We all know that a book is a good learning media, but a course is even better and a course that provides a Certification is the best solution of all.
Blender has all the features that any small / medium companies need to enter the animation/modeling world.
But Blender lacks when it comes to learning, either a person spends a lot of time trying to figure out how to do something, or gets the Book and goes step by step and try to understand it, and any questions it may have it has to go to forums or search the Net (wich is not bad, but takes time), or, a person takes a course and any basic and direct question it has it asks the teacher and gets the response and would only “waste”(it is never really wasted) time to search for specific items it may have problems trying to figure out.
I believe that The Blender Foundation should gather some of their finest artists and developers and with them build a course (or more than one, as I will state below) that could be lectured in specialized companies and institutes, providing a Certificate to the Person that frequented the course and achieved all the course goals.
Discreet does this for their products and I see lots of people taking the Discreet courses (I am taking one right now for 3D Studio Max 6.0 and Combustion), mostly because if they achieve the course goals they will be Certified for that product by Discreet (and these courses are not that expensive as one might think).
Discreet receives a share of money for each issued Certificate, for all the manuals that are provided for the courses, along with other revenues related with the company or institute that provides the courses.
In my opinion, The Blender Foundation should make a Certification Program such as Discreet does, with at least 3 courses:
- Blender Basics (Modeling and Animation) Level 1
- Blender Basics (GameKit) Level 1
- Blender Advanced (Modeling and Animation) Level 2
- Blender Advanced (GameKit) Level 2
Some other courses also make sense:
- Blender Advanced (Modeling) Level 3
- Blender Advanced (Animation) Level 3
- Blender Advanced (GameKit) Level 3
- Blender Advanced (Lights) Level 3
- Blender Advanced (Texturing) Level 3
- Blender Advanced (Particle Engine) Level 3
This would give a lot of credibility to Blender and to the Person that would have a Certificate that stated their knowledge with that tool, and would also mean money for the Foundation, this money could then be used to increase the Foundation to other areas, even keeping a team at work to provide support for all the courses and the product itself.
I would be one of the first to take this course, since I beleive that Blender has all the functionality I need to produce all sort of animations for TV comercials and other type of 3d movies sequences.
The Blender Foundation would need to define the courses that would be sporting, the contents for each course, the Certification Program (even listing all Certified Persons on their website), the Support Team that would teach the institutes teachers and other companies teachers, as well as other issues.
A good chance to publicize an upcoming Certification Program and courses for Blender would be the upcoming Conference.
I would really like to hear your feedback on this issue.
A Mail with similar content has been sent to the Blender Foundation, but I beleive that the Blender Foundation are the users and their will, so your opinion really counts, and I would like to hear it.
If possible I request a sticky on this issue.