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Kyrah Abattoir

Why beginners don't learn the basics first?

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Thank you @Motoko Oanomochi yes I agree. Text, with some visual guides or photos are the best. Test mainly because that is the best way to find a piece of information again after it's been possibly forgotten - and with learning curves as large as these with 3D programs, there will always likely be some forgotten tidbits that we need to go back and remember.
It's hell having to re-watch hours of video and search through hundreds of bookmarks of tutorials just to find the relevant bit of information needed! But right now that's all we've got. I now copy and paste forum questions and answers into my emails as well so that at least that way I can search for the keywords and don't have to open a bajillion browser tabs.

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Like, even the SL wiki is outdated and the supposedly helpful links to where we can learn about what they mention are dead and gone.

It's just kinda sad, we just have to rely on community members to offer help and they can't always give it.

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29 minutes ago, Violaine Villota said:

I now copy and paste forum questions and answers into my emails

I do that too :D I save a lot of things to drafts, it means we can access them from anywhere. What I also do is have a notebook with tabs and I actually take notes as I watch something, as I find that writing stuff down helps you remember it easier, or at the very least it reminds you that you wrote it down, so then you know you can search it out. Tabs can mean you put things in categories, modeling, rendering, texturing etc. I stop and start and make a mess, but I love nothing more than to come across a need and know at some point I wrote that down, find it and put it into practice. Maybe it isn't other peoples notes you need, but your own, just to start sorting through all those places. I also find that the sticky notes system on my computer, lets me add not only notes, but links, which is awesome, because then you can do the same, categorise each note as a topic, and add the links to it, they are more in your face being there in the open. 

I hope you can work this out, because not being able to recreate your own work must be a horrible thing, and to see others doing it, even worse. There are so many Discord Groups now too, not sure if you have tried any of those, but big groups with lots of designers, that may be a good route to take as well https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdGT1zyzVSItvVBOeE7rjHca2y1UsF6rlfuG3PGPZtQMJcY1A/viewform   this is the SL Creators Studio, they have separate channels for all the software and a lot of info is in there for the viewing, someone may be able to guide you there. 

 

EDIT : not sure if your tutorials are all on youtube, and whether you do this or not, but I also save to lists in their save system that I name as needed, so Blender Tutorials could be more specific to the function that that tutorial does for you, it might be a tutorial on rendering but they may mention something about snapping that you know you will need, so you can put it in a category for that, and you can save to more than one option you create, so you could save to Blender Tutorials, and Modeling Techniques and Short Course or something that makes sense to you 

Edited by Sasy Scarborough
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@Sasy Scarborough Thank you so much!

I was not aware of the SL Creators Studio at all, no one wanted to invite me to the club yet I guess, haha.
I'm just thankful that the recent wing infringement I came across in SL went surprisingly well when I notified the creator. It's rare that a person is actually willing to work with me and not biting my head off as if I did something wrong by trying to protect my own IP. I usually just file DMCAs to avoid stupid fights but if it's someone whose work I had respected and it seems out of place for them to have a copy of anything I'll contact them directly and I got lucky this last time.

I still should have my own stuff out here in mesh though as that might make it harder for copies to flourish.

I have been saving Youtube favorites, but haven't had categories and I should because they are adding up so that's good advice.

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13 hours ago, Violaine Villota said:

@Sasy Scarborough Thank you so much!

I was not aware of the SL Creators Studio at all, no one wanted to invite me to the club yet I guess, haha.
I'm just thankful that the recent wing infringement I came across in SL went surprisingly well when I notified the creator. It's rare that a person is actually willing to work with me and not biting my head off as if I did something wrong by trying to protect my own IP. I usually just file DMCAs to avoid stupid fights but if it's someone whose work I had respected and it seems out of place for them to have a copy of anything I'll contact them directly and I got lucky this last time.

I still should have my own stuff out here in mesh though as that might make it harder for copies to flourish.

I have been saving Youtube favorites, but haven't had categories and I should because they are adding up so that's good advice.

Hello,

About "club" or "closed club" as I like to say, it is a joke mainly, but in fact there is a reality behind the joke.

I don't know if there is truly a club, but there is more or less groups with attitude, for sure. As example, I created for Second life the first and alone software to rig automatically on the standard skeleton, I never got any comment or question, and even better topic was erased if my memory is good. Just because I mentioned I did it. It is not a problem, the software is still available, but for sure, I will never share it, despite it is very useful for animesh. So, when you speak about club, yes and no, but maybe more yes than no :)

So, many peoples here help, yes, more or less, but it is not so altruist that can appear in the first read. Often the help is incomplete with purpose, that smells the help but it is with the though to promote them self and so their business.

A beginner needs true help to find his way, and books and tools can't be replaced by just posts or pseudo tutorials on youtube. It is why for some subjects, a complete PDF file or a tool is better.

An example, many people enjoy or enjoyed to build on Second life even with basic primitives. They have this right, fully. When mesh came on Second life, build with primitive was more and more " tacky ", so a viewer well known, as example, offers the possibility to convert primitive to mesh. There are some other good tools too. But, it is not so easy, we need manage lod and so one with mesh. It is new for beginner, despite they like build with classic primitives. The best help is not to explain how use Blender in this case, it is very obvious, the best is to explain how use a specific tool to optimize more or less automatically the mesh coming for the primitive conversion and keep the uvmap. There is a tool to do it, with lod auto function too. There are some easy tools as this around, nobody will speak about them, for sure.

Best Regards, Motoko Oanomochi.

 

Edited by Motoko Oanomochi

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28 minutes ago, Motoko Oanomochi said:

Hello,

About "club" or "closed club" as I like to say, it is a joke mainly, but in fact there is a reality behind the joke.

I don't know if there is truly a club, but there is more or less groups with attitude, for sure. As example, I created for Second life the first and alone software to rig automatically on the standard skeleton, I never got any comment or question, and even better topic was erased if my memory is good. Just because I mentioned I did it. It is not a problem, the software is still available, but for sure, I will never share it, despite it is very useful for animesh. So, when you speak about club, yes and no, but maybe more yes than no :)

So, many peoples here help, yes, more or less, but it is not so altruist that can appear in the first read. Often the help is incomplete with purpose, that smells the help but it is with the though to promote them self and so their business.

A beginner needs true help to find his way, and books and tools can't be replaced by just posts or pseudo tutorials on youtube. It is why for some subjects, a complete PDF file or a tool is better.

An example, many people enjoy or enjoyed to build on Second life even with basic primitives. They have this right, fully. When mesh came on Second life, build with primitive was more and more " tacky ", so a viewer well known, as example, offers the possibility to convert primitive to mesh. There are some other good tools too. But, it is not so easy, we need manage lod and so one with mesh. It is new for beginner, despite they like build with classic primitives. The best help is not to explain how use Blender in this case, it is very obvious, the best is to explain how use a specific tool to optimize more or less automatically the mesh coming for the primitive conversion and keep the uvmap. There is a tool to do it, with lod auto function too. There are some easy tools as this around, nobody will speak about them, for sure.

Best Regards, Motoko Oanomochi.

 

It was meant as a joke, but yes because of the various groups and options a lot is missed by many. A lot of creators, older ones especially use plurk to share info, newer creators use facebook, many use both, but if you don't follow the right people, or their people don't share, or just being in a different timezone can mean missing these things. When I saw it, I made sure to send info to others I knew may need it, and they in turn, I hope added more. People can only spread to whom they know, it is also why we end up with many repetitions of things, same topics, same groups, so they get watered down, dilluted if you will. There were many SL people using Discord last year, for store groups, bloggers, friends, and help. I personally have not used any social media sites since December, but remembered this particular one because of the conversation earlier. 

If you have tools, advice,things that could help others...I do not personally understand why you would withold because of others in the past being weird, if you wanted to help in the past, keep wanting to, or they win. 

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7 minutes ago, Sasy Scarborough said:

It was meant as a joke, but yes because of the various groups and options a lot is missed by many. A lot of creators, older ones especially use plurk to share info, newer creators use facebook, many use both, but if you don't follow the right people, or their people don't share, or just being in a different timezone can mean missing these things. When I saw it, I made sure to send info to others I knew may need it, and they in turn, I hope added more. People can only spread to whom they know, it is also why we end up with many repetitions of things, same topics, same groups, so they get watered down, dilluted if you will. There were many SL people using Discord last year, for store groups, bloggers, friends, and help. I personally have not used any social media sites since December, but remembered this particular one because of the conversation earlier. 

If you have tools, advice,things that could help others...I do not personally understand why you would withold because of others in the past being weird, if you wanted to help in the past, keep wanting to, or they win. 

I don't even know plurk existed. :)  I never heard about it.

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Years ago I used AutoCAD for the first time.

Within minutes, with no manual or tutorials, (Didn't even have YouTube back then, and barely had the Internet) I was drawing nifty stuff because the menus and buttons were available and made sense. 

With Blender I have to watch a 20 minute video or read 3 paragraphs searching for some obscure set of keybinds and toggle 3 different modes just to copy a box. 

It's pretty clear what the source of the problem is.

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11 minutes ago, Gadget Portal said:

Years ago I used AutoCAD for the first time.

Within minutes, with no manual or tutorials, (Didn't even have YouTube back then, and barely had the Internet) I was drawing nifty stuff because the menus and buttons were available and made sense. 

With Blender I have to watch a 20 minute video or read 3 paragraphs searching for some obscure set of keybinds and toggle 3 different modes just to copy a box. 

It's pretty clear what the source of the problem is.

Hello,

It is absolutely true. Actually, I don't use general purpose 3D software anymore, I prefer use dedicated softwared and then, if necessary, create myself the tool to adapt automatically the primary model I get for the targeted platform as real time engine or photographies quality. Despite this, Blender is good to convert 3D files :) and some utilities inside are not bad. We will see the new 2.8 version, it seems better as first view.

Best Regards, Motoko Oanomochi.

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51 minutes ago, Gadget Portal said:

Years ago I used AutoCAD for the first time.

Within minutes, with no manual or tutorials, (Didn't even have YouTube back then, and barely had the Internet) I was drawing nifty stuff because the menus and buttons were available and made sense. 

With Blender I have to watch a 20 minute video or read 3 paragraphs searching for some obscure set of keybinds and toggle 3 different modes just to copy a box. 

It's pretty clear what the source of the problem is.

I'd say not reading the manual is a big one there.

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10 hours ago, Motoko Oanomochi said:

I don't even know plurk existed. :)  I never heard about it.

Many SL users, they even gave them a designation, instead of a country you can choose you are from SL. Started using it in 2008, it grew fast, it is very who you follow is what you see though, you can also make your timeline private etc. But point was, so many separate places sharing bits of things, makes sense we miss a lot, which is a shame. 

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7 hours ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

I'd say not reading the manual is a big one there.

nothing-goes-over-my-head-my-reflexes-ar

Digging in the manual to do basic things = reading the manual.

Edited by Gadget Portal
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12 hours ago, Gadget Portal said:

Years ago I used AutoCAD for the first time.

Within minutes, with no manual or tutorials, (Didn't even have YouTube back then, and barely had the Internet) I was drawing nifty stuff because the menus and buttons were available and made sense. 

With Blender I have to watch a 20 minute video or read 3 paragraphs searching for some obscure set of keybinds and toggle 3 different modes just to copy a box. 

It's pretty clear what the source of the problem is.

Wow. We never thought AutoCAD was that easy. I worked on it in the very early days. Much work went into producing a really good manual as a hardbound book.

Edited by animats
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At least Blender has a manual at all, now we just need one that is more SL specific. 

For instance, is there a single page in the forums, or knowledge base, with basic mesh tips all laid out that isn't outdated? 

Things like whether drawing vertices from scratch are the best method for low poly SL meshes, or what kind of topology it should be to not break when it's rigged?
There are bits of info like this scattered around but no one central place unless I'm missing something. And if I am please prove me wrong with a link.

I'm taking my time trying to figure out the workflow that works best for meshes for SL so that I don't become one of those creators that's putting out bad mesh or laggy items but I've had to go on a scavenger hunt to find out what I need. I had thought there would be a sticky in this forum especially with the basics listed and was surprised to see none.
Also although the in-world creator groups are great, they are only productive if I'm actually in-world to receive the messages. Otherwise that information is just lost :/

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1 hour ago, animats said:

Wow. We never thought AutoCAD was that easy. I worked on it in the very early days. Much work went into producing a really good manual as a hardbound book.

It may have changed since I used it (or before I used it- in the 90's), but I distinctly remember clear, concise menus. Pick Draw > Line and you're drawing a line. Draw > Circle and guess what? You're drawing a circle. Don't like menus? There's an icon on the bottom of the screen with a circle on it. Guess what it does? Allows you to draw a circle. That's a good, easy to use UI. Want to optimize your goofy shapes? Now you're breaking out the manual.

With Blender, you're breaking out the manual just to figure out how to put those basic shapes on the screen.

Edited by Gadget Portal

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9 hours ago, Violaine Villota said:

I've had to go on a scavenger hunt to find out what I need.

And then threads like these are made titled:

Why beginners don't learn the basics first?

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9 hours ago, Gadget Portal said:

It may have changed since I used it (or before I used it- in the 90's), but I distinctly remember clear, concise menus. Pick Draw > Line and you're drawing a line. Draw > Circle and guess what? You're drawing a circle. Don't like menus? There's an icon on the bottom of the screen with a circle on it. Guess what it does? Allows you to draw a circle. That's a good, easy to use UI. Want to optimize your goofy shapes? Now you're breaking out the manual.

And do you remember how you changed from drawing a skinny line to drawing a fat line? Of course - you changed its color. See? Super intuitive!

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On 1/24/2019 at 10:58 AM, Kyrah Abattoir said:

I never said people should just "git gud", I'm complaining that folks are unwilling to go through the proper steps to acquire a solid base of skills that will make them good modelers because that takes time and they want to sell shoes now and not in 4 weeks.

You just answered the question you asked at the start of this thread. If you want to make shoes, the "basics" are the things you need to learn to make something that looks like a shoe. Making a well-optimized model isn't what they sat down in front of the computer to do.

Marvelous Designer is a perfect example of this problem. It's written for people who are used to making real-world clothing using patterns and fabric, and I understand it does a remarkably good job of converting these concepts to a digital model. The model itself isn't great as a model for an application like Second Life, but that's not what the program was written for.

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@Theresa Tennyson I had been considering using Marvelous Designer at some point in the future, but is that a program we should be avoiding all together or are there ways to optimize the meshes better that people are missing or not doing?

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10 hours ago, Violaine Villota said:

@Theresa Tennyson I had been considering using Marvelous Designer at some point in the future, but is that a program we should be avoiding all together or are there ways to optimize the meshes better that people are missing or not doing?

There is no inherently "bad" tool out there. MD is a great too to design clothes, and that's the key word here design, it is not going to produce a good, efficient geometry with optimized UVs, that is still your primary task as a game asset modeler.

It's probably 50/50. Folks who blindly trust MD to do the modeling for them (it's easy to succumb to the idea that manual polygon shuffling is finally obsolete) and on the other side, you also have folks who know exactly what they are doing, they just don't care because this is SL and not only there is no boss to tell them that this is not acceptable, but their customers typically don't know and will just blame "SL being SL" if they notice any problems.

Edited by Kyrah Abattoir

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I have been thinking seriously about this manual business.  Re-reading the comments here too, vital stuff.

There are two kinds of Manual for a piece of software:

1) Reference Manual - takes each function or command and tells you every detail about what it does.  It critically depends for understanding on you having agreed the context and vocabulary with the author.

2) Training Manual, or User Guide - demonstrates selected scenarios of use of the software assuming only common knowledge.  A good User Guide will have multiple scenarios described for any complex software.  It is a mistake to think that this is a read once and trash document, you often need to go back and look at the workflows again.  In fact you could call this a Workflow Manual.  This is the documentation that establishes the context and vocabulary to use the Reference Manual.

For SL use of Blender (and Maya, 3DMax, ZBrush, Gimp, Photoshop, Meshroom...) we have (1), but we are mostly missing (2).  So our problem is a missing context and vocabulary for SL workflows.

In some ways the ubiquitous YouTube tutorial is ideal for (2), but in others it fails badly - we've been over all that in this discussion.  I could envisage an online resource that wraps snippets of tutorial videos round with workflow text and diagrams - that would give the best of both worlds. 

So, Question: does there exist a technology for making such a resource?   I can do it in HTML/CSS/PHP/JS, but it will take years.

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On 1/20/2019 at 4:57 AM, Kyrah Abattoir said:

Disclaimer! If you feel that I'm unfair or too harsh, I'm sorry, I don't want to come out as an arrogant jerk but that's unfortunately how I tend to come out.

I see this time and time again, people asking for help, and when I look at their model it seem to me they are shooting way above their skill level:

  • Massive polygon count.
  • Horrible UV packing.
  • Coplanar faces everywhere
  • Polygons facing the wrong way
  • Loose vertices
  • Loose edges
  • Messed up blender UI.
  • Etc...

Their .blend file tend to shows that they are lacking fundamental skills and practice on basic 3D model construction and on how polygons are arranged to form even the smplest shape.

I see people hopping on Marvelous designer, Mudbox or hell, even Zbrush doing all this intricate sculpting and draping (nothing wrong with that). And then when comes to time to actually tackle "modeling" (you know, manipulating polygons and vertices directly, by hand), they are either:

  • Completely lost.
  • Hit "unwrap" once and call it a day.
  • Outright refuse to edit their model directly.

What's the deal there, I don't get it, the first thing I did when I started with blender was to head to https://www.blender.org/support/tutorials/ and went through the "Blender Fundamentals" (the equivalent we had back then) no matter how dumb it made me feel.

And people ask why I still build with prims.

1) rezz prim

2) move into position

3) stretch to fit

4) add texture

done :)

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8 hours ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

There is no inherently "bad" tool out there. MD is a great too to design clothes, and that's the key word here design, it is not going to produce a good, efficient geometry with optimized UVs, that is still your primary task as a game asset modeler.

It's probably 50/50. Folks who blindly trust MD to do the modeling for them (it's easy to succumb to the idea that manual polygon shuffling is finally obsolete) and on the other side, you also have folks who know exactly what they are doing, they just don't care because this is SL and not only there is no boss to tell them that this is not acceptable, but their customers typically don't know and will just blame "SL being SL" if they notice any problems.

Hello,

It is all true and yes MD doesn't produces best geometry and optimized UV for real time engine and online game as Second life, but ... on 2012, I remember I did a tool with colleagues to adapt the Obj file from MD to real time engine, and even for Second life, we made even a system to make square texture seamless to MD model :)  It was in the past. When we could do things without the pressure. I recall just one thing, a good software for design nice model needs sometime or often, as you wish, a tool to adapt the 3D model for the targeted platform, that doesn't means the software is bad or not adapted, that only means it needs an addons.

Best Regards, Motoko Oanomochi.

 

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4 hours ago, BilliJo Aldrin said:

And people ask why I still build with prims.

1) rezz prim

2) move into position

3) stretch to fit

4) add texture

done :)

I tried to do some of that with Blender before I even tried it with the SL building tools, actually. Maybe because I joined at a time when mesh was really starting to take over, and while legacy builds were still considered sort of OK for the most part, they were really on the way out and starting to be frowned upon.

SL building is now sort a "vacation" from Blender. Just so easy in many ways :)

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8 hours ago, anna2358 said:

So our problem is a missing context and vocabulary for SL workflows.

In the Blender Bender classes this is taught from the very beginning. I think it was the 4th or 5th class we were taught how to reduce LI count on a sofa from 3 to only 1, and how to import it with physics 'prims'.

Edited by Luna Bliss

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