What is CGCircuit?
CGCircuit is a web platform that allows artists, designer, programmers, photographers and directors to market their knowledge by creating video tutorials and sell them across the globe.
With CGCircuit CG and Traditional Artists alike have a place to learn as well as share their knowledge with their peers. We facilitate and incentivize instructors to sell their self created tutorials for a price of their choosing.
Contributing instructors not only receive the revenue from their sold tutorials, they receive increased exposure among their peers. The community of users can then purchase and watch these lessons making them part of their learning library.
CGCircuit, Youtube and Vimeo
We get asked sometimes what is the difference between YouTube or Vimeo and CGCircuit.
The only thing CGCircuit and services like YouTube and Vimeo have in common is the fact that they play video.
CGCircuit is a service that allows people to sell their instructional content and it caters to the animation, games, VFX and web development sectors only.
Learning on CGCircuit
Learning on CGCircuit is easy. Once you purchase a tutorial, you have the ability to watch it as many times as you like, for as long as your CGCircuit login is active.
After you purchase a tutorial, it is available under the “MY COURSES” tab. If the tutorial has any accompanying example files, you will have access to any example files once you purchase. Example files will be found on the tutorial detail page.
To protect the hard work your peers and colleagues have put into creating their tutorials, videos cannot be downloaded. This is to prevent piracy. Not that we think you would do such a thing, it’s more for that other guy.
CGCircuit's Video Player
The video player has been created with tools and settings to provide you the optimal learning experience.
- It opens in a separate window so you can scale it and play along side the application you are using.
- It will automatically adjust display quality based on your connection speed.
- Favorite videos for convenient playback.
- Convenientely rewind in order to quickly watch again the last 30 seconds.
Learn more about how to manage your videos here
Managing your videos
To help users get the most out of their videos, we advise using the favorites function. The favorites function allows you to save favorite tutorials, such as “Lip Sync”, as well as specific videos within a tutorial.
To save specific videos within a tutorial, i.e. the specific video within the Lip Sync tutorial that focuses on “splining the mouth”, just go to settings “Add to favorite” while watching the video. Each course is generally broken down into multiple videos, to allow you to easily refer back to specific topic within a tutorial.
If you have never done any video tutorials before, the following list will help you at least getting a better understanding of what's involved.
- Plan: This is a very important step, but sometimes overlooked. Make sure to create an outline of what you want to cover in your tutorial. You can also use our syllabus to get you started.
- Gather your tools: You will need some recording tool and a good microphone. You can read this section to know more about this.
- Record: Some people just start recording as they work. Some other people like to write a script for themselves so they don't pause too much during the recording. Find what approach work best for you.
- Edit: Regardless of your choice of recording, there should always be some editing afterwards. This way you can remove dead moments in the recording, or maybe correct some mistakes, or speed up the very slow moments.
- Create images: Now that you have your final videos, you should have a good source of material for creating the banner and the thumbnail. Also try and collect as many great images as possible and upload them during the course creation process.
- Create a trailer: Create a promotional video for your tutorial. This is the video that we will use in promoting your tutorial.
- Paypal account: Make sure you have a Paypal account. Then you put the email you use for it in your profile on CGCircuit, this way we can send you the revenues at the end of the month.
- CGCircuit Profile: The last thing to do is to make sure your profile on CGCircuit is up to date. Make sure your bio contains information that will help your content sell better. For examle where you worked and what high profile projects you worked on (if any).
- Publish your content: Now you can publish your tutorial! We will review it to give you some recommendations.
What you are going to need
These types of lessons are usually created by using a camcorder for filming the Instructor performing his/her artistic techniques.
You will need:
- A screen capture software. We recommend Techsmith Camtasia, but there are also other free solutions like Camstudio
- A good quality microphone. We recommend using a USB headset with microphone. Most of our users use the headset from Plantronics.
- A computer that can get to a screen resolution of at least 1280 x 1024
- A valid license of the software you use in your lesson
These types of lessons are usually created by recording the screen, using a screen capture software. The following is a list of what you need to have before you start creating the content:
- A camcorder capable of recording video of at least 1280x720 (720p) pixel in resolution.
- A set of lights to make sure the video quality is good (recommended)
- A computer that can get to a screen resolution of at least 1280 x 1024
- An editing software like Premiere or iMovie (recommended)
Video and Audio Settings
We recommend the H.264 codes (or MP4) for video and the AAC codec for Audio
We recommend 30fps (frames per second) especially for those lessons that show motion (for example a bouncing ball). Having the frame rate set at 30 allows to show all the nuances that your lesson might have, for example the timing of an animation.
1600 kbits/sec (HD)
This is a very important setting to understand. It will make a big difference in the quality and the disk size of your lesson. We recommend 3200 kbits per second.
We highly recommend recording a lesson in 720p HD (1280x720). If the software you are using to record the video allows you, make sure to choose “square pixels” ratio.
We recommend the AAC codec for Audio
340 kbps / 44.100 kHz
Since most lessons will not need a soundtrack, you can set the audio rate to just 40kbit per second. This will make the audio nice and small and still keep a decent quality for voice recording.
If you decided to start your new teaching adventure and create a course to post on CGCircuit, this is a good checklist to always refer to. It might seem overwhelming at first, but it’s actually very easy and it will become second nature for you almost instantly.
- Think of a subject to teach if you didn’t already.
- Do a little research and see what’s out there covering the same subject you want to create.
- Ask yourself how you can make it different. Remember you should not just create a course to teach about some specific concepts, but your approach to those concepts.
- Write down all the concepts you want to cover in a simple outline.
- Download the CGCircuit Course Syllabus template and start filling it out.
- If necessary write a little script that you can refer to when you are recording. For example definitions, formulas, historical dates etc.
- Think about how you can organize the course on disk. If you want you can use our template.
- Plan how you can create example files. People absolutely love to check out the files you used to better follow your course. For for info, go to our creating example files section.
Structure Sample of a Tutorial
In the following example, we try to generalize a structure of a course. Whether you are making a small tutorial or an extensive course, regardless of the subject, using this structure gives you an excellent starting point.
Remember that you can choose to modify this structure as you want, but by following this structure, your course will have a much better chance to be watched or sold.
|Part 1||Part 2||Part 3||Part 4||Part 5||Part 6|
|Intro||Theory and Tools||First Steps||Final Steps||Polish Steps (if any)||Conslusion|
Part 1: Introduction
Video 1: Talk about what you are going to cover in your course, showing the final result. Keep this video under 1 minute long.
Video 2: Talk about Example files if you have any. check the section on example files to learn more.
Video 3: Talk about what the viewer needs to know before they start watching your course.
Part 2: Theory and Tools
Video 1: Analyze what you are going to talk about and identify the main tools you are going to use.
Video 2: Briefly talk about the first main tool you are going to use. This can be as quick as showing your technique of how to hold a pencil to talking about a Maya Editor or a Nuke node. Remember these videos should be quick and just describe what the tools do.
Part 3: First Steps
Here you can start showing the meat of your course and start the project. Explain why you start the way you do and keep explaining the reasons behind your artistic or technical decisions. Keep videos in this chapter short (no longer than 7 to 10 minutes). This chapter should contain between 3 and 10 videos depending on the subject.
Part 4: Final Steps
Same as the First steps, here you can conclude your project by guiding the users through the final stages. Remember to keep explaining the reasons behind your decisions even if to you they might be obvious.
This part should be made of 3 to 10 videos depending on the subject.
Part 5: Polish Steps
At this point you should be done with the project you showcased in your course, so in this part you can talk about how you can make it even better without showing it unless you want to.
Also keep explaining the reasons behind your decisions.
Part 6: Conclusions
Video 1: Give viewers a rundown of what they have learned in the course and what they should do to practice more.
Video 2: Give viewers a list of Resources that you use to help you with the subject you just covered.
Video 3: List any references and thank any people who might have helped you with the creation of the course.
- Remember to keep your videos nice and short so they are more digestible. For more info on recording visit our record your course section.
- Create a 1 minute introduction of your course briefly going over the subjects you talk about.
Promoting your content
Start before you finish your tutorial
When you decide to create a course on Cgcircuit, you should start to let people know. Go on the forums where people know you and on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ and announce that you are about to publish this course.
Let people start talking about it.
Keep people informed on your progress
Now that people know about your course, keep them informed on your progress, this way they stay interested. Also ask always for suggestions. People like to feel involved.
Tell the world your course is available
Go back to all the forums and social media conversations about your course and post an announcement there as well.
Ask 10 close colleagues to spread the word on their social media circles.
Generate your badge
You can generate a special link in the form of URL or a customizable button. Use the url or the button (aka the Badge) on your site or anywhere you want to advertise your tutorial/s.
Keep 96% from sales that come our of your badge
When a user clicks on your badge, and ends up buying your tutorial, you will make 96% of that transaction. When a user clicks on your badge and gets redirected to CGCircuit, the system will remember for a week that the user clicked on your badge, so if he or she comes back to CGCircuit directly within that week, you will still get 96% of the sale.
On CGCircuit you can bundle your content and sell it for a different price of your choice. It's a great way to add new content to your library and generate noise about you and your tutorials.
Discount to reward your users
When you create a bundle, you can think of lowering the price, so people are more likely to buy more tutorials.
I purchased a course, do I have limited time to watch it?
If you purchased a course, you have access to it for as long as you have an account on CGCircuit. Also there is no limit to the amount of times you can watch a course.
Do courses expire?
Courses do not expire. Once you’ve purchased a course it’s your to watch indefinitely for as long as you want and as many times as you feel like. Should an instructor plan on removing one course because no longer up to date, it will become available for download for 30 days prior deletion.
I deleted a course from the list of my purchases, how can I retrieve it?
If you unsubscribed from a course you previously purchased, you can contact us directly and we will re assign that course to you for free after we verify you purchased the course in the past.
Can I download a video and watch it offline?
Currently we do not support downloading videos for offline watching. We will not support this until we find a good way to protect the content from getting all over the internet.
CGCircuit takes pride in protecting the instructors content.
How much will I get paid when my course sells?
We tried to keep this as simple as possible. When someone buys one of your courses via your "Buy Now" button, you get 96% of the sale price and CGCircuit gets 4%. If they discover your finely crafted lesson on CGCircuit and buy it directly from us, then you get 50% of the sales price and CGCircuit gets 50%.
When will I get paid?
Authors will receive their revenues during the first week of every month.
Who owns the rights to a course?
Instructors own the rights of their content and if they can decide to post their lesson somewhere else if they want. However CGCircuit reserves all rights for any decision to cease or suspend such lesson. CGCircuit has the right to use the user’s name and images of their lesson(s) for marketing or PR purposes of the CGCircuit website and/or the user’s lesson(s).
Can I get in touch with authors?
Although an instructor is not required to stay in touch with students, we hope to build a community where knowledge is exchanged even after a given lesson is viewed, and so we encourage everyone to connect and stay in touch with instructors using the means provided by CGCircuit like messaging system. Always being mindful of the netiquette guidelines.
How does the content approval process work?
We believe that in order to have a healthy community, we should let the user decide the quality of a lesson. CGCircuit provides ways to give feedback about a given lesson using the star rating system. A lesson can also be flagged if believed to be not worthy of being online. When a lesson is flagged CGCircuit will investigate the nature of the flag and will decide to remove the lesson from the site or not. Lessons do go through a process of approval. During this process CGCircuit works with the Instructor to make sure all the optimal requirements are met (video and audio quality) and that all the concepts covered in the lesson are valid.