Training On Line Tutorials
By Steve Martin
Price $ 1.99 per tutorial
Run Time: 6 to 8 minutes
Download size: 3 to 6 megs
Review By Ken
If you have been involved with Apple for
any period of time and have visited the Apple web site to view
the QuickTime movies of new products, like FCP, FCE, DVD SP 2,
SoundTrack etc, then you probably know the name Steve Martin,
and if you don't recognize the name you will certainly recognize
the voice. Steve Martin has been doing these QT product demos
for some time now. Even before he became the 'Voice of Apple'
(grin) Steve has been producing QT tutorials for FCP. Up until
now Steve's tutorials have only been available by purchasing
CDs or DVDs, but things have changed.
Taking a cue from the Apple iTunes
store's 99 cent per song download Steve has developed a series
of 6 to 8 minute QT tutorials for a number of different Apple
Applications: FCP 4, FCP 3, FCE, DVD Studio Pro 2, LiveType,
Shake and Soundtrack. Each of these topics has a number of tutorials
that deal with a specific topic. For example, with FCP 4, "Time
Remap Freezes" and "Master and Affiliate Clip Workshop"
lessons are available. For LiveType: "Creating Lower Thirds",
"Creating Back-Lit Text", "Creating Grunge Mattes".
"Animating Text on a Path", "Matting Video to
Text Objects" and more. What is exciting is that you can
download just one lesson or any number of lessons (your choice)
relevant to topics that you are interested in. Each lesson is
How this works.
When you visit Steve's "Ripple Training" web site and
click on the Tutorials link on the left you will be taken to
the Tutorial page where you will select the application that
you are interested in.
This in turn takes you to a page that
lists all of the tutorials for that application. As you can see
from my small sample below, there is a description of each tutorial.
If you are interested in a lesson, additional
information is provided that breaks the lesson down into steps
and in some cases even provides a QT demo movie of the finished
What you get
Each of the Ripple Trainings' on line tutorials is a complete,
self contained lesson, running from about six to eight minutes.
Each is delivered in the QuickTime format with a generous screen
size of 800 x 600, that at all times shows the entire application
interface in the QT Player. The quality of both the video and
audio is amazingly good particularly considering that the download
size of these lessons is reasonably small. For me there is a
distinct advantage to having these tutorial in the QT format
(as opposed to a DVD), this is the ability to stop the lesson
and easily go back and replay any part of the lesson you want
to review. With your application running you can watch the lesson,
then stop the tutorial do the work, watch a little more and then
continue on. Some of the tutorial contain not only a lesson but
video and audio clips as well, so that you can build a project
that matches the lesson. In some cases a small version of the
finish product is also supplied so you can see the final result
even before you start in. You can always use your own media.
Shown below is a screen shot of the Time
Remap tutorial that has been reduced in size and Jpegged for
the web, the quality of the on screen QT movies is much better
then what is shown below.
Of course, what is most important, is the clarity and quality
of the lesson itself. I have been watching and learning from
Steve's tutorials for over three years now and in my opinion,
he has few equals. There is a certain joy of teaching that is
evident in the lessons. Each and every step of the lesson is
played out on screen so that it is easy to follow along and learn
the process. As you watch the process, Steve talks you through
it adding explanations and relevant commentary which adds to
the learning experience. Some of the lesson topics are intricate
and involve a number of steps to accomplish the finished effect.
When playing these tutorials, it is very much like Steve is sitting
in a chair next to you, talking you through the lesson, in a
friendly, sometimes humors manner. Even for complicated effects
like creating a 'Grunge Matte' in LiveType the lesson is easy
to follow and the comfort level is high.
I guess that the most important thing
is not just that you can do the provided lesson but that you
actually understand and learn the process so that you are able
to apply what you have learned to other situations. This is what
happens when you work with these tutorials, not only do you learn
the concepts but you are able to take these techniques and make
them your own.
If I seem a bit effusive about Steve's
tutorials I apologize. It is just that I am as impressed by these
new tutorials as I was by the first tutorials I viewed years
ago, actually they have gotten even better. New tutorials are
being added to the list so the range of topics will grow over
time. At $1.99 each and the fact that you can buy as many or
as few as you like, I highly recommend that you check these out,
I think that you will be as impress as I am.
'Ripple Training Online Tutorials'.
Review copyright ©
This article first appeared on www.kenstone.net and is reprinted here
All screen captures and
textual references are the property and trademark of their creators/owners/publishers.