Combsution Training Video Review

Technical Animations just came out with their first Combustion v2 Training Video/DVD from. Here is a brief review written by Jack Pfeiffer, who is a demo artist and trainer for a discreet dealer in Denmark.

I have viewed the New Combustion v2 Training Video, which is now available on VHS or DVD (NTSC or PAL) from Technical Animations at

For the record, my background is that I work for a Discreet dealer in Denmark as a demo artist and trainer, and, in the past, I have extensively used Discreet Paint and Effect. I then was a beta tester previous to the release of Combustion v1. With regards to training, over the last three years I have personally trained over 150 editors and effects artists in greater Scandinavia on using Discreet Edit, Paint, Effect, and now Combustion. I have also attended the various official Discreet Dealer training. In 1999, I also started the Danish Discreet User Group, which today has 38 members. So, overall, I would consider myself very familiar with the Software.

Well, I sat down to randomly watch just a portion of the 14-hour long training program, hosted by Ken LaRue, and I quickly discovered that, even with my “experience,” I was able to learn more than a few totally new and important tips and tricks.

In my opinion, I felt that Mr. LaRue shows an entensive knowledge of the software, as well as has a good on-screen presentation, with an easy-to-listen voice and a warm demeanor. He is able to present the material very clearly and precisely, with an added subtle touch of occasional humor — which I feel actually makes the learning experience more enjoyable. Included is a CD-ROM with various CWS files (Combustion Work Space files.) The best use is to follow the training program while you are simutaneously working with your Combustion software, either demo or licensed copy.

Admitedly, fourteen (14!) hours is a terribly long presentation, but the program seems to cover all conceivable aspects of the software. I may NEVER actually find the time to view the WHOLE DARN THING… But, from another standpoint, one can never say that you don’t get your training money’s worth.

Remember that, at this time, there are in fact, VERY few alternatives in “take-home” training materials specific to Combustion V2 on the market. As of todays date, you can only choose from the following:

1) When you purchase Discreet Combustion v2, it comes with a selection of 13 Free lessons/tutorials. A few more free tutorials are on the Discreet website (Note: Cv1 tutorials will also work with Cv2.)

2) The Discreet Combustion v2 CourseWare Book: for about $75, you get 24 lessons and a CD-ROM with footage.

3) An up-coming book that will called “Combustion Ground Rules” by Todd Peterson, published by Delmar Learning, and available at However, this book has reportedly been delayed until October 2002.