What do you think of Digital Tutors?

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  10 October 2013
Quote: I've done my research on their 3D instructors there, I've looked at some of their portfolio sites, from their resume, they graduate from college and then become an instructors right away. No real industry experience.


Eh. To be honest, while I've had a sub in the past, I never really researched their teachers. The kind of thing you mention is becoming more and more popular. Particularly at the high-school level (I've seen a TON of people lately who graduated from college and Immediately went right to teaching high-school). That, in and of itself shouldn't be an automatic negative.

They have some really great info and very easy to follow tutorials that I find are great whether you are brand new, need to brush up on a few things, or need to quickly get up to speed on new features. I've also never run into a situation where something I learned from them got me in trouble in a "pro" environment.

For me, the only drawbacks were that there was no way to view off-line, and the fact that, (as others have mentioned) there were just so many new zBrush monster tuts every week while other programs were not getting new material as often as I would have liked.

Really, if there was an easy, legal way (even if you had to pay a extra fee or something) to view the course material off-line then I would still have my subscription today.
 
  10 October 2013
1) I use DT when needed because my studio has a subscription. I might not if it were just for myself.
2) I don't really care what 'qualifications' a video tutorial has as long as it shows me something I want to learn. As others have said the 'Creative Development' series is by 'pros' anyway.
3) If a subject is very important but complex as well then I try and find as much tutorials as I can anyway. I don't stop with DT. Its all good.
 
  10 October 2013
I like digital tutors and I'm lucky enough to use a shared account. Even though I rarely watch tutorials all the way through, I keep checking at least 3-4 times a month to see if there is any new tutorials that spark interest.

However I think that they should focus a bit more on the advanced topics instead of keep remaking "Learning max/maya.... again again" and "lets sculpt even more creatures in zbrush!". I'd love more tutorials that assumes you have a intermediate/advanced knowledge and talks about workflow and thought process instead of being just another step-by-step tutorial.

They recently released(although I haven't seen all of it yet) a series focusing on setting up a proper tracking workflow using nuke->syntheyes->maya which is the kinda tutorials I personally think they should make more of.
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  10 October 2013
Originally Posted by JoshBowman: One thing to remember is that even though they may put out tutorials not made by 'professionals' in the industry, that doesn't have any indication of the quality of the training. Many times I've encountered professionals who know a lot and understand a process or technique really well but struggle to communicate and teach it in a way that is understandable. 'CG Professional from X company' just looks good on the advertising.


I partially agree with this - teaching is definitely a skill in itself, and not everyone possesses the ability to convey information in a manner that's easy to follow. Having said that, I do think that having actual industry experience, and a fair amount of it, counts for a lot more than just "looking good on advertising". Someone with industry experience can teach from a studio production perspective, which can differ rather vastly from someone sitting at home and doing CG purely for the pleasure of it. I know from firsthand experience that many people who end up with their first jobs in the industry need to unlearn bad habits they've picked up from tutorials and elsewhere.

And unfortunately, there are a number of unscrupulous individuals out there who pad out their CVs to appear to have more experience than they really do (the "I have a lot of experience but I can't talk about it because it's under NDA" chestnut is often trotted out... it's bullshit), which misleads their students who buy their courseware or attend their workshops under the impression that they'll be learning from an experienced industry perspective (please note that I am in no way accusing Digital Tutors of this, as I have absolutely zero experience with them and thus no opinion of their tutorials at all). I won't name any names, but can think of a number of people considered something of a joke by professionals, who nevertheless continue to dupe beginners into paying for their teaching, because they can't really identify that the teacher's work is sub par and that they're bullshitting about their experience.

I guess my point is that there is unfortunately a lot of crap tuition out there, and beginners are the ones least likely to be able to distinguish between the good and the bad. Personally, if I was needing to learn something and was looking at courseware, I'd be far more inclined to purchase training from someone with a verifiable CV, who is currently working in a high profile studio, than someone with a sketchy CV full of nebulous claims.
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  10 October 2013
Also whats the capacity in which you need the training?

A quick overview of a new tool for a CG professional. DT is fine (along with other resources).

Or are you a CG protege taking your first steps in career building-than DT
might not be nearly enough. This is when you want to look for an 'education'
not a 'tool tour'.
 
  10 October 2013
I have DT for years, I am overall satisfied, they have basic and advanced topics,if you wanna face expertise from the pros, maybe you just need Public relations, pitch to the industry,or have just talk to the expert and work on your common next assignment.
But if you are a humble pupil , and wanna mix your skills DT can work.
they are sometimes a good start point, and if you have a software they don't cover like isotropix clarisse, you'll have to go to cmivfx like I do, because clarisse is almost brand new .
DT, They are far from perfect, and they repeat themselves a lot , but the instructors are good,and I like the pace and consistency , (smart ass tutorials really annoy me).
if I search for a tutorial , I am lacking some know how and apreciatte patient explanation.
I have the Chaos Phoenix plugin for instance , they have 2 years old tutorials only, published new versions, and don't care to publish any tutorial on their new version, same with clarisse or octane plugins, beg them and my sensation is that the developers ' laugh at you having a cup of coffe.
big joke, Poor ignorant bastards, and they even pay !!!
Share the knowledge please.
 
  10 October 2013
I'm a big fan of Digital Tutors and 3D Buzz's tutorials. They'll get you up to speed quickly.
So, that's what I think. Anymore questions? :P
 
  10 October 2013
I don't like DT at all.
Other than familiarizing yourself with new app's interface and basic functions I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

The few times I tried it I was bored to tears. They drag on and on to fill up the time with trivial things like what does file>save as and whatnot and it's really not much value for the money.

They do have a few tuts from 3rd parties that are on the intermediate side, but overall, as far as I'm concerned, it's a no-no.
 
  10 October 2013
I had a DT subscription couple years ago... and I honestly think it is a really good way of grabbing the basics about 2D/3D softwares that might be new to you as well as getting you to speed with new/special features, for me it was like having an online wiki of every function or button I needed to know at a specific time for a specific software, so for that matter it helped me greatly and if I needed to learn a new software from scratch I might consider it again to speed up for a month or two.
---
Although passed that initial learning stage it I find it gets redundant and the quality output / techniques are not high end production techniques you'll find at a vfx shop, for that matter I really enjoy fxphd material or cgworkshops from cgsociety. Its been around 2 years I use both regularly (cgworshops / fxphd) and I am very very pleased with the quality of the training I am getting.

My only concern will be maybe narration.... with online training you never know, sometimes its an amazing course but the narrator just does not have the voice, pronunciation, pace or simply narration skills to keep you engaged with the content.... (I know this might not be important to some people...but well for me it kinda is... I get distracted easily..)

I already bought some online training from well known training sites about a specific matter I was really exited to learn, only to be very disappointed with the narration and gradually losing interest on the video, and getting to explore stuff on my own...

I find that the foundry does a great job with narration in their videos, almost every time I watch a video in their youtube channel I am very pleased with the way they are done... specially the nuke ones.
 
  10 October 2013
I've used Digital Tutors in the past as well as Lynda.com and they are good for learning the basics. I've seen now that they've expanded a lot in certain areas and definitely have more tutorials. I'm trying to find what website would give you the most bang for your buck in terms of offering the most tutorials for 3D like Maya and After Effects but also newer programs just to see how different/similar they are to what I'm used to but I also want in depth learning of the program and not just user interface, "look what this does" sort-of-teaching. Guess I'm leaning towards digital tutors right now but still not sure as I wasn't that impressed with the depth taught of each program before.

Digital Tutors definitely seems like the cheapest as you can sign up for $45 a month and cancel whenever. But others like The Gnomon Workshop only offer a yearly streaming fee of $499. Then someone else here mentioned Cmivfx.com which I've never heard of until now. It looks like a promising website as they charge $300 a year for access to their videos except the website itself is not very user friendly. Trying to navigate it when they have such tiny icons and moveable windows... it gets frustrating in a hurry. Their library doesn't seem to be that vast for $300 a year subscription though I guess because they cover so many different programs and favor some over others in terms of number of tutorials per certain program. Not sure why cmivfx had more tutorials on cinema 4d then Maya though. Anyway....guess people play favorites.
 
  10 October 2013
What a thread!

Though it wasn't intended, this is great feedback for us to all look into. For those that were bored to tears, we owe you a pint - or another beverage of choice.

We did want to let everyone know updates and efforts to address concerns raised. We'll reply to some of those below individually and some general notes in this post.

Over the last year we have introduced more advanced content, including courses with guest tutors working in the industry. Like anything, we are working to improve this moving forward and continually raise our own level of teaching.

These guest tutors have worked on projects ranging from blockbuster movies to top games. We're talking Prometheus, Iron Man, Mass Effect, Transformers, Skyrim and at places like Treyarch, The Mill, Ubisoft, Dreamworks, EA, Blizzard and many more shops and studios (http://www.digitaltutors.com/11/tutors.php).

Our in-house tutors also go through a rigorous training process to teach via video before they ever officially start recording. We take their experience and add it to training techniques learned over 13+ years of creating content. Each course also goes through R&D and internal testing.

All of which ends up in our training library and used by thousands of artists, designers, schools, and major studios and companies (http://www.digitaltutors.com/11/customer_list.php). And each one we openly welcome feedback, like here, to try and improve if we can.

Thanks again to everyone for the feedback and we hope you take a chance to check out all of great new content we've released and new features coming your way. Please feel to respond here too with any questions or comments.

We set out to change the world though our training and open new opportunities for our members. We continue to do that every day and strive only to improve.



- The DT Team
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  10 October 2013
Originally Posted by Panupat: They've included more advanced stuff lately, some of them can be quite interesting from what I see. But the majority of their tutorials are geared towards users totally new to the subject.



Here is a link to some of the more advanced content coming from our guest tutors lately: http://www.digitaltutors.com/traini...pment-tutorials
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  10 October 2013
Originally Posted by Sthu: So DD is great but I cancled my subsciption based on only one thing - no autoplay. And having to scroll, click, wait, click, scroll, double click, when you are trying to sit back and watch the thing on your TV or tablet is too frustrating, specially in bed where I do most of my learning.


Thank you for this feedback. We will continue to evaluate this option moving forward. We do have some new video features and playback options coming (not autoplay or 2x speed yet, but we are looking into it): http://www.digitaltutors.com/dtlabs/?p=9681
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  10 October 2013
Originally Posted by ambassador: Personally, I could do with way-way less zbrush monster sculpting tutorials every month (really, how many do we need) and more varied tutorials for other packages and new updated tools in the software. I get it though, zbrush is the hip tool at the moment, and from a marketing standpoint, its probably what interest people in subscribing, gotta make dem $$s.


We have had many conversations on this exact topic! We were concerned about a possible redundancy in ZBrush topics, but the techniques and workflows being used, and the outcomes, were all quite different and the views did keep happening. We've tried to add quite a bit more options for ZBrush and spread more courses to other applications to keep the balance. There are so many software options out there, we do our best to get to them for our members.
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  10 October 2013
Originally Posted by MissOptimist: I agree DT is really for beginners. But if you want to know exactly how professionals in the real world industry 'do it', it's better to listen to professionals. I've done my research on their 3D instructors there, I've looked at some of their portfolio sites, from their resume, they graduate from college and then become an instructors right away. No real industry experience.


This one is painful to hear - mostly as an injustice to our guest tutors.

We can do a better job at communicating some of the professional projects our guest tutors have worked on. They are quite impressive (http://www.digitaltutors.com/11/tutors.php). We have also taken the feedback on who our members like and focused on bringing them back for more courses.
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