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An even newer way to learn CINEMA 4D By Ko Maruyama
MAXON has retooled its online learning site, CINEVERSITY.   The site was been offering tutorials, project files, and C4D discussion for a few years, but the newest version features better ways to learn and engage with the MAXON CINEMA 4D community.

The new site also hosts the live online show called CINEVERSITY LIVE, hosted by MAXON's Rick Barrett.

I had a chance to talk about the new online service with MAXON US president/CEO, Paul Babb.

Ko: Cineversity could be seen technically as primarily an educational' tool, but is the membership base made up of only people in school?
Paul: Actually, I`d say the majority are professionals and users looking to learn new techniques or solve challenges in a current production.

Ko: Those professionals who also take advantage of Cineversity probably have a different way of learning than 'in-class' students.  What are some of the new features that can help them filter their searches - so they can get the tutorials that they're looking for?
Paul: Cineversity members can now search terms and then further filter that search by different criteria. Those filters include:
Release Number
Utilizes: feature sets, plugins or third party products used in the tutorial  
Process: the specific 3D work an artist is doing, such as modeling, texturing, lighting, particles, etc.
Discipline: the type of work an artist is doing, such as Architecture, Character, Visual Effects, etc.
Type of Tutorial:  Reference-based, Project-based, Presentation or Resource
Access: Premium or Free Member

Ko: In the new version of Cineversity, there's great potential for educators to set up a syllabus - a viewing plan - for their students.  The new playlist feature will really help target topics for students.  Are their other new tools for educators in the new version?
Paul: Yes. Teachers are given a coupon that provides access to their students to the material they wish them to view. In addition, a teacher can see the student`s tutorial viewing history on the site.

Ko: The Cineversity Live! show has been a fun, casual way for the C4D community to come together.  How will the live-show experience (or the archived/recorded shows) change when the new Cineversity site is rolled out?

Paul: The first thing is we will offer on-demand replays of the shows through the tutorial system. The second step is to invite more professional to come on the show and share a technique or show off their work. So when can we schedule you? ;-)

Ko: The forum is often a live experience with people sharing bits of knowledge.  Who will be able to access the forum in the new Cineversity?
Paul: Everyone can access the forums, but only premium members can post. We`ve also added a new feature for posting questions about individual tutorials directly from each tutorial. If a viewer has a question about a specific tutorial, it generates a thread on the forum. If a thread has already been started, the viewer will be led to that thread where they can see if their question has been asked and answered already.

Ko: MAXON has offered different types of training in the past (1:1 style).  Will this type of training be available after the new Cineversity launches?  And can you explain how the service works?
Paul: Cineversity 1on1 is our live, online, peer-to-peer training. Yes, we still offer it. More information and how to sign up s available on Cineversity.

Ko: Is payment required to become a member of Cineversity?  (pricing structure?)
Paul: There are nearly 2000 tutorials on the site (and growing). Over 400 of those are freely available. To gain access to all the tutorials and the resources, it only costs $295 for the first year and $95 per year thereafter.

Ko: In addition to the premium content, in the past, there have been software opportunities offered exclusively to paying members.   Do you have plans to continue offering benefits to the Cineversity community?
Paul: Yes, we do offer some additional utilities for Cineversity members. There are plans to add a lot more.

Ko: Thanks for taking the time to create the Cineversity site for C4D artists - it goes a long way to help make the adoption of the software easy for newbies, and provides great advanced content which will challenge veteran users.
Paul: That`s exactly the reason we did it. Thanks for noticing. ;-)

If you haven't checked it out, you can sign up for free in about 5 minutes.  Free membership gets you access to hundreds of tutorials and projects.  It also gets you access to the live shows that air on most alternating Wednesdays.

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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
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