Blender 2.x Audio-Visual Tutorial Guide

Blender 2.x Audio-Visual Tutorial Guide

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Blender 2.x Audio-Visual Tutorial
Guide
by
Table of contents
1 Publication Information..................................................................................................... 3
2 Overview ...........................................................................................................................3
3 The Blender Audio-Visual Tutorial Series ....................................................................... 3
3.1 The Basics .................................................................................................................... 4
3.2 Advanced Topics .......................................................................................................... 4
3.3 3D Character Animation ...............................................................................................5
3.4 Linear Animation5
3.5 Special Effects .............................................................................................................. 5
3.6 Film-Making .................................................................................................................5
3.7 The Game Engine ......................................................................................................... 6
4 Guide Design .....................................................................................................................6
4.1 Overview ........................................................................................................ ...

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Blender 2.x Audio-Visual Tutorial Guide
by Table of contents 1 Publication Information..................................................................................................... 3 2 Overview ........................................................................................................................... 3 3 The Blender Audio-Visual Tutorial Series ....................................................................... 3 3.1 The Basics .................................................................................................................... 4 3.2 Advanced Topics .......................................................................................................... 4 3.3 3D Character Animation ...............................................................................................5 3.4 Linear Animation ..........................................................................................................5 3.5 Special Effects .............................................................................................................. 5 3.6 Film-Making .................................................................................................................5 3.7 The Game Engine ......................................................................................................... 6 4 Guide Design .....................................................................................................................6 4.1 Overview ...................................................................................................................... 6 4.2 Interaction .....................................................................................................................7 4.3 Guide Format ................................................................................................................8 5 Tutorial Design ................................................................................................................. 8 5.1 The Title ....................................................................................................................... 8 5.2 The Goal ....................................................................................................................... 8 5.3 What You Should Know .............................................................................................. 8 5.4 What You Will Learn ................................................................................................... 9 5.5 What You Need for this Tutorial.................................................................................10
Copyright © 2004-2005 Martin E Middleton. All rights reserved.
Blender 2.x Audio-Visual Tutorial Guide
5.6 The Presentation ......................................................................................................... 10 5.6.1 Scene Titles ............................................................................................................ 10 5.6.2 Keystrokes ..............................................................................................................11 5.6.3 Mouse Gestures ......................................................................................................11 5.6.4 Simultaneous Mouse and Keyboard Usage ........................................................... 11 5.6.5 Closed Captioning ..................................................................................................11 5.6.6 Informational Icons ................................................................................................ 11 5.6.7 Narration................................................................................................................. 11 5.7 Tips.............................................................................................................................. 11 6 Tutorial Creation ............................................................................................................. 12 6.1 Scripting the Video .....................................................................................................12 6.2 Scripting the Audio .....................................................................................................12 6.3 Capturing the Video ................................................................................................... 12 6.4 Capturing the Audio ................................................................................................... 13 6.5 Post-Processing............................................................................................................13
Copyright © 2004-2005 Martin E Middleton. All rights reserved.
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Blender 2.x Audio-Visual Tutorial Guide
1. Publication Information Date published: 2003 Copyright ©2003 by Mouse Ink All rights reserved.
2. Overview This document describes the philosphy and design ideas for a series of audio-visual tutorial guides describing the use of Blender. The ultimate goal is to create a series of reference guides that will allow someone who is brand new to Blender to become proficient with the application. What is different about this set of tutorial guides is that that will be audio-visual. Each tutorial will be largely made up of small movies that show the viewer how to perform a task while explaining how or why a specific method has been chosen. This will allow the viewer to grasp concepts much more quickly and will allow the ability to showcase the various aspects of Blender. Ultimately, I'm envisioning a set of tutorial guides that will focus on different aspects of Blender. My hope is that once a viewer has gone through the complete set of guides, they will have sufficient knowledge to create an animation project (or a project combining real life actors and Blender created characters) of any length primarily using Blender.
Note: When completed, the guide will be output in the form of a CD-ROM, SVCD, or DVD. I'm not sure of the final format. Depending on the complexity, it may be created in multiple formats. My original thought was to simply create a DVD, however, recognizing that not everyone has a DVD attached to their computer, I'm still thinking about this. The other issue here is that for this to be truly useful, the viewer would probably want to be able to watch the tutorial at the same time that he performs the steps in a running version of Blender. While some viewers might have the luxury of having an external DVD player near their workstation, I have to assume that most do not. Lots of unanswered questions here. At this point, it's not really a big issue though, since we're long way off from creating the final form of the tutorial. Perhaps there would be a way to call up the various tutorials from within Blender as some sort of on-line help?
3. The Blender Audio-Visual Tutorial Series Currently, I see the need for the following set of audio-visual guides: The Basics Advanced Topics 3D Character Animation Linear Animation
Page 3 Copyright © 2004-2005 Martin E Middleton. All rights reserved.
Blender 2.x Audio-Visual Tutorial Guide
Special Effects Film-Making The Game Engine Others may be added to this list at a later time. 3.1. The Basics The Basics will focus on introducing the viewer to the power of Blender. It should cover much of the same material that exists in: The Blender Book The Official Blender 2.0 Guide The Blender Tutorial Guide #01 The Blender Tutorial Guide #02 This guide is meant to be a similar to a survey course in 3D Modelling, Animation, and Film Making. It will probably need to provide an introduction to 3D. It will not go into great depth on advanced topics. The idea is simply to show basic concepts. The other guides in the series will cover these topics in greater depth. 3.2. Advanced Topics "Advanced Topics" will provide more depth to the topics covered in "The Basics". Where "The Basics" may say something like: "experiment with the various sliders" in reference to creating Materials, this guide will focus on showing the effect of the different sliders. This will allow the viewer to receive answers to questions such as: How do a make an object appear to shine more (less)? How can I make my marble texture look more realistic? What do all those different lamp types really do? Again, much of this material will be similar to the more advanced topics that exist in: The Blender Book The Official Blender 2.0 Guide The Blender Tutorial Guide #01 The Blender Tutorial Guide #02 It will be assumed that the viewer has completed "The Basics".
Copyright © 2004-2005 Martin E Middleton. All rights reserved.
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Blender 2.x Audio-Visual Tutorial Guide
3.3. 3D Character Animation "3D Character Animation" will be a detailed guide on designing and animating digital characters using Blender. The viewer will learn how-to create a character using different methods (meshes, nurbs, etc.); how to rig a character for animation; how to animate a character; and maybe some advanced techniques such as using motion capture data to animate a character. I envision something similar to the excellent books written by George Maestri. It will be assumed that the viewer has completed "The Basics".
3.4. Linear Animation "Linear Animation" (maybe this needs a better name) differs from the previous guide in that it is focused on animating objects, as opposed to characters. It will cover things like flying the ubiquitous bouncing ball, flying logos, spaceships, etc. It will cover things like lattice deformation, etc.
3.5. Special Effects "Special Effects" will be a detailed guide on designing and creating special effects. It will show off the power of the Blender particle generation system as well as the use of wave and build effects. This guide will probably be heavily Sci-Fi oriented, since this most types of special effects occur in this genre. It will cover things such as: Laser beams Spacescapes (creating planets and nebulas) Explosions (from the basic fireball to the space-based shockwave) Smoke Lightning and Electricity and what-ever else seems like good idea at the time. Ideally, it would be nice to have this guide be a "how do you do that" reference where we pick special effects used in various films and re-create them using Blender. Again, it will be assumed that the viewer has completed The Basics.
3.6. Film-Making "Film-Making" will be a detailed guide on how to make movies using Blender. Right now, I'm thinking that both the completely digital film and the film requiring compositing will be covered in the same guide, but these may have to be spilt into separate guides. This guide will cover things like:
Page 5 Copyright © 2004-2005 Martin E Middleton. All rights reserved.
Blender 2.x Audio-Visual Tutorial Guide
Titles (plain and animated) such as those used in "Star Wars" and "Superman" Blue/Green-screen techniques Lighting Compositing The Sequence Editor Audio Editing and much, much more. Again, it will be assumed that the viewer has completed "The Basics".
3.7. The Game Engine "The Game Engine" will be a detailed guide to creating 3D interactive games with Blender. (Maybe there'll even be some 2D game stuff in this guide.) It will cover much of the same ground as that presented in "the Official Blender Gamekit". The assumption will be that the viewer has completed "The Basics". 4. Guide Design
4.1. Overview Each guide will consist of several video chapters. Each chapter will be a self-contained tutorial, although a single tutorial might contain multiple sub-sections (scenes). Tutorials will be organized in some type of sequential order so that successive tutorials will rely on previous tutorials having been completed. That is to say, the techniques taught in Tutorial 5 will assume that the viewer has already completed the techniques in Tutorial 3. However, not every task from a previous tutorial will be necessary in a follow-on tutorial. For example, tutorial 7 might require techniques learned in tutorials 4 and 6. Tutorials will be as modularized as possible, so that techniques in one tutorial can be referenced in another without repeating the material. Tutorials will be divided into three levels: Introductory, Intermediate, and Advanced. In the introductory tutorials, nearly every keystroke and mouse button will be displayed on the screen. The intent for the introductory level is to help the user feel comfortable with the Blender interface until the user no longer has to think about which keys to press. In the intermediate tutorials, the focus will shift to technique. By now the viewer knows the interface well enough to manuever around it without the need for an aid. At this level we
Page 6 Copyright © 2004-2005 Martin E Middleton. All rights reserved.
Blender 2.x Audio-Visual Tutorial Guide
only display keystrokes on the screen when we're performing some new function (or possibly demonstrating a shortcut). The presentations at the intermediate level focus on the steps involved to complete a task. In the advanced tutorials, the focus is on both technique and theory. At this level we spend time talking about why we're choosing a particular technique, or we may display two techiniqes to accomplish the same task. The advanced tutorials are meant to be a springboard for the viewer. We want the viewer to watch one of these tutorials and be able to apply what he has learned to create something new. 4.2. Interaction I'm envisioning some kind of menu system where the viewer chooses the chapter (tutorial) he is interested in and the system then displays it for him. Tutorials will be presented so that the viewer can exercise control over the tutorial, for example: Selecting specific tutorials at will Pausing the tutorial Fast-forwarding the tutorial Rewinding the tutorial Ultimately, I envision the guide to be more interactive, however. I'd like the viewer to be able to hot-link through the videos, having controls similar to a web browser. I can see the need for a "flashback" feature, for example. Let's say that the viewer is viewing a tutorial and he is told that need needs to know how to perform step "X" which is presented in another tutorial. I'd like the viewer to be able to select an icon on the screen and immediately jump to the portion of the other tutorial that demostrates how to do "X". Once the viewer has watched the relevant portion of the tutorial, he might want to return to the original tutorial which he was viewing. Thus the need for a flashback button or icon. It would be nice if the guide contained an appendix (a kind of FAQ or knowledge base) which was basically made up of entries such as: How do I copy an object? How do I deform an oject using a lattice? Make the camera follow an object? where each entry contains a hot-link to the appropriate tutorial section.
Page 7 Copyright © 2004-2005 Martin E Middleton. All rights reserved.
Blender 2.x Audio-Visual Tutorial Guide
4.3. Guide Format The guide will be designed using DocBook 4.x. This format has been chosen because it provides for the maximum number of possibilities in terms of output. An HTML version of the guide, or a PDF version, in addition to the DVD/SVCD version may be published. This format should allow the creation of these output versions without having to rewrite the guide. Obviously, if presented in HTML or PDF, the hot-linking interactive aspects of the guide will be fairly transparent. Displaying the video may be more problematic, however. The video output format will have to be chosen with this in mind. 5. Tutorial Design Each tutorial will be made up of discrete sections: The tutorial title The tutorial goal (end result) What topics the viewer should already be familiar with (pre-requisites) What will be taught in the tutorial (topics) Steps involved to complete the tutorial. Tips (things that make life easier) 5.1. The Title Each tutorial will begin with a title section. In this section, the viewer will be presented with a black background over which the title of the tutorial will be superimposed. 5.2. The Goal This section will allow the viewer to see the end result of the tutorial. For example, if the goal of the tutorial is to model a house, the viewer will be presented with a view of the completed house with the camera moving around the house to show various details. While this scene is being displayed, there will be an audio commentary which will explain the goal of the tutorial and draw the viewer's attention to details that the author feels are relevant. 5.3. What You Should Know This section will detail for the viewer the techniques and/or tutorials the user should already have completed prior to beginning this tutorial. The viewer will be presented with a black
Page 8 Copyright © 2004-2005 Martin E Middleton. All rights reserved.
Blender 2.x Audio-Visual Tutorial Guide
background over which each technique will be displayed in a sequential list. For example: How to select an object How to extrude a surface How to rotate an object While the list is being displayed, the narrator will read the list as well as providing additional information concerning the topic, if desired. For example, if the pre-requisite topic is "How to select an object", the narration might be something similar to: "How to select an object. You should also know how to select multiple objects." The list of pre-requisites will not be all inclusive. It will only identify the upper level pre-requisites. For example, let's assume that the guide contains a tutorial in which the viewer will learn "How to Aninmate an Object". Obviously, the viewer will need to know: How to navigate the Blender Interface How to create an object How to select an oject Let's further assume that topics 2 and 3 above are covered in one tutorial. That tutorial lists topic 1 as a pre-requisite. The animation tutorial would only list topics 2 and 3 as pre-requisites. If the user were to view that tutorial, he would then see that topic 1 is a pre-requisite. Note: For every item listed above, there should be a link to the appropriate tutorial scene.
5.4. What You Will Learn This section will detail for the viewer exactly what techniques, etc. he will learn in the tutorial. The viewer will be presented with a black background over which each technique will be displayed in a sequential list. For example: How to select an object How to extrude a surface How to rotate an object While the list is being displayed, the narrator will read the list as well as providing additional information concerning the topic, if desired. For example, if the topic is "How to select an object", the narration might be something similar to: "How to select an object. You will also learn how to select muliple objects."
Page 9 Copyright © 2004-2005 Martin E Middleton. All rights reserved.
Blender 2.x Audio-Visual Tutorial Guide
Note: For every item listed above, there should be a corresponding scene below.
5.5. What You Need for this Tutorial This is an optional section. For most tutorials, the default settings of Blender will be used to conduct the tutorial. This way the viewer will see what happens when they perform the tasks in the tutorial. There should be no cases of "Hey! It doesn't work that way when I do it!". If there are any differences from the default Blender settings they will be noted at the beginning of the tutorial and the viewer will be led through the appropriate steps to duplicate what is shown in the tutorial. This may be done by requiring the user to load a tutorial file, for example. 5.6. The Presentation This section is what the tutorial is all about. This is where we will show the viewer how to do it. The presentation is basically a long screen capture that displays what we are doing as we are doing it. In addition, there will be an audio commentary that describes what we are doing and perhaps why we are doing it. Each tutorial will be broken down into scenes. There will be a corresponding scene for every item displayed in the "What You Will Learn" section. Essentially, different areas of the screen will be used for specific tasks. For example: Scene Titles Keystrokes Mouse Gestures (using the MMB and RMB) Closed-captioning? Informational Icons Narration A key point will be to select areas on the screen that will serve as an aide to the tutorial and not as a hindrance. For instance, if specific button settings are important in a tutorial, we don't want them to be obscured. 5.6.1. Scene Titles As each scene begins, a brief scene title will be superimposed on the display. This will make it easy for the viewer to find a specific scene while fast-forwarding or rewinding through a
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Blender 2.x Audio-Visual Tutorial Guide
tutorial.
5.6.2. Keystrokes Since Blender is designed to be used with both the keyboard and mouse simultaneously, we need to let the viewer know when we are performing keystrokes off-screen, especially in the early tutorials. It would be too disconcerting to keep cutting back and forth between the keboard and the display. Therefore, as we perform keyboard strokes, they will be superimposed on the display. The keystroke will be displayed in the middle vertically, and on the right third of the screen horizontally.
5.6.3. Mouse Gestures There are times when the middle or right mouse button will be used in order to perform some action. Again, we need to let the viewer know about this. Therefore, as these mouse gestures are performed, they will be superimposed on the display. The keystroke will be displayed in the middle vertically, and on the right third of the screen horizontally.
5.6.4. Simultaneous Mouse and Keyboard Usage Because some techniques will require use of both the mouse and the keyboard, we'll need a way to make this clear to the viewer when it is presented. Since both the keyboard and mouse gestures will be displayed on the same portion of the screen, they will be presented using different colors. We'll need to decide what these should be at a later time.
5.6.5. Closed Captioning I'm not sure how complicated it would be to add closed captioning, but I'm thinking about adding the narration, if possible. It will be located in the standard location for closed captioning.
5.6.6. Informational Icons FIXME: What was I thinking about when I put in this place-holder?
5.6.7. Narration This contains the text that will be presented to the viewer.
5.7. Tips
Page 11 Copyright © 2004-2005 Martin E Middleton. All rights reserved.