Why Some Tutorials Are Annoying

interpolator
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Brian "Panda" Choi interpolator
I have to admit, I share this guys' parody critique so much as a nubile artist.  There were SO many tutorials from skilled, seasoned artists that were terrible at teaching.

Kudos to all those teachers who actually make awesome tutorials!

Anyone else share similar experiences, or even see their own tutorials have similar challenges to overcome?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bUtZzi6hag

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  • CGXel
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    CGXel vertex
    Oh my god that was funny! :smiley:
    I don't hate those kind of slow tutorials, I actually hate the opposite, the ones where the tutor clicks all over the place while tweaking values without really explaining what are they doing, its like "just put those values", I hate those so much!, obviously the comment its towards tutorials that claim to be basic.
  • Fuiosg
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    Fuiosg polycounter lvl 5
    lol, that hits home. I actually have an aversion to youtube tutorials because of this stuff, my biggest pet peeve is the lack of editing. Way too often the author will do something the wrong way for 5 minutes, then be like whoops, you're actually supposed to do it this way. Or they leave the camera running while it's compiling or something.
  • napelazam
    Bad Tutorials? I hate the tuts from D.T.... very bad videos.
  • Mstankow
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    Mstankow polycounter lvl 7
    People who use hotkeys in tutorials are the worst.
  • Bletzkarn
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    Bletzkarn triangle
    Yea feels like the majority of tutorials are pretty bad - real treasure to find a good one.
  • xrg
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    xrg polycounter lvl 5
    I used to be a lot more critical of video tutorials until I started making them. While the video pushes it to extremes, when you have a global audience of varied skill levels, it's difficult to determine what you should take the time to explain and what you shouldn't. Half the people will say you went to fast, the other half too slow. If you gloss over something assuming most people already know it, you will have to explain it over and over again in the comments until the end of time. So finding a balance is challenging.

    That said, some tutorials are so phenomenally bad, I don't even understand how a person feels comfortable admitting they authored it.
  • CGXel
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    CGXel vertex
    xrg said:
    I used to be a lot more critical of video tutorials until I started making them. 
    Hey you should link us your tutorials!, not to criticize you, by looking at your profile picture it seems that you do stylized modeling and texturing?, or what tutorials do you make? :smile: 
  • xrg
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    xrg polycounter lvl 5
    Sure. I don't have very many tutorials, but here is the playlist from my profile pic. I do hand-painted texturing/Blender stuff.
  • CGXel
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    CGXel vertex
    xrg said:
    Sure. I don't have very many tutorials, but here is the playlist from my profile pic. I do hand-painted texturing/Blender stuff.
    Even tho I don't use blender, I guess the technique must be the same on different softwares, I will watch the Hand Painted tutorial, you should make more videos :)
  • MagicSugar
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    MagicSugar polycounter lvl 9
    Kudos to all those teachers who actually make awesome tutorials!

    You get what you pay for. $5 gumroads, I can tolerate average to bad narrations.  If I'm paying over $35 it better be edited and polished like Gnomons.

    A similar pet peeve are youtube interviews of artists.  You know when a show has a really good guest artist but the main hosts keep interrupting them before they can finish a good story.
  • ZacD
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    ZacD greentooth
    The most annoying thing to me in tutorials, is when an artist obviously wrote down everything step by step to a point where it's completely unnatural and how an artist works. Stuff like we will put in a value of .03125 for this, without any context or explanation, or natural playing with values. 
  • Dudestein
    1) I get it, but not everyone knows what you know. So what you think is lame, basic overview, someone else will find useful.
    2) You're basically being spoon-fed information, often times for low to no cost. Complaining about it not being riveting to watch 100% of the time seems tacky.

  • Magihat
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    Magihat interpolator
    1) I get it, but not everyone knows what you know. So what you think is lame, basic overview, someone else will find useful.
    2) You're basically being spoon-fed information, often times for low to no cost. Complaining about it not being riveting to watch 100% of the time seems tacky.
    Pretty much. To add to your first point there is also usually some kind of grading on tutorials (beginner, advanced etc.) so that you know what to expect. Personally I'd rather have things over-explained than have an important part of the tutorial glossed over as that just stops me from proceeding.
  • Equanim
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    Equanim polycounter lvl 6
    The best ones that I've seen are quick and illustrate either a single point or a series of closely related ones.  If they have prerequisites, just list them in the first 5-10 seconds.  Fast as they are, I think the ones from Handplane3D on normal maps are some of the best 3D tutorials I've ever seen.  Others are Derek Banas' videos on learning Java.  I haven't found a single source for 3D tutorials because it's such a broad topic, but people who teach for their day jobs are (usually) the best as far as I've seen.

    Some of the worst:
    • A ZBrush tutorial from years ago that spent the first ten minutes teaching how to make macros.  (I think it was on transferring polypaint to a texture.)
    • A Photoshop tutorial that spent 4/5 minutes eliminating solutions that DON'T work.  It was on aligning text in multiple ways around a circle.
    • A UE3 tutorial on package management by a teacher who substituted verbal descriptions with "daaa" as he clicked.
  • MmAaXx
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    MmAaXx polycounter lvl 4
    ahahahhahahaha

    yeah.....I have the opposite problem, My tutorials are actually timelapses so people asking me a lot how I did certain parts :S
  • pixaeiro
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    pixaeiro polycounter lvl 3
    Making good video tutorials takes a lot of time.
    When I make a video tutorial I try to explain only one tool or concept, keep the duration as low as possible (3 minutes is too long), and show every step in the process. I also keep on display a small tool that shows the mouse and keys states.
    I always have to prepare the script in advance, write down the audio script and the video script, and practice it a few times.
    Recording audio and video is the fastest part, but I can't do it at the same time... I always have to record the video and then the audio (many many times per line).
    And then comes editing..! I speed up the sections with a lot of slow mouse actions (painting, typing) and freeze the screen when I need to explain something in advance.
    It takes me almost 1 hour to produce 1 minute of video, but my goal is to transmit to the viewer as much information as I can in as little time as possible. However, I still don't know if this is the best way to do it!
  • Karmageddon
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    Karmageddon polycounter lvl 7
    Not enough dubstep in the intro ;)
  • Panupat
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    Panupat polycounter lvl 9
    Allow me to drop this here



  • Finalhart
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    Finalhart polycounter lvl 3
    3DBuzz may not have the best content to learn, but sure is really fun. I could stay hours watching it, having fun and learning, and its not only Zak Parrish many others are really really good at teaching too. I also really enjoyed watching "tag team" tutorials you learn better from it because the subject comes again if the other person didn't get it and on a different way to explain it.
  • AtticusMars
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    AtticusMars greentooth
    I think the most useful thing anyone can do in a tutorial is to put timestamps in the description (or chapter markers for downloaded tutorials, and I don't mean 2 hour long avi files labeled as "chapters"). I usually say I hate long tutorials but really my issue is with how hard it is to find the information you're looking for. Books pretty much solved this problem ages ago by having a table of contents and a glossary, yet video still hasn't figured it out.

    I did an Alchemy tutorial years ago and when I was putting together it together I had a hard time fitting it into a reasonable amount of time because it had 40+ mins of painting demonstration in it and I did not want to make (much less narrate) a 40 minute video. So I broke the video up into sections, the first part was a description of the tools with short demonstrations of how they work and how I use them. Then I had two timelapsed illustrations where I showed them in action in a real picture, where I mostly just rambled incoherently over the video.

    Then I put timestamps in the description of the video on youtube for people to skip to where they wanted. 

    The video ended up being about 15 minutes long and basically all of the instructional information was in the first five minutes, with the remaining 10 being demo. I also had annotations for hotkeys in the first five mins that I forgot while recording the video. I felt like this was as good as a compromise as I could get between making something with a lot of unnecessary information, while still getting to the important shit as fast as possible.

    That being said, for free videos, even when people don't bother to do anything at all to organize their content in a presentable manner, I appreciate that someone took the time out of their life to to dumb something down for my stupid ass to understand it. Even if I do get frustrated sitting there half the time scrubbing the timeline trying to get to the right part. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 
  • lorenzo_di_pietro
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    lorenzo_di_pietro polycounter lvl 3
    Finalhart said:
    3DBuzz may not have the best content to learn, but sure is really fun. I could stay hours watching it, having fun and learning, and its not only Zak Parrish many others are really really good at teaching too. I also really enjoyed watching "tag team" tutorials you learn better from it because the subject comes again if the other person didn't get it and on a different way to explain it.
    I miss the "old" team Zak Parrish + Jason Busby. Together they produced probably the most engaging tutorials that I've ever seen.
  • DEElekgolo
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    DEElekgolo polycounter lvl 8
    (Video copilot template dubstep intro)
    (opens notepad)
    "Hey guys today I'm going to teach you-"
    (Hotkeys that seem to magically make things happen in the software on video)
    (Talks over a timelapse so you don't know whats actually going on)
    (Having to skip by increments of 1/8th the video length to absorb the actually useful information)
    (sneaks in a 600$ plugin)
    "and that's how you do it! Be sure to like and subscribe(Patreon link)"

    In contrast here's some good ones

    http://www.poopinmymouth.com/tutorial/tutorial.htm

  • JordanN
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    JordanN polycounter lvl 5
    I recall posting here once that I preferred vid tutorials over text but over the past few months, I'm now the opposite.

    It's just not worth it to sit through 30 mins or 2 hours of watching someone just do one thing, when you can be using those minutes continuing to model or paint something yourself. 

    Of course, there are still some exceptions but I've noticed lately that text tutorials have served me better to become a faster artist.
  • Finalhart
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    Finalhart polycounter lvl 3
    Finalhart said:
    3DBuzz may not have the best content to learn, but sure is really fun. I could stay hours watching it, having fun and learning, and its not only Zak Parrish many others are really really good at teaching too. I also really enjoyed watching "tag team" tutorials you learn better from it because the subject comes again if the other person didn't get it and on a different way to explain it.
    I miss the "old" team Zak Parrish + Jason Busby. Together they produced probably the most engaging tutorials that I've ever seen.
    Yes! There are realy a few teachers i can only remember that stamp a mark on you, those are a few of them you will be remembering forever. For me, while it's important that the instructor know's the subject, i feel more valuable the method of teaching.

    the moment it starts, you know this is going to be awesome and you will have fun learning.
  • Prime8
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    Prime8 polycounter lvl 2
    From my point of view it's up to the viewer.
    Well it's the internet... 99.999999999% of the content is useless or annoying or whatever you want to call it, it's up to ourselves to find the information useful for us.
    Tutorial that I think have 0 value might be very useful for someone else.

    I can only appreciate all the stuff that is available and the efforts people put into it tutorials.
  • Marshkin
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    Marshkin polycounter lvl 4
    One of the nice things about many tutorials is you can download them locally. What this does is allow people like me to watch them at 2X speed through the slower parts and slow down when it gets relevant for me.
    I'm seeing more and more offered as streaming services (I'm looking at you DT) that don't offer custom speeds which makes impatient me sad. 
  • root
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    root polycounter lvl 11
    JordanN said:
    I recall posting here once that I preferred vid tutorials over text but over the past few months, I'm now the opposite.

    It's just not worth it to sit through 30 mins or 2 hours of watching someone just do one thing, when you can be using those minutes continuing to model or paint something yourself. 

    Of course, there are still some exceptions but I've noticed lately that text tutorials have served me better to become a faster artist.
    Same, I got no time for a tutorial that I can't ctrl-f to jump right to what I want to learn about.
  • lorenzo_di_pietro
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    lorenzo_di_pietro polycounter lvl 3
    Ah ah, thanks Finalhart for posting that video, good memories!

    On the main topic: I agree that the learning process is very subjective. For me, without video tutorials I'd never attempt to tackle 3D, because I had the brilliant idea of starting with some horrible books. And yeah, teaching is not easy: if you're a good artist, it doesn't mean that you are natural at teaching, so huge respect to all the artists out there that are struggling to make valuable tutorials.

  • McGreed
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    McGreed Polycount Sponsor
    For me, I like to see videos of how to do things, but often I really prefer to have a text tutorial with pictures, which you can skim or search for key words for what you need. Trying to do the same in videos can be a real pain.
    Obviously, the best tutorials are the ones that comes with both a video and written tutorial. :) Sure it means more work, but I believe that if someone write the tutorial first, and then do the video, it would be a better product, as he already have an idea of what is needed and can make a better script of the video.
  • Shrike
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    Shrike polycounter lvl 5
    "Hey this person is making a free tutorial without any compensation but is reading slowly or is not good at speaking,
    fuck this guy"
    C'mon, Beggars can't be choosers : P
  • RyanB
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    RyanB Polycount Sponsor
    I feel like I'm spoiled rotten with so many good tutorials free or cheap.

    Allegorithmic has awesome free tutorials for Substance, made it so easy to learn.  This morning before work I started learning about VEX and VOPs in Houdini from a free tutorial I found on Youtube.  On and on, so much quality free stuff.

    All of the non-game courses I take at school locally cost at least $500 or more.  Last full course I took on backflow valves cost me over $1,000 for course, textbook and certification.  Nobody outside of the games industry gives their info and skills away for free, at least not at the professional level.
  • 8bitTurtle
    I'm currently going through Zbrush tutorials and I found that parody video hysterical. However there are some gems out there such as Michael Pavlovich's Zbrush tutorials. They have been excellent so far & I plan to donate a lil moola to show my appreciation. 
  • pixaeiro
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    pixaeiro polycounter lvl 3
    A trick I learned not long ago for YouTube is about the shortcuts J K L, which I use every day every time now:
    J: 10 seconds backwards
    K: Pause/Play
    L: 10 seconds forwards
    And there are many many others... like slow down or speed up!
  • PyrZern
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    PyrZern polycounter lvl 5
    Not to mention too soft voice, too low volume, or just bad/heavy accent with lots of ummm, errr, ehhhh, or ahhh in between words/sentences.

    STOP WASTING MY TIME
  • stop619
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    stop619 polycounter lvl 8
    I really enjoy Arrimus 3D's videos. He's clear and concise. Each video is typically not more than 30 minutes without 1:30 worth of music and logo anims.
  • m4dcow
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    m4dcow polycounter lvl 7

    A month or 2 back I did a short tutorial, and realized I say "you know" way too fucking much.

    It takes practice, and seems easy until you actually try to do it yourself.

  • Meloncov
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    Meloncov polycounter lvl 6
    One useful thing to remember is that YouTube lets you change playback speed, so you can rush through stuff you already know or speed up a slow talker.
  • zetheros
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    zetheros polycounter lvl 3
    oh god, haha
  • PyrZern
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    PyrZern polycounter lvl 5
    Meloncov said:
    One useful thing to remember is that YouTube lets you change playback speed, so you can rush through stuff you already know or speed up a slow talker.
    It is the best feature I have ever seen :)
    Though it's not helping much if I playback 2x speed and the guy just umm, yeah, click this, ayy, button here, and then, whoops, click dynamesh here, and then, yada yada.
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 12
    It's a huge pain in the ass to make tutorials, doubly so for video ones.  I'm not sure it's really worth my time anymore, especially since I would need to upgrade my computer to handle my 3d app AND the recording software.  If anyone is interested in some 3DCoat and Painter tutorials, I'd make some free ones if I could get enough money through a fund raiser for better equipment.

    This was supposed to be the start of a series but it took 8 hours to even get this, I had to dub in a script reading because the original audio was just me cursing at how slow everything was 
  • Kitty|Owl
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    Kitty|Owl polycounter lvl 3

  • Grimwolf
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    Grimwolf polycounter lvl 3
    Oh man, I'm following a paid tutorial right now on rigging in Maya, and it's hitting a lot of those points. This guy has me ripping my hair out.
    At one point he spent a full minute explaining the use of the B hotkey to change the brush size. It almost seems intentional.
  • Bek
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    Bek polycounter lvl 5
    Grimwolf said:
    At one point he spent a full minute explaining the use of the B hotkey to change the brush size. It almost seems intentional.
    Reminds me of the visual basic book we had back in highschool; it started by explaining what the mouse was and the difference between left and right click, before moving on to explain the basics (...) of the operating system. Keep in mind this book ended up with complex coding later on, yet it felt the need to begin as a "my first computer" guide...

    Come to think of it, I've always preferred text tutorials to videos; even if they do include too much preamble it's easy to skip, unlike with a video. With text you can read at your own pace.
  • Grimwolf
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    Grimwolf polycounter lvl 3
    Bek said:
    Grimwolf said:
    At one point he spent a full minute explaining the use of the B hotkey to change the brush size. It almost seems intentional.
    Reminds me of the visual basic book we had back in highschool, it started by explaining what the mouse was and the difference between left and right click, before moving on to explain the basics (...) of the operating system. Keep in mind this book ended up with complex coding later on, yet it felt the need to begin as a "my first computer" guide...

    Come to think of it, I've always preferred text tutorials to videos; even if they do include too much preamble it's easy to skip, unlike with a video. With text you can read at your own pace.
    I would prefer that as well, but I'm way too much of a visual learner. I often have to read text guides multiple times to get a full grasp of it.
  • Shinigami
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    Shinigami polycounter lvl 3
    yea dont stick around a function for too long. Just say what hotkey ure pressing and move on. Guys im planning to make an AK74 tutorial for free on youtube. Is it okay if a tutorial has like me looking at refs? Probably not. Im not sure if i should record one or just do it without recording it.
  • ZacD
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    ZacD greentooth
    Looking at reference images is fine, but it's probably a good idea to say where you got the reference images from. 
  • pior
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    pior ngon master
    As a matter of fact, there are painting "tutorials" out there that are extremely misleading because they conveniently do not show the reference image that the painting is 100% based on. Which in turn makes these videos completely useless because there is no way for the uninformed viewer to actually understand the thought process at play, all that for the sake of "looking cool".
  • PolyHertz
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    PolyHertz polycounter lvl 11
    stop619 said:
    I really enjoy Arrimus 3D's videos. He's clear and concise. Each video is typically not more than 30 minutes without 1:30 worth of music and logo anims.
    I just stumbled across those the other day. Good stuff.
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