View Full Version : learning combustion

05 May 2003, 03:59 AM
hey, i would love to buy combustion, i have the demo and am tinkering with it but i want to focus on learning lightwave first.
how long would it take to get a good grip on combustion. i would probably spend about an average of 2 hours a day learning it.
is compositing more intricate then something like lightwave?
does it come with a good manual?

also i've heard rumors of combustion 3... if it is coming out soon i would probably wait for it's release.

05 May 2003, 04:17 AM
Compositing is built on some fairly basic principals (channels, bit depths, interlaced/non interlaced footage, keyframing, motion paths etc) its kind of working on Photoshop on steroids, with the ability to alter things over time, including reshaping & moving painted strokes over time.

So to get up to speed with the basics can take one session, (to figure out the keyframing, navigation system, layers & operators). There are other parts of combustion that will need some more time to master (the paint system, particle system, keying, colour corrector, tracking/stabilising) but you can get up doing motion graphics & simple compositing very quickly.

The other plus with combustion is the manual is extremely well written. The best I've seen in an app actually IMO

05 May 2003, 04:52 AM
thanks chris, do you think in a couple months i could get a good hang of it?
also i am one of the only guys doing 3d i know of who dosn't know photoshop:shrug:

05 May 2003, 09:45 PM
Combustion is a complex program but i doubt it's any more difficult to learn than lightwave.

Just keep at it. This is a great site and also look into they have a very good c2 forum.

Half the battle with this stuff is know what the software is capable of and then figuring out just what the best way to do someting is.


Alan Bell

05 May 2003, 09:15 AM
u guys can try in

Jack Pfeiffer
05 May 2003, 05:34 PM
A lot of people ask about training, especially on Discreet Combustion, as it is a hot new software and can be a little tough to learn...

Here is a brief rundown of some of the FREE TRAINING websites -- most offer chatrooms, tutorials and tips. For Combustion specific training, I have listed a LOT below . . . .

WEBSITES WITH INFO. ARTICLES & FREE TUTORIALS, some also have Chat Rooms, etc. ----

HERE >> (duh) > Home of the 3D Festival - with a buncha Chatrooms (Chat room, Tutorials, articles, etc.) chatroom, and free tutorials (DIVX videos) chatrooms >> VTM (Video Training Magazine) & chatrooms >> Tips&Tricks postings, articles & chatrooms > News Articles and chatrooms

Here are some User websites with Discreet Combustion Tutorials andf help, and are really worth mentioning ... Thanks to all these people! (Listed in no particular order... ) (PowerUser Lee "Rod" Roderick's Tutorials) (particles tutorial) (PowerUser Gary Davis's kool help guides) Tutorial for After Effects Users: Illustrator file import & use.

If you are ready to spend money to learn, Discreet does sell their Courseware, which is what they use when you buy one of their Discreet classes:

Discreet Combustion v2 Courseware-with CD-ROM, used at the Discreet Training Centers in the official Discreet classes worldwide. There are priced at approximately US $ 75.00 and can be ordered through your local Discreet Dealer.
WHAT YOU GET: Discreet combustion v2 Courseware Index- 37 Lessons with CD-ROM: Table of Contents: Part 1 - Using Paint = 1- learning Paint Basics ; 2 - Animation Text ; 3 - Exploring Draw Modes in Text ; 4 - Revealing a Background Image ; 5 - Wire Removal ; 6 - Creating Text Gradients ; 7 - Animating Gradients ; 8 - Combining Selections ; 9 - Animating Selections ; Part 2 - Fundamentals : 10 - Touring Combustion ; 11 - Creating Simple Composites ; 12 - Using Operators in a Composite ; Part 3 - Transforming Layers : 13 -Animating Layers Using Pivot Points ; 14 Keyframing ; Part 4 - Linking and Controlling Layers ; 15 -Cropping and Corner-Pinning ; 16 - Linking Layers Through Parenting ; 17 - Aligning Objects to a Motion Path ; 18 -Linking Layers with Hinging ; Part 5 - Changing Layer Surface Properties ; 19 - Setting Surface Properties ; 20 - Exploring Transfer Modes ; 21 - Displacing a Layer ; Part 6 - Using Channels, Mattes and Masks ; 22 - Using Alpha Channels ; 23 - Creating Channel Effects ; 24 - Using Masks ; Part 7 - Using Null Objects, Lights, and the Camera ; 25 - Animating with a Null Object ; 26 - Moving the Camera ; 27 - Creating Shadows with Lights ; Part 8 - Tracking and Stabilizing : 28 - One-Point Tracking ; 29 - Four-Point Tracking ; 30 - Two-Point Stabilizing ; Part 9 - Keying and Color Correcting : 31 - Using the Discreet Color Corrector ; 32 - Using the Discreet Keyer ; Part 10 Nesting Composites : 33 - Basic Nesting ; 34 - Creating a Motion Blur ; 35 - Importing Workspaces ; Part 11 - Additional Lessons: 36 - Working with Rich Pixel Renderings ; 37 - Creating Particles Effects

Other "After Market" books and training materials....

1) I have written a Combustion training book, which is the first third party training book on the market. Entitled "Combustion v2: The On-line WebWarriors Guide" You can read about it here: or check the review at (book reviews.) Note that my WebWarrior Book is billed as a Tips & Tricks Guide to provide help to speed up any user and make them more efficient, not just as a beginner tool. Each book also includes a one-year subscription to updates and more Tips. In May 2003, I released (for free download to those who bought the book) another tutorial teaching Motion Graphics. So, my book is a book that "keeps on giving."

2) Coming soon is the Advanced Combustion training DVDs: Three power users/trainers, Lee "Rod" Roderick, Gary M. Davis, and Ken LaRue have teamed up to create lessons and tutorials based on real world projects for the advanced user. Each volume of the series will have a 3 to 4 hours of training on 2 to 3 DVD's. Check them out at

3) There is a very good (and long) DVD / VHS Video set with 14 hours of training and tutorials, also taught by Ken LaRue and available from Technical Animations (

4) Coming up in the later this year a new book available on called “combustion ground rules” by Todd Petersen. The Table of contents for his book is scheduled to be: Chapter 1 Introduction to Post Effects - Chapter 2 Introduction to the Combustion Interface - Chapter 3 Quick Start Tutorial - Chapter 4 Paint 101 - Chapter 5 More on Paint - Chapter 6 Compositing 101 - Chapter 7 More on Compositing - Chapter 8 Working with Audio - Chapter 9 Integration with MAX - Chapter 10 Integration with Edit - Chapter 11 Advanced Compositing - Chapter 12 Advanced Compositing 2. Gpo to to read more.

5) There is an older 90-minute Combustion v1 VHS Training Tape with advanced subject material available at It has received excellent reviews and covers color correction, keying and more.

Anyway, there's FREE TRAINING and stuff you can BUY...

Whatever you do, it helps you learn ....


John Swafford
05 May 2003, 06:05 AM
FYI: There is also a new book scheduled for November 2003 called Combustion: Ground Rules ( that should be quite a big help in learning Combustion from a Max artist's perspective. November is some time away, so I suspect that the book must be covering version 3 of Combustion.

Also, the author's past books are almost all on 3ds Max, so I would bet that the book focuses strongly on max/combustion integration. Hope this helps....

Jack Pfeiffer
05 May 2003, 07:31 AM
Hi John...

Actually, in my post just above I already mention Todd Petersen's Book called "Combustion Ground Rules"... FYI: That book was originally scheduled to be released by Delmar Learning in October 2002.... However, due to the personal reasons of the author, he had to delay the book. (The book delay is in no way due to nor related to Discreet nor combustion software.) Yes, Todd Petersen has a distinguished past and has published many other books, including a bunch for 3ds Max users. You can read my original post about the book announcement, which also has links to Todd's website, here:

By the way, there are also other combustion training books coming to market. However, it will be a while before we see them, and unfortunately, these books can not be discussed in public.

For the record, NONE of these books, including Todd's, are on Combustion version 3. This is simply because Combustion v3 is NOT yet a viable product, and as such, has NO release date, period. So, one can NOT write a book about a software that is not there..



John Swafford
05 May 2003, 07:32 AM

Sorry I missed it in your post....should have noticed it. Thanks for the extra info.

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