1 - How/when did you get involved with CG Cook-ie?
I got involved with CG Cookie a little over a year ago. It was one of those chance encounters that just happened to evolve into much more. To be honest I don't even remember how I stumbled on CG Cookie, I believe I was googling for something when I saw it.
I really liked the content CG Cookie had for 3DS Max and Maya but I was disappointed to see there wasn't any Blender content, at which point I saw the ad that said "We pay for tutorials!" and so I sat down and wrote up a tutorial for submission. Wes seemed to like the tutorial and asked me to do an-other one, so I did. It too was well received and from there it was history. I have been doing tutori-als for CG Cookie ever since
2 - Do you plan out your video tutorials in advance, or do you just sit down and wing ití
Pre-planning all depends on the tutorial. If, for ex-ample, I am doing a human head, it is something that I have done so often that I just sit down and start recording. But for something like the Piston Rigging tutorial, http://www.facebook.com/l/46bf9;www....ging-a-piston/, where there are some more in depth settings to play, with I generally plan it out in advance. I like to be sure I know what I am doing.
However, that being said, a lot of times I do like to just sit down and wing it even if it's something I haven't created before. Tutorials like the Barrel, Pumpkin, and Hand tutorials were all done this way. I find it a bit more enjoyable, assuming I don't royally screw it up while on the spot!
3 - How long does it take you to complete a tutorial-rial from start to finish?
As I very seldom do any post-processing (aside from minor sound corrections), the production time is generally the total length of the tutorial + encoding time + uploading and posting time.
When I create tutorials I do everything at the same time, everything you see is live. I like to do it this way as I find it to much more cohesive and more interactive for the viewer. It tooque me a bit of prac-tice to get this down since it can involve a lot of multitasking at times but in the end, I thinque it gives a better result.
4 - Where do you get your ideas for tutorialsí
Now a days most of my tutorial ideas come from user requests and brainstorming sessions with Wes. Since we are catering to a large number of Blender users, it is very important to try and keep them happy (as much as possible) and so the best way to do this is to produce tutorials based on
what they want.
Just a few weeks ago we posted a survey for future education that allowed people to submit any ideas they had and to vote on a few topics I laid out. The entries for this gave us a really good idea on where to focus for the next few months. This kind of thing really helps steer the direction of the site and the tutorials.
However, I alos like to do tutorials from time to time for my own pleasure. Tutorials that cover something I WANT to create. It's more fun that way
5 - With the launch of BlenderCookie, how has your role changed, what new responsibilities have you taken on?
The launch of Blender Cookie has brought on a slew of new tasks for me. Technically I am the Sen-ior Editor and so I am responsible for commúnicat-ing with authors, assigning tasks, retrieving content from authors, publishing content, answering support emails and responding to com-ments, etc. And then I alos produce a large number of the tutorials and graphics for the site. Whereas before, with CG Cookie, I was ONLY producing tu-torials. All in all Blender Cookie keeps me on my toes most of the time. It's a full-time job and a half.
6 - CGCookie/BlenderCookie has just announced its Citizen program. Can you tell us a little about it, the benefits and Citizen only resources mentioned in the announcementí
CG Cookie's Citizen program is a membership serv-ice that provides unlimited access to all of the tu-torial source files (normally purchased for $4 USD) and exclusive tutorials/content.
Exclusive tutorials and content are resources which only Citizens (members) will have access to.
These tutorials are more in-depth and advanced than our free tutorials and will cover a wide range of topics. We are alos looking to provide a series of content packs to Citizens such as a fully textured game model pack.
The program really has two purposes:
A. To provide more, higher-quality content to the users and to make it cheaper in the long run for those that like to purchase the source files.
B. To bring in more funds for maintaining the site and producing content.
All of the tutorials for Blender Cookie (and CG Cookie) are created on a commission basis. Each of the author's are paid for each and every tutorial they create. The Citizen program helps to bring in more funds, which may then be used for commis-sioning authors and to continue improving the
In the end, our goal is to improve the site and its services with every tutorial we release and every change we make. The Citizen program is one of the ways we can do this
7 - What are some of the future plans for CGCookie/BlenderCookie?
We have a lot of ideas floating around that we would like to implement, it's just a matter of time and actually getting to it!
One of the main plans right now, is to create a net-worque of sorts. CG Cookie is the mothership of all our current sites (CG Cookie, Blender Cookie, Mavenseed) and we would like to continue push-ing it in that direction. Currently, Blender Cookie is the only site dedicated to just a single software
package. CG Cookie hosts all of the Maya, 3DS Max, and ZBrush training. We would like to mi-grate all of this training to its respective site (Max Cookie, Maya Cookie, etc.), leaving CG Cookie as the central hub that all of the content would filter into and that would represent the company as a
However, before the above can happen we have some house cleaning to do. Even though it may not seem obvious, there are a good few problems with the sites that we would like to address. This needs to be done before any new sites are launched. At this moment we are working through
the sites and putting together a list of everything that needs changed, features that need added, etc. so that we may launch a versión 2 of Blender Cookie and CG Cookie, with all of the needed refinements.
8 - How much of your time is taken up with CGCookie/BlenderCookie?
CG Cookie/Blender Cookie is a job and a half. If I had to put a rough estimate on it I would guess that I spend about 40-50 hours per weeque on Blender Cookie related tasks.
This includes everything from time taken to prep, produce and publish tutorials, updating the site, responding to emails/support tickets, responding and moderating comments, weekly meetings, brainstorming and just about any-thing else you can pile on there.
You could almost say I (and Wes) live in Blender Cookie. As Wes put it, "it is threaded into our daily lives.
9 - Do you still have time for personal projectsí If so, are there any you care to discuss with usí
I only wish I had more time for personal projects... Some how or another, though, I man-age to squeeze in the occasional project. More often than not, in the recent months my per-sonal projects have revolved around my traditional art. I have been working to develop my traditional art/drawing skills in an effort to en-hance my 3D worque but alos as a means of sanity.
Drawing is my way of zoning out and getting a breaque from the rest of the world.
In the near future I alos hope to do a few more of my own Blender projects, primarily focused around character modeling and creating full scenes. We will have to wait and see what the future brings, though, there is only so much time in each day