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Masters of Visual Effects - Online

Matt Silverman has posted this timeless training series online for free.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | January 20, 2010

Matt Silverman, Creative Director of Bonfire Labs, is a certifiable After Effects old-timer (although he also has experience in many different systems), particularly known "back in the day" as being a roto expert in addition to an all-around top-shelf motion graphics and visual effects artist. Several years ago, he took it upon himself to enlist some of the best users in the field to construct a set of timeless, concept-based, software-agnostic visual effects training videos. These VHS tapes are long out of print, so Matt has started to digitize them and place them online. The links for Series 2 (covering compositing, keying, tracking, paint, and rotoscoping presented by Ron Brinkmann, Stu Maschwitz, and Scott Stewart) are below; watch them while you can:

This course recalls a bygone era when there were budgets to put together top-notch training projects such as these, which in turn sold for a few hundred dollars for a set. At the time, trading a few hours (or worst case, days) salary for high-end training from recognized pros in the field seemed like a good deal. (Indeed, we still remember when we were accosted over 10 years ago by another top-shelf trainer for "giving away our knowledge" when we released VideoSyncrasies for under $100). Ironically, free videos - such as what these are now - have driven down what users expect to pay for training (virtually regardless of quality), resulting in budgets dropping as well. Progress?

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scottieb: | January, 20, 2010

Wow these are great! Thanks! When were these made? Lots of familiar names - guys still bringing the great training! I miss training vids like this, Videosyncrasies and the Total Training stuff from years past.

Chris Meyer: | January, 20, 2010

“When were these made?”

Over 10 years ago, I believe.

“I miss training vids like this, Videosyncrasies and the Total Training stuff from years past.”

It comes down to budgets. With prices coming down, budgets to produce training come down as well. (You’ll hear a lot of lamenting on that subject from Brian Maffitt et al over in the Unplugged series:

Fortunately, we’ve set up an adequate little studio here in our new place in New Mexico, and intend to ramp up the number of videos we create for etc. A few new ones will be going live over the next few months, then we’re really going to get stuck in this fall.

enjoy -

scottieb: | January, 20, 2010

I think the first edition of Ron Brinkmann’s book came out in ‘98, so this video was likely around (but just after) that time, maybe?

great news on the studio and plans for videos! Thanks again Chris!

I keep meaning to watch those unplugged vids on motionworks - thanks for the (additional) reminder smile

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