What makes a good tutorial for you ?

(IamInnocent) #1

I’ve been wondering about this : what makes you say “this is a really good tutorial”.


What do you wish you’d find in every tutorial that could make it better ?

This is a general, almost philosophical question I know but I hope to gather some interesting clues from your answers for my future tutorials and possibly enhance the old ones.


(Gr8RedShark) #2

In general (for everything, not just Blender) I like tutorials that assume very little about the knowledge the user already posseses. The spaceship tut’l for blender was supposed to be basic, but until I figured out what was meant by using “extrude to make the basic outline” i was quite baffled. Perhaps if that tut’l had a link to another page that explained in more detail this basic concept. I also like tutorials that explain WHY I should do something, instead of just dictating to me WHAT I should do. For example, some tutorials may tell me to make certain settings for a particle system, or material, but then fail to explain what these settings and variables do or mean or represent. This is something I find extremely annoying.

(IamInnocent) #3

Excellent points.
I agree with both points. Until now, I think that only the first one was properly adressed in my tuts (see http://membres.lycos.fr/bobois/index_anglais.html ) and it already required quite a lot of organisation and work to achieve.
A tutorial that would answer to the “how” and “why” fully is in no way an impossible task but certainly one that is quite involved in the present state of the affairs.

Keep the suggestions coming, especially if you are a frustrated newbie.

(MadMesh) #4

I dont mind if a tutorial assumes certain knowlage but i do think it should state that by using a rating; beginner, advanced, etc…
I realy hate it when tutorials explain the easyest tasks, it makes a tutorial to big. It may be handy for beginners but it gets anoying when you get more experiance with blender.

I like the idea of linking to other tutorials for indepth information.

(SHABA1) #5

I completely agree with Gr8RedShark. I hate to read tutorials where they tell you to “Extrude down three times” but do not tell you how to select the points to extrude or the key to press “E”, First. Or worse then that is when they make a statement of what to do as though it were just ONE step when actually what is required is multiple steps.

What is even more irksome than that is what I call geekspeek i.e. dooz,33li8r, things like that. I mean it really saddens to see the english language going to hell.

I can forgive some of the authors whose first language is not english. I even applaude them for making the effort even to publish thier tutorial in english. What bothers me is native english speakers that cannot put , subject verb and predicate together to make a complete sentance.

I do not expect Oxford English or 100% Webster’s Grammer. But I would at least like not to have to read a paragraph 3 times just to understand what the author is trying to say. Never mind absorbing the content.

(Fligh) #6

I am amased that authors of tutorials don’t use one of the most powerful functions of Blender… the .blend file. All the text can be written in the text window, on different pages if that’s necessary. Then, in conjunction with ‘screens’ and ‘scenes’ any amount of approaches, scenarios and alternate methods can be constructed. The students can be encouraged to participate because, should they mess up, they can just reload the original .blend.

The author can update it, it can be downloaded as easily as a .pdf (and it’s much more powerful than a .pdf). I hate having to go thru 20 pages and there’s no download at the end. I want to work on a tutorial in my own time!

See the beginners tutorial by Dale ([email protected]) Good work Dale!

Great subject!


(dante) #7

I’m very new to Blender but thats not to say that I havent known about it for quite some time. I was very interested in working with Blender, but couldnt figure the freakin thing out. So, I searched for tutorials for newbies. I found none of course, and learned to hate Blender. Only recently, after messing around with Maya, have I come to find useful tutorials for Blender. I only wish they had been there about two years ago when I had first heard of Blender…I have to say I agree with almost everything you guys have said. I cant stand it when writers dont explain themselves and what they’re doing. While the details of how and why can get in the way sometimes, they are very useful to newbies and those of us that are trying to figure out why we arent getting the disired effect. I strongly encourage both begginers and advanced users to write tutorials based on their experiments in Blender. There is no doubt in my mind that doing so would greatly encourage more people to become Blenderers.


(Vigilante) #8

Something I would like to see for beginners is a tutorial on just the buttons what they can do and how to make them do what thier supposed to do. Like that little key button, until yesterday I didnt know what it did I have a vague understanding about it now though. Also Tutorials without words like WIP in it I know what it means now, but I didnt at first and almost all newbies wont know what it means either.

(theeth) #9

Whether or not you assume basic knowledge or explain simple operations really depends on your target audience, but something I think should always be in a tutorial is explanations about what you are doing in the tutorial (its goals), why you are doing things that way (explanations of the steps) and possible alternatives. It’s also a good idea to include other usage of a technique you are explaining, since more often then not, tutorials teach specific tasks without really telling you what other uses they can have.

my 2 cents