It never ceases to amaze me, how frequently you can find incredible projects to do in tutorials. Talent seams like in inexhaustible resource out there, and the incredible work you stumble upon is both daunting and inspiring at the same time.
Yesterday I bought an issue of ImagineFX for the first time, and today was the first time I visited the magazine's website. One of the first things I saw is the workshops page:
And had a more thorough look at the incredible dragon tamer workshop, up on top. The imagery was breathtaking.
I immediately wanted to do this workshop, but another nagging sensation was to use the principles practiced there on one of the scenes I want to create for my personal projects.
This, I believe is a common ambivalence generated by complex tutorials. You want to do them because you know you're going to learn and practice some great stuff there, but the bulk of the time spent is on recreating someone else's work - and you just want to jump into applying these principles and skills in something of your own making!
Well, I do, anyway.
I know it's silly, because obviously the practice is worth the time anyway: it will enable me to create better results, acquire new skills and hone existing ones, and it will probably also produce some reusable elements.
However, it is nice to have tutorials which are somehow more general and yet usable enough to allow you to create your own content.
The rigging project in "An Essential Introduction to Maya Character Rigging" by Charyl Cabrera (Focal Press) is a good example. The book demonstrates everything with a consistent character that can be reproduced by readers, but it's general enough to and contains many practical tips for applying these principles on virtually any bipedal character you want.
I guess there's a need for both kinds of tutorials. I'll just have to get over myself and make some time to practice more on the first kind of tutorials. Ambivalent or not, I know it will well be worth it.