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The Birth of Blender T.I. (Tutorial Integration)

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2004 11:52 am
by Landis
Hey all, I got something that I think is big...REALLY big! And if I do a good job of explaining myself then I am sure that you will all feel the same way.

Ok, here goes...

I recently posted this to the functionality board as well and it is in regards to what I call "T.I." (Tutorial Integration).

I am not sure if any of you have used Macromedia's Dreamweaver but they have done an exceptional job at integrating corporate authored tutorials into the interface itself. These tutorials can be accessed from the same location one would access the manual (in the main menu, typically labeled "help"). Other companies such as Adobe are starting to acknowledge the strengths of this concept as well.

Now, heres what I got.

What all of these companies are missing is the fact that some of the strongest literature comes from the user community itself! Why not enable the USER to create tutorials INSIDE of Blender? This would require nothing more than some sort of screen capture utility that was incorporated into the code (previously discussed by the funcboard), perhaps even flashed based to allow for the AUTHOR to customize info windows (typically yellow boxes) that would pop up for the READER in specific locations (such as here to click next during a "step by step") Tutorial participationbetween the author and th reader...thats right ...participation...it would be interactive!

Now, an interactive tutorial is not a new concept by any means and are actually used quite rarely. Heres where it gets interesting...

These tutorial files could possibly be in the form of a blend file (as previously discussed by Luke Stodola) and would be stored in a new Blender directory titled "tutorials". Users could CREATE and TRADE these files on thier own as they currently do, however, this would bring organizational bliss to what now seems like educational chaos amongst the industry as a whole....the information is out there but in miliions of different formats ending up all over the hard drive and burried into ones "favorites"!

T.I. allows users to download a tutorial created by another user, dump
it into the tutorials directory, and access it inside of Blender....thats
right...not only would Blender allow users to CREATE tutorials but it
would allow for users to PLAY them as well! No other application has
EVER stumbled upon this approach EVER!!

Now, I'm not a programmer although I am sure that this wouldnt be that difficult to acheive. Please, someone let me know on this because I havent felt so strongly about a feature in a very long time. This could sweep the other apps by storm! At a bare minimum this could generate positive publicity for the foundation, not to mention the Blender effort and that is always a good thing for everyone.

Anyways, take care and thank you all for taking the itme to read this.

Cheers,
Landis

Posted: Sun Apr 04, 2004 4:14 am
by kflich
sorry to dissapoint you but Zbrush has this feature for quite a while now (i think it's called Zscript). however, it is a great idea and i too would like to see it happen. in the meantime we can all use WINK, a free tutorial creation application.
one last thought : this post will get more attention on the Interface & Tools section.

Posted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 12:41 am
by phrentec
wink is indeed free, but camtasia along with the TSCC codec works way superb, and along with encoding with the helixcommunity producer's .rmvb(realmedia varial bitrate) with the option <enableRPR type="bool">false</enableRPR> which "For your very special screen capture content you need to disable the codec's RPR (Reference Picture Resampling) functionality, to avoid it resampling the video to a low resolution, which it does for very low bitrates relative to resolution."

Posted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 12:56 am
by kflich
correct me if i'm wrong but isn't camtasia a commercial application ?

Posted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 10:10 am
by leinad13
Well Landis, i thought about this before, but i used a different method of approach which was to have an integrated web browser in Blender, where people could access tutorials. My idea got very negative feedback, but i think your idea is much better and more promising. I never thought about it like this before, but once someone mentioned Zscript i though 'Python'. It would probably be able to be done using Python and not that much changes in the code.
If you added some more functions to python allowing the drawing of yellow sticky notes on the screen etc... then this could be done pretty easily with Python. The only problem with that is that tutorial writers would need to know how to use Python to create the tutorial, so what we would then need is an interface inside blender that could be used to create the tutorials and output the python script.
Just think you could show transformations etc.. properly using python, then revert back to the old mesh and tell the user to copie you etc....

Wow i used way to many etc... in that but i think that this could be done really easily with python.

Posted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 3:37 am
by Ravelli
on blendpolis.org we discussed the problem that it is very hard for a beginner to lern blender because there are a lot of techniques and hard terms which confuse the beginner. i'm a beginner too and i made several tutorials in the last 5 months. i noticed that the most tutorials are very bad because they dont explain why a botton has to be pushed or how a technique works. and many tutorials are to long! i think it would be better when the know-how will be splitted into smaller parts. or the tutorials should explain only one blender-button with pictures to compare, so a beginner can see the difference. and it would be nice to have a glossary for all the hard terms. its really difficult to understand the answers in the forum when they contain to much hard terms. its like in many tutorials: they are written in a blender-slang.

ok, back to the topic: i think t.i. would be a great thing... if the content would be regular and understandable for a beginner.

what do you think about a wiki? yafray.org and wikipedia.org are good examples for open content.

Posted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 9:38 pm
by iluvblender
leinad13 wrote: The only problem with that is that tutorial writers would need to know how to use Python to create the tutorial, so what we would then need is an interface inside blender that could be used to create the tutorials and output the python script.
Just think you could show transformations etc.. properly using python, then revert back to the old mesh and tell the user to copie you etc....

Wow i used way to many etc... in that but i think that this could be done really easily with python.
How about a logic-brick interface [analogous to game logic bricks] to generate the python output.

The user can first take screenshots and then use logic bricks to place baloons of text and the like onto the screenshots.

my 2 cents......

btw, neat idea Landis...

- Satish.