View Full Version : Which DVD should I get?

Leonardo Vega
07 July 2005, 08:50 PM

I'm really interested in buying 2-3 DVD's from The Gnomon Workshop ( But I'm not sure which ones to get. I'm trying to focus on creating concept art (ala Star Wars), I want to expand myself and not just stick to cartoons :) There are some nice perspective DVD's from Scott, but I don't know if they are too technical for my purposes. But then at the same time, I don't know if Ryan Church's DVD's expect me to know what Scott is teaching. So I don't know how to begin. I don't have money for all of them, so I need to be picky on the ones I pick.

Any recommendations?


07 July 2005, 09:29 PM
You should definitely get the Feng Zhu DVDs, they are awesome, great content!

Dr. Ira Kane
07 July 2005, 10:19 PM
Well Feng is ok, but I'm not a big fan of his work. Ryan is very nice to listen, he has a nice voice and it's not boring (other's may be a little). I doubt you have to watch Scott's lessons to be able to follow with Ryan. What you really need to know is a basic perspective drawing, that can be learned online for free, than you can go with Ryan. All of his DVD's are great, I prefer the architectural though.

Dr. Ira Kane
07 July 2005, 10:21 PM
Ehh one thought - maybe try to buy some of them with a friend or something, to save some money, after watching them and learning the stuff, they are quite useless, but they do look good on your shelf next to your computer ;)

07 July 2005, 11:05 PM
I doubt you have to watch Scott's lessons to be able to follow with Ryan.


Seeing Scott do those things will explain everything to you. The firstScott Robertson DVD feels like more than 2 hours of lectures. Then get one of Ryan's Architecture DVDs and the Int. Architecture.

Also don't judge an artist by their style, but their expertise. Sure, I haven't watched Feng's DVDs but from the screenshots on the site, I can expect a throughout explaination of the creative process. Too bad it's more than 2 DVDs..

Dr. Ira Kane
07 July 2005, 11:15 PM
Well that's your opinion, I don't see anything what Ryan does there, that can't be done with some online(free) reading about persp drawing. Sure Scott can teach you more but that wasn't the point. This guy is trying to save some money, it's not cheap so I'm trying to help him a little.

07 July 2005, 12:15 AM
Of course, of course!

I was talking specifically about the DVDs. They pop up in ebay from time to time as well.

Of course you can learn all that through books and online tuts. It's just so much better and faster when you see it right there in front of you. We artists are visual people after all :)

07 July 2005, 12:52 AM
After seeing your "Retired Pirate" piece, it's hard to recommend a title, as you can already create pleasing illustrations. I think everyone should get Scott Robertson's first dvd if you feel lacking in perspective skills, I continuely refer to it and it's been price reduced quite a lot. If you feel you need more drawing or rendering skills take a look at Neville Page's four volumes. They are fan-freakin'-tastic. I am eagerly awaiting more volumes from him.

This might may be an unpopular suggestion but my favorite dvds and the ones I learned the most from were the Carlos Huante set. It's hard to say why I like them so much. It might be that I'm a huge fan of his work or how he simply states "You don't have to be a production person... you can be an artist." They are very inspirational. I wish he'd put out some more.

I just got two of the Dylan Cole dvds (Volume 1 and 3). Haven't had a chance to view them yet. I find I struggle with environments so I'm hoping they will help. If you do order some wait till tomorrow (July 27th), they are releasing a slew of 3D dvds and I'm hoping they'll announce some more analogue titles.

Good luck.

Leonardo Vega
07 July 2005, 11:47 AM
Thanks guys! Excellent recommendations :D

Dr. Ira Kane was pointing out my biggest concern. Do I NEED those videos? That was the question I kept asking myself. I can draw basic objects and buildings (nothing too complex) in 1 or 2 pt perspectives but that's about it. So I don't know how that compares... is that knowing very little (where I would probably want to invest in Scott's DVDs) or is that good enough?

It seems like all the DVD's are excellent... which does make me feel better (any that I choose in the end will be worth it).

Btw, thanks Rogfa for complimenting my work :)

- Leo

07 July 2005, 12:15 PM
Well if you want to do Star Wars style concept art and
you're looking for a DVD that concentrates on concept art
you get one of Ryans. He does a good job at explaining
his workings on a concept art image, for example keeping
the image constantly readable, so if deadlines suddenly
change or sumthin, he can give the picture away at any
time and whoever gets it is able to understand it and
find all the vital elements for the concept from it.

Get just one DVD at first and decide if you want more after
that. Try one of Ryan's architectural (hi-tech city or
the low tech city siege images) videos, for example.

You might well know that Ryan, Zhu and Dusseault all
worked for Star Wars , Episode III , and all got their
own DVD's. Usually there's just the makings of one
image per video, but Dusseault (Dusso) makes five
images on one DVD, so that's a good buy.

Yea Neville Page always deserves a mention, wowskillzz..

I can find you the exact names of the DVD's later
if you want to.


Leonardo Vega
07 July 2005, 12:58 PM
Thanks Squibbit! Coming from a cartoon style background, I definitely need to improve on realistic lighting and shading. I was thinking of getting Ryan's first DVD on rendering matte objects, but it seems most of you recommend the architectural ones first, so I might just get those.

So, so far this is what I'm getting (I think lol):

1 - Feng Zhu - Volume #3 - The Fundamentals of Shot Design for Enviroments
2 - Ryan Church - Volume #5 - Rendering Architectural Interiors (I think it would complement Feng's nicely)
3 - ?

Just to point out, more than likely I'll be using Painter IX exclusively (I can't afford PS CS2), so if that makes a difference, let me know :) Although all these, use Painter... but there were some that didn't like Dusso's that seemed good.

Also, I have zero skills when it comes to drawing aircrafts in perspective. I can draw them freehand, but they are out of perspective lol. I know it's fundamental for any concept artist to know how to draw these (like x-wings and tie-fighters), so I'm thinking maybe a vehicle drawing DVD might be necessary. I saw one of Scott's tutorials on the web, but man... he gets into techinical stuff. I can understand if I was designing a vehicle how important this would be, but for conceptual art, is it important I learn this? Feng has one on quick sketching aircrafts, I'm not sure if Ryan's DVDs just show you how to render, or if they teach you how to sketch them too.

Let me know what you think.

- Leo

07 July 2005, 01:21 PM
yea I mentioned the architechtural DVDs because of what Ryan says
about concept art design on those. I do have the Rendering Matte
Vehicles DVD too, but I haven't watched that yet :)

In the DVDs I've watched so far Ryan church uses Painter ,too,
while Neville Page for example, works on photoshop. They've of
course both used both programs and tell you that each has its
advantages and that on the videos they use the programs they
prefer more.


07 July 2005, 01:32 PM
Didn't Dylan Cole also work on Star Wars? I have heard very positive things about his DVDs. I heard Dusso speeds stuff up immensely and just voices over and that it's too advanced for people who're just starting off.

I wasn't that impressed by Carlos Huante's DVD.. but then again I haven't seen the second one.

1 - Feng Zhu - Volume #3 - The Fundamentals of Shot Design for Enviroments
2 - Ryan Church - Volume #5 - Rendering Architectural Interiors (I think it would complement Feng's nicely)
3 - Scott Robertson Vol.5 - Enviroments. Lotsa them.

Leonardo Vega
07 July 2005, 01:39 PM
Thanks AngryScientist for your direct recommendation :) Quickie, between Ryan's 3 ArchiDVDs is there one that stands out? I just picked the interior to go with Fengs...

- Leo

07 July 2005, 01:44 PM
The interior dvd is an excellent choice :D

Leonardo Vega
07 July 2005, 01:48 PM
I like your recomendation (Scott's Enviro DVD), Ryan seemed to like it too :D Now he does use photoshop. I sure hope he doesn't use SPECIAL brushes... I want to be able to follow along with Painter IX.

- Leo

07 July 2005, 03:42 PM
Scott Robertson uses some layer things in Photoshop to get started.. but I'm not sure if PainterIX supports that. Any version of PS works, it's just the things like 'Difference, Multiply, Hue, Overlay' that he uses. And the 'Color' settings on PS brushes, from what I remember. I think you get all of those in Painter? Still need to dl that demo lol.

Leonardo Vega
07 July 2005, 04:34 PM
Well, I'm not the best person to ask, but from what I've seen, it does have layers and blend modes (color, multiply, etc... didn't check for hue, but I will when I get home). I'm not sure what the "color" settings on the brush is tho.

I noticed in Ryan's and especially in Feng's work, he draws perfectly straight lines... do you think his sketches are first done on paper (with a ruler) or does he do it all in the PC using a tablet (or using the line tool)? I suspect the line tool, but the lines like a tad sketchy.

Definitely get the demo! It's awesome and for $180 (download version, $220 for boxed) it's hard to beat. The blending tools are nice and the artist oils really give off a nice painter look.

- Leo

07 July 2005, 04:51 PM
Feng had said that all his lines are done without ruler, and having in mind Ryan, I think his are too.

The 'color' mode of a brush is that any color it touches, it turns towards the color you've selected, leaving all the brightness and saturation information intact. It's just easier to work that way than painting over when having in mind Scott's technique. But I'm sure you can find a way to do that in Painter :D Maybe there's a new tinting tool?

Leonardo Vega
07 July 2005, 05:42 PM
Hmm.. I must find out about this special tint you speak of :wise:

For future reference, which is your favorite Scott perspective drawing DVD? Seems like volume #1 will be a good refresher, but I don't know if it's going to be too basic. I like the cars and spacecraft one too.

- Leo

07 July 2005, 06:11 PM
Well the first one! I have only watched that, the spacecraft and the enviroment one. The spacecraft seems to be the most interesting one for me tho! lol It's not basic, it's extremely good grounding. I've learned SO much just from one viewing.

Leonardo Vega
07 July 2005, 02:27 AM
I feel like I'm lacking rendering skills. My works come out too saturated and the lighting isn't that good. Is there a DVD to help someone develop a good foundation for lighting a scene and choosing the right colors for the mood? Or should I just use reference images until I pick it up? :)

- Leo

Dr. Ira Kane
07 July 2005, 09:44 AM
Using reference images, photos etc is a good idea, not copying them but using the color pallette and layout :thumbsup:

Leonardo Vega
07 July 2005, 02:16 PM
I also noticed the lighting is much more theatrical than realistic (in most cases). I will use reference images from movies and real life. I want to get a good DVD that teaches proper lighting. I hope Ryan's Interior DVD will hook me up, if not I might have to go with a hi-tech or low-tech DVD he has.

- Leo

07 July 2005, 04:02 PM
i can recommend to watch one dvd firstly, before buying some of them. i was very disapointed as i had the chance to watch some of them.
maybe it is just cause i thougt about some "real" training lessons. instead it was mostly "hey - have a look over my shoulder how nicely i can paint". it was not more than one of thousand step by step tuts from the net just with much more steps :)
not all dvds are like this, robertson teaches you the fundamental stuff - it is a nice course to learn perspective.

but for me it makes no sense to watch somebody (church, feng) 2 hours how he finalises just one painting. after 10 minutes it was clear how his approach is and i got bored to see him making the same stuff over the whole picture.

a highlight for me is the ian mccaig series. there you can really see how he creates a nice story in short time, designs the main characters, paints mood pictures and much more.
and he is a great speaker too.

another interesting one was the first huante dvd. there you can see how he developes out of nothing a strange creature just by playing around with basic shapes and defining them more and more.

such things were more interesting for me, cause you can see how they are developing ideas from nothing, how they think, why they are doing stuff like this and discard other ideas and all the interesting stuff you can learn from.

but thats just me, others may have more fun with all the dvds.
but a training course should look differently.
i want to know how i can practise stuff like this, what are the different procedures, what should be avoided ... all the stuff people can train at home who have not the chance to study it.
instead there are too few informations to be really helpfull for most of the dvds.

Leonardo Vega
07 July 2005, 05:46 PM
Thanks for sharing your point of view. I wasn't expecting a classroom in a DVD. I think 2 hrs is hardly enough time to TEACH. I just wanted to see their workflow, how they render objects, etc. Thanks for the recommendation, I will check out Ian's now..


11 November 2005, 07:47 AM
I Think the excellent choice will be "to get Scott ROBERTSON dvds first of all"

to learn the basices:D

11 November 2005, 03:55 AM
hi evrybody,

Iam gonna get 4 dvds from gnomon workshop and i really don't now what dvd should i get


11 November 2005, 08:03 AM
I found that most of the Gnomon DVDs lacked foundation information and is geared more towards people that already know their foundations of drawing.

If you wish to learn about the foundations to drawing and painting, then I highly suggest Bob Kato's DVDs.

You might want to check out too (it's a bit pricey). I don't have it myself, but it looks quite interesting and I'm thinking of getting it.

11 November 2005, 06:04 PM

I have over 20 Gnomon DVD's that I've picked up over the last two years, mostly in the Analog area, (though I'm now buying in the digital section too.)

Users have mentioned previously about Scott Robertson and I am in 100% agreement that his DVD's are the way to go to begin with. The 1st DVD in particular is great for trying to instill in the viewer the need to practice, practice, practice the basics. The only thing that shows stuff more in-depth for placing shapes in perspective that I have found is Andrew Loomis' book : Successful Drawing pages 29 -77.

For blocking in form, Feng Zhu's Vol.3 : The fundamentals of shot design explains into how to approach 3 tone greyscale rendering. But again, Loomis' book Creative Illustration goes further - a lot further.

It all depends on if you like watching, reading...or doing!

Practice, practice, practice... :) My take on it anyway.

MIKE *loves his Loomis books.* :scream: :D

11 November 2005, 12:32 PM
Yesterday i ordered These DVDs
Comment plz

Techniques of Scott
Robertson, Volume1: Basic
Perspective Form Drawing

Techniques of Scott
Robertson, Volume 2: How
to Draw Cars

Techniques of Scott
Robertson, Volume 3: How
to Draw Aircraft

Techniques of Scott
Robertson,Volume 4: How
to Draw Hover/Spacecraft

Concept Design, II:
Sketching Environments

Techniques of James
Clyne, Volume 1:
Environment Sketching and

Adobe Photoshop for
Digital Production,
Essential Techniques for
Film, Broadcast and Games

01 January 2006, 12:27 PM

there are awsome

great dvds

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