We are considering running some very affordable online classes on conceptart.org with various pros around the industry. Eventually it could become a full online workshop. For now I just want to run some tests, maybe do my Color Theory class and see how the software works.
Do you all have any suggestions for online training software?
It needs to
1. screen capture real time
2. have voice capability
3. chat capability
4. record ability
5. save ability
I am looking right now but thought perhaps some of you might have taken classes in the past or that you might have your own input and suggestions for which to use.
Lemme know! I appreciate it. WIll see if this works and if so it will be learning central around these parts.
We use Breeze (now Adobe Connect) at work. A nice benefit is that the clients only need Flash, so the participants can run just about any browser/OS. It has worked pretty well for us doing presentations/training up to a few hundred people.
I took a couple online courses in the past, one with CGTalk.com and the other with Schoolism.com.
The CGTalk one was probably around 2006 and was more like a private forum with the instructor and other classmates. There was no video or conferencing. We read the instructor's notes and posted the assignments and received feedback and paintovers through the forum.
I took a Schoolism class in 2008 and the class structure and technology just blew me away - this is what online classes should be based on. You watch a Flash video lecture (sometimes an hour or more), upload the homework and get a 15 minute video of the instructor going over your assignment. This to me was the best thing about Schoolism. It seems simple but I learned the most from the instructor drawing over my assignment and pointing out my mistakes. To me, this is what you are really paying for. A detailed critique from a professional showing you one on one how to improve.
The Flash video lectures were huge, 1024 by 1280 resolution, and crystal clear. I still don't see that type of resolution anywhere else. None of the communication is done in realtime. I could watch lectures whenever I wanted and contact the instructor by email. I think if you were to do online classes doing anything in real time would be a huge undertaking. Just doing anything live and streaming just never works, bandwidth and time zones always seem to mess it up.
One thing I wished Schoolism did offer was the ability to download and save your instructor critiques, like when the instructor paints over your work. You could watch all the videos after your course was done for a few weeks but it would have been nice to be able to keep the paint over vids. The price can sometimes deter people but when you consider it's a 10 week course and you really feel like you've improved and gained knowledge after it' done -- it's worth it.
I hope this helps you out in some way. Good luck!
Video streaming has improved over the years. I would hope that one of these companies has it set up to properly handle it.
Got some emails in for demos..will see. Any other input is appreciated.
We will not be doing assignment based classes at this time. It is more of a q and lecture/demo based project.
We will have threads for you to practice the teachings if you wish and the members here and instructors may participate at their convenience and desire. The pros we want to work with do not have weeks...they have hours and so we want to get the most out of it we can.
Exciting news Jason! I have no additional suggestions, just wanted to add my "sounds awesome"
Wow, an online class from concept art. I would really like it. It would save money to do stuff online.
the ideea you have here is great
and about the software to use :
- for real time image capture and chatting there is NetMeeting. i don t exactly know if you can save the captures though. But usually just for sharing the desktop it works pretty well.
- there is also Skype for voice chatting. Haven t used it in a long time, maybe now you can also share images with it. I think there should be a lot of documentation on it on the net, just google it and try it out.
- and about capturing and saving images i used Fraps a few times (made some WoW short movies). You have to be careful with it though because at very high resolutions the files are pretty big and you have to procces them again to make them smaller.
anyway, hope it helps a little
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Costs will be fair...but will not be cheap like the downloads, which are coming to an end here on CA very soon. The days of impulse buy priced educational materials with info people cannot get in art school easily...or if at all...(even though they pay a thousand bucks per credit hour), are coming to a close too.
I would guess that we will move to online classes in the range of 100-1000+ dollars depending on duration, amount of video, and instructor participation. Could be one day classes or could be weekly classes for months or more...we are still talking about it. Ideally CA will have daily classes just like an art school but at a considerably lower price. I rant on and on about the high price of art school. If we can find a way to offer more information with higher caliber instructors (there are many here) then we are going to do it. This is long term thinking..but is at least being thought about.
I am also looking at a membership area for CA which includes multi-pro portfolio reviews/development over time, exclusive content, and other materials. I want to keep CA the way it is now (minus cheap downloads which theft has caused us to stop), but improve the quality of services for those who really want to do things and want to access the focused attention of the top pros in the industry for longer than a quick post.
Just thoughts right now..will run some tests and see how it goes.
If you havent seen the Next-Gen Atelier thread in the finished section, to see what the students are getting out of spending time with Wes and crew each week, now is a good time. http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=157234
Will update you soon.
Last edited by Jason Manley; May 7th, 2009 at 05:23 AM.
jason do you mean that the videos which are already for sale will no longer be available or merely that MB and crew will stop subsequent future material in this fashion?
it'd be a shame if there was no longer a legitimate means to acquire these videos. in the very least have them available to purchase via request, i'd hate to have 'missed' the window of opportunity to buy these.
membership area? does that mean we're moving into the way of the somethingawful forums (sign up fee and the such)? I wouldn't be too bothered if it's what it takes to finance CA as it has grown pretty large from what I understand, but please as Grief said, leave the downloads on, or keep doing them, at least for the people who do buy them... they're wonderful!
This is a great idea. One of the things I love about this community is our commitment to gaining and passing on knowledge to one another. The first thing that occurs to me is how to extend the longevity of each course beyond its premiere?
There may be any number of reasons why what I am about to suggest will not work, but here is my idea nonetheless…
Perhaps at the end of the course, the instructor could hand pick a few of the graduates who are deemed to have successfully grasped the concepts taught and then, these artists could act in the role of instruction assistants to future students of the course. At the end of each course, simply have the original instructor review the new crop of students to provide a new list of potential assistants. Create some sort of incentive for the graduates to assist, such as a percentage of the tuition or perhaps discounts on other CA courses which these graduates may wish to avail themselves of.
In this way each course could live on in perpetuity beyond the direct involvement of the creator of each course.
Just an idea.
Jason, while I find the concept of online classes to be an awesome addition... I have to ask if you are contemplating removing the downloading of video (which I'm assuming is due to server costs as to provide the necessary bandwidth for the extreme upload demand that they each can take and the continued theft perpetrated by fucking moronic sons of bitches) are you still going to provide them through an alternate format such as purchasing a dvd?
As grief said, it be a shame to have no legitimate way of collecting the videos... As it would be almost impossible for me to come up with the $500+ bones in such a short period of time, especially for my income level and situation. Personally I don't care whether or not I have to pay S&H... but if you completely discontinue the videos you are only hurting those whom want what you are giving and wish to contribute in some manner benificial to this great forum.
( a side edit here; I am not at all dismissing the online classes, as I am extremely intrigued by how these will work... I'll have to think on this before I can say anything that would be possibly useful)
Last edited by The Crazy Dude SRD; May 7th, 2009 at 08:15 AM.
I took part in Schoolism a while back and thing I hated the most was to not be able to see the videos after the class had finished. Do you think there is any way to allow the student to see these videos after the class has finished? This was done with BUZZ 3D if I remember, where they sold the class video's separate for those who were interested in the techniques, but not the tutor interaction.
Another thing, which you might not succumb to, is the student to student interaction. A forum is useful for this, and I guess voice chat would be too. But as you already have this I am guessing these will be included.
One video streaming service I particularly like is that of Lynda.com. Their videos are large resolution and still play at a smooth rate. The time bar was easy to use too, similar to Quicktime (which is what they used I think).
An interesting way to interact with the tutor could be to use video chat on AIM or similar software. This would make the interaction more personal, as if you were in the same room.
Looking forward to these classes, not looking forward to the stoppage of downloadable content.
Last edited by Rist; May 7th, 2009 at 10:41 AM.
The news of the discontinuing of downloads seems at odds with the recent call for video submissions. What has changed? It is a shame that the only ones who will suffer are the legitimate students. I know a great deal of the people on here are just starting out and unable to afford much more than the downloads.
Having said that, I think the intructional direction is a good and natural evolution of the CA mission and I think many would be excited by the prospect. Discontinuing the downloads seems premature, but granted I don't know the fiscal circumstances.
In any case I will continue to support and advocate the site to the uninitiated.
that you're planning to sack the downloads comes as a real surprise. i bought almost all of them (missing half a dozen i guess). to me it was a perfect way to support this place.
what will happen to the videos that were already announced (djurdjevic, hpx, black frog)? to see those beauties canceled would be a real bummer...
the online classes are a nice idea.
i wouldn't do live streaming classes and / or lectures. you would be pretty much limit yourself to the us-market and shut out people living in other timezones (like europe *hint hint* )
i agree that the way schoolism does it, is the way to do it. i think it's future proof. and as far as i know they don't suffer from piracy cause they use some nice flash streaming technology (probably somthing similar to what hulu uses, not youtube) which you can watch multiple times but not download.
the best thing about it is is that you get maximum freedom for the students and teachers without loosing the personal interaction and classroom feeling. and that every student is guarenteed personal critiques justifies the prices.
the freedom to watch your lecture and citique at a time of your liking would enable you to target working professionals or semi-professionals over the whole globe. the benefits are realy endless... i dont wanna sit at home with a broken internet connection or slow transfer rates to the u.s. because some backbone is down somwhere or whatever might happen during a live stream.
considering the tech for future streams or even live streams: a p2p based distribution technology will (probably) be the way to do it. something like http://www.p2p-next.org
Jason - I used to work for On2 technologies not too long ago as a video engineer. They are the creators of the vp series of codecs which are now widely used in a lot of cheap flash applications. They ( I believe ) partnered with adobe to bring flash video to the masses. You may want to look into their stuff.
That's too bad to hear that the downloads will done. As for online classes, that sounds amazing and it's something I can very easily see myself participating in. Would you be using some sort of remote conferencing software for live demos? Right now, my day job has me training doctors and their staff on using our Medical Records software. We use programs like mikogo.com and oneeko.com however Vyew.com, which we just started testing, shows a lot of promise. It allows us to host demos on our own stations and grant others presenter status, essentially giving them the reigns. It has voice chat but it's done in a manner where a user must raise their hand, so to speak, before the admin gives them the floor. For our purposes, it's been great. As far as I know, you can record sessions. I haven't figured that part out yet. It is both Mac and PC compatible.
For the record, I would not mind of CA began offering some sort of premium services and expanded the whole idea of online mentoring. I'd definitely take advantage of it.
Last edited by N D Hill; May 7th, 2009 at 01:56 PM.
About your downloads, I'm waiting for an external harddrive to arrive in the mail, but I intend to buy and download at least 3 of them. Hold off on deleting those for at least a couple days, and you'll be around $100 richer. I'll try to start tonight, once my son's asleep.
I don't think the downloads that are already available will be deleted. at least they shouldn't be.
if there's one way to make sure your content gets pirated, it is making it not available.
I would really love to take these classes over the summer... Hope you get it all figured out Jason!
The only programs I've used are ventrilo pretty much so I can't be of much help, sorry for the useless post.
I know, since I was an online student there. Maybe they've changed this since my last term (last Spring) with them? Anywhoos, I gathered from Jason's original post that real-time video is needed - am I correct?
While I really like AAU's online system (never had a problem with it), that was the one thing they didn't have - real-time streaming. However all that, this (CA online classes) would be very cool.
Oh, I recall an Entertainment Art Academy online course demo where there was real-time chat and video involved. I cannot for the life of me remember what software was used.
Sounds like a great idea. One-on-one time with pros is really valuable.
And it's a real bummer about the downloads. To prepare myself for that, I just spent way too much money on some downloads. Thankfully, they're the sort of purchase you can't regret, when you think of how stinkin' cheap they are for what you're getting. Dang shame y'all have to stop them. Any chance there could be some sort of "secure members only" download service? Like where long-time members could still get downloads? Smaller group to deal with, and probably more trust-worthy.