View Full Version : Quality Training for CG newby

11 November 2004, 07:10 AM
like many here i'm new to cg and am juggling the decision of what package to choose. of those i like (cinema 4d and xsi), from demo experiences, i'm leaning more towards xsi, mainly because of the breadth of the program and the interface. but as someone new to cg, with no experience, how good are the training dvds for xsi? will i be able to get up and running (within reason) after using them? do they introduce the very basics as well as the more advanced concepts? am i getting in over my head by starting with xsi first?

thanks for any help

11 November 2004, 04:01 AM
The DVD's won't take you from a beginners level, no. Some elements are fantastic and very helpful, because they go into a lot of the technical details, but other areas really badly jump the gun, and completely confuse you. The manuals that come on the DVDs however cover a lot of the finer details and (imo) are much better for learning. Just so you know, the learning curve for XSI is *very* high. I know a number of guys here would disagree with that, but it's not that it's a hard program to use, it's just that there's so much to learn, I wouldn't expect getting up and running to be a quick thing. If you want to learn the basics of CG quickly, try another package like C4D, or even Truespace. The amount of options available won't overwhealm you. If you want to learn some of the finer details and learn a proper workflow, and don't mind learning sixty million things at the same time, go with XSI :)

I personally think the extra effort is worth the time investment. Once you're finished with an easier application you'll want to upgrade to something like XSI eventually anyway.

11 November 2004, 05:45 AM
You can buy tutorial DVDs and books for any program. The basic modeling and animation technics are the same. Maya has a lot of DVDs, just apply them to whatever application you get. I think it would be better to choose a more powerful application from the very beging, that way all you have to do is learn that one.

11 November 2004, 10:25 AM
The Modelling 1 tutorial from 3dtutorials is realy great for beginners it teaches you the basic interface stuff, and then takes you step by step through building some preaty cool models. There are also other tutorials on the site which you may find useful. (

The most important thing is not to get overwhelmed right away.. dont try modelling character from start, concentrate on polygon modelling and try to reproduce some common household object and stuff... then you can always play around with Sub-d and other things later.

PS. Be a bit careful with the Getting Started... its not 100% for beginners, but it has some great information on workflows and other great things.

11 November 2004, 10:31 PM
Yes, my Getting Started tutorials are aimed more at a user who has at least some experience with another package. You don't need a ton, mind you, but you should definitely feel comfortable with the basic concepts of 3D.

For someone completely new to 3D, one book that really helped me at the beginning of my career was "The Art of 3-D computer animation and Effects" by Isaac Victor Kerlow. I read it before school started and it laid an excellent foundation.

You might consider a book like that to read at night, and spend your days going through the XSI tutorial books. I think they do a great job speaking to someone new to 3D as well as new to XSI.

(Then when you're feeling comfortable - try my tutorials :P)

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