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Blender forum for professional users

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 1:43 pm
by joeri
FROM THE ORANGE BLOG
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Edmond said on 19 Jan, 2006:

Blender is a fantastic application, but in my short experience the community leaves a lot to be desired. Is there a Blender forum for professional users? In my experience, Elysiun is not a very pleasant place to hang out and learn Blender - the tone there seems quite negative. I would have a hard time recommending students to visit there. For a lot of commercial applications you can find a tradition of excellent, professional support even among the regular users.

If there is another, better community out there I’m sure I just missed it (please point one out if you know of one). Best of luck with the project and publicity.

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rubbleman said on 19 Jan, 2006:

Well you right there Edmond. Most Elysiun posters are about 15-25 so maybe less maturity in words there than pro people accustomed to. They all keen Blenderers though and knowledgeable and helpful - just conversation wanders a bit into youthful thinking at times. In part too this because place is under moderated for more public consumption now Blender arrive on bigger stage.I make small noise about my thoughts for Blender to get more organised like this to important types there before.I am 82 and place does not suit me that well either - but of course I am very small minority of users :o) so I am not pushy about it. Trouble is because Blender advance so fast things that ought to happen are trailing behind some.Also Blender is army of enthusiastic volunteers and not as structured and customer focused as business world. As Blender is more and more successful I think you see more effort put into presenting for pro people to be more at home but maybe always has unique open source flavour when come visiting. Maybe have to meet expectations about halfway somewheres.
I think if you keen on Blender - and will be great releases coming soon- you just hang in there knowing people working in that direction as time and resource permit. More learning resources are in the making along with more up to date and complete manual. Everyone who uses Blender is enthusiastic to share ideas and experiences with others and make ever better cg works.We can all find way to talk to each other through the common language of Blender.We like you to be welcome. We think Blender is fantastic too.Too good to miss out on in fact :o)

I'm thinking of starting one.

What would you like to see there?
How would you discribe the user? (what audience to aim at?)

An idea could be to have a job pool, where programmers can offer their time to create paid features that animation studios might need.

Special teachers area, to get good blender teaching material.

Pitfall reports when upgrading.

NDA gallery. Share work that is still secret.

Maybe charge a small fee to keep kiddos out?

Is the time right to start a website like this now?

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:15 pm
by Lee_WJ
ah this had been in my thoughts I lot. I always thought BlenderArtists could make a suitable place more proffessional setup, but maybe something like your thinking could be invaluble too, making it seperated from a more user-relax environment like elysiun. (I'm sure it wont be a snobby place though, but im sure you understand what i mean) =)

A job pool was also something I thought would be a great place for people to learn more about their skills and learn more about working in the industry and/or with blender etc

I dont have any big suggestions at this time, I think all your ideas are great, and I second a movment like this =)

Maybe the right time is anytime from now to when BlenderArtists starts up.

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 4:16 pm
by Pablosbrain
I would love the teachers area. I am not a full time teacher but do teach at a local community college now and again. I know that they will be asking me to do more 3D Animation type classes as the one I did a year or two ago (using blender) was very succesfull. The hardest part was creating all my educational materials from scratch.

Only suggestion to keep in mind would be the same as elysiuns problem.. make sure you have enough moderators to keep the new forums on target.

Re: Blender forum for professional users

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 4:17 pm
by rcas
joeri wrote: I'm thinking of starting one.
I think I already posted something on this previously here in the forum, and I believe it was a reply to you ;) .

Anyway, here's a question:
- Will it be an automated platform in the main website or just a forum with some pages ?
joeri wrote: What would you like to see there?
Here's my list:
- Bounties (for developers to add new features to Blender)
- Blender related Job listings (from artists to developers)
- Gallery for professional work (automated with the platform)
- Blender Teaching place with paid e-learning and professional learning material.
joeri wrote: How would you discribe the user? (what audience to aim at?)
Professionals, Companies, Institutions, Teachers, people that do work with Blender for a living.
joeri wrote: Maybe charge a small fee to keep kiddos out?
Depending on where that fee will be used, it might aswell not be that small, depends on what will be offered in return.
joeri wrote: Is the time right to start a website like this now?
If in the form of a platform that has several levels of integration and be extendable for future services, I say YES.

If just a simple website with user permissions and Forums, dunno if it makes much sense.

Also, I think Blender Artists is a great place for free stuff and showing work, having the whole community focus. It would be better off creating something like "www.BlenderProfessionals.com" or similar, because the name specifies the focus better and it would give the ability to have a more professional looking portal with focus on the services provided (as in being separated from Blender Artists).

There are lots of things that can be done to make such a thing, but to make it a great place it needs a well thought out platform that allows for tasks to be easy, easy integration with other Blender Sites and be extendable, for easy additions in the future.


If you need help on definig a platform / coding it (if PHP or JSP) and more on this I can help out.


-- Rui --

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:12 pm
by Edmond
Thank you for your attention to this issue. I think it is not just to solve a problem, but in fact could help open up new doors for Blender.

Hopes:
-Clean design, conservative (calm is maybe a better word?), maybe not such dark colors
With forums like:
-Blender in business
-Teaching with Blender (maybe kids will leave when they see this, or at least realize it's a different world here)
-(Am I leaving out some specific professional fields? Blender in government? ;))
-Blender Projects Area (Share your work, probably no real "elite"-sounding limitations like focused critique, WIPs, etc. - don't want to discourage joe the welder from sharing his boring work)
-Blender Community Development - contests like, "show us how you used Blender in your professional life," winner gets Blender shop gift or something. Winner should provide suitable documentation and maybe photos of project would help too.

The idea of a portal is nice, where you can get updates, view tutorials, etc. that are specifically targeted toward this branch of user. I think tutorials, demonstrations, and articles are going to be important if this sort of forum is to get off the ground.

The general idea would be something like a documentary format, not so wild and crazy, but full of really practical information. Maybe a professional illustrator, maybe a teacher, maybe a doctor might want to share how they use Blender.

Ideally, there would be a way to grow a subset of Blender users who care about educating professionals or serious users. Maybe as part of the "community development" part there could be some tutorials on how to use Print on Demand publishing to publish your own educational materials. I say this because literary-wise, there's a lot of room for Blender to grow. ;) I'm thinking of special projects books like "Medical Illustration in Blender" or "Create 5 WWII projects in Blender," which could help motivate specific audiences.

Charging a small fee, I don't know if that is necessary. If it is just to keep the kids out, maybe just advertise the site via word of mouth to other professional groups, and make sure the moderators are not kids themselves. Boring design may tend to that as well. ;) If on the other hand it takes money to run the site that is not otherwise available through the Blender foundation, people might pay if that is the case. However, this enters the "economics" area where people are used to getting a lot of things for free on the internet anyway.

Thank you again for responding to my post, I half expected no one would reply.

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:31 pm
by rcas
Maybe its time to take the Blender Network further.

Create a Blender Network portal, where Professionals, Institutions, Teacher and even other Organizations can get together and share things.

This is the concept that just hit me now.
We could include all the concepts described previously in there but it would be a bit wider in focus.

What do you guys think, brick by brick we can make this work.


-- Rui --

Posted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 12:45 am
by -efbie-
That whole blenderpro forum is something much needed, I agree a lot with what i've read in this thread, minus that whole contest idea ^^

I'm for a paid access for a restricted part of the forum. That would solve some issues, and for the rest, really strict moderation.

For the target users of this forum, i would like to suggest to add University students. Even if they aren't really professionals, they are learning to be, and as they have time to waste, they can give back to the forums much more easily, write quality tutorials, etc...
So target users would be : Teachers, Pros, & Students. With a paid access for the pro section, so that they don't feel that they are in the same basket as students :)

the rest is details and we can see what works and what doesn't when it's running.

Posted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 11:33 am
by matt_e
Like Joeri has harped on about before (;)), if it's going to be anywhere, I think it should be here.

Posted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:57 pm
by B@rt
broken wrote: if it's going to be anywhere, I think it should be here.
Why is that? Blender.org is all about development and not about users, isn't it?

B@rt

Posted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 8:32 pm
by rcas
B@rt wrote:
broken wrote: if it's going to be anywhere, I think it should be here.
Why is that? Blender.org is all about development and not about users, isn't it?

B@rt
I second on this.

I think it should be a separate place, but it could be linked to / from Blender.org .


-- Rui --

Posted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 8:43 pm
by Lee_WJ
hmm, this is something that has to be quite thought out.

In my opinion keeping what some would call 'kids' out is something that would not be a great idea in my opinion. I was quite young when I got into blender (not hugely young, 15 years) and though my maturity wasnt as high as these days (almost 20), it was the Blender community and my huge amount of trrying to make a huge film that failed, and caused me to learn more about myself and my skills: the outcome is improvement and maturity. Rather then shutting out those who are new to blender/or young in age, we should rather encourage them as Blender takes a new step into the industry; really an industry of its own ijn some respects. As they always say, we should never forget those who will continiue a legacy.

A hope is a way to have a place for those who are now entering into CG as a career or part time job using blender proffessionally. To have a base to gain contacts for work using Blender, those who can help or inform those who have begun a freelance (for example) business using their skills in blender and build teams internationally for CG projects. The elements included in these are those who are using Blender for film, teaching, also Architectural Design etc.

Taking from my first days of using Blender, and then bringing my thoughts to the present working on Orange, if we can form a place where those who are aspiring at the beginning of leaning CG with Blender can be encouraged and learn what skills they would need to get into the industry (whatever the division) by those who are using it in the industry. Also a place where those who are in the industry or have quite an amount of skills can find as stated above; contacts, a base that can be formed all over the world, to find work for those who are skilled in CG artsm form teams and such.

These elements are something I see in a place for those who are using Blender proffessionally.

-Elysiun: Community hangout, share art

-BlenderArtists.org: upgrades these elements to have more diversity

- A Forum as discussed: for only those elements.

I have seen some new and/or young users in CG and Blender become amazing artists, we should not be ignorant to these possibilities, but make possibilities (such is the core of this open source program) in the community to let them shine, and help blender grow. =)

just some thoughts.

Lee

Posted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 10:43 pm
by Edmond
In my opinion keeping what some would call 'kids' out is something that would not be a great idea in my opinion.
In my mind it is not as important to keep kids out as it is to keep professional adults in. Insofar as the two collide, perhaps it's best to redirect some kids over to Elysiun.

Anyway, I may be alone in this, but I see diverging courses when I compare Elysiun-type users and the users I see in a forum for professionals: "Kids" (or kids at heart) and those who find value in Elysiun are looking to improve their personal artistic skills in some way. For non-kids who still want to improve their artistic skill, CGTalk's Blender forum is probably a very good alternative. In fact, since CGTalk does not discriminate with its WIP and Finished Works area (Blender users are welcome), that's even better for artistic development.

In this professional forum I'm thinking of, the focus wouldn't be on artistic learning/development of the type you see at CGTalk and Elysiun. Instead, we can assume professionals have already arrived at a comfortable level of skill and would like to improve the way they use Blender, or would like to see how other professionals use it. Again, nothing against artists - there is Elysiun and CGTalk for that stuff. And certainly some professional artists or illustrators would want to use a professional forum like the one we're discussing. But there is a level of Blender work that exists in a more day-to-day, practical category. It may not be as flashy as what you see at CGTalk, but I think it is important to show to those who are considering using Blender for professional projects. A good deal of this will be outside the realm of game art, concept art, etc.

So, it's not so much "keep the kids out" as it is "this will be pretty boring for most kids," not really being aimed at their interests. I have nothing against the kids themselves, having been one too. ;)

Posted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 11:33 pm
by Lee_WJ
yeah very good point, i agree. So It's really about making something that's not yet around for Blender. Hopefully it can be done, I'm sure a lot of great ideas will come from this =)

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:20 am
by Edmond
I suppose I left out one of my main problems with Elysiun - the negative feel it has - but I think CGTalk's forum would be a better place to redirect students, especially since it integrates other software they may be interested in exploring.

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:10 am
by rubbleman
My apologies I see you use my letter here and I need to post a reply.
I am not happy at all to see talk of 'kids' here. Kids is ugly and disrespectful term to use for teenager and young adult. Is not even nice for 5-15 group.
I say many users who post at Elysiun are youthful in conduct in comparison of pro world but I not say need to be removed from view or not heard unless spoken to. I much support Lees viewpoint and good on him for speak up.. Nothing wrong with being a young Blender user. Many are very talented and knowledgeable and I personally learn a lot from them. I don't need to be young at heart to enjoy Blender that is rubbish.
This software is made by community for community. We don't pander to anyone with ideas of exclusive space for know betters.
These people from commercial world we welcome and assist but Blender is not going to fork into 2 classes if I help it. If persons need special expert technical assistance or code writing they can pay for it just as they would elsewhere. You Blender VIPs look to see who sits in driving seat here in industry future before make deals to be accomodating like you underdog.
Believe me lot of people come knocking at door here soon and may find soon too students actually more interested in learning Blender before already established softwares shown off at cgtalk.
If persons are wanting to use for large projects and need private consultation service we can offer that but we not make a place inaccessible to others as matter of course.
As far as being boring in a constructive way as disincentive to visitors no.
No reason why young people shouldn't be exposed to pro industry practices as part of cg background experience available through Blender. I don't know why students he talks of should be any different from same age group already here at Elysiun.
Elysiun is not place riddled with put downs and sarcasm - yes is critical sometimes in thoughtless way but not nasty negativity. Already changes are discussed in Elysiun layout to better accomodate all levels of user and purpose.
I say to Mr Edmond I agree room for improvement and new sophistication at Blender for bigger audience but you meeting with different bunch of people here and need to be ready to adapt a bit coming from outside.
Bit like IBM and Apple. Suits and sneakers. After all you are getting a very good bit of software for free. Not hurt you at all in meantime to blend a bit with Blenderheads. Only disease you get is enthusiasm.
So there you go my viewpoint. I sorry to post to developer forum as not my area but this upset me to read.
regards
rubbleman