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?