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olbc
05-05-2010, 01:30 PM
Hey all,

Does anyone has experience with either Gnomon Workshops or Digital Tutors. I'd like to get a yearly subscription for either and need to decide which one.

Here are my observations:

Digital Tutors - $399 / year
- Maya introduction course is 11 hours and build around an actual project
- Subscribers get access to tons of courses for a really big list of different tools

Gnomon - $299 / year
- Maya introduction course is 6 hours and built around all around usage of the tool
- Only Visual Effects & Games related courses are included. Full subscription is $499 / Year

Are there any other recommendations or pros and cons that you know? Do you have experience with either? I've seen a lot of coverage of Gnomon on this forum but not much on Digital Tutors, is there a reason?

Thanks in advance,
Oleg

meleseDESIGN
05-05-2010, 03:13 PM
Hey you!

As far as the Maya Intro course goes, I find the one from Digital Tutors a touch better.
A combination of both covers Maya even more.
I really like project based tutorials for beginners, it just makes more fun to watch and follow.
From my point of view I think Gnomon has some great tutorials, which doesn't only cover the basics, but also give some inside tips.
When watching Gnomon tutorials it feels like sitting in a studio with the artist, cuz most of the their tutorials are based on real production projects. DT has some good tutorials as well, but they are more based on simple projects.
When watching to Gnomon totorials it's like watching and listening Beyonce singing live, while watching/listen to DT tutorials they feel a touch to perfect to me.

But you can try both first.
I don't know if both offers still a try-out periode.
If not, get only the Intro DVDs of both first and see which you like more.

;)

MrConterno
05-05-2010, 03:48 PM
I have gotten several Gnomon DVDs, I also currently have a DT subscription. DT seems to be extremely project based (which I freaking love!), not just some guy rambling "this is what this does and this does this". I got the intro to Maya 2010 from Gnomon (some thing like 6 hours), then I just recently watched the intro to Maya 2011 from DT (says 11 hours but took me a good 15), I learned SOOOOO much more with the DT video. Between to two videos there is no question, DT all the way.

DT also offers much much more videos and in more subject areas and many more programs. DT's forums are also vary active and helpful, I generally get an answer in under an hour. In addition the teachers are active on the forums as well so you can ask him directly.

DT also comes out with a good 4 or 5 new courses every month, rather than Gnomon I don't see that activity.

I think the reason you don't see much about DT on here is that not to long ago they only sold DVDs they didn't have this subscription thing going on. Now they have that it is a MUCH better deal.

My only complaint with DT is that every so often my video will reset and wont start so I have to restart my browser. This could just be me because I don't see many posts on their forums about it. But it's deal-able.

So short version although both places are good, I feel DT is where you will get more bang for your buck. I'm definitely happy with my choice.

phantomworkshop
05-05-2010, 05:47 PM
MrConterno,

Do you feel that a DT subscription is truly enough to self-teach enough to get entry-level jobs in the industry or that it cannot replace a certificate and/or degree program from a reputable 3D school?

Appreciate your input.

Btw, you attend Gnomon school in CA?

MrConterno
05-05-2010, 06:58 PM
As far as getting a job, I feel you probably could if you went threw most of the videos. But the job wouldn't exactly be ILM or Pixar lol. You would have to work your way up a lot more than a person who went to a good school. But yes I think you could most likely get an ok job.

But online learning / self teaching is definitely not as quality as going to a good school. In a school you have dead lines, your expected to be places at specific times, you have industry professionals standing right next to you, and the most important part, you gain great networking which is crazy important.

And sort of, I have been accepted to Gnomon for this Sept. I will be moving out there mid August.

phantomworkshop
05-05-2010, 07:48 PM
Yes, it's just so hard to find quality schools locally unless you're in CA for example ;) or maybe Vancouver.

I'm considering signing up for DT's monthly subscription and going the self-taught route to get a job.

Thanks for your insight, MrConterno.

olbc
05-05-2010, 08:55 PM
Well, for me, I guess it would be more of a way to get out of my day-to-day job. I really hope that someday it may grow into something more than that but we'll see.

If I'll decide to do it more seriously, I'll probably opt for Animation Mentor. Though being an animator in a big company, as I recently discovered is actually just animating - making already made things move the way director wants them to. It's not that creative :-(

MrConterno
05-05-2010, 09:48 PM
@phantom Yeah if I was into animation I would be lucky as hell Ringling is a 20min drive lol. But alas I don't like animation so off to CA lol.


@olbc sadly if your going to work at a studio most of these job titles don't give you a huge amount of freedom. it kinda sucks

phantomworkshop
05-05-2010, 09:49 PM
MrConterno - See, my traditional skills are not up to par so Gnomon wouldn't accept me into their High-End CG Certificate program.

olbc
05-05-2010, 09:50 PM
@phantom Yeah if I was into animation I would be lucky as hell Ringling is a 20min drive lol. But alas I don't like animation so off to CA lol.

What are you into MrConterno? :-)

MrConterno
05-06-2010, 04:51 PM
@phantomworkshop, take a look at their three year program, it gives you a year of traditional art and their two year 3d program. http://www.gnomonschool.com/programs/entertainment_digital/

That's what I am doing, I think my 2d is pretty decent but I definitly don't feel that I'm as good as I should/could be.


@olbc, I'm more interested in modeling/texturing maybe lightning not sure on that yet.

JaredTaylor
05-06-2010, 05:04 PM
I can't speak much for other areas but if you ever want to learn rigging DO NOT NOT NOT use digital tutors, they will mislead you and teach you bad habits. Puppet rig is better (from gnomon) than any of theirs.

Also, digital tutors infuriates me, they explain why you name your joints in their most advanced DVDs, and explain every little detail. I speed it up to 2-3x normal speed and I still can't sit through one of their DVDs.

OTOH gnomon can be very difficult to follow and skip many steps.

Unfortunately there is no in between, so take your pick.

[QUOTE=phantomworkshop]MrConterno,

Do you feel that a DT subscription is truly enough to self-teach enough to get entry-level jobs in the industry or that it cannot replace a certificate and/or degree program from a reputable 3D school?


Mind if I answer this too? Depends what area you're doing and whether you're going for an actual job or internship and how much you pick up on your own in between tutorials, maybe if you did all the DT tutorials then went off on your own and practiced, refined techniques, for the next year or two, you could get an internship... but again, depends what area...

If you did rigging, they'd probably invite you to an interview just to tell you how wrong you're doing it all, because they feel bad...

If you did animation, well, don't even watch the DT animation ones. They do NOT understand animation.

If you're doing modeling or generalist work you can get the basics from them.

--------------------------

I know I sound anti-DT, but I'm actually not. I'm anti DT-rigging/animation, they have a lot of great tutorials.

olbc
05-06-2010, 07:00 PM
Wow, you sound kinda biased even :-) what do you mean by them teaching you bad habits?

JaredTaylor
05-07-2010, 01:15 AM
One example: Their RL foot is wrong. It pivots from the wrong place, their foot controls are insufficient, and it's impractical.

Another example: Well, take a look at their spine setup. Just awful!

olbc
05-07-2010, 09:11 AM
I am not that far into the animation to know the difference, but it looks to me that these trainings give you a decent overall overview of that the animation is all about. Good techniques would come with the experience. Am I right?

JaredTaylor
05-07-2010, 10:37 AM
I'll be honest and rather blunt, DT don't know how to animate. Neither do I though, so my opinion is worth pennies at best.

What I DO know, is if you want to learn animation on your own, the best place to start whether you suck or you're great is with Jason Ryan, google him, his tutorials aren't cheap but they're worthwhile if you can afford the whole package.

NB: DT have a lot of great tutorials and they're worth every cent. Just avoid learning rigging and animation from them if you can. Gnomon have some animation tutorials but I don't know how good they are.

olbc
05-07-2010, 10:52 AM
Thank you very much for a pointer. I'll check it out!

phantomworkshop
05-07-2010, 04:21 PM
Virtualistic,

Are you currently in school? Where are you studying? What's your major?

JaredTaylor
05-07-2010, 11:35 PM
I'm doing a diploma in 3D animation over here in NZ... we don't actually have majors, this isn't university although it is on uni level; I am specializing in technical art and animation though.

phantomworkshop
05-08-2010, 04:18 AM
I'm doing a diploma in 3D animation over here in NZ... we don't actually have majors, this isn't university although it is on uni level; I am specializing in technical art and animation though.

That's really cool. I kinda wish we had something like that locally around here, but it's all online to do those types of diploma's or certificates and since most are not accredited, I can't afford them anyways. Heh.

Soggycake
05-09-2010, 12:06 AM
Though being an animator in a big company, as I recently discovered is actually just animating - making already made things move the way director wants them to. It's not that creative :-(

In larger studios, employees are more keen to specialize in one subject. If you want to become a generalist, then smaller studios would be your interest. I must admit, "It's not that creative" infuriates me. Animated feature films for instance, involve a collaboration of individuals. From story artists, concept artists, to sculpture, modelers, riggers, animators, shaders, lighters, compositors, editors and so on. It's not a one man deal, and to think that theres no creative side to this process is a blatantly malign comment. What your saying is that all the animators have no creativity? No matter what, your going to be under a leading supervisor (unless you are the supervisor or higher) that dictates the way you do things. You cannot enter a studio and expect to make things up yourself however you want, whenever you want.

To be an animator, your not just moving things around a to b. Your taking the directors vision and applying your own unique qualities. Creating appealing, emotionally driven and believable characters is not easy. The director envisions the production and guides more or less the artists work to create a comprehensible film that audiences can aspire to. If you don't want to simply "animate," then I'd personally suggest another field. Animation is not just something you can pick up - it has to be a passion. Takes years to learn the basics and even more to create solid characters. It's a never ending train of learning that takes dedication. If you are serious about animating, then I'd suggest Animation Mentor. No where else will give you the refined knowledge of character animation and how to bring a character to life. I'm enrolled myself.

Regarding Digital Tutors(as I have no experience with Gnomon): If your looking to learn the basics, and or technical traits, then DT is fine. Most of the tutorials at DT lack creative notions and are frustratingly unacceptable, but in all modesty, you can learn a lot technically from them. Their methods for just about anything thats not technical is non-sense fluff. Even though I cannot stand the way they lecture you and elongate the simplest concepts, they can be easy to learn from as a beginner, as opposed to just figuring everything out yourself. For animation ...I wouldn't bother. You'll learn bad habits, illiterate principles and techniques that flat out do not work.

LetterRip
05-09-2010, 01:32 AM
For digital tutors it is very basic stuff, the instructors don't seem to have much experience with actual pipeline usage. You can exhaust the worthwhile content is about a months time or less - maybe 60 hrs of useful content - although there were one or two videos that were excellent - the wrinkles video and one of the other sculpting videos were great, the rest of the stuff though was meh.

For gnomon workshop the quality has been consistently high, and I've usually learned at least one trick or something that made me think to make it worth my time and money.

LetterRip

Xnone
05-09-2010, 05:56 AM
I've tried tutorials with both DT and Gnomon.. When I was first starting to venture into the whole 3D thing, I felt more at ease with DT: they're verrrry professional, they show you every little step, give you simple projects, etc. After I became more familiar with the software, I found their tutorials extremely tedious and switched over to Gnomon (which I had initially found more challenging at first). Personally, I'd rely on DT for general instruction, and Gnomon tutorials to learn specifics.

olbc
05-09-2010, 09:04 AM
Thanks LetterRip, I'll probably end up combining the trainings.

GarrettGeisendorfer Thank you for an extensive reply. I am sorry it angered you, but I am very new to the whole CGI thing and just discovering what it is all about. When I wrote that it isnt create I really wanted someone to disagree like you did. So, thank you, again.

MrConterno
05-09-2010, 04:27 PM
For digital tutors it is very basic stuff, the instructors don't seem to have much experience with actual pipeline usage. You can exhaust the worthwhile content is about a months time or less - maybe 60 hrs of useful content... ....the rest of the stuff though was meh.

For gnomon workshop the quality has been consistently high, and I've usually learned at least one trick or something that made me think to make it worth my time and money.

LetterRip

I HIGHLY disagree, with both statements. Unless you already have a strong CG background or only want to learn one program, I am sure they have a lot more than 60 hours worth of information.

Most of the Gnomon DVDs I have where decent. My main problem with Gnomon DVDs is their short length, they tend to skip over stuff and assume you know, and some just sucked all together.

Don't get me wrong Gnomon DVDs are alright but they could definitely use some help.

LetterRip
05-09-2010, 04:44 PM
Your mileage may vary, it depends on the experience level with your own software package and 3D in general.

The courses do have different assumptions

Gnomon is coming from the perspective of 'I know the basics of my tools and want to learn improved workflow and how to achieve professional quality'.

Digital Tutors is coming from the perspective of the absolute beginner. For me the level of detail in DT is often excruciating.

Of course different strokes for different folks.

A plus note for DT is that they are more 'up to date' and release content more frequently.

MrConterto,

your judgement of Gnomon is based on purchasing a few DVDs. I don't think that is reasonable to judge the subscription service on.

LetterRip

magicreaction
05-10-2010, 11:32 PM
I have a DT subscription (I'm a beginner) and I find it very encouraging. I watched some Gnomon dvd's and are much harder to follow but you can feel that they are professional and made for high end bigger projects.
IMO I would recommend starting with DT and when you feel good enough, switch to Gnomon to learn more about pipelines in big studio projects.
In the meanwhile I'm a big fan of DT.

steevereynolds
05-12-2010, 07:52 AM
i should convey my designers to there for training.

Elyaradine
05-12-2010, 09:33 AM
Your mileage may vary, it depends on the experience level with your own software package and 3D in general.

The courses do have different assumptions

Gnomon is coming from the perspective of 'I know the basics of my tools and want to learn improved workflow and how to achieve professional quality'.

Digital Tutors is coming from the perspective of the absolute beginner. For me the level of detail in DT is often excruciating.

Of course different strokes for different folks.

A plus note for DT is that they are more 'up to date' and release content more frequently.

This is exactly how I feel.

With the many DT videos I've seen (our school has a sub, so I watch them sometimes when I wait for traffic to clear before going home), I feel that someone with a couple of months of experience with a piece of software could have told me the same stuff because it's so basic. And could have done it faster. There may be ten ways to do something, but I really don't think all ten need explaining - the fastest or most efficient way is the only one I'm interested in. It really cheapens the course, especially when they advertise their product as having SO MANY HOURS of training. How much of it is fluff?

It's not that the DT stuff hasn't been useful to me. I just find that I only find a few minutes of them valuable in each series. Maybe we've been taught the stuff in class already, maybe I Googled it or read it in the manual, or maybe it's pretty darn obvious. I don't know.

With the vast majority of Gnomon stuff I've seen, I enjoy the fact that many of their videos are sped up and assume knowledge. It's as if they understand that time is valuable. It's more like watching a professional at work - you may not know what he's doing all of the time, but you get the bigger picture of how the tools should be used creatively. And beautifully. Gosh. I have had so many more artgasms and WOW moments watching Gnomon vids than DT ones.
Admittedly I haven't seen as many Gnomon videos as I'd like. Maybe I've only seen the good stuff. :p I feel so inspired and think, "Gosh. If I get that good one day, I'll be lucky." With DT, some (not all) of their projects have had laughable results. Admittedly, they probably used dummy models because they're teaching the tools rather than teaching the art, but I hardly wish I were as good as the instructor.

As LetterRip said, they're aiming for different markets. But in terms of value for money, and as someone who learns new software by having the manual open on my second monitor, I'd pick Gnomon for pretty much everything based on what I've seen. You can't learn the years and years of experience these guys are conveying just by reading the manual or pressing F1 or browsing the intarwebz.

Oh, and some of the DT instructors lecture in this incredibly annoying sing-song voice, but I guess if you're into that sort of thing... :D

Neither DT nor Gnomon is for everyone. As someone who's studying at an art school, Gnomon has been far more valuable and inspiring to me, but if you're completely new to CG DT is pretty cool.

pixarfangirl
05-19-2010, 09:50 PM
Hi everyone, just wanted to add a quick reply! :)

I started with absolutely no Maya knowledge and began using Digital Tutors about a week ago. Over the course of a week, I feel like I've become fairly confident at navigating Maya and I no longer am afraid that I'm going to crash the program whenever I try something :) It is a bit slow at points, but I am not worried that I'll get lost or left behind, and I feel like it gives you some really solid foundations to build upon.

I have been working through "Introduction to Maya 2011," and while it's not totally perfect, I have been really enjoying it, and I think that it's definitely worth a try. I feel that the price is fair and I really like the video format. Plus, when you're finished, you have a fun animation of a pod racer thing to show your friends and family! :D

As someone who is trying to prepare for Animation Mentor, I feel that Digital Tutors gives you a solid working knowledge of the Maya program and its features. I can't speak about its advanced tutorials or animation tutorials, but, if you are a total newbie to CG and you want a strong overview of basic Maya literacy, I really like it :D

olbc
05-20-2010, 05:58 AM
Thank you Lisa,

This is the kind of post I was waiting for! :-) Let me know how is your progress with DT

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