Just thought I’d throw my two cents worth against the wall and see who salutes.
I have a shelf full of books on LW and have used them with different results. Finally I just wanted to sit down and LEARN THIS STUFF. I sat down with Patrik Beck’s Lightwave 7.5 Primer and enjoyed that I was actually getting somewhere. Then I picked up another book and dove in. Around the time a certain head tutorial was kicking my behind I went to Lee Stranahan’s LW Tour and got a deal on Larry’s Intro course.
What a difference. I’ve tried video tapes, (the rewinding was driving me crazy) and like I mentioned, books, but Larry’s training CDs really got me going. His intro course starts with constructing a spaceship inspired by Dan Dare, an old space comic book. His tutorials walked me through modeling, texturing, and soon–animating.
There are many things I like about the course.
It’s scope is realistic. I built a ship. Not a fleet, or a ship as complex as the Eiffel Tower, but a ship I could actually complete and even add some personal touches to. I then got to texture the craft and that’s where the fun really began. I started seeing results quickly and felt like I was really contributing to the look of the ship myself. Larry shows you how to do something then leaves the particular details up to you. I’m sure no two ships come out looking exactly the same.
Larry’s class includes a forum where you post your work as you go. This allows him (or anybody else in the class) to give feedback. This makes the class interactive and the forums are also a great source of info because you can check out other people’s work habits and results. It also gives you the benefit of basically having a professional CG artist as technical director of your work.
Along with the CDs Larry provides additional assignments, downloads and overall encouragement.
There’re other classes available out there and they’re probably great too, but unlike my shelf of books, Larry’s courses might be the only ones I need to get to the skill level I want to be at and that would be so cool.