Long version: Over the years people have suggested I should put this site behind a paywall, write a book, record paid video tutorials, go on the Tony Robbins motivational talk tour circuit. Having run this wiki for a while, I have opinions on all these options:
- I don't believe in paywalls, I don't think hiding information is in the spirit of the online community, plus I've learned so much from others sharing their information freely, it seems unfair to then privatize any knowledge I acquire.
- The bottom seems to have dropped out of the book market. When was the last time you bought a CG related book?
- I just don't have time to record quality video tutorials. It's great that other people do, I know I can't make that time investment.
- I do talks when and where I can (you'll see me occasionally show up at SIGGRAPH and stuff), but that's still plays to a limited market, this website can be available to everyone, everywhere.
And finally, I don't want anything to get in the way of this being a useful resource for busy artists. There's loads of fantastic video tutorials available for Houdini, but if you're on the day of delivery, you don't want to watch a 2 hour video to be reminded of how to source @v into a pyro sim. That's where I think this wiki works well.
So, the site will remain free, and despite it not being in my best commercial interests, I'll still put all my knowledge and scene files here too.
That said, people still kept asking how they could support the site, that's when people suggested Patreon and Paypal.
As such, here's the deal, if any of these apply to you:
- you've downloaded on of my hip files
- one of my tips managed to help you on a paying job or school project
- if we met in real life you'd offer to by me a coffee as thanks
- a gnawing sense of guilt has consumed you over all this amazing free content, and you want to absolve yourself
Well, throw me a couple of bucks. That seems fair.
But lets be clear what your couple of bucks buys you:
- no special treatment
- no private support
- no demands for tutorials
- no demands on my time
Ok, you get one perk. I setup a Discord server! Anyone who signs up on Patreon or Paypal gets access.
It's nice, very friendly, lots of like-minded cg folk. I'm in there pretty often, but again it doesn't grant special access to me; I'm not sidefx support, this is not my fulltime job. Anyone who gets pushy and ruins the mood will be kicked, so be nice ok?
So, Patreon or Paypal?
Patreon is better for ongoing micropayments, I run little surveys and things over there, most supporters have come via Patreon. You can quit whenever you want, and once you're on the platform, its easy to support lots of other creators.
I prefer this (its easier for me to track who's offering support, can do direct mail outs, all that jazz), and honestly I'd prefer $1 a month over 20 months vs a one off $20 payment, but hey, its your money, I don't mind what you do with it. :)
Paypal is better for one off payments. Some people specifically asked for Paypal support, so I added it.