New Game, Same ChallengesToday, you as an artist are faced with a very different online space. From YouTube tutorials to user forums, from blogs to How-To articles; learning material is virtually unlimited. While scarcity is no longer an issue, the challenge now lies in finding your way through the vast number of resources of varying quality, dizzying range of topics and foremost, very little structure. So yes: the online space is nothing like it was 12 years ago when I started. But learning digital (and traditional) art online is as challenging as ever.
The Rise of CG CookieBack in 2008, CG Cookie was started on a simple premise: learning digital art shouldn’t be hard. Our goal, which hasn’t changed in the past 8 years, has been to help new artists learn the skills they need to succeed. It's why we do what we do - and it's working! Today, CG Cookie has over 4,500 paying Citizen members, 240,000 registered users and records approximately 1.5 million pageviews each month. Our team has grown from 2 to 6 full-time crew members and another 10-14 contractors. We have a huge following of an incredibly talented and committed community and we receive daily testimonials from our users who tell us that learning from us has been instrumental in their professional success. But as we near the completion a decade in business, we have come to realize that we haven’t really met our number one goal: to remove the pain from online learning.
Carried Away by ComplexityThe single biggest obstacle that has stood in the way of CG Cookie living up fully to this goal has been our lack of empathy with our users. As a team that has nearly several decades worth of combined digital art experience, a nerdy streak and a tremendous amount of love for what we do, it is perhaps understandable that we got carried away creating things like post-apocalyptic cars, super cool sci-fi helmets and intricate creature designs. While this is incredibly fun, only a small part of our community has the skills needed to recreate these complex subjects - in fact, the artists who can make these complex pieces have very little need for our guidance in the first place! It’s the artists that can’t yet create these complex subjects that need us. The second obstacle we identified is the lack of structure. Without structure, our courses became a vast library of criss-crossing ideas and resources. Does that sound like taking the pain out of online learning? Erm, absolutely not. You shouldn’t have to spend time figuring out where to begin and where to go next: it is our job to point you in the right direction and provide guidance, your job is learn. Which is why the CG Cookie Crew got together this February to re-imagine what the site would be if we were to create it from the ground up. And today, only four months later, we are ready to show you our answer: CG Cookie Five. So what is CG Cookie Five like?
Stop Searching, Start Learning: Introducing Learning FlowsYou will find the site organized into neat Learning Flows that clearly show you where to begin and where to go next. Structured (we just love this word now!) and dead-easy to follow, the Learning Flows were built to equip a new artist with the skills needed to get started, whether they want to learn game design, digital painting, sculpting or enter the world of 3D. What are the Learning Flows all about? The number 1 question on our minds as we created CG Cookie Five was this: “Which skills and knowledge are really essential for a new artist?” You will find our answers in the new Learning Flows, laid out in the most understandable and straightforward terms. The Learning Flows are simple enough to take a wide-eyed beginner over their initial learning hump, yet engaging enough to be valuable even for advanced learners wanting to brush up on their fundamentals. We are launching with four learning flows, focused on the basics. These four flows will continue to evolve as we go and we will release new flows as we finish them.
Go With the FlowAs you follow the Learning Flow for your chosen area and master fundamental skills through bite-sized videos, you will complete exercises, take quizzes to collect XP points and share your work with our community of equally passionate learners. And before you know it, you will come out at the other end equipped with knowledge equivalent to completing a top-notch introductory college course. That is our promise.
Hang on...I Want My Sci-Fi Helmet Back!For those connoisseurs out there who love our advanced courses - don’t worry! These still remain a part of CG Cookie. There just won’t be as many of them, as often. And believe us: it can be hard to hold back the urge to create a super awesome robot / bird of paradise / exploding spaceship. But the reality is this: the job of a teacher is to work themselves out of a job. And if we have done ours well, you will soon be creating 3D submarines or tropical jungle environment paintings on your own. Until you get to that point, we are here to help you, all the way. Note: not all content has been migrated to Five. As all things do, much of our library has aged and it was time to archive it. We will be making the entire archive available in the coming weeks, for the time being you can access the old version of the site at https://cgcookiearchive.com
Have a question or comment to add? Join the discussion on the forums: https://community.cgcookie.com