the moment, so it may be a while before I buy your stuff. :thumbsup:

EDIT:
BTW, I live in Canada, so how do you ship? I've had my experience paying duty on items that were shipped UPS or not marked as "Gift." I once had to pay $20 duty for a $15 CD! If I have to pay any border fees, I'm going to have to cancel.

My character course covers character modeling, texturing, rigging and animating in great detail. I cover multiple ways to accomplish a task. The videos definately arent setup as a fluff or just a cook book approach. I show how to trouble shoot mistakes or explain why I choose the path I take. Theres nothing else out there that covers the topic in the detail that I can with video. I also cover principles that apply to any 3D app not just LW.

IMO the best part of the course is the online support because you can ask questions at anytime plus have your work critiqued as you go. Many times I will take your model, rig, etc and tweak it for you while recording it. Ill then upload that video back up. I also have my support setup where I can even do live one on one if you need. The idea is that you paid to learn how to do this so you should. In all the years Ive been doing this I cant remember a single person whos failed to produce great results.

I also dont use UPS for shipping to Canada anymore for that reason.
I go with standard USPS or you can download the materials. Ive shipped to Canada many times with no serious problems. If cash is tight, drop me a line and see what can be worked out. Ive been known to be flexible...
I have a ton of LW9 material on its way. :)

PS. Pixelinfected, Jeff. Thanks for the comments :)

newtekker04
05-15-2006, 09:16 PM
Wow - thanks for the lengthy description, Larry.:D Now I am quite interested in what you have to offer. Your shipping/download scheme and your flexible pricing are all incentives for me. I am also very fond of your support philosophy. I have read other threads as well that claim you have the best training around. That's what I need - a thorough course that covers everything. I was just wondering: do you have any screenshots of the course projects, i.e., the actual character, the texturing process, animating (the character one, of course)?

Thanks so much!:thumbsup:

SplineGod
05-16-2006, 04:04 AM
Check your PM :)

UnCommonGrafx
05-16-2006, 04:33 AM
Looking forward to your [9] series, Larry.
NewTekker, if and when you get this set, take a month out of your life to look at the material. VERY WORTHWHILE!!

SplineGod
05-16-2006, 05:45 AM
Thanks for the comments Robert.
I think youll like whats coming. :)

JAW
06-04-2006, 05:51 PM
I too have bought the Kurv videos, and thought they were great, but the 1 thing that I wish that might have been covered better in the car modeling video was, how to set up,a not so perfect back-drops reff photos( other then make a box @ XYZ, then auto fit). Cause lets face it, 90% of the schems/temp pics are never scaled perfect, and need alot of tweaking.

-other then that, they have a ton of great free tut's, :)

Penforhire
06-05-2006, 03:44 PM
There's always something to criticize but I really like the Intro to Splines (thanks Larry! I'm sure I'll be thanking you some more down the road) and Car Modeling Vol 1 (I'm maybe half-way through it) videos. My strongest criticism is mostly that these are not live teachers. There are a couple of times when I yell at the screen, "but WHY did you do it that way?" And of course sometimes my system does not behave exactly like theirs (I wrestled with a fail-to-Bridge command for a while).

I've got to say the videos are more valuable to me than the books I've got. I worked through Dan Ablan's "Inside LW 8" book and it is very well done. But at some points the videos are all easier to follow than any book would be. I can rewind and stare at exactly what they are doing and how (though loading Dan's accompanying CD models when I got lost got me some of that). Some of the book's typos caused grief too.

It would be much more difficult to enjoy the videos if I didn't have a dual-monitor system. I find myself looking back and forth a lot and that comparison would be harder if I was swapping one screen. Anyway, two thumbs up to Kurv Studios from me.

SplineGod
06-05-2006, 04:56 PM
Thanks for the comments :)
Plus you have KURVS support forums and mine (which I hope youre taking advantage of). :)

schnudd
06-05-2006, 08:03 PM
So far I've bought 6 or 7 (can't exactly remember) of the videos, and have had no trouble getting shipments to Canada. I have to say the tutorials are excellent, and provide excellent value. The instruction is easy to follow, and I would advise them to anyone. I've been pleased with the videos over-all since there is a good balance of "how-to", but also of concepts that can be applied to many other situations.

I also found Ablan's books very good, as are his videos.

SplineGod
06-05-2006, 08:22 PM
schnudd,
Which KURV videos did you purchase?

Signal to Noise
06-05-2006, 10:39 PM
Good thread.

I'm on the cusp of placing an order soon...:thumbsup:

Hipcheck
06-06-2006, 07:59 AM
just purchased the viper texturing vid

waiting with bated breath...

iconoclasty
06-06-2006, 02:02 PM
I've just started running through the 1st automotive modeling tutorial. It's really well setup except the audio on the MOVs is so dang quiet. I can't even watch the tutorials at work because I can't get my headphones to go loud enough. Other than that, it's been great though.

Penforhire
06-06-2006, 03:20 PM
Iconoclasty, check your "advanced volume" settings. I had my master volume at max but bumping up the "WAV" setting (IIRC) made a big difference.

iconoclasty
06-07-2006, 08:08 AM
No, I'm maxed out on everything. The audio in the MOV is just really low. Not that it's that big of a deal. At home I've got my workstation running through a pretty beefy stereo so I can turn it up as loud as I want.

gatz
06-07-2006, 03:35 PM
Does anyone have any experience with the Kurv and SplineGod materials?

I purchased a few of the Kurv disks (IKBooster, Bone Tools, Rigging Quad) and I've preordered the Rigging Vol1. Would I be duplicating material if I picked up the SplineGod Character Rigging or Animation Courses/disks? What version of LW is used in the SG Course material?

THX all

SplineGod
06-07-2006, 03:49 PM
Hi Gatz,
The Course material I have includes the IKBoost and Bone Tools material. The Quadruped material is separate. The rigging module from my course by itself is 15 hours or so (not including IKBoost and Bone Tools). I also provide unlimited online support for my course materials. Support for those DVDs you purchased are limited to support for just the material on the DVDs. With the rigging part of the course I give very detailed feedback on rigs and help tweak rigs etc. I will sometimes post up a new movie file showing me tweakng your rig etc. Thats the advantage of the courses. If you did purchase the course I could either provide you with a discount towards those or credit towards other CDs I have. Drop me an email if you want to discuss it with me. Thanks! :)

-Larry