Nathan Vegdahl Rigging Videos...?

Hey everyone! :smiley: This is Nathan from BBB and Sintel.

I have a weird idea that I’m hoping could work out. But I’d like to try to gauge interest before I sink any time into it. Please read the whole thing before voting on the pole.

I would really like to create some educational material about rigging. Both rigging in general (conceptual level) and rigging in Blender. I am planning on doing some of this regardless, but I was wondering if people would consider it worth it to pay me to produce the material. It would allow me to focus on it better, rather than trying to motivate myself in my free time.

So here’s the idea:

I’ll create a series of videos, rather than one long epic video. Each video would be relatively short (10-15 minutes) and only cover one or two topics (like say, rigging an arm, or rigging a mouth, or quaternion rotations, or corrective shape keys… small individual things like that). Each video would be reasonably thorough, explaining my reasoning and thought process, not only “step by step”.

I would release them as frequently as I get funding. I would make a new kickstarter page for each video, and start making the video once the goal is reached. Any overage on one video’s funding will count towards the next video.

Once a video is finished I will release it for free under Creative Commons Zero (i.e. public domain).

And this process will go on and repeat for as long as people keep funding the videos. Or until I get sick of it, or no one can think of new things to make videos about. :wink:

The motive for paying for the video would be two-fold:

  1. Assuring that the video gets created at all.
  2. If you pay, you get a say in what the video will be about (proportional to how much you pay). I’ll propose two or three topics, and you can cast a vote. Or something like that. I’m not sure yet.
  3. You’ll be helping to make good, freely available educational material for the Blender community.

So here’s the rub:

I don’t know how many people are interested enough in rigging to actually pay for this. Rigging is pretty specialized. And I will likely be making similar material in my free time anyway. Just not nearly as much of it or to as high a level of quality.

So I’m asking: how many people out there would actually pay me to make this stuff? And how frequently?

I’m thinking that to be realistic, most people would probably only pay $5-$15 per video for something like this. Maybe not even that. But assume for the purposes of this pole that you would be paying about $10 on average per video. And you can assume I will actually put time into making the videos good. Not just me fumbling around with a screen record.

Is this something you would be interested in? Would this be something that you would pay for on a regular basis? And how often would you want/be able to pay, knowing that how often videos get made depends on this?

Also, big hugs for everyone. :slight_smile:

Also, if people have feedback on things that would make this more likely to work (a different setup, or different incentives, or whatever) please feel free to post your ideas. :slight_smile:

I would be extremely interested in this idea.

I’d like to see some videos that show off some fancy rigging techniques, like setting up bones to act as fat jiggle, or bones that deform the surface like muscle (deform mesh when compressed etcetera), even videos like that on simple objects, for example the muscle set-up demonstrated on a cylinder.

I’ll give some more feedback later on (it’s 1am!).

Sounds like an excellent model. I’d definitely pay for some in depth rigging info. I think for the length of video you mention around $5 to $10 sounds reasonable too.

I’m not too concerned about frequency, but if you were going to do them all in relatively close succession then you may as well charge for the whole bunch. Going with episodic content, I’d say spread it out to every couple of weeks to a month, just so people aren’t thinking “didn’t I just give you ten bucks the other day?”.

Anyway, definitely looking forward to whatever you decide to do.

I would pay at least $20 for two. I would love to figure out how the riggify rigs actually work start to finish. I have a bunch of characters to rig and I couldn’t use it because of the hand twist bug and also not knowing what I had when I finally had it.

I also would love to see how sintel is set up. I spent a few hours going through her rig and got completely lost, between the deform mesh and the properties my head started spinning and I cut out and started using a rig I understood although it didn’t perform as well.

Just a thought, but this is along the lines of what Blender Cookie does. Could consider approaching them and blanketing this under the citizenship. Let them garner some royalty and I’d bet it all work out. Just a thought. Other then that, I’m never adverse to paying for educational materials, and this is information I for-see needing in the near future, so I’d likely be a customer.

I am thinking the same, maybe get on the Blendercookie team?

Personally I would rather see a big honkin’ comprehensive DVD though- I loved the MancandyFAQ, but at this point it is a bit dated in parts.

I think its a good idea, it sound interesting, but why not first create a structure on the learning materials, or its just by request material…

Well, I’m interested in the videos.
But… I guess that you think $5-15 is reasonable if you expect a small group of people to purchase it?

The price seems a little high, even at $5 per video. I’m unemployed right now, but even if I was working I would find it hard to justify that. There are, after all, rigging tutorials all over the place for lots of apps. You just have to search them out, and then apply it to blender with the manual.

That being said, I still haven’t gotten around to it. Today I actually did say out loud, " I have to learn to rig in Blender." I think there was an expletive in there at the start though.

My point is that if you ask for say “pay what you can”, you might generate a lot more interest in it, and actually earn more.

It worked well for the Humble Indie Bundle.

Valve has pretty much proven that when Developers and Publishers lower their prices on Steam their sales soar.

I don’t want to vote, no choices fit for me.

But… “If you build it, they will come.” You said you would probably do it anyway? Why not get something out there. Put the page up, offer it for download. Put a donate button on there, or a pay what you can, or $25.

See what happens. Take a risk. First step of any business.

You could do a few things.

You could upload the videos to CGTuts+, they pay their authors for their tutorials. Might even combine that with your current idea.

Option two would be to make a DVD or two with different sections in them (similar to what Digital Tutors do) and then obviously sell them. If shipping costs is a problem just make them download only.

I am rather interested in good rigging tutorials. Just not enough to pay for them weekly or so :stuck_out_tongue:

Seems like many people here are though, good luck with this :slight_smile:

Re: BlenderCookies and other websites

It’s important to me that I be able to release the videos under an extremely liberal license. CC-by is basically the most restrictive I’m okay with. I guess I assumed that would rule out partnering with most websites. I can take a look, though.

Fair point. My intent wasn’t to suggest a minimum payment. But I assume (perhaps incorrectly) that there aren’t many rigging-interested people in the Blender community. So I was trying to estimate a price that wouldn’t be too low based on that.

Perhaps I better pole would have been simply: are you interested in rigging?

But you are perhaps correct. I should just go for it and see what happens. Perhaps create one in my free time first, so people know what the videos will be like. And then for the second video I can begin the kickstarter thing.

In any case, I’d like to see how this plays out first regardless.

Thanks for the feedback everyone!

I could be way off base - but I’m wondering if it would be worth charging more ($50-$60 range) for something that covered pretty much all the rigging aspects of a fairly complex rig. Kind of a one stop shop for all your rigging needs… it would be much easier to get your message out about exactly what you are selling too…

I mean you could even sell something like that through the Blender Foundation’s DVD store…

Well, you should first make one of this high quality videos, so users know what they will get. About other sites, i think that blendercookie and andrew price make about best tutorials i have seen.

I think that’s a great idea. Especially if the videos include the .blend files it would be pretty useful. Having people pay for production and then releasing as CC is in itself a way to gauge people’s interest. If nobody is interested in the rigging videos, they just won’t pay for them.

GrizzLy’s suggestion is also a good one - to make the first video as a “demo” so that the users know what they’ll be getting.

totally agree with TAMcCullough

I am very very interested in animation in blender.But, when, I model and see some rigs my head starts spinning.Learning Character Animation DVD just tells you how to animate and the ManCandy DVD is too old.

I read some documents but most of them are old and things are not well structured or even synchronized well with 2.5

I want to know, what is the simplest from of rigging.Then, why we add “this”, why IK came is the scene, what is the advantage of using “this” instead of “that” and so on.A solid break down from the simplest to an advanced rig.

Looking forward for the videos.

Kudos Nathan.

I would pay for a high quality tutorial or two or three on rigging. Esspecially with 2.5.

For those that cannot pay $5-$15… I can think of 200 online ways to make that much money quickly. So I think everyone has access to that kind of money if they want to work for it.

I look forward to your success!

I too would get behind this notion, and yes, I would spend $45/50 for your DVD.

i don’t know how you might use this, but it is an interesting idea,
you could solicit “pledges” of varying magnitudes, with a corresponding reward for each level…

it is explained here:

so you could probably set the highest amount of pay to deciding on the next tutorial or something…

Hey Nathan,

I’m gonna guess that most people have a moderate interest in rigging, mainly because it is crucial to animating and they need SOMETHING that will do the job quickly and easily. After that you have a few who are deeply passionate about the whole rigging thing. Because of this, a good business model might be one similar to Andrew Price’s (Blender Guru) in that you provide a regular, low level instruction website and/or pod-cast, while at the same time offer other, more comprehensive tutorials for a download fee or some such thing.

This way you have regular “viewers” who can give you feedback and help you plot your direction and, at the same time, provide a product (or multiple products) for business purposes.

Something like Amazon’s “Creative Space” might help as well

Sounds like work doesn’t it? :slight_smile:

You bet :slight_smile:

Take care sir, and thanks for what you do.

I enjoyed your BBB rigging tutorial. I would love to up my rigging knowledge and would pay for tutorials, have you perhaps considered a books as well. The are many books on introductory books on Blender so one that focused on a more advanced topic like rigging would be most welcome.

I would be very interested by this! By searching on the net, I didn’t find much on rigging. and I’m ready to pay!