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I've done three "semesters" of FXPHD in the past and have loved them. Is anyone taking classes right now? If so, which ones? I'm most interested in the PFTrack class, Tim Clapham's courses (which have always been great), Mark Christiansen's CS4 techniques class and the Houdini class. If anyone is taking these I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

 

R

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I've done three "semesters" of FXPHD in the past and have loved them. Is anyone taking classes right now? If so, which ones? I'm most interested in the PFTrack class, Tim Clapham's courses (which have always been great), Mark Christiansen's CS4 techniques class and the Houdini class. If anyone is taking these I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

 

R

 

this is my second semester im taking the following:

 

After Effects: Project A to Z

After Effects Motion Graphics II

Cinema4D and After Effects in Production

Digital Color Theory

Particles and Dynamics using RealFlow

Introduction to SynthEyes

Intro to Compositing with Ron Brinkmann

 

Like you said Tim's classes are awesome this is what I took last term:

 

After Effects Motion Graphics Grab Bag

A Guerrilla Filmmakers Guide to After Effects

Introduction to Digital Audio Post

Cinema 4D and Design

Secrets of Paint and Roto

 

Im still playing catch up on watching the videos from both last semester and this semester (working full time and being a single dad doesnt a lot much free time) But as long as my work is paying for them I will stock up on the classes.

 

if you have any questions in regards to content ill do my best to let you know what i feel in the things ive watchs and can skim videos if youre looking for anything specific. Based on what I have watched they are all worth the price regardless of the area you want to learn. Plus the ability to audit all the classes for week one and two is a great feature.

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I have to concur with what was said above, great value at fxphd. I started in term 2 and have so far been through 9 terms. I had to drop out at the beginning of this year due to a job loss. I hope to get back in soon. I refer back to the courses all the time.

 

The PFTrack and Synth Eyes courses were very good. As were all the After Effects courses, very diverse in their scope overall. We also spent some time early on using RealViz software, that was excellent as well (sorry I can't recall which course that was a part of).

 

regards

cbowyer

 

Here's the list of what I have taken.

 

* BKD210: Background Fundamentals October08

* PHD110: this week @ fxphd October 08 Term

* RFL201: Particles and Dynamics using RealFlow

* C4D203: Cinema4D and AE in Production II

* AFX203: After Effects: Project A to Z

 

July08 Term

 

* BKD209: Background Fundamentals July08: Cars

* PHD109: this week @ fxphd

* AFX302: After Effects Masters

* C4D202: Cinema4D and After Effects in Production

* SYN201: Intermediate SynthEyes

 

April08 Term

 

* BKD208: Background Fundamentals April08

* AFX301: A Guerrilla Filmmakers Guide to After Effects

* C4D201: Cinema 4D and Design

* SYN101: Introduction to SynthEyes

 

January08 Term

 

* BKD207: Background Fundamentals January08

* AFX222: After Effects Broadcast Design

* MYA101: Introduction to Maya

* PHT202: Digital Photography for VFX

 

Oct07 Term

 

* BKD206: Background Fundamentals October07

* PFT301: Advanced PFTrack I

* IMG101: Imagineering Suite Introduction

* DVR201: DVRebel

 

July07 Term

 

* BKD205: Background Fundamentals July07

* AFX202: After Effects for Compositors

* PFT201: 3D Camera Tracking with PFTrack

* MYA210: Intermediate Maya III

 

April07 Term

 

* BKD204: Background Fundamentals Apr07

* RTO201: Rotoscoping Techniques

* MYA203: Intermediate Maya III

* AFX221: After Effects Design & More

 

January07 Term

 

* BKD203: Background Fundamentals T3

* SHK201: Intermediate Shake I

* MYA202: Intermediate Maya II

* FRN201: Furnace

 

September06 Term

 

* AFX201: After Effects

* PSD201: Photoshop for Effects

* SHK101: Introduction to Shake

* BKD202: Background Fundamentals T2

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Are you guys coming out of the courses with something to add to a demo reel or is it more of a teaching tool. I could justify the money if I was coming out of it with work. With online tutorials e.g. Andrew Kramer's stuff, I can do it for free and come out of it with something to show. Is it better than that for you so far?

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You can definitely use what you create at FXPHD in your demo reel. But of course it's more important to learn the process/thinking behind a technique than to copy it step by step. Same thing can be said for AK's free tutorials. FXPHD is much more diverse and allows you to get your feet wet with many other programs if you've had that curiosity. I find Tim Clapham's classes informative and valuable.

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Are you guys coming out of the courses with something to add to a demo reel or is it more of a teaching tool. I could justify the money if I was coming out of it with work. With online tutorials e.g. Andrew Kramer's stuff, I can do it for free and come out of it with something to show. Is it better than that for you so far?

 

 

Keep in mind that people looking at reels can spot shots made directly from following VideoCopilot a mile away. Make sure to always make the shots your own or even better, use the theory and technique from the tutorial to make your own piece. FXPHD seems to go more into WHY to do something more than just have a step by step. Worth the money.

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Keep in mind that people looking at reels can spot shots made directly from following VideoCopilot a mile away. Make sure to always make the shots your own or even better, use the theory and technique from the tutorial to make your own piece. FXPHD seems to go more into WHY to do something more than just have a step by step. Worth the money.

 

exactly i love VC but you cant add that to a demo reel for work... the only thing you can try to do is get work from clients that dont know anything about VC lol thats about it. with FXPHD you get the green screen shot in RED files and you have to do the compositing and they also have challenges as an added bounus where they say "here is the footage we want this composited on this now go do it" with out a how to before hand then they critiq you on what you did right and what you did wrong in another video so its a lot more instructor/student oriented. Along with you have 10 weeks of access to the instructor through forums where as with VC its just a follow along and your done. Its def worth the money per course with more real world.

 

 

By the way Nick I just came across your blog a couple days ago thanks for giving back I have already learned a lot from the couple videos you have.... is there a way to judge how cool I am so I know when the right time to apply at DK is?

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Guest Sao_Bento

No two ways about it. Of course it's bad to use the result of a tutorial on your reel - the only thing is says about you is that you are unprofessional and have pretty loose ethics - Why not re-type a Hemingway novel and take credit for it while you're at it? there is no skill or talent shown because it wasn't your client, you didn't solve any problem, etc. - It's an outright lie about your skill PERIOD. Seriously, who would you be fooling - yourself? What are you going to do when you've conned your way into a job, then you are handed a project with a due date and you're sitting in front of that blank screen? Try to use a tutorial?? How long can you really expect to live that lie? If you can't come up with your own ideas for projects to make a reel, you're already in the wrong business.

 

Nick has some great advice on his blog about getting a job in this field. You should check it out before you bury yourself right out of the gate.

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No two ways about it. Of course it's bad to use the result of a tutorial on your reel - the only thing is says about you is that you are unprofessional and have pretty loose ethics - Why not re-type a Hemingway novel and take credit for it while you're at it? there is no skill or talent shown because it wasn't your client, you didn't solve any problem, etc. - It's an outright lie about your skill PERIOD. Seriously, who would you be fooling - yourself? What are you going to do when you've conned your way into a job, then you are handed a project with a due date and you're sitting in front of that blank screen? Try to use a tutorial?? How long can you really expect to live that lie? If you can't come up with your own ideas for projects to make a reel, you're already in the wrong business.

 

Nick has some great advice on his blog about getting a job in this field. You should check it out before you bury yourself right out of the gate.

 

then why are AE projects for sale?

Edited by TritonSyndicate

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Guest Sao_Bento
then why are AE projects for sale?

Are you takin the piss? Seriously, what are you - 8? I hate to break this to you, but some people are willing to compromise their ethics to make a buck.

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Are you takin the piss? Seriously, what are you - 8? I hate to break this to you, but some people are willing to compromise their ethics to make a buck.

 

I see you dont know how to deal with someone that has a different opinion. so you are saying Harry Frank at graymachine.com doesnt have any ethics?

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Guest Sao_Bento
I see you dont know how to deal with someone that has a different opinion. so you are saying Harry Frank at graymachine.com doesnt have any ethics?

You'd have to present a different opinion in order for me to deal with one. The statement "Then why are AE projects for sale?" is something a child would say. If you were trying to make an intelligent argument, you would at least compare it to stock footage, then step it up by comparing it to fonts, software, OS's, or computers. Then, on the client side, you make the case that they are the ones pushing for everything to be cost driven and if they don't know / don't care why risk losing the business by not meeting their budget, etc. If you want to be spoken to in an intelligent manner, you gotta hold up your end.

 

To be clear - what I'm saying is that anyone who buys someone elses AE project or completes a tutorial and misrepresents it to potential employers or clients as 100% their own work is a shit designer and of questionable character. Using someone else's AEP to learn from is one thing, but misrepresenting it as your own work is different issue - which is the case when you put tutorial results on your reel.

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You'd have to present a different opinion in order for me to deal with one. The statement "Then why are AE projects for sale?" is something a child would say. If you were trying to make an intelligent argument, you would at least compare it to stock footage, then step it up by comparing it to fonts, software, OS's, or computers. Then, on the client side, you make the case that they are the ones pushing for everything to be cost driven and if they don't know / don't care why risk losing the business by not meeting their budget, etc. If you want to be spoken to in an intelligent manner, you gotta hold up your end.

 

To be clear - what I'm saying is that anyone who buys someone elses AE project or completes a tutorial and misrepresents it to potential employers or clients as 100% their own work is a shit designer and of questionable character. Using someone else's AEP to learn from is one thing, but misrepresenting it as your own work is different issue - which is the case when you put tutorial results on your reel.

 

Your position in the initial post was not the one you just stated which I agree with. As for the one line response that had to do with the fact that in this world there are people that it doesnt matter if you respond with a sentence or a book they just love to dispute everything (my soon to be ex wife taught me that one) so rather than waste my time just to have you pick apart every word or phrase, I chose the quick response to see what you said. I am new to the forum and dont have time to deal with people who just want to hear themselves talk and you appeared to be that kind of person but I see now that was my mistake and you do have valid points that just wasnt what it seemed like when your stance appeared to be agaisnts anything that wasnt 100% created from scratch in any situation.

 

A demo reel should be all original work when trying to be taken seriously in the mograph world but I will feed my son however I need to when it comes to clients that either dont have the budget or think what we do only takes 30 minutes cause "the computer does all the work a monkey could do it" if that is their mindset im not worried about wasting my time being creative ill take them shopping on revostock and show them what they can get for their money.

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Guest Sao_Bento
Your position in the initial post was not the one you just stated which I agree with. As for the one line response that had to do with the fact that in this world there are people that it doesnt matter if you respond with a sentence or a book they just love to dispute everything (my soon to be ex wife taught me that one) so rather than waste my time just to have you pick apart every word or phrase, I chose the quick response to see what you said. I am new to the forum and dont have time to deal with people who just want to hear themselves talk and you appeared to be that kind of person but I see now that was my mistake and you do have valid points that just wasnt what it seemed like when your stance appeared to be agaisnts anything that wasnt 100% created from scratch in any situation.

 

A demo reel should be all original work when trying to be taken seriously in the mograph world but I will feed my son however I need to when it comes to clients that either dont have the budget or think what we do only takes 30 minutes cause "the computer does all the work a monkey could do it" if that is their mindset im not worried about wasting my time being creative ill take them shopping on revostock and show them what they can get for their money.

I don't see how my position changed at all. The value of having done what someone told you to do in a tutorial is zero. If you actually learned the concepts and are able to apply them to other situations, then you have added value to yourself. You need to prove that by applying the techniques to something else, not simply showing the results of the tutorial - which goes back to my original statement about not using tutorials on your reel.

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I don't see how my position changed at all. The value of having done what someone told you to do in a tutorial is zero. If you actually learned the concepts and are able to apply them to other situations, then you have added value to yourself. You need to prove that by applying the techniques to something else, not simply showing the results of the tutorial - which goes back to my original statement about not using tutorials on your reel.

 

I was misunderstanding your stance on the whole subject based on your tone... Im sorry but in the world of hollywood there arent that many original thoughts in anything. If someone can feed their family by using VC so be it but as long as they know that wont land them a job at a production facility or get them MTV as a client so what. I have seen things on tv that ive seen on someone's tutorial I just laugh i dont get mad. This world is pushed by supply and demand and a lot of times the client demands "i want it to look like that". I just feel a demo reel for a client doesnt have to be the same as a demo reel for trying to get a job with a company. That being said I dont have a demo reel because I dont have anything worthy of one because I havent made anything spectacularly creative. Thats why I'm learning all I can to start working on my reel.

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Guest Sao_Bento
I was misunderstanding your stance on the whole subject based on your tone... Im sorry but in the world of hollywood there arent that many original thoughts in anything. If someone can feed their family by using VC so be it but as long as they know that wont land them a job at a production facility or get them MTV as a client so what. I have seen things on tv that ive seen on someone's tutorial I just laugh i dont get mad. This world is pushed by supply and demand and a lot of times the client demands "i want it to look like that". I just feel a demo reel for a client doesnt have to be the same as a demo reel for trying to get a job with a company. That being said I dont have a demo reel because I dont have anything worthy of one because I havent made anything spectacularly creative. Thats why I'm learning all I can to start working on my reel.

No big deal, it's certainly not the first time that the internet has led to mis-communication.

 

One skill in the "they don't teach you that in art school" category is learning how to deal with clients. In the graphic design world, a lot of designers and companies see it as part of their job to help guide the clueless client towards a good solution. There are plenty of people out there who don't "get it", and even some who are downright hostile about it. After awhile you get good enough to tell the difference between the two. Those who are simply not design-educated can usually be persuaded to follow a path that leads to something good enough to put your name on. The others, who have absolutely no respect and no interest in understanding how the relationship between a designer or firm and client works are hopeless. They're not worth dealing with at any price. If you lump them all into the "hopeless" category, you'll run out of clients pretty quickly.

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No big deal, it's certainly not the first time that the internet has led to mis-communication.

 

One skill in the "they don't teach you that in art school" category is learning how to deal with clients. In the graphic design world, a lot of designers and companies see it as part of their job to help guide the clueless client towards a good solution. There are plenty of people out there who don't "get it", and even some who are downright hostile about it. After awhile you get good enough to tell the difference between the two. Those who are simply not design-educated can usually be persuaded to follow a path that leads to something good enough to put your name on. The others, who have absolutely no respect and no interest in understanding how the relationship between a designer or firm and client works are hopeless. They're not worth dealing with at any price. If you lump them all into the "hopeless" category, you'll run out of clients pretty quickly.

 

My whole position on templates both AE and Flash (cause i like flash lol) is just being up front. There are clients out there that dont have a big budget but also are pushy they just want to look professional or appear "Bigger" than what they are. So like I said I will go shopping with them for templates and see how long that template will take me to fit it to their needs accordingly. To take any tutorial and rip it isnt design but like I stated there are many people out there that just want to look like the other guy who originally did it for the association of "oh hey this company's commercial looked like that ford commercial i wonder if they used the same company" thats what the laymen thinks they dont know anything about VC, FXPHD or revostock and they dont care either.

 

I just feel sometimes designers in all mediums get caught up in impressing other designers and forget at the end of the day sometimes you just have to give the client what they want and feed your kids. Which is my case I'm a single dad making $1500 a month spending $500 of it on daycare alone, I rent a room from friends for me and my son to share. If someone comes to me and says "hey I got $300 and this i my idea" and their idea is a VC tut i can tweak im going to do it. At the end of the day no one else takes care of my son same as I cant speak for other designers and their situation. Would I love to be able to be creative on every single job? Yes. Is that realistic for me at this current time in my skills and life position? Nope. AK has said on his site if people are able to feed themselves from his stuff he doesnt care how they do it.

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