#37 "The Industry" Doesn't Exist

Posted on Thursday, Apr 20, 2017
The rant engine is fired up this week! This go-round we wind ourselves down the well-trodden and completely absurd path of people who believe that there’s a single monolithic “computer graphics” industry and that everyone in that industry does everything the same way… and of course, none of those people use open source software. Yeah. That’s wrong. And stupid.

Show Notes

Oh, the umbrage! This whole thing got kicked off by a tweet from Johnathan Williamson about CG Cookie’s updated Intro to Blender course. There was an immediate response stating that “literally no one in the industry uses Blender.”

That’s wrong on so many different levels.

But I don’t really want to single out the person who made that reply… he’s not the only person out with that completely misguided perspective. I prefer to think of him as an evidential data point that indicates that we haven’t been doing a good enough job of explaining exactly why thinking like that is wrong and, quite frankly, ignorant. It’s a perspective born from being locked in the bubble of one’s own experience and then making the mistake of extrapolating too far with that anecdotal experience to (something open source folks get accused of all the time).

It’s a very human thing to do. But it’s infuriating that some humans continue to stay steadfast in misguided opinions like these despite being presented with evidence to the contrary. So I rant.

When people refer to “the industry” as it pertains to computer graphics (and specifically 3D computer graphics), they’re generally referring to one of the entertainment sectors (video games, movies, television). But there are so many other exciting and interesting places where computer graphics is used every day… at least as big as the entertainment industries. All of them have different requirements, workflows, and toolchains. More importantly, they don’t have the same track record of taking artists for granted that we’ve seen in entertainment.

But I hope it’s not just a rant. I hope that this week’s show is also a means of sharing and actively helping unseat this mistaken belief that quite a few people still have. With any luck, you can help do it with less profanity than I do.


Jason van Gumster

Jason van Gumster

“I make stuff. I make stuff up. On occasion, I stuff-up what I make. I don’t do much stuff with make-up… though I’m not above trying. I work in all kinds of media: words, animation, ink, coffee, wood, video. And, of course, I’m really passionate about open source and open content, so that’s what I talk about in this show. Books I’ve written and other creative experiments I’ve made can be seen on monsterjavaguns.com.”