Phil Wilkes Training
Wow! I just got home from work and watched the new video I published last night and, what was in the suggestion box?
Carrara Realism Rendering promo from O'Reilly Video Training. So I went to their site to check it out.
Sure enough! All of his Infinite Skills video courses for Carrara are available!!!
Of course, I already own them, but I'm ecstatic that these are still available for folks who might not have them!
I have the Learning Carrara 8.5 course, not 7 or 8. But if I remember correctly, Learning Carrara 8.5 is the same course as Learning Carrara 8, but has added Carrara 8.5 material. I could be wrong.
My version of Learning Carrara 8.5 also came complete with the Carrara 8.5 New Features additions. I believe that this was offered for those whom already owned Learning Carrara 8, and wanted to get the added materials. Again, I may be mistaken.
When I bought my first one, I felt advanced enough to just begin with Advanced Carrara Techniques - and I was advanced enough to understand where he was going throughout this amazing course. There's so much to absorb that I have to take it for what I'm looking to learn. He covers a Lot of material in these.
Advanced Carrara Techniques is the one that explores modeling in depth, along with many other advanced techniques. We build a Sopwith Camel (biplane) and learn to use Fenric's Enhanced Remote Control plugin to control the ailerons! Building this model is an excellent journey! He gets into details on creating and using templates in the model room to follow for the various views to assist in getting the model accurate.
He covers UV Mapping too. In addition, all of these lessons come with working files, so we can use his templates, textures... even the finished models!!!
He also covers dynamic hair on V4 using a conforming proxy, which he provides as well, along with the example hair that he uses in the lesson. Great stuff!
We model and build a cool outdoors scene complete with field grass, stream/river, driveway and the cottage itself.
...and a Lot more.
I had so much fun with it, I decided to get Learning Carrara 8.5 (8.5 was just released at that time - as was the course), knowing that I'd enjoy it even if I was 'so advanced that I didn't need the basics'! LOL
Oh, I learned that I was being far too impressed with myself back then! Funny thing is, I look back at those days and, sure... I did some pretty cool stuff, but I was nowhere near "Good"! At least not good enough to go thinking I wouldn't get a wealth of additional knowledge from this course!
Learning Carrara 8.5 is another Huge source of Carrara education, jam-packed with lessons on all manner of topics and techniques - along with excellent working files!
I still watch this course. Like I said earlier with the Advanced course, there's So Much to absorb that there's an immense amount of replayability to these videos - and they're packed with hours of efficient instruction.
Not only that, but Phil makes it fun. It's a highly entertaining collection.
Before Realism Rendering was released, PhilW started a thread entitled: "Make Your Most Realistic Renders – Ever!", which is all about his discoveries about adopting the Linear Workflow that professional studios around the world are using, along with most, if not all PBR modern render engines using Gamma Correction of 2.2
I tried it, dropped it. Forgot about it. Came back to it... it was no doubt a more pleasing rendering solution. But I wasn't used to it. I guess I thought that I actually liked the stark contrast that's so easy to achieve otherwise.
Well then I got (Jay Nola was suggesting this to me for quite some time prior) the book Digital Lighting and Rendering, by Jeremy Birn (buy it!) - who knows his stuff about cinematography and digital cinematography and visual effect compositing, etc., and he, too emphasizes the importance of adopting the Linear Workflow for realistic rendering.
Carrara - Realism Rendering is the result of Phil Wilkes conducting a massive amount of research and study on the linear workflow information along with the teachings of Jeremy Birn's invaluable book. He explores many concepts and techniques regarding lighting, render settings, shaders... he's very PhilW throughout! Again, hours of highly entertaining and brain-feeding education! I'm in the process of watching this one over again right now.
With Infinite Skills being acquired by O'Reilly, we kinda lost the availability of PhilW's incredible courses other than occasionally through sources like Amazon.
With that being the case, PhilW's latest course, Animation in Carrara Video Tutorials, is the first one he produced on his own without Infinite Skills. Like his previous courses, Animation in Carrara is the product of immense research, study and practical experience. It's an incredible blend of theory with Carrara techniques, tool use, tweeners, render suggestions... it's a total animation course for Carrara users!
I've been in this for animation from the start, and I started learning new tricks right from the start! Something about that Phil Wilkes... he's just an amazing instructor!
A great example of his style is this, his promo video for the course:
The climax of the course has us build a factory robot and set it up for animation, then create a story, storyboards, animate and complete the production.
This is his result from that final lesson. Keep in mind that, as with all of his other courses, this one comes with all of the working files from every wonderful chapter, including his completed robot. Check out the final homework as completed by our instructor:
So what are you waiting for?!!! :)
Have a Question? Just Ask!
I love to help others as best I can. This is a rather broad topic: CG Filmmaking, so my articles on any particular topic may not answer your specific question.
Most of the questions directed to me are regarding Carrara or How did I do this?
For these sorts of things, post your question at the Carrara Discussion Forum (or another appropriate category) at Daz 3D.com forums, and if I don't see it right away, someone else might. They are such a friendly and helpful bunch! I've learned so much from that forum over the years!
For a more immediate question directed to me, log into those forums and Send me a PM!