Videotutorial provider CG Cookie have spun off a Blender-only service earlier this week: Blender Cookie. I talked to Wes Burke about this project.
From the announcement:
Blender Cookie is a site dedicated to supplying consistent, high quality, blender education materials produced by certified trainers from around the globe. By offering high resolution streaming videos, written education, developer interviews and featured resources, we aim to be the central hub for blender education. At launch we are also offering all of our blender source downloads at 50% off by using the discount code: BLENDERCANDY at checkout.
In our efforts to provide effective and consistent training, Blender Cookie's training is authored by Blender Foundation Certified Instructors only. We feel this is important when taking on the responsibility to provide education for such an exponentially evolving, viable 3D open source solution.
Why did you decide to launch a separate, Blender oriented site?
Your question gives hint as to why we did. ;) CG Cookie original idea was to provide education for various leading software packages. The site started out first by mainly featuring 3D Studio Max and a bit of Maya. Over time and with myself meeting an interesting cat named "Jonathan Williamson" we started to post a few blender tutorials. When Jonathan and I first met I honestly wasn't to familiar with blender or it's kick arse community.
Over a period of just a few months the blender bug started to hit CG Cookie and it's users. Over time it has become our most popular section on the site bringing in just over 50% of all traffic! Seeing this number continue to grow, we felt it was wise to give blender education a home of its own to romp around in and grow even further.
CG Cookie will still feature items form Blender Cookie to ensure blender is featured right next to 3D Studio, and Maya though. We are envisioning that CG Cookie is still the carrying mother that just kicked her son out of the house and said "You are too big to live here, it is time you get your own home!". :)
Jonathan Williamson is playing a big role in this project. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
I can't say enough good things about Jonathan and what a pleasure it has been to collaborating with him. After working with Jonathan as an author for just about a year now on CG Cookie, it seemed natural that he take a larger role in Blender Cookie and really have the opportunity to lead the charge of blender education.
Jonathan is taking on the role of senior editor and site supervisor on Blender Cookie. Mainly keeping an eye on things, answering e-mails, comments, and ensuring we have high quality training coming through the doors on a regular basis. He of course will still be producing training himself and whatever else his limited free time allows.
It looks like you'll be turning this into a successful Blender-based business. Can you tell us more about how you work?
Turning Blender Cookie, and it's accompanying mother-ship, CG Cookie, into a full-fledged business is one of our dreams. We would love to do this full-time, but unfortunately we must maintain a hold on our day jobs and freelance work for the time being.
That being said, we do commit a large amount of time to the Cookies, in many ways it is a full time job. Dividing things up between our day jobs, freelancing, 3hr Skype meetings, answering support emails, brainstorming, and checking in on the community happenings. We tend to keep things pretty hectic!
As the site grows, so does the content demand. For this reason we are working to bring on several new, Foundation-Certified instructors (no names yet but you should know soon!) to help with the workload. Our end goal is always to bring the community the very best in Blender-based training.
One name we can mention is Kernon Dillon. Kernon has been an amazing supporting author on Cg Cookie and we are looking forward to more education by Kernon produced on Blender Cookie as we move forward. Without Kernons efforts we would definitely have a missing chunk of the cookie.
New content comes from a variety of sources. We see a lot of tutorial requests come in several times a week via the forums, email and even word of mouth. We try to pick and choose through these as much as we can but we also spend a good deal of time brainstorming new content. We are always looking to fill new gaps in our training so if you have a request yourself please feel free to email it to us at: hello(at)cgcookie(dot)com.
How do you see the impact of the upcoming Blender 2.5 on your existing tutorial material?
Though we understand that some of our training may be impacted by a new software version, as any education materials may be affected by software upgrade release. With our training we try to, or even more as of late to cover techniques that may be taken across versions. Our new goal is to also produce blender education to be educational to 3D Studio Max users, or Maya.
Our head modeling series was where we first realized this. Myself being an original 3D Studio Max user, found it extremely useful to watch Jonathan's Edge Loop techniques and over all building structure of the human head. His focus wasn't on the tool, but more on the guts of what a mesh should look like.