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Meet the Masters: Volume 1-3

Publisher Wacom and video2brain | Price £70 (DVD; $100 (Download) | Format DVD/Download | Web www.de.shop.wacom.eu

Produced by the video training specialist video2brain on Wacom’s behalf, Meet the Masters is a wide-ranging collection of videos covering the most-used creative applications, with the idea of helping you make the most of your Wacom Intuos tablet.

The complete set is included with selected Intuos4 bundles, but you can buy the full set, or individual volumes, yourself if you already own a tablet. See the How to Buy box for details.

While the buying options are complicated, the premise of the videos themselves couldn’t be more straightforward. Artists Angie Taylor, Daniel Lieske, Uli Staiger and Steve Caplin take turns to walk you through a specific application, showing how to produce creative projects with your tablet’s help. Volume 1 provides tips for retouching photos in Photoshop, Photoshop Lightroom and Aperture; Volume 2 offers crash courses in digital art in Photoshop, Painter and Illustrator; and Volume 3 focuses on 3D and motion graphics in Photoshop, ZBrush and After Effects. (SketchBook Pro is also included in the 3D volume, which is a stretch.)

The presentation of all the videos is first-rate, with an application to help you navigate the volumes and their respective chapters. (You’d think a collection called Meet the Masters would make it clearer who is narrating which video, though.) Where Meet the Masters falls down as a purchase is that its coverage is so broad. Daniel Lieske’s section on digital art, for example, walks through the whole process of creating a painting from scratch without really exploring anything in detail – useful for beginners, but not for the type of experienced artist you’d expect to be investing in a tablet.

Meet the Masters works better as a classy introduction to working with tablets. If you’ve just bought your first, the videos will certainly help you become productive quickly. But the concept works better as a high-class freebie with your tablet than as a separate investment in training.

Rating: 2.5/5