How does this work?
Why a 'monastery'?
Monasteries in history have been places where those with shared perspectives could come and perfect their craft and themselves. They often were places others just came to share food or resources and go on their way.
Started by CG Monks in 2018, the CG Monastery is an online co-op – a collective aimed at enabling our subscribers to make great content for personal and commercial ends. It is our attempt to help our users make awesome work and fund continued development of assets and tools. It’s about an open development where we hope to inspire others to take these tools and assets, help make them better and use them for making their own amazing works.
What it’s not
- It’s not an online pipeline. Though we create and maintain pipeline tools, we’re not trying to make a place for our subscribers to host their projects.
- It’s not an online school. We will have educational materials but we encourage you to check out one of our partners or another site for more in depth specific instruction.
The co-op is the core of what the CG Monastery is about. This is the collective. This is where we’ll make things together.
For those users that just want the rigs, that’s great they can get that access and we look forward to seeing what they do but the co-op is where we’re going to be doing the stuff we’re most excited to see what you do.
We have a lot of ideas but if we’re going to be following trails off the beaten path we want to do so at the guidance of our subscribers who take part in the co-op.
How will subscribers direct development?
- Queue – The queue is a way for subscribers to share ideas for new rigs, tutorials, content or whatever they want us working on. Other subscribers vote up the ideas they like to let us know what it is they want to spending our development time and dollars on. Each month subscribers will get a bucket of tokens to use to vote up the ideas they like. For more info check out the information page.
- Rigs and other things will go into the Assets set of items for all subscribers to use
- Tutorials and Knowledge will go into the Library.
- Teams – Teams are where we will make things together. Our first two teams will be:
- Morpheus for Unity – David will be leading a team setting up full Unity Package with Morpheus Drake
- Learning MRS – Josh will be teaching subscribers our rigging system and showing them how to use it for their own projects. Our hope is that they’ll buy in to the system and help us make it better.
- cgmRigs – This team will help guide what rigs and assets we create
- Open Development – We believe in open development which is why cgmTools have been free since their inception. We’re expanding on that here and for the co-op that means source files, methods, concepts and all.
- Subscriber Driven – We’ve picked the first slate of projects we’ll be tackling but at the end of year one if the co-op decides it wants to make a game in the co-op, then we’ll do to and find a way that everyone participating gets credit, experience and a cut of whatever that makes.
- Participation rewarded – Voting will be a large part of how we make decisions on development – be that new features or rigs or more.
Our year one push will help flesh out how this solidifies in form. As a part of our year one push we’ll be tackling several projects with our testers whom we hope will become subscribers.
Year One Goals
- Unity pipeline
- Functioning co-op
- Prove value for our subscribers
March to live release
We have a good bit of work to do to get this ready to launch and we won’t be asking for any subscription money until we’re ready to roll. There will be three phases as we move into the year.
- Website – Getting basic pages complete, lots of writing and rewriting
- Art – Generating a lot of art for the site, takes time. As we move into Beta we he hope to add tester submissions as well (with attribution of course)
- Rigs –
- Morpheus UM Proxy – In testing
- LBS UM Proxy – In testing
- Beta – [IN PROCESS]
- Discord Server
- Co-op architecture in
- Morpheus Backers – All Morpheus 2 Backers who did not request refunds will be getting invites as well as more information on their benefits.
- Contest #1 – More info at launch [Maybe pushing to live]
- MRS – Sprinting to Production Ready
- Rigs – These are the initial assets we plan on putting on in the asset structure
- UM Proxy
- UM Drake
- UM Proxy
- UM Base
- Proxy Rig Sketches
- Discord Server
- Subscriptions will start and testers will have the choice to stay or be dropped to the free sub level
- LBS Full – Ready for commercial projects
Year One - Projects
How exactly are you going to do that?
Good question and the specifics of the collaboration are something we’ll be exploring as we work through year one.
To begin we’ll be using a combination of:
- Frugality – We want this to succeed and continue and so…
- We’ll be trying to keep overhead low in terms of web tech so there can be more money to pay for development time, modeling time and more.
- Buckets – we’ll be setting up some buckets to commission a new rig for example and let the co-op pick what we do.
- Discord – We’re experimenting with this medium for doing live work sessions and direct communication with higher tier subscribers
- Forum – Though not the latest and greatest, forums still fill a need and unless we find a better avenue, we’ll be using one.
- Videos – There will be frequent videos to both show how things work as well as do rigging/dev live streams if our subscribers want that.
- Voting – We’re playing with a couple of options on how we’ll handle this but it will be nailed down before we go to our live launch.
- Google Docs – To begin we’ll make use of this format for handling editing/commenting feedback for our rough pass on certain docs
- Facebook – Though it won’t be our main avenue of communication for subscribers, it will probably be for non-subscribers (at least until the next iteration of it comes around)
- Assets Browsing – We’re resolving this at present
- Easy to access and update tools – Though it needs testing this was resolved early in 2018. We have a single file installer and the ability to grab branches from with in Maya.
- Bitbucket – There will be multiple repositories we work from
- Community leaders/teams – We want to set up some guidance counsels to help facilitate this endeavor.
- Volunteer Leaders of these teams will be given discounted or possibly free subscriptions based on their time
- To begin that would look something like the following teams
- Animator testers – To take WIP rigs and to test animations for optimization passes and quality control
- Community – To help moderate the forums and more
- Rewarding Engagment
- We hope our subscribers find value in the rigs, assets and more that they can then use to improve their own work, tell their own stories to personal or commercial ends
- As the co-op develops, if we collectively produce content that goes on to make more money than we need and we have surplusses, we’ll let the co-op members help decide how that goes – to new projects, to adding development teams or partners, to dividends to the co-op.
As this takes shape we’d love to look at ways of expanding the Monastery to be more than a CG Monks thing. We hope to find partners along the way to that share a collaborative mindset and might even take parts of this one for other projects and avenues of exploration.
Here are a few companies that helps us do what we do.
Online rigging school that our partners teach with
Maker of many tools we love and use. Base pack included in the cgmTools package.
This is what the lion’s share of our users will care about and that’s great. We love animating as well and animators love new rigs to play with and this will always be vital to what the CG Monastery is about.
We’ve taken the core of the development done for Morpheus 2.0 and have been refining that into an openly developed modular rigger for the last year plus – MRS or the Morpheus Rigging System.
We’ll be releasing the same characters many times in multiple levels of rigs you can find out more in the MRS section.
Here’s our current development overview:
Unity Med - Proxy
Modeling - Customization
Unity Med - Proxy
RIGBLOCK - MASTER
RIGBLOCK - Head
RIGBLOCK - SEGMENT
RIGBLOCK - Limb
RIGBLOCK - Eye
MRSANIMATE - New features