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Thread: Best Tranning DVD's? users vote!!

  1. #1

    Question Best Trainning DVD's? users vote!!

    Hi all

    About to part with my cash on Training DVD's but stuck between three products

    a. Desktop Images - Char Animation

    b. 3D Garage - Advanced coarseware

    c. SpineGods - Char Animation set

    Would like to purchase all three!! but have to pick one sadly..any help from people that have been there very welcome,


    P.S. WOuld recommend Jeff Lews DVD set, top stuff!!.
    Last edited by Andrew Sweet; 03-30-2004 at 03:35 PM.

  2. #2
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    I bought 3D Garage and it was pretty good. I'd say it depends on what you're wanting-needing to learn.

  3. #3
    Char- work mainly, rigging/animation etc. All three serve these options, looking for the best content really.



  4. #4
    I have bought both A and C. Both were good training CDs. As to which one is better I guess would matter on your modeling style. SplineGod is splines based style while Desktop uses a box modeling style.

    Splinegod did cost me more, but he provides valuable feedback on your models as you progress through the CDs.

  5. #5
    It's all in the motion
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Brooklyn, NYC
    I have the todd grimes dvd series and larry's cd char animation course.

    Sadly I haven't got up to the animation course yet. I am still working my way through the rigging section.

    From what I've watched so far I would say that todd will get you through the basics very quickly and have you rigging and animating in short order.


    it is a very structure lesson that shows you exactly the steps to replicate what he did.

    larry's courses go really in depth. But that is the whole point of getting 20 hours instead of 3 hours. By half way through the rigging section I totally understand what bones do, how to fix, tweak and rebuild them. I did not know this after watching Todds DVDs.

    I won't comment on larry's animation CD since I have not watched it yet BUT if you have a day or two I can always pop the CDs in and give you a critique of them.

    Jason McAlpin
    By Jason Dot Com

  6. #6
    Newbie Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Adirondack Mountains, NY
    I'm currently enrolled in SG's intro course. I like his teaching style a lot. My favorite parts are when he hits a snag while demonstrating a technique. He verbalizes his thought process while troubleshooting. These are the places I learn the most. He really knows LW inside and out. Tutorials that have everything fall perfectly in place don't teach me much about real world workflow. I'm sure the other packages are good (Inside LW7 was excellent), but I'm going to stick with SG when I advance to character animation.
    Good Luck

  7. #7
    undisregistered member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    New Jersey
    About how much do you think would be a good price?

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Portland Oregon

    Splinegod's class

    Splinegod's class may have taught me a lot in depth about working with splines but it also taught in depth the box technique.

    Because of the depth of the character animation series I gained something even more important than tips and techniques. I gained a kind of foundation and understanding of concepts which glued everything together. It's well worth the money.

    Bev Standish

    Home computer Intel 12 Core, 16GB RAM, Nvidea Quadro FX 4000, Windows 7 64 Bit

  9. #9
    Super Member SplineGod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Hastings, New Zealand
    I appreciate the comments everyone.
    Andrew, another issue you want to consider is comparing the level of work of each instructor. Ive a ton of experience with character work and on large productions in big studios. Todds also a great character guy. Todds character set is about 13 hrs total but no support/feedback. My character series is over 60 hours, is self paced and you get unlimted support while you are working on the courses.
    Dan has a support forum HERE
    My support forum is HERE (login as guest and use guest for the password)

    My suggestion would be to consider the following things:
    1. Level of work put out by each instructor (after all thats about the level you can expect to be taught at)
    2. Type of things each instructor has worked on (character projects, Mechanical projects etc)
    3. Level of support you can expect (again, check out the links to the support forums I mentioned)
    4. Feedback from people who are and have taken the courses
    5. Dan and I both have free videos on our sites. I would also suggest checking them out to get an idea of the level of understanding each instructor has of Lightwave, Teaching style etc etc.
    6. Do the courses appear to be challenging?

  10. #10
    It's all in the motion
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Brooklyn, NYC
    I think the snags and how he solves them are just as informative as the actual stuff he is trying to teach. I get a chance to see what kind of problems that I will run across before I actually it myself. I equate the difference between Todds and Larrys videos to the difference in filming a reinactment and a documentory. The reinactment is nice and polished and shows exactly what they want you to see. The documentory is rougher and right there in reality with everything that life throws in the way, all the mistakes, solutions and thoughts behind what is going there on the screne. Both get you to the same place but the documentory style kind of takes you behind the scenes and is more comprehensive than the reinactment. This is not to say Todds video is any way worse than Larrys, or vice versa. Both are great videos, just that Todd's is like a 3 hour seminar and Larrys is like a 20 hour class.

    I would say get both since they both don't cover the same material.

    Okay I am 3 lessons in and can absolutely say get Larry's animation CD!

    Lesson 1: In this video Larry explains velocity and how to use acceleration and deceleration, basic ease in and ease out motions using the channel window. He shows how to use the basic tools of the graph editor. He uses a pretty ingenious ruler system to explain ease in and ease out and it was pretty useful for getting that information to sink in. If you ever used 2D animation books to learn from this lesson kind of bridges the gap from cell to curve based animation.

    Lesson 2: This one is the traditional bouncing ball animation and talks about wight . This goes even more into how the channel window is used and seems like lesson 2 and 3 should be reversed but the material is still inportant and makes sense. There is more channel lessons in this one and he shows how to stretch and clean up motion curves.

    Lesson 2a. This is a lesson on timing. Using the same bouncing ball animation Larry switches the channels to Bezier curves and shows how they can be used to simplify the number of keys needed to get the bounce. Here he goes into the pre and post behavior of a channel and also using a footprint.

    Lesson 3 Here he goes into dampening a motion, in this case having the ball bounce to a stop. larry shows how to drag copy keys to new frames and explains how to use master channels, footprints for undoing channel edits and using expressions for animating the dampening of an action.

    This is as far as I got this morning and although not as fancy as a superhero it does get me excited about bringing in my rigged character and trying out what he taught.

    This is about an 1/2 hour - 45 minutes of video so far and is 9 of 60 videos.

    I'll post more if your interested.
    Jason McAlpin
    By Jason Dot Com

  11. #11
    Newbie Member
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Acton, MA USA
    I have not seen Todd's or Dan's training, but I just want to add another recommendation for Larry's Character Animation set. These movies take you through the complete process from start to finish, and as has been said, all the mistakes and problems you'll see along the way are included. I've tried lots of web tutorials and books, but these CDs really teach you the WHY of what you are doing, not just the HOW. That's what really makes the difference for me. Plus, getting feedback on any question you might have is invaluable.

    Lou Genovese

  12. #12
    well here's my opinion for what it's worth...

    [bit of background]
    i'm a leacturer in the u.k and teach max, combustion and lightwave for intro and intermediate level student's.

    i have watched todd's character training 5 dvd's, i have c couple of dektop images training dvd and watched the hypervoxel dvds plus i have bought a couple of discs from a splinegod too.

    add to that that i have several training discs from teaching 3dsmax and combustion....

    the bottom line is that i've seen and used quite a few training vidoe's and dvd's over the last 6 years or so...

    my vote would be for splingod's video's as they do NOT teach you to make a model in parrot fashion in which all you could really do is replicate that model ..this seems to be what happens in most training video's i have..they are good, there's no denying that but most only show you the stuff that works straight away and the problems are edited out...larry on the other hand keeps any problems in and works thru them explaining what he's upto...this is real teaching!

    that's what you'd expect if you were there in a classroom/studio next to him and he were showing you something....there's no "come back in a min when i fixed it" attitude...

    when i have to get yourself out of things that don't work as you'd hope..and they happen!...

    here people can really learn THe most important thing in learning a 3d app....


    if you just had the problem solving side of stuff that'd be a great set of videos to have...seeing into how artists thing thru problems and coming up with test solutions to fix stuff...

    nothing ever goes right all the time...

    when i creat tutorial videos for students learning max, combustion or lightwave i just record the session...errors n all as they are very valuable to learning any app....

    anyway...that's my take on how to learn a 3d app.

    i'd also like to add that i bought a maya 5 fundamentals book today which has all the tuotials in the book also on the books's dvd as video tutorials and the artists in the video tutorials also keep any errors in the videos which is great to see....maybe they used to be lightwave artists and watched some of larry's [splinegod's] videos....certainly is good to see that others are adopting a "warts n all" approach to video tutorials as while they may appear "less proffessional" with including problems and work arounds etc thay are in the long run THE BEST methos of distance learning with video/dvd...the next best thing to actually being in the room with the instructor.

    steve g
    Last edited by cresshead; 03-31-2004 at 06:17 PM.
    real name: steve gilbert

    Q - How many polys?
    A - All of them!

  13. #13

    Thankyou All

    Cheers lads.

    Thanks for all the info!! I'm sure you know who I went for ;-), just need to find 80 odd spare hours now!!!, all the best


  14. #14
    Super Member SplineGod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Hastings, New Zealand
    Again, the comments are much appreciated.

  15. #15
    Plays with fire sadkkf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Outside looking in
    For what it's worth, I was disappointed with Todd Grimes' series. Actually, I made it as far as the modelling (disc 1) and was really turned off by his technique.

    Of course, I know a lot of people use a similar technique with great success so I don't want to criticize Todd's work. I actually love the stuff he's done!

    Since then, I've gotten the modeling CD from Larry Schultz and think it's far and beyond anything I've seen anywhere.
    So much water, so few sharks.

    "...all men are created equal." -- US Declaration of Independence

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