Results from the "Secret" Nature Competition
In October 2011 after the first group of students completed the course, I ran a little competition inside The Nature Academy to see who could create the best nature scene.
The competition was only open to students in the course and it ran for 6 weeks.
A staggering 108 entries were recieved, and the quality was astounding! The students had presented some totally unique scenes using some techniques and tips taught from the couse.
I selected a few artworks, and asked the artist to write a short summary of what they thought of the course...
"I would recommend this course to anyone who thinks Vue is the only software capable of creating nature scenes"
One of the most valuable things I learned in the course was compositing. All of those post-processing tricks (atmospherics, lens flares, vignettes, color balancing, depth of field, etc) are extremely valuable. I also learned a great deal about outdoor lighting setups, material translucency, particle systems, and useful Blender plugins.
He has clearly done his homework on the subject of nature modeling as evidenced by the quality and depth of his lessons.
I would recommend this course to anyone who thinks Vue is the only software capable of creating nature scenes and any Blender users who are ready to take their skill set to the next level.
"I didn't have to go online looking for other sources, it was all right in front of me."
I had no doubts about The Nature Academy because I knew who was hosting it. I have seen Andrew's other works and they blew me out of the water.
I like how simple and deep the tutorials were. I didn't have to go online looking for other sources, it was all right in front of me. You don't have to be an expert to go through the course, but you end up an expert by the end.
I'd recommend this course to any blender artist at any level. Anyone can get something out of it.
"There are just too many useful things I learned in the course to mention them all."
I was a little skeptical at first. I was sure Andrew could handle the difficult theme, but I wasn't sure if he'd teach the knowledge in the right way. But by the time I saw the stunning results he created and his explaining video about the Nature Academy I was fully convinced.
There are just too many useful things I learned in the course to mention them all. But stuff like adding extra detail, compositing, and the awesome procedural displacement technique from the rock tutorial.
It wasn't just Andrew's clear teaching style that helped, but his presense. Whenever someone had a question or a suggestion he responded to it in the comments as well as in through the live cast.
This course isn't just for people who are interested in nature, but also for people who are interested in widening their knowledge about blender in general. Due to the small price it should be affordable for most people even for students like me.
"Andrew's teaching style is not like a classroom, but more like listening to a friend."
I learned so many amazing techniques, to list them here is very difficult. But some highlights were how to bring realism in the textures, and understanding the way real light behaves and reproducing that in blender.
Andrew's teaching style is not like a classroom, but more like listening to a friend. He keeps you interested and makes things easy to understand. This made the lessons all the more easy to understand.
I recommend The Nature Academy to anyone who already has a basic knowledge of 3D and wants to take the next step.
"Andrew's teaching style is exceptional."
I was a little bit skeptical of The Nature Academy at first since I had never participated in an online
training course before, however I finally bit the bullet and I'm glad I did. I have met some truly inspirational people that have created some outstanding renders.
Without a doubt the most valueable thing I learned was how to achieve quick, but realistic renders. The optimisation techniques Andrew taught have allowed me to successfully integrate 3D renders into my studies at university (within the deadlines) and allowed me to bring my experimental and innovative ideas to reality.
Andrew's style of teaching is exceptional. He explains when and why certain features should be used, and why these particular settings are most appropriate. This has allowed me to create my own nature scenes that truly gives off the wow factor and has made me a better artist.
I would highly recommend this course to anyone that has a real passion nature scenes or any outdoor scenes. The tips and tricks I learned in The Nature Academy has made me a better artist.
"I recommend this course to anyone who wants to be better at Blender!"
Throughout the course I learned valuable tips about lighting, texturing, modeling, sculpting and adding little details to make a scene look realistic. Probably the biggest thing I learned was that displacements and compositing rule!
Andrew explains things very clearly, making note of all the different materials needed for realistic plants, leafs, trees, ground and grass. It's easy and interesting to listen to.
I recommend this course to anyone who wants to be better at Blender!
Winner: Ben Baker
"I'd never really tried natural scenes before, but these tutorials brought my work to life!"
BlenderGuru and The Wow Factor have both served me well, so I knew The Nature Academy would be worthwhile. But even going in expecting so much, I was astounded at how quickly and easily Andrew's methods bring great results.
I'd never really tried natural scenes before, but these tutorials brought my work to life! The bonuses (in particular, the huge collection of seamless textures) are mighty fine as well!
You'd get the most out of the course if you already know the basics of Blender. Though I still think even relative novices would be able to follow it.
Some truly amazing results!
Now you know what students are creating inside the course...
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