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  02 February 2010
Originally Posted by NR43: As ironic as this may sound, I really hate the fact that I wasn't fired from my office job yet (now they say Q3 2010).
I was really counting on that to be able to follow this workshop, but there simply is no time for me to combine it with my family, daytime job and school (Resigning myself simply isn't an option).
So I really hope this will be repeated in 6 months or so


That is totally possible. If enough people request it, it will repeat due to popular demand. As long as I'm still up to it every time it is requested, I'll do it. I spent all this time and energy creating the course material so I could help people and change the lives of aspiring artists, but I do want to have some of my own free time back too as well (for my own art, music, writing...etc), so even if it becomes popular, I doubt I'd just fill up my calender with it. But I think I can handle running it two to three times a year. It would be a shame if the workshop does not repeat because all of this valuable content would go to waste.

The truth is, I could've easily put together a workshop on some very easy but popular topic like "How to draw hot anime babes and awesome CG robots!" in a very short amount of time and then repeated it just to make money, but then I'd feel like shit doing it, knowing that what aspiring artists really need is not that kind of crap, but to really learn and grow as artists. I already knew the ROI on my workshop would be considered really bad business, but it was a labor of love, and when it comes to stuff I'm passionate about, any financial savvy goes right out the window. Spending more than a year of my life creating the course material definitely counts as "crazy" because I'm pretty sure I'm the only instructor in the history of CGWorkshop to have gone off the deep end like this.

My insanity, your gain. Take advantage of it!
 
  02 February 2010
Hi Rob,

I signed up for the workshop and i am looking forward to it. Thanks for your enormous effort in putting this together. I enjoy the way you help people in this forum and sometimes it isn't what people want to hear (There's no artist button on the keyboard?) but sometimes people need a kick in the rear.

Also I really am enjoying using your brushes in Painter, especially the pencil is so much like a real one.

John
__________________
John P. Garrett
CG Artist
 
  02 February 2010
Originally Posted by Lunatique: Remember everyone, this workshop is not some kind of trial by fire, so relax. You can learn everything there is to learn in this workshop even if you only draw stick figures. The less you know, the more mind-blowing the course will be for you, since you will be learning things that will kick you in the groin and pop open your eyes in ways you never imagined. If you are intermediate or above, the course will still smack you upside the head and shake you by the shoulders, since there will be many things that make you go "AHA! So THAT'S why I always had problems in that area." People of different levels will get different things out of it, but everyone will get smacked around in one way or another (while with a grin on their faces), and the course will fundamentally change the way you approach your art (or at least that's what the goal is).


I'm going to keep reading that to myself every day; hopefully, I will enroll sometime tonight.
 
  02 February 2010
I was hoping to get a bit more information on the course.
The first 2 weeks seem to deal with layer management and brushes etc., which seems pretty basic. But you then move on to more advanced topics.
I think i have an issue creating a mood/setting up lighting, value patterns and creating textures on clothing and objects/environments. I was wondering if you could elaborate a bit more on what exactly will be covered. How to manipulate photos for texture, use of brushes to build up texture etc. ? Will Week 3 Effective Lighting be a how to use Ps to light something or more like this is what needs to be planned and mapped out when lighting a scene and then this is how it is carried out with value? Also what kind of assignments will be given?(i did not see that mentioned)
Week Six: Expressive characters, Stylization, and Aesthetics seems very interesting.

Sorry for the long post just trying to get some clarification.

Thanks in Advance.
 
  02 February 2010
Originally Posted by Streetz: I was hoping to get a bit more information on the course.
The first 2 weeks seem to deal with layer management and brushes etc., which seems pretty basic. But you then move on to more advanced topics.


My workshop is structured differently from most workshops. The video portion is separate from the text & images portion. The text & images portion is the main body of the workshop. The video portion is on a separate line of progression, and takes you from the sketch all the way to the finished painting, while also containing some videos that elaborate or demonstrate techniques/workflow touched upon in the text & images portion that is better explained by videos. In a way, it's like two separate but related workshops.

The workshop is not really designed to go from basic to advanced in week-by-week progression. It's structured more like the actual process of creating artwork, going from the initial idea behind the image, to composition, lighting, colors, surface treatment...etc. Within each week's topic, I start with the basics and then with each section gets more and more advanced. So basically every week's content starts off with the basics and progress to advanced. That means even in week one there are some very advanced concepts (remember, the video portion is on a separate progression from the main body of the workshop, which is the text & image portion).

Originally Posted by Streetz: I think i have an issue creating a mood/setting up lighting, value patterns and creating textures on clothing and objects/environments. I was wondering if you could elaborate a bit more on what exactly will be covered. How to manipulate photos for texture, use of brushes to build up texture etc. ? Will Week 3 Effective Lighting be a how to use Ps to light something or more like this is what needs to be planned and mapped out when lighting a scene and then this is how it is carried out with value? Also what kind of assignments will be given?(i did not see that mentioned)
Week Six: Expressive characters, Stylization, and Aesthetics seems very interesting.

Sorry for the long post just trying to get some clarification.

Thanks in Advance.


Week 3 will take you from the most basic concepts lighting all the way to advanced. I start with just one directional light and demonstrate how direction is used for very specific effects, and why the human brain associates to these lighting directions with specific emotions and moods. From there on I explain how and why hard and soft lighting differs, and how to use them specifically in your images. Then I go through light types (direct, ambient, filtered, diffused...etc) and explain them. After all the different light qualities and types are discussed, I go into lighting setups, lighting ratios for specific looks. There's also extensive discussions about shadows, highlights, bounced light. Then there's values, from how to prevent grave mistakes from being fooled by the inherent values of colors to maintaining value coherency so your image actually corresponds to the laws of physics, to the manipulation of values for specific stylization purposes such as comic books, animation, illustration...etc.

As for textures, I do cover painting textures from scratch with brushes and also extracting/manipulating textures from photos, and how to make your textures coherent within the context of your entire image.
 
  02 February 2010
Regarding class assignments:

My workshop by nature is very different from the kind of workshops you're used to seeing. Just about all the workshops out there are focused on a narrow topic and teaches one specific skill or aims at one intensely focused but narrow goal, such as "How to rig a character" or "How to composite in this software" or "How to draw this kind of character" or "How to render with this software." The class assignments are somewhat like tests--to see if you can prove that you actually did learn all the step-by-step instructions you were given. Most of these types of assignments culminates in one "graduating" image that proves you learned all the instructions in the workshop.

With my workshop, class assignments are not like tests. They are more like exercises designed to see if you understood what I hoped you had absorbed. There is no "graduating" image because it's not that kind of a workshop. Each week has different exercises designed to make you think, get creative, try different approaches and solutions, and experiment. While there is one particular assignment where you work on an image and take it to a high degree of finish using all that you have learned in the workshop, it's not designed to test and see if you can "prove" that you now are a far better artist than when before you took the workshop. That is not how one should think of this workshop. At the end of the workshop, what should happen is that you learned a ton of techniques--from flexible and powerful workflow to drawing and painting techniques, gained many eye-opening knowledge and insights on the various elements that makes a compelling image--ones that will likely feel like revelations and answers questions that have confounded you for a long time, and have been challenged to rethink your goals as an artist, dig deeper into your creative abilities and push your mental capacities in ways you have never done before.

Someone PM'd me with concerns that he might be too much of a beginner to be able to execute the assignments, and he wanted to know if that will be detrimental to his performance in the workshop. This was my reply to him:

Originally Posted by Lunatique: I guess it's like this:

Let's say if someone wants to take a class on filmmaking, and there are two kinds of classes he could take.

The first kind of classes are ones like "How to shoot in HD" or "How to do digital grading" or "How to edit with Premiere Pro"

The second kind of classes are ones like "In the director's chair with James Cameron" or "Ridley Scott's Becoming a better filmmaker"

The first kind is focused on a narrow singular goal, where students have to do assignments that demonstrate they learned how to perform that single specific task.

The second kind expects you to open your mind and absorb the instructors' wisdom and knowledge. While they do also teach specific techniques developed in their professional careers, you are only expected to show that you understood the lessons, but you are not expected to be able to reproduce those techniques at the same level as an experienced and skilled filmmaker. You simply pay attention to the wisdom and knowledge being passed down to you and those lessons will stay with you for the rest of your life. Do they expect you to have made high-quality films before you enrolled in the class? Nope. Do they expect you to make some high-quality films during the class? Nope. You just have to be there and absorb.

Ultimately it's up to you. If you think you'll feel really insecure and not being able to do the assignments to a certain level will make you feel really bad--to the point that those bad feelings will stop you from actually absorbing all the knowledge being taught to you, then maybe no. But if you think even without the assignments, the knowledge being taught is simply too valuable to pass up, then yes. My workshop does not make you "pass" or "fail" with the assignments you turn it--the assignments are just there to see if you understood the lessons.

Last edited by Lunatique : 02 February 2010 at 04:12 AM.
 
  02 February 2010
Erm, I was just looking through the faq for CGSociety workshops, and they say that they only accept "students over the age of 18 years."; do they seriously not make any exceptions?
 
  02 February 2010
Originally Posted by SergeantOreo: Erm, I was just looking through the faq for CGSociety workshops, and they say that they only accept "students over the age of 18 years."; do they seriously not make any exceptions?


Whoa, I didn't know that. Let me check with the CGS staff and find out if that's a definitive, unbreakable rule.
 
  02 February 2010
Originally Posted by Lunatique: Whoa, I didn't know that. Let me check with the CGS staff and find out if that's a definitive, unbreakable rule.


For my sake, I hope not..
 
  02 February 2010
Ok, this is the official answer from CGS staff about the age limit:

If they’re younger, we’ll need the name and address of the person who’s credit card we are using. We will also need to know the relationship between the student and the person paying. If you know this student, ask them to contact me. (biljana@ballisticmedia.net)
 
  02 February 2010
Originally Posted by Lunatique: Ok, this is the official answer from CGS staff about the age limit:

If they’re younger, we’ll need the name and address of the person who’s credit card we are using. We will also need to know the relationship between the student and the person paying. If you know this student, ask them to contact me. (biljana@ballisticmedia.net)


Thanks Robert.

I actually emailed the CGS staff a short while after posting here and got the same response; I'm glad that this will still work out - it was rather unsettling to think of not being able to do this workshop because of an age limit. ^^
 
  02 February 2010
Another PM asked me about how exactly the course material will be presented and if it's possible to download them for future viewing after the workshop ends. Also, the concern about being a novice and not being able to do the assignments to a satisfactory level.

My answer:
Originally Posted by Lunatique: The text & images portion will either be html pages or pdf. I'm leaning towards html since it allows flexibility in my updating minor changes, whereas pdf will require complete rewrite of the entire file every time I make a change. Also, I think html is a bit more bothersome for those who want to spread my material via pirate sites. PDF makes it almost too easy for them. (Why anyone would do that after spending $549 is beyond me.)

The videos are linked in the html pages in the order of viewing. You always go through the text & images portion first before you watch any of the videos.

As for assignments, I think many of the exercises can easily be done with very simple stick figures or even just simple silhouettes. In fact, some of the examples I illustrated to explain some concepts are done exactly in that manner--every simple and easy to understand. You'd actually be surprised by how I made the assignments doable even for novices (at the same time, more advanced artists can take the assignments a step further and do more refined work). I think if you at least understand 1, 2, and 3 point perspective and can draw some simple boxes in 3 point perspective, you're already in great shape (and if you don't, I cover that in the workshop anyway). Then if you could do silhouettes of recognizable figures (circle for a head, rods for limbs, boxes for torso) performing recognizable actions (running, jumping, kicking), you'll also be able to do many of the assignments.

There might be a few assignments you'd find yourself really challenged (in week 5 and 6), but those are the minority, and even then, I provide options for the more novice artists to still be able to do those assignments and show that they understood the lessons.

The final assignment is the hardest, because that's when you try and show me and your peers how you incorporate all that you have learned in the workshop into one piece of artwork. I think the beginner artists can certainly go for a more cartoony and simple style while the more advanced artists can go for a more realistic and detailed style, but both approaches are legitimate. This is the general attitude I take with the entire workshop--I do not advocate one style over another--the aim is to help you become a better artist regardless of your style.

Last edited by Lunatique : 02 February 2010 at 08:57 AM.
 
  02 February 2010
One point I want to stress is that this workshop is that you can't gauge how much someone has been transformed or the number of exciting revelations one had during the workshop with an assignment--it just doesn't work that way. Any instructor who tries to assess how "enlightened" a student has become with some kind of test assignment would be missing the point and going about it all wrong. My goal is not to pass or fail you--it's to elevate you and help you become someone who is fully capable to continuing your artistic journey with far more confidence, accelerated growth, and insights that otherwise would have taken you many years to acquire. The fact that this workshop contains insights on things I see many professional artists I have art directed get wrong on a daily basis, is a perfect example of the kind of workshop this is--it's about valuable insights that even being a professional won't guarantee you'll have (and this is often what separates art directors from those he directs).

I think it's likely that all of you will understand everything in the workshop, because I believe in my proven ability to explain even the most complex concepts to total beginners. What might happen for some of you is that although you have understood everything, you may not have the amount of experience/skills required to be able to execute those advanced concepts, but you will eventually be able to after having practiced more on your foundations. It's sort of like if we're in The Matrix and I uploaded all the knowledge you'd ever need to be a kung fu master, but since your body is not conditioned to be able to perform those moves yet, all that knowledge will stay in your heart and mind until you have conditioned your body to perform those moves. This workshop is like downloading kung fu secrets into your brain, but you have to practice your foundations in order to execute the moves.

Last edited by Lunatique : 02 February 2010 at 04:35 AM.
 
  02 February 2010
Robert,

I found about your workshop a couple of weeks ago through NR43's sketchbook thread, and I must say the course outline sounds amazing. I know it is filling up fast, and I am very much tempted to register, but I would like to ask a question before I make up my mind.

I am currently reading through Creative Illustrations by Andrew Loomis, and page after page I am blown away by his insights and creative genius. That book seems to thoroughly cover every aspect of a good illustration, from the importance of planning to composition, value, and color.

From what I understand your workshop will have more emphasis on principle than on specialized technique. You recommended studying Loomis books in preparation for the workshop, and also said that you will cover "subjects that students will not be able to find elsewhere". Since Loomis covers a variety fundamental topics in depth, I am wondering if the reason I won't find your workshop material elsewhere is because you will go even deeper than Loomis and lead us to an even bigger revelation...which would be totally awesome and I hope is the case. Or is it be because you will be teaching how to apply those same principles in digital format? I am just curious about the nature of your secret material, since it doesn't seem to me that Loomis left out a lot of important subjects that would help one become a better artist.

Thank you so much for the lengths you have gone to put this workshop together to help other artists grow, and I hope it will be a big success for both you and everyone who participates!
 
  02 February 2010
Originally Posted by Heozart: Robert,

I found about your workshop a couple of weeks ago through NR43's sketchbook thread, and I must say the course outline sounds amazing. I know it is filling up fast, and I am very much tempted to register, but I would like to ask a question before I make up my mind.

I am currently reading through Creative Illustrations by Andrew Loomis, and page after page I am blown away by his insights and creative genius. That book seems to thoroughly cover every aspect of a good illustration, from the importance of planning to composition, value, and color.

From what I understand your workshop will have more emphasis on principle than on specialized technique. You recommended studying Loomis books in preparation for the workshop, and also said that you will cover "subjects that students will not be able to find elsewhere". Since Loomis covers a variety fundamental topics in depth, I am wondering if the reason I won't find your workshop material elsewhere is because you will go even deeper than Loomis and lead us to an even bigger revelation...which would be totally awesome and I hope is the case. Or is it be because you will be teaching how to apply those same principles in digital format? I am just curious about the nature of your secret material, since it doesn't seem to me that Loomis left out a lot of important subjects that would help one become a better artist.

Thank you so much for the lengths you have gone to put this workshop together to help other artists grow, and I hope it will be a big success for both you and everyone who participates!


Those are excellent questions. I'm glad someone brought this up.

Loomis's more advanced books like Creative Illustration and Eye of the Painter are very well written, incredibly insightful, and tackles many of the essential and advanced concepts that a good artist must know. To even be mentioned in the same sentence as Loomis makes me a bit weak in the knees. Based on my past discussions on Loomis, everyone knows how much respect I have for the man and how he has helped me in my own journey as an artist.

The big difference between my workshop and the Loomis book you mentioned is that Loomis lived in an age where computers didn't dominate people's lives, there were no arts and entertainment like the ones we have today of CG animation, movie special effects, video games, Japanese anime/manga, trendy and modern comic books, the sci-fi/fantasy illustration explosion, concept art, and so on. While the lessons learned from Loomis are certainly valuable, there are many issues he did not address simply because they did not exist in his lifetime, or they were outside of his expertise. He's never worked in CG animation, video game, comic books, storyboarding, concept art for entertainment, or modern sci-fi/fantasy, and he has never been a studio art director that directs a team of professional artists on projects.

As someone who has been a studio art director, concept artist and texture artist in video games, a comic book artist, an animation writer/director, a storyboard artist, and illustrator, the ground I cover are ones that Loomis never had the chance to travel because the time periods are too different. The lessons in the workshop are all within the context of today's development in the arts, entertainment, and technology, many of which did not exist in Loomis's lifetime.

The video portion of the workshop is also something you cannot get from books. Real-time demonstration of workflow, techniques, and on-the-fly problem solving are much better explained with videos, and there are lots of digital workflow tips that Loomis could never have predicted in his wildest imagination.

And as for insights that go further and deeper than the Loomis books, I think "different" is a better description. I try not to repeat what he has covered, unless I have a different take on it or additional insight. There are many things I cover that are not in his books (and vice versa). I think in a way it's like if you took two different seminars on filmmaking--one is with a well-known director from decades ago, and one is from a working director today, you'll learn some really different things between the two of them. Just like how filmmaking in terms of style, creative approach, technology, and general industry culture has drastically changed in the last few decades, so has the world of the arts and entertainment.

So in conclusion, I think my workshop and the Loomis books will compliment each other very well, and neither are replacements for the other. In fact, I wish my students will have at least gone through some of the Loomis books before taking my workshop--especially ones like Figure Drawing For All It's Worth and Successful Drawing. But since the books are already there, students can always go back and study Loomis after taking my workshop.

Last edited by Lunatique : 02 February 2010 at 10:33 AM.
 
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