Subsurf documentation update suggestion

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madcello
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Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2003 10:51 pm

Subsurf documentation update suggestion

Post by madcello »

I came with a doubt about some images i saw in the subsurf page and baybe they will confuse others, so came to suggest an update to that images.

http://www.elysiun.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=37603

Thank you!!

joeri
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Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 6:41 pm
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Post by joeri »

I'm not on the documentation board, perhaps that's a good thing.

I cannot stress enough the importance of developers to stop fooling around with the time that users spend into blender. This is a good example of that.
In my view any "improvement" needs to be documented in the official documentation before it gets released. Just as part of the release.
(I know I'm to strict about that, no need to comment on that).

As a sub solution a chapter in the documentation could/should point to the changelogs if that chapter is effected by an "upgrade". I don't think that's alot of hassle and saves alot of puzzle time for users.
Relevant to Blender v2.31 >> changelog 2.38 for example.

I don't know how far the web-unite project is in completion, it should be alot easier to change the documentation if it all was cms/typo3.

ox
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Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2002 11:01 pm

Post by ox »

I have to agree. I spent a fair amount of time (totally humiliated) trying to find the feature since I had never used it.

iaminnocent
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Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 4:06 am

Post by iaminnocent »

joeri wrote:This is a good example of that.
In my view any "improvement" needs to be documented in the official documentation before it gets released. Just as part of the release.
(I know I'm to strict about that, no need to comment on that).
Well, that is good to have a goal anyway.
The docboard activity is quite low these days : maybe the immense effort of the last 1-2 years is taking its toll ? That would be the human thing...

Now what about coming aboard ?

Jean :)

joeri
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Post by joeri »

iaminnocent wrote:Now what about coming aboard ?
I argue to much to be productive.
And my writting is not very pleasant to read.
But I'd be happy to keep track of version changes and implement a version related hotkey list.

This topic is to hard for me to explain my point of view in a nice compact readable post.
I think it all starts with not welcoming users on the blender sites and it ends somewhere in messing up blender every 2 releases enough to make the documentation look bad, without any relavent new features.
Resulting blender in being a developers playground, not a package that artists want to use.

mjordan
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Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:33 pm

Post by mjordan »

I think the Blender manual should be completely restructured.
It spans for almost 800 pages and it is not complete at all. Many new features (well, old these days) are left unexplained (see particle damping and deflection, for example or taper curves). The major problem with it is sometimes it gives theory without practice. Well, this function is great. But what should I use it for? (That is the question I feel to pronounce sometimes while reading).

i cannot consider myself an artist or a computer graphics expert. So, from my point of view, I'd like to see a manual that explains things gradually giving me the necessary practice to achive some goals.

So I think (IMHO, with respect to other's opinion and from my personal situation) that the manual should be splitted in two parts. One that explains features in the most complete way (too many buttons are left unexplained in the current manual) and one that explains how to USE that things. I know NURBS curves and surfaces are great, but when they're better to use compared to subsurface modeling? Things like that. Some sort of "Blender Tutorial Guide", but not only newbies tuts.

I see people creating wonderful things, some sort of magical effects. But I never seen a complete tutorial that starts with modeling passing trough texturing and ends with animation.

This is the major gap beetween Blender and commercial apps, I think. Many commercial apps ships with great tutorials that can be considered really complete (complete in the sense that they not cover one topic only).

I know I know, this is open source. But Blender is an application intended to be used from people like me who really like it but sometimes feel lost. I know how to UV map a cube :-) I don't know how to UV Map a real face. And, after all, I don't know how to draw a real texture for a face in a 2D Program. Since Blender is an artist tool, it would be great if some reference could be done in other areas of computer graphics, for examples how to draw good textures.
Regards,
Renato Perini
-
You can't live with women, you can't live without women.
Fuzzy logic example.

joeri
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Post by joeri »

I've been thinking about that a lot mjordan.
Maya has some nice project books. They start with 0 and end with an animation short. This book is $150,= so I think I'll find 10 blender people to buy a book like that. In that price range I mean, so who's going to write that?

The guide book I learned Maya with had 4 projects, starting with a very simple project going towards a more complex project. I thought it was a nice book. Did not explain all the functions, but alot of the basic functions needed to make an animation from scratch.

I think the old tutorial books (1&2 by Bart Veldhuizen) tried todo about the same in some smaller projects, I'm not sure if they are available (pdf of paper). Maybe Ton wants to release them as pdf?

mjordan
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Post by mjordan »

joeri wrote:I've been thinking about that a lot mjordan.
Maya has some nice project books. They start with 0 and end with an animation short. This book is $150,= so I think I'll find 10 blender people to buy a book like that. In that price range I mean, so who's going to write that?

The guide book I learned Maya with had 4 projects, starting with a very simple project going towards a more complex project. I thought it was a nice book. Did not explain all the functions, but alot of the basic functions needed to make an animation from scratch.

I think the old tutorial books (1&2 by Bart Veldhuizen) tried todo about the same in some smaller projects, I'm not sure if they are available (pdf of paper). Maybe Ton wants to release them as pdf?
Yes! I was referring to tutorial books published in the past!
Times ago I downloaded "Blender tutorial guide vol. 2" and it was simply great to understand some minor (but still very important and hard to find) concepts. I don't know if Vol. 1 is available.
I remember a tutorial there on how to model some simple hearts with NURBS surfaces.
It was very simple, but it was nice.

Personally, I think the problem of documentation should not be underestimated. I know, Maya has great books, DVD's, tutorial that teach you how to make a whole project, not only examples covering one or two topics each. And this is the major Blender's lack, I think...
But they costs so much ...

Yes, speaking is simplier than doing... of course... But these are dreams. :wink:
But having a "Project book" could be a major documentation improvement over tutorials.
Tutorials are great when only 1 or 2 concepts are involved. But for someone who is learning (and want to learn to be productive) a project book is essential. It makes you feel how a real work should be done. It doesn't teach you concepts only, it teaches you how to work with that particular application...
Regards,
Renato Perini
-
You can't live with women, you can't live without women.
Fuzzy logic example.

oyster
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Post by oyster »

I always wonder:
1. why the doc on new features only exists on www.blender3d.org, and is not merged into the manual. I do not like the the doc on www.blender3d.org, for I have to click every pic thumbs to see more details.
2. why the new feature doc is so abbreviated, and there is no a real and whole example to show how to use this feature. that is true for the current manul. Maybe I have too CG-IQ?

mjordan
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Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:33 pm

Post by mjordan »

oyster wrote:I always wonder:
1. why the doc on new features only exists on www.blender3d.org, and is not merged into the manual. I do not like the the doc on www.blender3d.org, for I have to click every pic thumbs to see more details.
Maybe you consider it annoying, but think about it. No one is obliged to show you new features that way and it is a great way to see HOW new functionality works. Ok, it is not great detail, sometimes. But is far better than having a "changelog" only, which is what many projects ship after a new release. For this reason, I appreciate it a lot.
I know, the ideal thing is having a link to a tutorial that demonstrate the use of a particular feature in major detail... But we can't have all most of the time :wink:
Regards,
Renato Perini
-
You can't live with women, you can't live without women.
Fuzzy logic example.

joeri
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Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 6:41 pm
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Post by joeri »

It would be good to read some 'why' from some features.
Why is it Y for split? why is it G for move?
Better understanding does not only come from tutorials.

And join the documentation board to help merge the new features into the blender.org docs. (Instead of complaining that others wouldn't do it).

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