Tutorial review - Animatronics Design Basics

The title of this tutorial is a bit misleading as are the tutorial highlights. If you are expecting to learn about how simple mechanisms work, it is not here. The run time on this tutorial is less than an hour. In this time frame Richard Landon attempts to cover everything he knows about a job he has been doing for many, many years. I really like Richard's work and was looking forward to this video. Every topic that is covered lasts roughly 2 minutes, with only some chapters taking 5 minutes and these are because Richard is showing all of the tools he uses in his work. Most of what he shows are very high level views of some of the mechanisms you can build. What you can make, once you know how it's done. This tutorial is really disappointing and not worth the money. What needs to be done is to take all of these chapters and make them into their own tutorial so that the information can be distilled into something that a student, especially a beginning student can follow. An example of this is Chapter 12, which is roughly 3 minutes showing tentacle mechanisms. It is a nice overview, but nothing that most people interested in learning how to do tentacle effects don't already know. I see that Richard has done a tutorial just on "cable mechanism basics - tentacles." That tutorial is over 2 and a half hours long. This is what I am talking about. I have not yet purchased this tutorial, but I hope it is more informative on how and why things work than this tutorial was. This was my first disappointment with the tutorials offered by the school. Matthew


  • I enjoyed this tutorial very much. I didn't find it misleading at all. Richard is obviously a brilliant man and gave a really good overview of what one needs to do to successfully design animatronics. The manuals he referred to I find online for free and they are outstanding. I found it to be of great value and led me to purchase another tutorial. I would like to see the links that get displayed in the tutorial in the lower sections though as some that stuff is difficult to find and not present on the tutorial page itself.
  • Hi Jack, I agree with you about the need to have the links referred to at the bottom. I also agree that Richard is very good at what he does. I just feel that most of what he covered in this tutorial was at a very high level and could have been broken down into more tutorials like the example I mentioned, and he did, with chapter 12. Matthew
  • Hi Matthew,

    Fair enough. My personal opinion is that there is just simply too much to cover. I purchased the tutorial you mentioned about the tentacles and I found it very helpful. 

    I think ultimately though it is up to the individual themselves to come up with ideas and figure out how to implement them. That cannot be taught, you know? 

    I myself would like to see the site broken down better into specifics for tutorial (e.g. animatronics section, mask sculpture section, etc.). It is really hard to find all of the relevant topics one needs. And like all things in life, interpretation and use varies. 

    All that matters is git r' done. And this tutorial did offer some of that. LOL. :-)
  • There is a sort and filter section when you enter the tutorial page. You can filter to see either full or mini tutorials, then you can filter by type of subject. It took me a few visits before I noticed them. That helped me a bit when I was just looking for sculpture tutorials. I hope this helps.
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