A year of subscribing to Blender Cloud

A year ago I began my membership with Blender Cloud. In March 2014, Blender announced Project Gooseberry—a crowd source funding endeavor for a feature-length film. As one of the perks for donating, Blender created a monthly cloud membership, opening access to training content available previously only through their online store. Included with the tutorials is access to assets from animation projects, production files, scripts, shaders, and much more. It’s a great learning/production tool for users while also helping to support the further development of Blender with ongoing donations/subscriptions from users.

With the donations from its initial fundraiser, Blender had enough to make a short, “Cosmos Laundromat,” instead of the originally slated feature film. Fundraising hasn’t stopped with the initial kickoff attempt and the project continues to encourage new monthly subscribers to boost the production. For new subscribing members, Blender has reduced the initial fee of 15 to 10 dollars/euros.

A full-length possibility

This month, Blender Cloud sent out an email to all its members alerting us to their first anniversary. To commemorate this, Blender Cloud created a dashboard for members to track their donations and unlocked perks. When I scrolled down, I saw that there were options available for supporting a full-length film. It seems like Blender is still swinging for the bleachers with creating their first feature film. Time will tell what’s in store. Maybe Blender will announce another major fundraising push for 2015, expanding the short to a feature-sized production?

Top of the dashboard

At a glance I can see how much I donated and which perk I qualify for. I additionally gave $20 initially to be a Gooseberry Supporter before I became a subscribing member. For some reason that's not reflected in my dash results. Others may have the same issue if they made separate donations. (CORRECTION: I was told that the highest unlocked perk is highlighted)
At a glance I can see how much I donated and which perk I qualify for. I additionally gave $20 initially to be a Gooseberry Supporter before I became a subscribing member. For some reason that’s not reflected in my dash results. Others may have the same issue if they made separate donations. (CORRECTION: I was told that the highest unlocked perk is highlighted)

 

A little lower…

When I scrolled down lower on the Blender Cloud dashboard, I saw that there were options for feature-film sponsorship. (Click to enlarge)
When I scrolled down lower on the Blender Cloud dashboard, I saw that there were options for feature-film sponsorship. (Click to enlarge)

From Ton’s lips

Below is an interview of Ton Roosendaal, founder of Blender, talking about the concept of Project Gooseberry and his vision for funding the film and Blender through user support. In the video he makes a wonderful point that developers need to work with artists and creating content. It’s in the process of making art where ideas bubble up for improving workflow, creating features, and improving the user’s experience.

 Progression with progress

Get all the latest info on the Gooseberry Project's site.
Get all the latest info on the Gooseberry Project’s site.

“Cosmos Laundromat” has been moving along at a quick clip. It’s almost too difficult to follow all of the posts, videos, and discussions revolving around the project.

Follow the progress of individual elements, or walk the project’s weekly round-up. It’s great to see the work unfold while also getting to know the artists and programmers better. You can watch all of the progress on Youtube or via the Gooseberry Project site without buying a monthly cloud membership.

A clip of one of the character’s scene in development

The most current weekly round-up with the team

Yes to Blender Cloud, but no to Adobe Creative Cloud

I’m not a fan of subscription models and I’m sure many would wonder why I’m pro Blender Cloud and not Adobe Creative Cloud. The Blender Cloud gives me a chance to support software that I believe in while not locking me out of the software if I choose to cancel my Blender Cloud membership. I can’t say the same for Adobe. While supporting the future development of Blender, I’ve also used their tutorials to become better acquainted with the software. Blender is a unique piece of software in that it has more than one primary function. You can create 3D models, animate characters, composite scenes, and edit video. You need to rely less on a suite of software in order to create which is a refreshing change.

I’m still at the beginning of my journey with learning and using Blender, but so far I have been truly impressed and I can’t wait to learn more. For that, I’m happy to give a monthly pledge of 10 dollars.

UPDATE

Ton and the Blender team released a current subscriber page on the Blender Cloud site. On it you can track the donations of all the Blender Cloud Users. Exposing the numbers gives user a sense of where the Cloud is going as far as support while also showing complete transparency. Brilliant idea!

See subscribers' stats at a glance for Blender Cloud. (Click to enlarge)
See subscribers’ stats at a glance for Blender Cloud. (Click to enlarge)

 

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