Welcome to the Summer of Documentation!

Blender documentation projects, tutorials, translation, learning & teaching Blender

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-=Sensei=-
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Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 4:02 am

Post by -=Sensei=- » Tue May 16, 2006 5:14 am

Also where is documentation for the things like fluids, particle hair etc? I know of all the general one page post threads with "tutorials" but I've not seen 'real' docs, remembering our aim here is to provide authorative, detailed documentation, these a core features, that haven't been properly doc'd imo.

http://mediawiki.blender.org/index.php/ ... Simulation
http://mediawiki.blender.org/index.php/ ... ticle_Hair
http://mediawiki.blender.org/index.php/ ... ard_Bodies
Does this mean these topics no longer qualify as they are already documented and not "new"?
What's to stop me from taking these, rewording them a tad, maybe adding a bit and then claiming 500 euros for someone else's efforts?

shadowdragon
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Post by shadowdragon » Tue May 16, 2006 6:46 am

I'm certainly interested in submitting a proposal for this. The Docs are always something can use more information, and the more people doing it at high quality the better. Is there anything regarding modeling that needs done? Perhaps modeling cloth wihtout the aid of softbodies or the new cloth modifier? You can see such an example of this in my current wip: Image

-Jonathan

Camthalion
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Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 11:32 am

Post by Camthalion » Tue May 16, 2006 12:31 pm

Speaking on behalf of the developing world. Not all of us have internet acces and in the case of South Africa to access the internet is quite expensive. For that reason I prefer documentation that is not web based like the windows help docs. They really help a small studio that can not afford to be on-line or to buy each member of staff the Blender amnual. If seperate documentation can be put together like a help file it will vastly improve the acceptance of Blender in the developing world where Open-Source is gaining momentum and popularity. Blender is great but if it is going to cut out the developing world it won't get the marketshare that Maya and the like is loosing to Open-Source because of the price you have to pay in order to use it. In both cases documentation seperate from the web is essential.
Stagrow and Anglo-Coloured Multimedia would like to build a solid foundation for the future of South African filmmaking.

ton
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Post by ton » Tue May 16, 2006 3:02 pm

-=Sensei=- wrote: What's to stop me from taking these, rewording them a tad, maybe adding a bit and then claiming 500 euros for someone else's efforts?
Yeah... good topic to think over. However, google is pretty good in finding our online docs. Try to paste random lines of our docs in the google search box.
BTW: I now see the fluids page for the first time, and it's very nice.

Another undefined topic is formatting the docs.. DocBook is sheer horror yes. Wiki does a better job, but online editing isn't possible always. Maybe there's a wiki WYSIWG editor?

ton
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Post by ton » Tue May 16, 2006 3:41 pm

Another random idea;

One of my favorite (and very hidden) sites:
http://perso.wanadoo.fr/dawang/blender/

Don't know if the author would even agree; but someone offering to translate most of this, is that an eligible grant? Just discussing possible issues though... :)

timmeh
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Location: Brisbane, Australia

Post by timmeh » Tue May 16, 2006 4:05 pm

blendix wrote:
timmeh wrote:I dont like the idea of documenting features that are only in CVS, and not in a release, of course that's not an issue if next release is before the end of the project.
I disagree, it's important to release with all new features documented, and a nice goal to aim for. The only way to do that is to document projects only in CVS. Of course they would need to be stable, but we're nearly in feature freeze at this point.
I should have clarified what I meant better, I was referring to experimental/still incomplete features, for example cloth tutorials came up in discussion, which imo is outside the scope of this project since the feature is still rather rapidly changing, and unstable.

Also, the main purpose of this project is for online documentation, with Wiki as the basis. In the future, we may use these docs in print material, however this is not the primary focus of the project.
-=Sensei=- wrote:What's to stop me from taking these, rewording them a tad, maybe adding a bit and then claiming 500 euros for someone else's efforts?
I can assure you that the "mentors" and myself will be rigourous in searching out plagarism. There are a number of online resources which are quite reliable at finding stolen docs. Basically, you'll be excluded instantly if we see this happening.

joeri
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Post by joeri » Wed May 17, 2006 11:07 am

Really great!

I've been thinking on releasing the release logs as a single pdf to extend the manual. Ofcourse I total lack of time.

An issue that I think that should be learned from past documentation is creating documentation that if futureproof.

For example: I don't know how many times I explained on forums why the gingerbread tutorial does not work any more. And two; where the sub-div button went.

For some reason people expect 2.1 documentation to be valid for 2.3 software. Or do they? Maybe it's just not so obvious it's 2.1 documentation. Or maybe it's not so obvious I'm using 2.3

It's very hard to track if the document I read is still valid for the blender I have in front of me. Maybe this is an issue that can be solved together with a splash screen or with the colorband in the blender header...
First thing that come to my mind is using a colorcode in the header of the (online) documentation that uses the same colors as blender uses for version numbers. If/When that color is in the doc header and in blender header the tuto/doc should fit.

Maybe more ideas can be gathered on how the user can know the doc fits the app.
This also goes for documenting the CVS. Documenting CVS is for CVS users very usefull, but not for beginners that start from docs.
What I mean is this: Is the documentation documenting what a version of blender can do, or, is the documentation for people who want to start in 3d and use a 3d app called blender for that.

I think the online wiki is very good. I can find how things work pretty fast.
But I keep close track of blender. I'm on the forums and sites every day.
For a kid that gets the advice to look for blender as his next step in creating graphics (for example) it's not so obvious what documents are connected to what version of blender, even that there are versions of blender (that change so fast).
For the wiki it might be good to just save complete copies of blender versions, even if that means copies of total directories. Or some smart software that connects chapters to blender versions so the wiki index can be: 1) Blender 2.0 2) Blender 2.1 3) Blender 2.2 etc... If not only just to commicate versions.

Good initiative.

friendly
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 6:43 pm

Post by friendly » Wed May 17, 2006 6:34 pm

Hi!
In my opinion it would be better to have a completely new manual.
There are so many reworked areas in Blender since 2.32 version that I think it would be hard to explain in a separated document all the changes. This can be frustating, expecially for a newbie that wants to learn the software properly.
If the new tools were just big subjects like “soft-bodies” or “fluid simulation”, it could be quicker an simpler creating an upgrade documents.
The “problem” is that there are so many new basic tools used in daily workflow (selections, mesh editing, menus layout etc…) that would deserve to be explained in a linear way (same chapter) otherwise you would need to jump from the old manual to the upgrade to understand a specific subject.
For this reasons I hope in a new rewritten manual, I hope I can help with somehow.

Thanks to everyone.

LetterRip
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Post by LetterRip » Thu May 18, 2006 1:27 am

friendly,
In my opinion it would be better to have a completely new manual.
We need to make the most efficient use of volunteer and paid time possible, starting from scratch is such a huge project that is isn't very feasible.
The “problem” is that there are so many new basic tools used in daily workflow (selections, mesh editing, menus layout etc…) that would deserve to be explained in a linear way (same chapter) otherwise you would need to jump from the old manual to the upgrade to understand a specific subject.
Have you looked at the wiki manual? All of the sections marked 2.40 are up todate with 2.40/2.41 - that includes all selection, mesh editing and menu layouts. All of the changes have been within their relevant chapters.

The animation sections, and the UV mapping and the current CVS items are probably the areas most in need of updates.

LetterRip

yurec
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translation

Post by yurec » Thu May 18, 2006 4:34 am

I see there is quite much interest in translating future documents to other languages - that is good.
but i suggest also to make "something" to improve Blender interface i18n - i mean we still don't have it fully working: many buttons just can't be shown in native languages, no automatic po generation etc...
it's just kind of unnatural if reader will see text describing blender in his language, but all buttons and menus (or half of them) in english.
P.S. by "something" i mean a paid coding project.

oninoshiko
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Joined: Thu May 18, 2006 9:01 am

Post by oninoshiko » Thu May 18, 2006 9:15 am

I am working on a Nav plugin for Media-wiki, it is intended to offer additional ease in maintaining the blender documantation in a "book style," as well as simplfying navigation. Ewout suggested that I might apply for a BSoD grant.
Camthalion wrote:Speaking on behalf of the developing world. Not all of us have internet acces and in the case of South Africa to access the internet is quite expensive. For that reason I prefer documentation that is not web based like the windows help docs. They really help a small studio that can not afford to be on-line or to buy each member of staff the Blender amnual. If seperate documentation can be put together like a help file it will vastly improve the acceptance of Blender in the developing world where Open-Source is gaining momentum and popularity. Blender is great but if it is going to cut out the developing world it won't get the marketshare that Maya and the like is loosing to Open-Source because of the price you have to pay in order to use it. In both cases documentation seperate from the web is essential.
Upon compleation of the Nav Plugin, I am planning on tackling this problem, my plan is to allow for books/chapters to be downloaded as PDF, automagicly made from the information on the site. I sould warn you though, I do already think this will be the harder then any Blender Docs related projects that I've been involved with.

Eckie
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Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 8:49 pm

Post by Eckie » Sat May 20, 2006 2:25 pm

Hey,

I've been using Blender for about a year, and I'd love documenting all the new features but I don't think I know enough about Blender to contribute something substantial.

But concerning the translating: my English and Dutch are pretty good, and I'm highly motivated to translate any Dutch documentation to English or vice versa.
(Maybe I'm doing something usefull this summer after all... :wink: )

Greetings, Eckie
eckie001 (AT) hotmail (DOT) com

pcboss
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Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2004 4:24 pm

Idea for a Great How To

Post by pcboss » Mon May 22, 2006 9:57 pm

What about a "translation" of the Joan of Arc tutorial, I mean a 100% Blender port. Im usin Blender for about 3 months, I learn "seeing and practicing" so I think this is the best way to expand the Blender user's number, explaining how and why you could use a specific feature of the program, not only "this button's name"... and things like that.

And may be a port to Spanish.....

surfaze
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Post by surfaze » Mon May 22, 2006 10:49 pm

Hi,

I'm a computer engineer who was born, live and work in Spain.

I'd love to contribute to this great project and I think that the best way I can help is translating any kind of information (manuals, tutorials, user interface, and so on) to my native language (Spanish).

Don't hesitate and contact to me if you are interested. Regards

-efbie-
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Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2004 9:47 pm

Post by -efbie- » Wed May 24, 2006 3:45 pm

Hello ! I'm also interested to participate in this project. I've already done some documentation (the quickstart guide) and video tutorials in the past. I also give blender courses at my university.

I think that the subjects i could explain the better are
- the mesh modelling tools
- the node system.
- blender's data / object system.
- physics simulation (fluid, softbody etc...)

The main problem is that english isn't my native language.

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