What do you think of Digital Tutors?

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  10 October 2013
It's good, but they have only a few advanced tutorial. Another good site is InfiniteSkills, because its beginner's tutorials are well organised
  11 November 2013
Originally Posted by Digital-Tutors: We have also taken the feedback on who our members like and focused on bringing them back for more courses.

I hope you'll bring back Kyle Green and have him do some courses on the MentalRay MILA shader library once they find their way into Maya.
And Chris Glick for any Nuke related tutorials. These two guys did/do good work.
Disgruntled VFX-artist
  11 November 2013
Yes, Kyle is really, really good. I really, really like his really, really in depth courses. I really, really, really want more videos where I can really, really hear him tell me how he really, really feels about what he's really talking about. really
  11 November 2013
Originally Posted by ebbandflow: 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.

The thing with CMIVfx is that their tutorials are long, very thorough, and technical in nature.

They have the best Houdini tutorials around.
  11 November 2013
I first signed up with Digital Tutors a couple of years ago, and every now and then sign up for a month to see what's happening. It's a good way to learn about new features in software updates, like MassFX etc in 3ds Max. I'm currently subscribed for a look around, but am about to cancel again.

Digital Tutors is good for beginners, but they stay away from the harder stuff. I'm a 3ds Max user and I requested tutorials on hair and cloth a couple of years ago and still nothing, unless you want to use hair farm, which I don't, and even the hair farm tutorial showed a simple hairstyle that can be made quickly with Max's own hair n fur. In the world, there's long hair, short hair, dog hair, so many different kinds of hair, and yet there's one tutorial of a simple hairstyle, made with an external plugin, unanimated, no dynamics, which doesn't get anyone very far. The rest we have to figure out ourselves because you shouldn't really leave a character like that and take it through an animation pipeline.

I'd like to see a tutorial that goes through all of the cloth properties and settings in good detail. I have a working knowledge of this since I've had to figure it out, but a clear tutorial on this and see the cloth in action in animation would be good. Especially because cloth often needs some correction after animating, and it'd be good to see how others do it in a real world animation. I've suggested these topics, and got the "thank you for your suggestion" reply, but nothing. Just more basic introduction to modeling and animation tutorials.

None of the animations involve cloth clothing. When my character is climbing a wall, or fighting a sword fight, they are fully dressed. Fine, the tutorials are for animation, but how about extending a series where we see how cloth works with that, and hair too? These are the hard bits that people have to figure out on their own. My guess is it's too hard to teach, because there are still no tutorials at all for this. Digital Tutors therefore won't give you all the skills you need to create a production level animation that requires hair and cloth, unless you want cartoon hair or short hair. If you want long hair contolled with splines or cloth driven ponytails, you have to look elsewhere.

The tutorials are however professionally presented and students can learn to model with correct topology and learn best practices in all other areas. The tutorials are clear and usually easy to understand. I'd recommend them to any beginner. If you are advanced at modeling or anything else, you'd find yourself cursing at the tutor because you know so many better/faster ways, but the tutorials are excellent for the beginner and they'll discover faster workflows with experience.

For those who have no idea to rig their characters, the rigging for production rig is excellent, and the tutorial on the stretchy bones is excellent too if you need it. You really don't need to look further on the web for how to create a more professional and easy to animate character rig. I dislike the other rigs though, such as the one with the chest and back controls behind the back which makes selection very difficult without orbiting. At least there's a choice.

Despite all of the logos displayed of big name companies that use the site for training, I see it more as a beginners to intermediate user site, at least if you want to learn 3ds Max. The Maya area is more comprehensive. There are really great courses and learning paths for getting people started quickly. They need to add advanced courses monthly to have people like me paying each month.

I wish they'd do an easy to follow maxscript course, imagine how many subscribers they'd get for that. It's probably too hard though, and I don't waste my time with suggestions anymore.
  11 November 2013
One nice side benefit of using most of these online tutorials services is the ability
to qualify for student discounted software such as Pixar's PRMan and other 3DCG packages.

I've found digital tutors handy for getting started with certain aspects of using Maya that I was clueless about.

Not sure how well they fare with in depth tutes though.
  11 November 2013
The newest series for maya on modeling & rigging is very good, DT has stepped it up for sure
I feel like the past few years of learning can be summed up and learned in just weeks with the new material covering maya 2014
  11 November 2013
1st of all:
without any disrespect. the quality of the final result catches my interest for a tutorial.
its like the result stands for the skill of the tutor
and therefore also for interesting techniques i want to add to my skill portfolio.

From this pov DT is low quality. they teach you each tool, like the manual does also.
It sounds often like a summary of all tool sets.
But complex techniques or workarounds are shown rarely.

for me DT is all about quantity and less about quality

what i also dont like is the narration, its full of filling phrases and a lot of chitchat.
if you would take that away an 8 hour tutorial would shrink to 2 to 3 hours.

thats something i really like about eat3d. their tutorials are sometimes so comapct and full of infos, that you have to stop the video and rewind to catch with everything up.

in those speedy times we dont want to waste our spare time to chitchat.

but still DT has its legit place in the market.

kind regards

  11 November 2013
Based on this thread, I've done some research on Digital Tutors as a training opportunity for Local 839 members. Normally, I'd focus my searches on a more traditional "classroom" option (online or brick-and-mortar), but the feedback from you and from a sister Local (Local 800 - Art Directors Guild) has convinced me to try DT.

As mentioned, the subscriptions are a bit expensive. I'm considering 10 seats as a trial for a year to see how the membership will use them. With the "floating seat" option, DT offers some "fairness" tools to administrators.

My questions: If you had access to a floating seat, at no cost, would you find it beneficial to jump in and use DT resources even if you were limited to, say, three hours per "visit"? We represent approx. 3000 members that include artists at Disney (Feature and Television), Dreamworks (Feature and Television), Warner Bros, Nick, etc. Would 10 seats be too little?

Thanks for your thoughts in advance.
Steven Kaplan
International Representative - IATSE
  11 November 2013
My review of Digital Tutors Intro to nCloth in Maya 2013 video #2 (#1 was the quick intro)

0:10 really
0:12 very, very
0:20 really, really
0:38 really
1:06 very, very
1:15 really, really
2:02 really, really
2:18 very, very
2:22 really
2:44 very, very
3:00 really, really
3:19 very, very
3:48 very, very
4:27 really, really
5:10 really, really
5:33 very

I don't think I can watch the rest of them. So hard to concentrate on the subject when you're acutely aware of another 'really, really' or 'very, very' fixing to drop.
  11 November 2013
Love it!!! Always wanted to subscribe but didn't have the extra cash for a subscription. Finally got a new job and signed up for a monthly subscription. I use it for work and on my free time to learn new programs. It is great for someone like myself that is interested in being more of a generalist. I can see how if you just want to be a modeler, the advanced tutorials might not be there.
"A man who conquers himself is greater than one who conquers a thousand men in battle" - Buddha
  11 November 2013
Originally Posted by SteveKaplan: My questions: If you had access to a floating seat, at no cost, would you find it beneficial to jump in and use DT resources even if you were limited to, say, three hours per "visit"? We represent approx. 3000 members that include artists at Disney (Feature and Television), Dreamworks (Feature and Television), Warner Bros, Nick, etc. Would 10 seats be too little?

Three hours isn't enough to finish a single course, so that would be frustrating. 12 hours a month, or a 150 hours per year, could definitely be useful though, and at least theoretically works out to the same amount of time.
  11 November 2013
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