Hey, I know Feng has released some DVD's, and it looks like they've gotten some good reviews. Has anyone, however, seen or used the Ryan Church DVD's now being offered at Gnomon?? If so, how are they? Are they comparible or any better to Fengs? Are they worth the money?
I've seen them. Folks have to know that these are technique DVDS. Just like the first set that Feng did (not sure what his second will have-- will know soon) they aren't about design, but about the steps of taking a line drawing (about three steps into a fully realized design) and presenting it in a still raw but more considered form for the sake of review by an AD, director, lighting TD, etc.
Are they worth it? If you need help in that stage. If you're still struggling with drawing, design and composition basics, these are steps ahead of what you should be worrying about right now.
If you'd like hints about rendering and a treatement on the truth that color is less important at early stages than value, then these are worth getting.
From what I see of most people who rush too quickly to emulate someone instead of taking the time to learn the basics first, these will lead a lot of folks into bad habits, thinking that slick application of color or mass will save bad drawing and design decisions.
If you're more advanced and are looking for some reminders of process and some means of simplifying and just tackling the work, these will bring some relief and very solid ideas. The discs are good, but the farther along you are, as with so many other books and tutorials, the more you will get out of them and put to good use in your own work.
Ryan's process is the same from disc to disc, and rarely (VERY rarely) does he use a tool or process in one that he doesn't use in all of the others. What differs most is his treatment of material and most of all (and most important) is listening to him talk through the process. You'll be amazed at how well and fluidly he can reinforce basics visually and eloquently.
Each disc covers material representation, atmospheric perspective, color and value choices, restating the reason for doing the work at the level he does it (as opposed to taking the pieces further or tighter)... although that may sound to some like design basics, and it is indeed important, I think much of it will be dismissed by an inattentive listener as casual or random observation, when it isn't at all.
Last edited by vfxart; January 11th, 2004 at 09:54 PM.