Reliable Documentation

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gregb
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Reliable Documentation

Post by gregb » Wed Dec 13, 2006 5:41 pm

I've been trying to learn Blender using "Blender 2.3 Guide", but I'm finding it rather frustrating. There are so many errors and inconsistancies that I can't even get past the Quickstart section. I know all books have errors, but this is rediculous.

Can anyone point me to a reletively RELIABLE source of documentation?

Thanks.

stiv
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Post by stiv » Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:16 pm

There have been some big changes to Blender since 2.3x. Some parts look quite different. Current version is 2.42a.

Your two best option are:
1) download a 2.3x version and use that to learn Blender basics. Once you know how it works, seing a feature in another panel will not be so scary.

2) Use the current docs on the blender wiki.

Hint: since these are the devoper forums, a good place for user questions is
http://blenderartists.org/forum/

gregb
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Post by gregb » Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:44 pm

Actually, I'm using 2.32, which came with the book. The problem isn't in program, but the Guide itself.

joeri
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Post by joeri » Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:54 am

Sorry to hear the guide is not working out for you.

Can you give examples of errors in the book?

It was reviewed by multiple blender users, so I'm curious what errors you've found.

gregb
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Post by gregb » Thu Dec 14, 2006 6:16 pm

I've only gotten as far as the QuickStart, so we'll go with that

Besides the numerous spelling and grammatical errors (which most would've been caught with a spell checker), here's a couple of goodies from the Rigging and Skinning sections:
  • On page 74, step 3, your told to use the "S" key to flip the duplicate bones created earlier. Now we all know that "S" is for scaling, not mirroring, but maybe that's what the author ment. Problem solved.

    On page 76 we're told to check each vertex group to insure proper skinning. Unfortunately, skinning the legs doesn't give the same results as in figure 58. Why? Because Gus is missing the vertices seperating his upper and lower legs. Where did these come from? They weren't called for as part of Gus's original structure, nor were they created during rigging, although the implication is there. So, did the author forgot to tell the reader to create vertices for the knee, or is figures 57 and 57 in error? Either way the reader is stopped dead in their tracks. Without the knee vertices, you can't skin the legs properly.
I can only imagine how the rest of the book is like.

stiv
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Post by stiv » Thu Dec 14, 2006 6:47 pm

On page 74, step 3, your told to use the "S" key to flip the duplicate bones created earlier. Now we all know that "S" is for scaling, not mirroring, but maybe that's what the author ment. Problem solved.
Some of us know that in older versions of blender, you could mirror an object about an axis by scaling with a factor of -1. Yes, using the SKey.

gregb
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Post by gregb » Thu Dec 14, 2006 7:00 pm

Then the author should've been explicit in how that can be done.

stiv
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Post by stiv » Thu Dec 14, 2006 7:29 pm

I was playing off your remark about "Now we all know that "S" is for scaling, not mirroring, ...". I'm too lazy to go dig up my copy fo the 2.3 guide, but I bet a description of how to use the SKey for mirroring is in there.

Most of the problems we have seen with tutorials like Gus are people not reading the directions thoroughly and skipping over steps which, for example. leaves them stuck in Edit mode. Refusing to believe the SKey can be used to mirror falls into this category.

I will concede some the the language is a little shakey, but that is what happens when the authors are not native English speakers.

LetterRip
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Post by LetterRip » Thu Dec 14, 2006 10:22 pm

gregb,

I can understand your frustration - as stivs points out you do have to follow things quite closely. The new official Blender book that will be out in a month or so should be significantly easier to use and understand.

LetterRip

gregb
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Post by gregb » Fri Dec 15, 2006 3:56 am

stiv wrote:I was playing off your remark about "Now we all know that "S" is for scaling, not mirroring, ...". I'm too lazy to go dig up my copy fo the 2.3 guide, but I bet a description of how to use the SKey for mirroring is in there.
That may be true, but you got to stop thinking like an experienced user or developer and think like a newb. Everyone was once.
stiv wrote:Most of the problems we have seen with tutorials like Gus are people not reading the directions thoroughly and skipping over steps which, for example. leaves them stuck in Edit mode. Refusing to believe the SKey can be used to mirror falls into this category.
I can believe that. However, I'm an old hand at computers and software, and I've certainly seen my share of manuals, both good and bad, so I know the importance of following instructions. When you get the energy, take a look at the pages and figures I mentioned in my previous post and you'll see what I mean. Incidently, in my last post I ment to say "figure 57 and 58".
stiv wrote:I will concede some the the language is a little shakey, but that is what happens when the authors are not native English speakers.
Exactly! That's an issue I brought up in another forum. If your going to be selling print material in the U.S., you've got to have it done by someone, or reviewed by someone, who is fluent in U.S. English. Clipped English isn't gonna cut it (no pun intended).

gregb
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Post by gregb » Fri Dec 15, 2006 4:02 am

LetterRip wrote:I can understand your frustration - as stivs points out you do have to follow things quite closely. The new official Blender book that will be out in a month or so should be significantly easier to use and understand.
Somehow I doubt it. From what I've read, they're using the same approach to construct the new guides as they did the 2.3 version. It goes back to the old computer saying, "garbage in, garbage out".

I do know I won't be so quick to buy this one until I've had a chance to look it over, either online or when it comes out in the bookstores.

teachtech
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Post by teachtech » Sun Dec 31, 2006 10:02 pm

Hi gregb:

Welcome to the community. There are a lot of good sources out there to learn the program. If you haven't seen my beginner's book yet, I know it's helped a lot of frustrated people to learn the basics. You can download them from the link below:

Happy New Year all !

gregb
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Post by gregb » Sun Dec 31, 2006 10:23 pm

Thanks, Jim. Look forward to checking it out.

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