Hello everyone! Just another update on the state of things regarding new QubaHQ tutorials. As you can guess I have good news and bad news for you (and double good news for myself). Let’s start with the good ones.

New tutorials are on the way. This weekend I am planning to release a new text animator based preset, once again using After Effects’ built-in tools in an unexpected way. Originally I planned to release this preset as a part of larger, paid content, but after careful deliberation decided to throw you all another cool freebie. Follow my twitter for the updates on recording and release. Hopefully this time Camtasia will behave better than on the last recording session.

Now for the bad good other news: I have decided to stop including project files with my tutorials. There are multiple reasons for this decision, so let me just list a few.

Primum non nocere
This Latin phrase, meaning First do no harm is typically associated with medical practice, but I believe, should apply to the teachers, instructors, tutorial makers and all other manner of people sharing their knowledge. Recently I have been doing some research, trying to figure out how many people actually use the techniques I show in my tutorials and I was shocked to discover how many of my viewers don’t bother to take the projects even a step further. Most of them simply load up the supplied project file, change the text (some even don’t), render it out and proudly publish it to the world without a mention of where the content comes from.

The straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back came from a certain individual applying for a job in my studio with a portfolio containing rendered versions of project files from my tutorials (no credit given, of course).

My main goal with the QubaHQ tutorials is to encourage the learning process – to show new, cool and sometimes unexpected ways of using classic tools and drive the viewers towards their own experimentation. Providing them with ready-and-done project file encourages laziness, plagiarism and relying on one-button solutions. Even if it is just the minority of the viewers following such path – I don’t want to be a part of it. Want cool results – I provide the recipe – do the work yourself.

Recently I have seen other people capitalizing on my work without as much as asking me for permission or crediting me. I have seen scripts based on my free expressions and tutorials sold around the net. I have seen templates built from my free source files (with minor modifications) offered and marketed for money. I guess it is all legal, since I release my stuff under Creative Commons license, but it does not mean it is right.

I fund this site from my own pocket as a purely non-profit venture. The money for hosting and bandwidth comes directly from my day job. Over a course of 1 year, that PayPal “Donate” button on the right has been clicked precisely one time. Thank you to the person who decided to make a donation – I am not sure if you would be comfortable mentioning you by name. The total amount of money that came to me costs the same as one copy of the script based on my stuff and would not be enough for a set of aforementioned templates.

For a while I was toying around with an idea of creating a premium, subscription-based system, where some special tutorials and project files would be only available to the paying customers, but I decided to drop it. As long as I can, I don’t want to treat anyone preferentially on this site. (I am kicking around some ideas for a product though).

Recording a tutorial typically means sacrificing a weekend. Considering the fact that as a director and animator I already have many of my weekends busy with work, it is always a big question – should I take a well-deserved break or should I spend this time producing stuff I give away for free?

For some reason I do have this drive to share cool ideas with the community, so quite often I do opt to stay in and work on a tutorial. Dropping the time required to prepare project files will allow me to spend less time on the process, and perhaps do new content more often. I will also be able to stop using CS3. It has served me well over the years, but I think it is time to let it rest. Working with CS5 and CS5.5 is much faster – so again I will be able to cut few more hours off the process. Don’t worry though – any presets I release will be still compatible with CS3 and up.

Meanwhile… I point to weekend and I point to a new tutorial. That is all.