Writing a tutorial, some input would be nice.

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Joofville
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Writing a tutorial, some input would be nice.

Post by Joofville » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:26 am

Hey Guys.

Some of you may know my work. I use Anime Studio to animate but do not use bones at all. I use a lot of point editing to accomplish my tasks. I use a technique similar to inverse kinetics (if you could call it that). For example if I want to move a character's arm. I would move it's hand first and position it where I want it then animate the arm to follow using point edit animation. Some guys have asked me to create a tutorial on how I animate so I've decided to write one. keep in mind communicating via text is not my strongest point.

So I started part one of my tutorial, if you could give me some advice as to how I come across and if it makes any sense that would be great. The entire tutorial is on ten parts so this is the first part only. Is it worth finishing etc?

http://joofville.co.za/w/point-edit-animation-part-1/

regards,

Joofville.
hayasidist
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Re: Writing a tutorial, some input would be nice.

Post by hayasidist » Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:08 am

assuming that you don't need the image layer later - you could use View / Select Tracing Image (Control-Y) instead of layer import to get something to trace over.

you don't say (but I assume you'll need) to set the add point options to tool default (auto-weld plus auto-fill but not sharp corners). similarly other options - if not defaulted - might need to be set. (e.g. I noticed that the layer origin is not 0,0,0 - this might be important later when animating...)

as this is a point animation tutorial you could skip the "how to draw" part(s) and supply a (version 8.x) .anme file with the shape pre-drawn?
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Joofville
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Re: Writing a tutorial, some input would be nice.

Post by Joofville » Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:40 am

Sheesh I never knew about "Tracing Image" Control Y .. lol

Thanks for the other points as well. I hear your idea about just moving onto the point animation part and skip the how to draw, I may just do that!

:)
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jahnocli
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Re: Writing a tutorial, some input would be nice.

Post by jahnocli » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:50 pm

When I see a tutorial, I always like it if it follows this structure:

1) I like to see the finished thing first. Then I can decide if I want to see the tutorial or not.
2) Next, I like to have a list of topics to be covered. I can then choose to watch the whole thing, or cherry-pick them (or view it in sections, if it's a long tutorial)
3) I like to hear a commentary. I don't like to hear a rock music track while the "tutorial" shoots by without explanation.
4) When it matters, I like it to be slower than "real time" so I can make out what's going on -- particularly important when selecting menu items.
5) At the end, I like to be reminded of what has been covered, and maybe links, if appropriate.

Yeah, picky, I know. But you did ask...
You can't have everything. Where would you put it?
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Joofville
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Re: Writing a tutorial, some input would be nice.

Post by Joofville » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:53 pm

jahnocli wrote:When I see a tutorial, I always like it if it follows this structure:

1) I like to see the finished thing first. Then I can decide if I want to see the tutorial or not.
2) Next, I like to have a list of topics to be covered. I can then choose to watch the whole thing, or cherry-pick them (or view it in sections, if it's a long tutorial)
3) I like to hear a commentary. I don't like to hear a rock music track while the "tutorial" shoots by without explanation.
4) When it matters, I like it to be slower than "real time" so I can make out what's going on -- particularly important when selecting menu items.
5) At the end, I like to be reminded of what has been covered, and maybe links, if appropriate.

Yeah, picky, I know. But you did ask...
Not picky at all, great insight, thanks bud.
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KenW
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Re: Writing a tutorial, some input would be nice.

Post by KenW » Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:00 pm

Don't have anything to add to the excellent suggestions mentioned , but would like to encourage you to continue with the tutorials as I have been watching your work for some time now and have wanted to see your methods. 8)

Thanks
Ronbo
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Re: Writing a tutorial, some input would be nice.

Post by Ronbo » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:14 pm

First of all, YES, please continue your tutorial! Bones rightfully tend to get a lot of attention in AS since they are a major feature, so it's refreshing to see a tutorial on point animation. And since your work displays an excellent sense of movement and timing I would love to see how you achieve this in a manner that is a bit more akin to traditional animation.

I also agree that it would be nice to start out with a video clip showing what the tutorial will produce. I always look for that in any software tutorial. As far as drawing is concerned, perhaps you could just finish up the body & facial features, fast-forward to the completed character, and then jump right into animating. As long as you do not leave out any aspect of the drawing process that might be pertinent to the particular way that you animate.

By the way, are we to assume that the tutorial will be all text, or will you be screen-capturing a video as the finished product?

Thank you for doing this and I look forward to the rest of your tutorial!
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Joofville
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Re: Writing a tutorial, some input would be nice.

Post by Joofville » Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:07 am

Hey.

First of all, thanks for all the input. I've never created a tutorial before so all this information is invaluable. Although it will take longer to do I've decided to go ahead with a screen capture video tutorial instead of a text based one as this is the more desired format for tutorials. I'm taking a lot of the points made into consideration.

- Show the finished animation first as jahnocli mentioned.
- @hayasidist: I tried using the tracing image feature but how do you re-size the image?
- I will skip ahead to the animation part and provide the project file for download with the character already drawn up!

Cool Stuff :)
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Joofville
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Re: Writing a tutorial, some input would be nice.

Post by Joofville » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:19 am

I've created the start up project I will base my tutorial on. If you're interested in having a look, you can download the file here:
http://joofville.co.za/w/ghost-tutorial ... tudio-pro/
JCook
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Re: Writing a tutorial, some input would be nice.

Post by JCook » Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:57 pm

I'll throw in my two cents here. I agree with jahnocli, I don't like tutorials that only show what the person is clicking on with no commentary - they're too hard to follow. The resolution of the video usually isn't good enough to really see what the cursor is doing and you don't know why they're doing it. I like the instructor (that's you!) to explain everything. That way you know not only WHAT they're doing, but WHY. I've followed quite a few tutorials on Lynda.com and they work this way, and they're excellent. I think a tutorial on point animation is a great idea. I liked your animations of your alien creatures very much, so I think it will be a great tutorial!

Jack
hayasidist
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Re: Writing a tutorial, some input would be nice.

Post by hayasidist » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:00 pm

Joofville wrote:...- @hayasidist: I tried using the tracing image feature but how do you re-size the image?
the tracing image fills the _output area_ - so resize / reposition the output area (use the camera tools) rather than the tracing image. However, I tend to keep the camera set to my frame 0 values (I'll often use a starting setting of camera z = 20 / zoom = 20 especially if I'm using the "3d" options in AS) and put the target drawn layer at the z that I want before loading a tracing image; and then zoom the _workspace_ in the add detail when tracing if / as necessary.
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Joofville
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Re: Writing a tutorial, some input would be nice.

Post by Joofville » Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:13 am

hayasidist wrote:
Joofville wrote:...- @hayasidist: I tried using the tracing image feature but how do you re-size the image?
the tracing image fills the _output area_ - so resize / reposition the output area (use the camera tools) rather than the tracing image. However, I tend to keep the camera set to my frame 0 values (I'll often use a starting setting of camera z = 20 / zoom = 20 especially if I'm using the "3d" options in AS) and put the target drawn layer at the z that I want before loading a tracing image; and then zoom the _workspace_ in the add detail when tracing if / as necessary.
Ahh okay, I see what you mean now. Thanks mate. I'm learning stuff everyday :)
hayasidist
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Re: Writing a tutorial, some input would be nice.

Post by hayasidist » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:04 pm

image-tracing: you're welcome!

on the topic of planning the tutorial ... I fundamentally agree with the comments from jahnocli and JCook about pace and content - so moving on and developing that theme ...

IMO a well-worked tutorial - whether on film or delivered to a live audience - needs to dwell on things that are "new", fast-forward through "old" stuff, and have that all-important "wrap-up" at the end. It's signposted and signalled so you know where you are, where you're going and when to ready yourself for a new learning point.

the "fast-forward through old stuff" is important to hold audience attention. If you're showing how to select and move a point linger over the first one and explain clearly the whys and wherefores (and maybe dwell on the last one to consolidate the learning). But IMO a mistake that many presenters make is to point a camera at themseleves / their screen whilst they work (and so they make you watch them as they plod through the journeyman stuff and make, then correct, all the "oopses" that normal humans make when using tools). Two points: if the 'natural mistake' is a good learning point, then do it intentionally and explain it! If not then time compress all the "in-between bits" that need to be done to get you to the next learning point. (Stupid analogy: painting the room. First put on the undercoat. Wait for it to dry. Now put on the top-coat. = a 48 hour video with 5 minutes of valuable content. Cut out the repetitive and time-wasting bits. Concentrate on things that are "innovative" / "vital" / "interesting" .. e.g. explain masking tape and different sized brushes not how to open the tin, don't ask your audience to watch you frantically wiping paint off the window when you tripped over the cat - although an amusing interlude can often help break up the monotony! - and never ask them to watch the paint dry... )

In short, a bad tutorial is like a "reality TV" where you watch people sleeping, knowing (hoping!) that they will wake up and "do something interesting" eventually, but not knowing when; a good tutorial has a basic (iterative / nested) structure of: "Tell 'em what you're going to tell 'em; tell 'em; then tell 'em what you told 'em"; it's planned, recorded and edited with the care and precision of any good film.

Hope you find that useful!
rocky53204
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Re: Writing a tutorial, some input would be nice.

Post by rocky53204 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:29 pm

Enjoy the traditional fluid look of your animations and look forward to your tutorial.
Some of the best Chinese animations I have seen use similar methods.
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Joofville
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Re: Writing a tutorial, some input would be nice.

Post by Joofville » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:15 am

Hey Guys.

My wife's gonna buy me a kick ass microphone so that solves that problem. I completely agree with the input you guys have given me. My tutorial is going to focus on my methods of animation and how I use Anime Studio Pro to achieve what I want. For example I used to use bones but completely dropped them. I indicate in the beginner what it is I am going to do and even provide source files then go through the motions. Heck there may be faster ways to achieve what I do but I am sure you guys will provide that input.
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