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Old 05-02-2013, 12:11 PM   #1
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Dom Gend
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 13
Starting out, need some help

I am 18 years old, and have very low previous experience, by that I mean I know the basics of how rendering programs work and have obviously used simple video editors like camtasia, movie maker etc..
I understand projects, layers, effects, how they stack, color grading, 3D integration etc..
But have no real experience in these..

I have recently gotten the Adobe master CS6, and have some valuable plugins like Twitch, Element 3D, Trapcode Particular, and have the Action Suite, Sound Effect suite.

I am interested in getting into video editing, or whatever you guys call it.

However I am at a loss on where to start?

I am trying to get to learn After Effects and Premiere, and then Photoshop.

However it seems to be a very slow process and I will be highly disappointed it if leads to nothing.

So I post here to ask, how do you think I should start? what were your experiences?
Where did you begin and where do you think I should begin?

How many years of work am I looking at?

I am doing this just as a hobby, I will be studying Mathematics and Finance this year, and spend allot of time in the gym, so I don't know how much time I will have available, also currently my laptop isn't top notch and defenitely not made for rendering, my specs are:
8gb Ram DDR3
Intel I7 -3612QM 2.1GHz
700gb HDD
NVidia GT630 DDR3 SDRAM 2 GB
Windows 7 64BIT

Its a Lenovo.

Input is appreciated, also I am planning, if I do get into this to build a new rig, not quite sure how to start off though or how much I should be aiming to invest to get a solid rig that will last and work smoothly with 3D modelling/rendering of large scenery
Old 05-02-2013, 02:13 PM   #2
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Christopher Bischoff
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Sounds like you are interested in COMPOSITING

One of the best ways to get your head around compositing is using Video CoPilots free tutorials. Honestly, I think if it wasnt for Andrew Kramer, the world of YOUTUBE videos would be entirely different, and I mean that as a compliment.
While some people just use their stuff 'out the box', I have seen what a few dedicated people have done, by using the Video CoPilot stuff as a jumping board.

In order of learning software, I would look at getting a grasp of Photoshop, then move onto After Effects, and then a NLE like Premier.

Go out and buy a decent DSLR Camera, and start shooting your own plates and stuff for effects. Its WAY more satisfying than using the stock free stuff.

As for 'how many years', I have been involved in CG in some way or another for around half my life, and I still learn new stuff every day.

For compositing you should be able to get a handle on the basics pretty quickly. I feel that its one of the 'faster' aspects of CGI to learn, but honestly one of the more difficult ones to get top results in.

Don't stress about investing in a big computer. Jurassic Park was created on computers about as powerful as a modern iPad, and I'm probably being generous here. In fact, I find working on a less powerful computer, especially when you are learning, leads to being a much more efficient artist.
Old 05-02-2013, 02:19 PM   #3
New Member
Dom Gend
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 13
Thanks for the reply mate, and yes I was watching some of his more advanced tutorials but were impossible to understand for a nub like me.
I will go back to learning the basics and try out a few different tutorials in hope of learning a few tricks along the way and seeing how stuff works.

Well I am forced to use my crappie computer for now, hopefully in 1-2years I will be able to build myself a better rig if I do indeed need it by then.

I am not sure which field to get into, nor what I like best...
I have no experience in programming, but I do like computers and am eager to learn, I guess i'll see in uni. I am gonna try to sit into a few computing lectures.
Old 05-02-2013, 11:49 PM   #4
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Giancarlo Ng
Quezon City, Philippines
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My personal path into CG is a bit odd, but the advice above is sound.

Know that VFX/CG/Animation... and even live-action film making these days involves a line-up of many software packages (or at least a number of roles within a single software package).

Like many things, it is much simpler to explain the line-up by going in reverse.

For CG Animation for example:
1) Editing - putting images in sequence, and usually dubbing in the audio occurs here.
2) Compositing - combining layers of images that will eventually be put in final sequence.
3) Rendering - The "painting" of the individual layers by computer software in preparation for compositing.
4) Animation - Getting computer generated objects to move around on screen.
5) Rigging - setting up CG objects and characters so that they can be poseable.
6) Texturing - adding color to CG objects and characters
7) Modeling - creating the geometry of CG Objects and Characters
8) Design - sketching out CG Objects and Characters based on script and storyboard.

I take it from your post that you can see what you'd like to be doing, you just don't know what it's called or if in reality it is multiple disciplines. For example, your initial interest might be in putting objects that don't exist into a scene. But if eventually you want to be more involved in making that non-existent object you will gradually start moving downwards in the above list.

One day you'll look back and you're not quite sure how you landed where you are! :P

On the Lenovo rig: That PC will actually do you a lot of good today.....You may not actually need to change it for some time.
"Your most creative work is pre-production, once the film is in production, demands on time force you to produce rather than create."
Old 05-02-2013, 11:49 PM   #5
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