I am heading home on Sunday night after spending the last 6 months backpacking through Europe and I am very excited to get back to learning 3D (more so than finding another full time Job and studying full time)!
Anyway I have been slowly dabbling in 3D by learning Maya with the Autodesk Press Books, 3D Buzz's Mastering Maya Fundamentals and Advanced Modeling. However I have never tried any other products of a 3D pipeline such as Zbrush, Photoshop, AfterEffects, PfTrack or anything else, nor do I know much about the products.
I would like to learn the basics of these applications from a 3D/CGI/VFX perspective as I would like to learn the basics of Matte Painting, creating textures, Colour Correction, Compositing, tracking, screening etc. I have an idea of what they are but I dont know anything further beyond that. How have you all learnt these skills and is there anything that you could recommend for an absolute beginner to this?
I have looked at the following learning paths:
I was tempted to buy the Adobe CS4 classroom books to learn the basics for the Adobe products for when I order the student edition of the Master Suite in a few months.
I have had a look at the Escape Studio's online course for Zbrush which looks like a good option.
I have also looked at the Digital Tutors subscriptions which looks exciting as I would also like to learn more features of Maya such as nCloth, Hair and Fur, more dynamics etc and I see that there are some basic training for Photoshop and aftereffects as well as Zbrush. But I dont know if the level of Adobe training offered is to a level I wish to learn.
I have also looked at the fxphd.com classes which looks exciting but alas working 38 hours a week + full time masters study I don't think I can take on another set of courses that I cant work at my own pace to learn as a hobby but the pftrack classes, the adobe classes and more software classes does look interesting! If only there were more hours in the day i'ld love to study CG full time as well.
I would love to hear everyones recommendations.