I see the October term at fxphd includes ARN101: Introduction to Arnold. The course uses Softimage (yay!) and you get access to Arnold.
I’ve never tried fxphd. It’s not exactly cheap ($359 US for 3 courses, $399 US for 2 courses) so I assume it must be pretty good 😉
ARN101: Introduction to Arnold
Professor: Ulf Lundgren
Original Run Date: October 2012
This course is targeted at anyone who may already be familiar with rendering and lighting but who wants to move over to Arnold; or just wants to know how Arnold can help in production.
Taught by Ulf Lundgren, the goal of the course is to get you up to speed in Arnold and help you understand the differences when using Arnold compared to other Render engines. Prior experiences of rendering and lighting is a plus but not necessary since this course should still help you get on your way to amazing renders.
Workflow, rendering optimization, basic shaders, usefull lighting riggs, sss, volumetrics, linare workflow, Aov and practical work-flow tools might not sound all that sexy but you’ll come to love the results. Furthermore this course is designed to mix more theoretical classes with in-depth case studies of Arnold working on real projects, giving a better understanding of how to use Arnold in production. This course gives you a very good understanding of how to do both full CG projects as well as taking you through all the steps of a production for using Arnold to integrate CG into a live action plate.
Even though the course is using Softimage as it’s main application all the classes are kept generic and should be as relevant for any implementation of Arnold; be it Maya, Softimage or feature implementations in Houdini or Light Wave. No knowledge of Softimage should be needed. Course members will be able to have access to the the Arnold renderer software, thanks to a partnership with Solid Angle.
Ulf Lundgren is a VFX supervisor and director at Lost Liner Productions in Stockholm Sweden. He’s worked on a number of international feature films and well known commercials like Harry Potter 1 and 2, Golden Compass, James Bond Die another day and Xbox Mosquito before starting his own studio and tackling the Swedish movie scene of ghosts and Zombies.
Class 1: A brief history of Arnold and how it integrates into a production workflow and the good vs bad when comparing Arnold with other renderers.
Class 2: How to setup and render with a linear workflow using color managment in Arnold, followed by and an in depth look at all the types of lights Arnold has to offer.
Class 3: An in depth look at shading with Arnold and how to use the different types of shaders in production.
Class 4: An in depth look at render effects and settings and learn how to export ASS files to do batch rendering of sequences using kick.
Class 5: Shading for production, a case study of how to create shaders for all objects in a scene.
Class 6: Working efficiently with Arnold, optimizing renders and setting up a good workflow.
Class 7: Case studies of how to do lighting and shading in a full CG productions.
Class 8: A case study of how to do lighting and shading for live action integration. Part 1. Using lightprobes and other on-set data to better integrate the CG elements into the plate.
Class 9: A case study of how to do lighting and shading for live action integration. Part 2. Rendering with AOV’s and how to best use them in compositing.
Class 10: Wrap up any questions from the forums.