Hey guys I came across these two sites and was wondering if any of you have taken a class from either one and if so how was it? Did you learn something, was it what you expected or would you caution against anyone taking classes from either site? I was thinking of taking one of the classes and thought I would see if anyone had an opinion about the classes.
Im planning to take ALL of the classes at CGMW. Im currently taking Dynamic Sketching with Peter Han. The lesson goes for 40 minutes. I think its a bummer that they only give us that much. We also meet for 1 hour with Peter where he explains things and show us some of his techniques. Im telling you right now, I have seen some improvement in my sketching thanks to the exercises he is showing us. Dont be discourage though. The other classes run longer. I have friends taking other classes They love it. CGworkshops I am contemplating in taking that google sketchup class, matte painting, digital painting and becoming a better artist. I'd like to hear some feedback from CGworkshops. Check the Rydan Workshop as well. I want to take all their classes too. And its cheap!!!
Just thought I would reply to your thread - I'm the workshops manager at CG Workshops! Our courses vary in length, but most are eight weeks long. Our instructors are all highly respected industry professionals, who give constant, personal feedback over the entire length of the course. The classes are run by way of forums not dissimilar to this one. Instructors post video, course notes and assignments in the forum, and students post back. If you'd like to find out more, you can here: http://beta.workshops.cgsociety.org/about.php
For the money, CG Workshops is definitely not worth it. You can learn the same information but for much cheaper at Digital Tutors ($45/month for unlimited access to any amount of courses you want). $550 for one course is pretty absurd, and I took it thinking it was going to be mind blowing for that price, but I've done a lot of online courses and it was no more informative than Digital Tutors. I don't mean to not knock on the quality of the course, but rather the overly inflated price tag. The information was also beginner to intermediate, so if you have some professional experience in that field, the first half of the course will probably be review.
One online site I think was worth the money is fxphd. These course offer advanced information and I know a lot of working professionals that turn to this site to further their knowledge in disciplines they are already getting paid to do. It's also 1/3 of the price of CG Workshops.
All in all, I don't think any online workshop is worth the hundreds of dollars they ask for. They basically take when you would learn in a Gnomon DVD, split it up into a week by week course, which actually slows your progress, and offers a web forum feedback that will probably take 2-3 days to get a response. You are better off just getting a Digital Tutors account, a bunch of Gnomon DVD's, working at your own pace aka becoming an insomniac and methodically banging through those courses one after another. You'll learn way more (as much as you want) in 8-10 weeks for less money.
That's what me and my friends did and I'm now working in the film industry as a 3D Lighter. My friends are in high end commercials and film. I was the only one dumb enough to pay $600 for an online course though haha.
The CGWorkshop class I took (Game Art: Weapons) was absolutely worth what I paid for. There were a whole lot of techniques covered that, at least at the time, you couldn't learn from Digital Tutors and Gnomon. More important, the teacher was always available to give troubleshooting and critiques you can't get from a DVD. It was a pretty intense class; I was working at least forty hours a week for the duration of the class, and the teacher always replied to questions within a couple hours (unless we posted while he was asleep).
@pronamel, although I understand where you're coming from I have to respectfully disagree. For $550 you're not only getting a couple of videos out of which you more or less teach yourself, you are assigned an instructor who checks your work. Ah, and here's what makes every one of the $550 worth the pay; you are forced to do your own work rather than given steps to copy someone else's creativity. You are forced to create, learn and grow. After doing weekly homework and assignments, the instructor critiques your work and tells you where you could improve.
I've taken two workshops from CGSociety (Become a better artist, and Environments for Games and Film). They were worth every penny. What's more is that I'm starting another course, this one at CGMW, on Monday. Take it from me, these courses are studied and paying $550 per course is cheap considering what you pay for at some art schools only to come out with half the information you would otherwise learn from these professionals.