CG Cookie FIVE designs are subject to change. Development is in full swing and these are used for mock-up purposes.
Earlier this year, the CG Cookie crew got together at our studio in Geneva, Illinois for an annual brainstorm session about where we are as a company and where we want to go in the future. With heavy snowfall and nowhere to escape, lots of coffee was drunk, difficult questions asked and major decisions made, resulting in a huge shift for our team as well as you – our beloved community. The final outcome is this: we will soon be launching a new version of CG Cookie. And it’s going to be good.
What is going to change?
The current version, CG Cookie 4.0, was released in June 2013. It brought huge improvements in features as well as loads of exciting new content, but the overall structure and experience remained the same. It has remained fundamentally the same since then. Now, we are about to shake things up.
First, all our sub-sites (Blender Cookie, Concept Cookie, Unity Cookie and Sculpt Cookie) will be merged into one site. Rather than four distinct sites, there will only be cgcookie.com
Second, we will be focusing the majority of our effort into fundamental skills training, developing a course library focused on beginner and intermediate-level students, all built around key learning flows.
Now, you are probably asking – Why
? Will it affect me
Where are we now?
A bit of background first. During our February lockdown, we took a long, hard look at CG Cookie. Over the last seven years, we've released close to two thousand tutorials ranging from absolute beginner to intimidatingly advanced courses. This has been exciting and fun and we took pride in being able to offer a huge volume of content, some of it highly complex and specialized. This excitement drove our strategy towards teaching basic skills quickly and moving on to advanced (and then super-advanced!) subjects through the Citizen membership.
However, the issue with an ever-growing, expansive library of difficult courses is that it lacks two key elements: focus and direction. Even we, the creators, have ended up having a hard time guiding you and other new students through the course portfolio. The diversity and complexity of our content eventually distracted us from our main goal: to enable you to succeed professionally
This February, with a blizzard outside, we came to a realization: we’ve had it backwards all along.
The community has been speaking to us through feedback, traffic indicators and forums long enough with a clear and simple message: give us more fundamentals. The majority of users need to solidify and perfect their fundamental skills. Those who move past the intermediate stage don’t need nearly as much guidance; they have what it takes to pursue their vision and reach creative heights on their own. Instead of trying to keep them engaged by producing more complex, new material, we should be focusing our efforts on the beginners and intermediate-level students. They are the ones who need CG Cookie the most.
CG Cookie 5.0
We choose to listen to what our community wants. In the next few months and years, we will be producing comprehensive learning flows of basic and intermediate courses for Citizen members, teaching transferable skills applicable to a wide range of subjects, interests and careers, instead of focusing so much on complex and highly specialized courses like Post Apocalyptic Vehicle Modeling
which appeal only to a select few.
Our new courses will focus intensely on enabling new artists, developers and students to learn the bread and butter of what is needed to succeed in the creative industry today. Additionally, we will be developing straightforward, focused learning flows which will guide students through the path from a beginner to a confident, self-sufficient creator.
What about those of you who are past the beginner/intermediate level and need advanced, subject-specific courses? Will you come up short? Quite the contrary; we recognize that their, and possibly your needs become so specialized that you'll benefit from a more individual approach. If you are one of these artists then we'll be catering to you through workshops with laser-sharp focus and more individual teaching approaches.
We believe that this model reflects the needs of a digital arts students and offers the right approach throughout their learning path; lots of support, practice and general skills in the beginning – more specialization later on.
All education sites coming together as one
Today, we effectively run four companies: Blender Cookie, Concept Cookie, Sculpt Cookie and Unity Cookie. This is a result of an organic growth of CG Cookie and its gradual split into four areas of interest. Initially, this was easy to maintain but with growing complexity of our operations, it has become confusing to users. What’s the difference between CG Cookie and Blender Cookie? Are these different companies?
Questions like these led to another “duh” moment and a decision to merge, simplify and streamline.
Soon, all sites will be merged into one, functioning as a single learning hub. Our social profiles will also fuse together, making it easier to follow us and get involved.
When will this all happen?
The shift to CG Cookie 5.0 has been in the works for a few months, and it'll take just a bit more time of solid work. We will be archiving the current sites (in some form or fashion) while maintaining access so that the entire education library continues to be available without interruption. No content will be lost and our focus will be on delivering a seamless transition.
We aren't setting an exact release date yet, but know that it's not far off.
Additionally, we are updating the design and structure of CG Cookie to make it more user-friendly for you, smoothing over some rough edges, and focusing it specifically on your learning progress.
Content-wise, we are already actively working on the new fundamental learning flows, with the first parts to be released at the same time as the refreshed site.
Questions or comments?
The launch preparation for CG Cookie Five has required an immense amount of work from the team, and because of that we've been pretty quiet, with our heads down. Now that the news is out we'd love to get your feedback, comments, concerns, or questions! Add your voice in the community forums.
Join the discussion!