Would you pay for blender video training?

Hello everybody,

I’m new here , but I wanted to poll the blender community. I am a member of 3DBuzz a website / community / company that is in the business of making video tutorials on 3D Modeling and programming. They currently have two packages out called “Mastering Maya: The Fundamentals” and “Mastering Max: The Fundamentals” both packages are over 100+ hours of video training, and have received very high accolades from several 3D Magazines.

Now this is my questions, if 3DBuzz were to create a “Mastering Blender: The Fundamentals” would anybody in the blender community be interested? I ask because some of the 3DBuzz Community have asked for Blender VTM’s however it would appear there would not be enough interest in them?

So I started a poll over there to find out how many would be interested, and have now come to the Blender Community to see your response.

many people wouldn’t, but some would.

if blender ever went to University, or schools, then there is an instant market right there.

however the origins of the community mean a higher percentage of users will not buy training (or will only buy it if its cheap, like $10-20 a DVD kind of price) and will opt for online stuff.

i personally don’t feel i need training any longer, but at this point in time i would be prepared to pay a bit (not $800) for training dvds in software i was really interested in learning. but i would be prepared to buy a single disc about a single topic i was not good at such as animation or rigging. (not the whole lot at once)

for example, i do pay for online rendering at a renderfarm, but their prices are $20-60 a month USD, whereas the prices for rendering on other softwares through the same site are $2000-4000 per month. there is interest, but there is interest at a different price point.

Alltaken

Yeah - what kind of price would you have in mind?

As well as instructions how about including a whole selection of materials?

Rshadow, you do realize of course, that one of the major sources of income for the Blender Foundation is the selling of the Blender book. So technically you will be competing against the Blender Foundation, and if there is no Blender Foundation there is no Blender.

However, there is always a niche market. BUT before you do anything you must get Ton´s blessing, out of respect. And if I were Ton you would get my respect if you donate 10% of your net profit to the Blender Foundation. :smiley: That way you will ensure Blender´s continual improvement.

And the subject matter of your videos or books, must be of such a nature that they don´t directly compete with the Official Blender book. That is something you will have talk to Ton about.

BTW, S250 is too much. $60 max.

I think I would, probably. But luckily I dont have to. I would like a video tutorial on NLA and Stride bone.

I just read the thead at 3DBuzz.
While I think it would be great to have a Tutorial DVD (such an item has been extensively discussed before and even tentatively “roadmapped”), I think you would first have to look at the dynamics of Blender and its Community. These dynamics are completely different from something you’d find in the Maya, Houdini, even 3DMax communities.
Proffesonal users (or at least those with a serious inclination to become one) will probably have no qualms buying $250 woth of training tutorials. The packages they use are pretty stable (no really radical changes) and have a serious shelf life. Everything that will improve their marketability will be seriously looked at.
Blender users are more hobbyists. (there are of course exceptions) They can download Blender at no cost toghether with loads of PDF tutorials, Video tuts (although of widely differing quality), material packs etc. Also, Blender itself is very dynamic in that everything happens in the open. There is no commercial pressure to ‘package’ new developments hidden away from the stable version in order to make the new version more attractive. If it’s in CVS officila or not), the ordinary user can use it. (witness Nicholas’ Sculpt, Jahka’s particles, RCRuiz’ POV integration,…), making Blender a moving target
This makes the 3DBuzz training package a very dificult sell. However, the 3DBuzz VTM are themselfs very high quality, very extensive and expensive material. I would say maybe too much so for the Blender community. An option would be a “slimmed down”, cheaper version of the 3DBuzz trainig DVD. Although I can only speak for myself, a set of €50-€75 (€75 is more or less $100) a piece Training DVDs (or even CD-Roms) on different topics would be a serious contender for my spending money (I have practically every Blender book, starting with the 1.5 manual to the Saraja Blender book)
If you were to split the DVD/CD-Rom over different areas like modeling (poly, curve, metaball, subd) / rendering (internal, Yafray, Radiosity) /physics(rigid, soft, particles,fluid)/ Materials (classic, nodes, rayrtraced, procedurals) etc I’d buy some of them. Now none of them need to be as profesionally made like the ‘real’ 3DBuzz VTMs but simpler, more targeted to the hobby user.
So there you have it. Will the Blender community buy a 3DBuzz Training package at $250? I seriously doubt it (of course there will always be exceptions…). Is there an interest in a commercial, serious quality video tut product? Then, depending on pricing, I seriously think so…

Nah,
Blender keeps changing and evolving, you would be trying to hit a moving target. Even the tuts and videos out there now have dated screen shots that do not even match the current version.
You would be better off just creating VTMs, giving them to the community and selling ads on the download page.

UglyMike makes some good points. I might be willing to pay $50 to $100 for 100 hours of video tutorials, but that’s mainly because I’m teaching a class and would get the school to buy a few copies for my students to use for the basics. The reason I wouldn’t go much higher than that is that Blender is a moving target. This is December. If you start producing now, by the time they are ready, 2.43 will be out for a couple of months, and the product will be dated. Still useful, but no mention of sculpt mode or any of the other goodies coming along next month.

I suspect Maya and Max users are willing to pay as much as they do because it is helping them land, or keep, a job, or their employers are paying for the training videos so their employees can spend some off-the-clock time improving their on-the-job skills. Or, less cynically, to avoid spending an experienced worker’s time training the inexperienced.

Where I think there is a need is in the non-fundamental areas of using blender: Rigging for Animation, Advanced Materials and Texturing, Rendering with Yafray/Indigo/Sunflow… topics that build on the basic training that is already available on-line.

I just finished a 6 week course at eclecticacadamy that gave me the fundamentals of 3D modeling in Cinema 4D…it was only $20 and it had a “live” teacher and message board where you could get individual help. I sure wish they’d have a course with Blender. So would I pay $250 for DVD’s? No, because Blender is so dynamic, a live instructor would be necessary for an up-to-date course.

I took the Mastering Maya: The Fundamentals from the 3D Buzz sire and considered it well worth the money. I am not arguing any position for whether or not it would be good for Blender, but the material is very good. It takes you through animation, modelling, materials, scripting and much more. I personally would love to have training like that for Blender, which I perfer to Maya.

@rshadow, I thinkit would be good to put down what you have in mind for one of the dvd s you are talking about. It is a brilliant idea I feel, because honestly Buzz’s training is top class. I would most probably buy it only though if as stated a certain comission can be sent to the blender foundation for further development.
What prices are you looking at, what time frame are you hoping to have it released? I have heard on the grape vine that Blender UI is going to have some pretty major overhauling done to it in the following release after 2.43. Thus any training you do have in mind may be best planned till after then, as you have a fresh new interface to play with along with some features that are still in development.

Like said, I love the idea, but costs and good road plan of what you are thinking of doing are vital if you wish to get an honest poll. It is like asking someone if they would like ‘something’, what you are offering seems just as vague. Please give further details of what you are actually offering.

The GoBlender DVD already exists!!

Well, as its on topic…

I have produced a beginners introduction to Blender DVD and CD Rom. I sell this on e-bay at a very fair price, reflecting the fact that Blender is freely available. Search e-bay for ‘3d software’ and you should find it ok, the picture shows a caterpillar character that the trainee eventually produces. Link to a webpage with more details…

http://www.brillsoft.com/html/goblender.html

Roy.

No offense Roy, but I think rshadow will be making something a lot more in depth than that.

rshadow

I think the idea is a good one, but to me 100+ hours seems overkill to say the least. I think the way you should approach it is incrementally. First do a two hour dvd, sell it at a very fair price, see how that is received by the public, and build it from there. Jumping in headfirst with no clear payoff in the end is a risky venture.

No offence taken, its a begginer DVD and CD Rom after all. I am posting to give encouragement to others. I feel I am alone in an area with great potential. The big ‘selling point’ is that you can supply the user with the actual software along with the training material.
Is there interest? well I have sent out 23 since November…

For me if I am going to spend money I want it to go to the people helping Blender to grow. One might argue that this would help Blender. But unless they are giving money to the foundation I would say no. Of course they wouldnt its for profit and the margin is already slim.

Looking forward to future things the foundation is doing. The book, Orange II, etc. the Online docs are getting decent. I check them daily. Videos are lacking. But have you guys seen what geneome » Blender Tutorials has been doing? And Blendernewbies?

I agree that Blender is moving too fast. And I dont want to slow it down… In fact speed it up.
starting a new thread to discuss it.
http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?p=772178#post772178

I think that people would buy dvd, especially those that don’t have a habbit or time to search for tutorials or ask questions on forum and would like to use blender for commercial purposes. It would only benefit the blender comunity to have a good tutorial dvd even if it has a high price. It would not be fair to people witch don’t have money to buy it but than again, that kind of dvd could be used for educational purposes. So I think it is a good idea. But I wouldn’t buy it since I know fundamentals, don’t have that kind of money and have time to search forums and to find tutorials :smiley:

As mentioned above, more more people would buy is if a % went to the Blender Foundation - I would consider buying if it did, depending on content obviously.
If it was overpriced then you might soon see dodgy copies flying about (not literaly :¬/)

I think $250 is way too much to ask, especially since there’s lots of documentation and tutorials online for free…

I do occasionally make donations to the Blender foundation, as well as being a founder member. Do others think I should display how much I give on my website? or within the e-bay listing? It feels a bit like boasting about what you give to charity, not very cool. Alternatively I could pay for an advert on blendernation etc. What do others think? BTW many of my customers have never heard of Blender before they find my listing or website. I say clearly in the listing that Blender is free.
http://www.brillsoft.com/html/goblender.html

The DVD and CDRom with files is only £9.99

The reason I bought the training DVD when I did is because it came with an online class that was monitored by the instructors themselves, we discussed the assignments and how to complete them in the class forum, ( they did not give all the answers, we had to use the information provided and extend it to the current assignment.). I am not sure if I would have just bought the DVD alone.
I wonder if the exposure a 3D Buzz teaching DVD could be bad for Blender. The training wouldn’t be close to being in the same class as existing instruction simply because of it’s depth. However, I would be totally amazed if Jason Busby even consitered this, based on the discussions I have read on the 3D Buzz site.