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Old 19-05-2006, 11:48 PM   #1
dilberts
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Default What do you look for in a tutorial

Hi everyone. I've been looking into making a DVD tutorial, and I was wanting to get some input as to what everyone looks for in a good DVD. I personally have about 10 DVD tutorials that I've purchased, ranging from awesome to awful, and I really don't want to make a DVD that falls in the latter category.

Anyway, give me your opinions on anything that you think might help me. For example, in your opinion: 1) How long does a good DVD run for you to consider it value for money (for me content is way more important than length). 2) Do you prefer it to focus on one topic e.g. making a model from concept to rendering, or do you like a bunch of mini topics. 3) Do you like to focus on the techniques used, and the reason for using them, or do you prefer to just end up with something good. etc.

Please feel free to suggest anything no matter how crazy.

Just so you know, it'll focus on NURBS modeling, specifically hard surface modeling. There's already a ton of character type tutorials out there, so I'm trying to do something different.

Here's an example of my most recent work which is probably close to what I'd be trying to teach in the tutorial.

Thanks for your time.
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Old 20-05-2006, 12:03 AM   #2
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actually all three of the things you suggested is what i look for in a tutorial, sometimes i prefer the mini topics, and sometimes i wanna learn from concept to final rendering. and also techniques are very valuable cause the also save time to searching and doing trial and error until you get it right or fail again. but whatever you decide on i would still wanna watch it. peace
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Old 20-05-2006, 12:36 AM   #3
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i like learning tools and then going from there ..nurbs modeling is great. I have purchased over 25 dvds so far and I am just learning ...it is not about quanity i believe ..more quality. I like dvds that focus on one thing and go to it tell the end ...and not rush . length of dvd doesnt matter ... i like techniques and why you did it ..that way I can apply it to other things ..alot of tutorials i have bought and watched ..I have not learned anything but to just copy and mimic ...I dont know why they used the tool and when not to use it ..or why they did it this way ...or my favorite ..there are other ways to do it ..but what is the most effective way ...and they just do one way and not explain why they did it that way ...but hey this is just my opinions ..I love the tutorials i have bought from here ..I have to say ones here I have learned the most from any ...even other companies ...but yes I still buy to learn most of everything ..

also i know you said hard surface ..one thing i have not seen is how to take pictures of real animals and put it in maya and go from there ...but that is just me maybe i have not seen the right one ...what I like learning are like castles and buildings and just animals or objects and go from there ...I am not talking how to put a reference picture in ..I am talking from photoshop to scale it correct and then put the image plane in maya

i do like modeling animals I have to admit ..real ones like simple to butterfly to hard ones , aka lion .

hard objects ..anything .... shoot the pen you made is awesome to me and your segway ...all good things I would love to learn . Castles like stated earlier just sillie simple stuff ... oh and your cars are just something to awe at ..but that is too advanced for me lol well as of now .

not sure if this helps or not

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Old 24-05-2006, 06:43 PM   #4
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Just some quick advice for making a tutorial. Make sure that the important things are explain like show where to add an edge loop because im working on a tutorial from another site
(thehobbitguy.com) and the other persons model is different from mine so what he's explaining doesn't work on my model
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Old 24-05-2006, 06:46 PM   #5
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birch,

not to be mean but when you say important things I think dilbert was looking for more specific ..cause that can cover a broad range ..do you have a list of things you want covered in a tutorial ? more basic tools ? i think that would be helpful ...i know edge loops but just looking one of the many things ...
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Old 24-05-2006, 07:08 PM   #6
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Well all three of the things he put in the first post are important.
Time: The longer the better because people want value for money

Techniques used would great to be explain why they need to be done not just explaining how to do them and maybe what other areas they could be used in.

Finally each tutorial should focus on a particular aspect.
eg: modeling, animation, dynamic ect
so the audience doesn't get confuse at learning too much at once.

U may disagree but everyone probably has a different way of learning and trying to find a happy medium maybe hard.

although im sure your tutorials will be great

BTW my first post was really just me ranting on(sorry) didn't meen to annoy anyone (just joking). i just wanted to come at this from a different direction. Instead of saying what i want in a tutorial i wanted to say what not to do in a tutorial that may be wasteful. VIDEO tutorials are way better because you actually see how its model and ur not just reading through something and guessing half of it.

Oh and whos Birch?(again joking)
Theres some great talent on this site.
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Old 24-05-2006, 07:18 PM   #7
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Just to toss in my two cents...

Resolution. I have seen a number of tutorials where the resolution is horrific and you cant see what menus they are selecting, they go real fast and just start switching options without explaining what each check box does, so you cant see and you have no idea what they just changed, but theirs works and yours doesnt. I have a few Gnomon DVDs and I really like that the person sometimes will take a quick prnt-scrn screenshot, minimize maya, and maximize Photoshop, paste the screen, then zoom in on the options and explain them there.

Repeating. Another thing I like in the Gnomon DVDs is that they are great at really ingraining what they are doing into your head. Sometimes they will just undo every command and repeat the whole step like 3 times, repeating what they say and how they did it. Sure it might seem remedial, but it helps slower people, and helps if you missed something, and helps nail in your head how to do something if you want to do it again.

Clarity. Please, if you are going to do audio, speak clearly. Dont have people walking around you, cell phones going off, dogs barking. I have watched a few tutorials where you can hear someone walk in the room, say sorry and close the door behind them. Its just unprofessional. It helps too if the audio is rather high, too low is aweful...you can always turn down a speaker, but turning it up and hearing rough noise sucks.

Chapters. More chapters helps so that you can stop at anytime and not have to sit through a 45 min chapter. One thing I dislike about Gnomon is that sometimes a chapter will be over an hour long...and so I have to either pause it for hours while I go eat, or sleep, or whatever...if it had more chapters I would just say okay I will stop at the next one and pick up tomorrow.

Okay as for specifics. I would love to see how to make tools work for you. For instance changing options in the box to get different shapes, modeling techniques, and increase efficiency. I like learning new short-cuts, things that really speed up my modeling. I like learning how other people put together their hierachies, their scenes, groups, layers, etc. I love learning new shading techniques, using nodes, textures, rendering, lighting, etc.

And of course, when it comes down to it, how long it is, how versatile it is, and how much it is. I would rather pay 60 dollars for something that teaches modeling techniques with various models...than 60 dollars for a single this is how you make a pen. But if your DVD included how to model lots of office objects, or how to get various rendering, or animating the pen writting something. The more broad the DVD the more its worth in my opinion.
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Old 25-05-2006, 11:04 PM   #8
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i think esion pretty much said it all.

I pretty much concur.
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Old 26-05-2006, 01:20 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the input, it's given me lots to think about. I particularly like the ideas on the format and presentation, as I agree that every DVD tutorial should look professional.

I think that I'll probably go with a heavily menu driven DVD, with shorter specific lessons, building up to a medium sized project. The shorter lessons will focus on the things that I've been asked the most how to do. For instance, creating cut-lines for NURB's car models, use of all the NURBS tools, producing clean nuts and bolts in just seconds, creating clean wheels/tires, etc.. I'd also like to point out the strengths of NURBS over polys, and the situations where a poly modeler might consider using NURBs instead of polys. Also, it would cover the tricky aspects of using NURBs, such as continuity, tolerance, surface tesselation, and render considerations. All these "tools" videos would each be selectable in a quick menu format, kinda like a visual user manual.

The final part of the DVD would focus on producing a professional looking model, and a little on rendering (although I'll probably want to make a whole other DVD for rendering). Nothing crazy, but a medium difficulty model that is modeled for accuracy, something like the rolex watch I made, for example. The last thing I want though is for this to turn into a step-by-step, here's how you model a "(insert random object here)", as I personally don't learn anything fom that approach.

Bottom line is that I would like people to come away from my tutorial being better modelers, not just having one single better model, if you know what I mean. Keep the suggestions coming, and thanks again!
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Old 26-05-2006, 10:23 AM   #10
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As you all have a lot of dvds already, can you list the ones you have, as I want to get them too, to help me with nurbs. I love the nurbs models Dilberts has done and some of you other guys, but I have always used polys, and want more flexibility now.
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Old 26-05-2006, 04:34 PM   #11
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The reason I'm thinking of making a NURBS driven DVD is that I don't really think there's many of them out there. I have one by the Gnomon Workshop titled "Modeling a GTP race car" which is great, but doesn't really go into huge detail. All the other DVD's I have are on rendering. Most of my techniques were discovered from trial and error, or from looking at other people's meshes to see how they tackled a problem. It just seems like 90% of the stuff out there focuses on polys. Sorry that wasn't much help, but hopefully my DVD might hit a niche that needs to be filled.
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Old 27-05-2006, 06:15 PM   #12
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i'm new and i noticed in is erm kurt the new guy that makes a lot of tutorials

some times the 1st time you use a tool he makes sure all the options are set the correct way

other times he just goes ahead and i get something diffrent not radicaly and can be fixed but a few things i realy had to hunt for for how to change...

the way kurt selects thing im still not sure off im sure its a key shortvut but im still clicking each face or verticies indvidualy where as he can select something in a second!
the only other way i know is shift click drag select which is sometimes unweildy...
also joints my joint came out huge by default where as kurts where small spindals in comparision....


its also good to say why your leaving something for latter rather then just saying we will come back to this is chapter 9
as sometime if thought the instructor was just being nit picky and over perfection at 1st
as this was my 1st character i wanted something to look at fairly soon and if its somethign seem to time consucimg the 1st tiem i might skip it onyl to find it its important and harder to change it back latter on....


Think i skimpped on my stitching (seletions were driving me mad)which mad my uv mapping quite hard latter and also some of the jiont painteing if things where nto quite as straight as the tutorial guys.

but then i learning alot form my mistakes im loveing learning so far..

Place your bets to see if i will stick it out!
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Old 13-06-2006, 09:07 AM   #13
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Pretty much what the guys said above plus I would like to see a tutorial that is totally complete from start to finish. I don't think I've ever seen any tutorials that are totally complete except for the stuff on here. I'm ready for more advance stuff like modeling hair with explanations on how to make it seamless with textures and lighting. I see some models where the hair are just layered on to the head, but when they textured it, its as if it just drawn on and looked just right. How to use transparency maps in the tutorials. Basically I just want something that's totally complete.

I know we're suppose to be modeling in quads, but sometimes I see these hard surface models where the model doesn't even follow the quad rules. It looked more like blue prints for architechures. I want to know when not to and when we could do this. blah blah blah, Just a totally complete model, stuff like we see in movies etc.
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Old 15-06-2006, 07:50 PM   #14
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i would also like to see u include set up an setting of ur classic renders espec if u go over how u do the car an eplain how u build their shaders
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