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Old July 21st, 2006, 02:01 PM   #1
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Thorough Training DVD's for 3DS MAX or Lightwave?

Hello all,
I'm a newbie when it comes to 3D motion graphics, but I at least want to get my feet wet with it (mainly for integration with digital video). I've tried out programs like Blender, Discreet's 3DS MAX, and NewTek's Lightwave, but just from messing around with Discreet's and NewTek's software demos, I've found that the biggest reason it's a headache to learn is because I have no idea where to start. From what I understand, modelling and animation do not go hand in hand, in the sense that they're almost completely different skills.

Now, my question is this -- what are some good resources out there for learning programs like 3D Studio Max or Lightwave? I love books, but not when it comes to learning software, I'd rather have a visual aid. So, can anyone recommend me towards a DVD training series that will teach you from the ground up on the very basics of these programs to the fairly advanced aspects? Even an online resource with downloadable video tutorials would be a big help.

The reason I'm feeling a little impaired is because next summer, I'm beginning a WWII project that could be very much enhanced by CG (in particular, airplanes).

Any help would be great! Thanks!
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Old July 21st, 2006, 02:33 PM   #2
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One of my favorite sources for professional training on visual effects applications is The Gnomon Workshop. They produce a wide variety of training DVDs on many popular 3d applications.
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Old July 24th, 2006, 11:04 AM   #3
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Posts: 516 has some excellent 3d video training courses. They're not necessarily the most comprehensive, but their personalities make it a lot of fun. I haven't checked them out in a few years, but they used to be free, with some participation on their forums, or made available via a small donation. and autodesk both provide overview and intermediate training for 3ds max as well. and gnomon is THE resource for maya training.

as i mentioned in another thread, all these 3d applications are massive, and you shouldn't be discouraged by the fact that you're not getting it all right away. there are people who devote their lives to mastering just one or two aspects of a 3d workflow, whether it be modeling, texturing, rigging, animating, particle systems, rendering, or compositing, and i've yet to meet anyone who can say they've mastered it all. in my experience, getting comfortable and knowledgeable about the interface of your preferred app is the biggest battle at first, and then it just becomes a learn as you need process.

pre-visualization is key to starting any 3d scene, and will generate all the questions you need to answer to make the moving pictures in your head a reality. how do i model a plane? how do i add decals to my plane texture? what is my light source(s)? how do i make that smoke trail? how do i render an alpha channel? why does everything look screwed up? these types of questions is where the real learning, fun, and certain degree of frustration :) begins.
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Old July 24th, 2006, 10:51 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice and links, guys! I'm probably going to purchase training DVDs in the near future simply so I can comprehend and put to use some aspects of CGI.

A confidence boost is what I need -- like you mentioned Henry, 3d apps are rediculously overwhelming. I'm very determined to at least learn the ins and outs of the programs so I can start experimenting through trial and error. Do you think it's a realistic goal to be producing 'decent' results within a year of learning a program with a training DVD set?
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Old July 25th, 2006, 12:25 AM   #5
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I ordered few years ago 3dbuzz's compilation. There was over 100 hour tutorials(like maya, 3ds max lightwave, motionbuilder, zbrush, photoshop, php, c++, etc). I paid about $200. But it really is over the top stuff.
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