THANK YOU for listening :D. SideFX clearly gets it.
This is what I'm most curious about. Either most lights are seriously overpriced, or Aputure's rating of CRI 95+ is not really CRI 95+.
Tools don't hinder creativity, but the artist's ignorance of the tools certainly will. Complex shots don't just magically come together, but they take a great understanding of everything that went into producing them. The art will come from the person who has a vision of how to utilize these tools successfully.
That's marketing for you :).
As far as the SideFX shout out, Houdini Indie is a brilliant idea. The Engine has been great for bringing assets into Maya which it would not be able to handle itself. If the architecture allows, have you ever considered raising the annual pricing and adding 3rd party renderer support?
Long term I'm definitely looking for options beyond Autodesk.
I'm quite happy with the cmiVFX Fusion tutorials. Digital Tutors also has a few introductory courses. FXphd just started a subscription based service as well, but so far I believe there is only one Fusion course.
Michael, not every studio needs Nuke. The non commercial version has serious limitations, and the commercial version ranges from $5,000 to $10,000. I've been using Fusion since it was owned by Eyeon, and it offers great value for the cost. Even though I wish it properly supported deep, I can't deny how much they're giving to their users. The Foundry doesn't really understand the small studio/indie market like Pixologic, Allegorithmic and even SideFX.