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RebelHill
07-31-2012, 06:31 AM
Hey.

Turns out Ive been weasling away at a set of video tutorials for nodes here (to be called RHN funnily enough). So having done up a fair chunk of whats going to go in, I thought Id ask if anyone has any thoughts, suggestions, questions, etc that they'd like to see answered or addressed in the series.

Here's the basic overview of the training...

Coverage of the node editor as a whole in LW, with examples including surfacing, displacement, motion control, rigging, etc. Coverage of LWs native nodes plus uses of common third party ones thrown in here and there when useful or relevant.

3 main sections...

Fundamentals - The "how to think nodal" bit. Interface, reading networks, common techniques, common structures, data types and connections, scalars vectors, etc explained with relevant examples and explanations aimed at trying to help the artist to understand.

Nodes - A bunch of videos, each covering a particular node or node type, each with its own setup, usage and think through example, plus explanations of why the node does what it does where necessary.

Projects - A collection of different projects using LOTS of nodes and combinations to achieve final pieces, putting al the theory into practice. Projects cover surfacing environments, face rigging, character surfacing, creating constraints, displacements, and more.

Attached is an example vid from section 2, covering the mod node.

Ok, cheers all, thoughts on a postcard pls.

BigHache
07-31-2012, 06:50 AM
Very cool. What I like about your videos are they're so matter-of-fact. Straight, to the point, there it is.

adk
07-31-2012, 06:51 AM
One word ... awesome !
More words ... when is it available ?
Even more words ... many thanks RebelHill. I've seen all your tutes & really enjoy your presentation style & the info gained. Can't wait to get my hands on this series & hope it's a long one. Will there be a reunion episode ? :D

There's so much ground you could cover I'm not sure where to start in terms of requests.

silviotoledo
07-31-2012, 07:04 AM
Nodes are something alien for a lot of users.
So a NODE by NODE explanation would be very welcome and a best seller video.

Will you include DPont ones and TrueArt ones?

A series of a video-node-bible like that would be awesome! But a lot of job!

djwaterman
07-31-2012, 07:08 AM
You probably cover it, but the INFO node is a complete mystery to me.

RebelHill
07-31-2012, 07:33 AM
which one? spot, item, instance, ..?

jeric_synergy
07-31-2012, 07:34 AM
Attached is an example vid from section 2, covering the mod node.
Well explained, and a pleasure to watch. :thumbsup:


If I had to pick nits (and they say "do what you're good at") I'd say the tablet(?)/mouse(?) noise was a little bit distracting.

djwaterman
07-31-2012, 07:54 AM
which one? spot, item, instance, ..?

I would say all of them, although the one I knew about was the SPOT INFO. I'll wait for your video's when they come, will it appear on the same site that I bought your GI tutorial from?

stevenpalomino
07-31-2012, 08:23 AM
Awesome example tutorial!! I think that the whole "project based" explanation worked the best for me. I liked that you explained the "theory" behind the node and then gave a very awesome example that could actually be used. I'm pretty much in the same boat probably as most people. I don't know what a lot of the nodes do, but I know that they're powerful. I agree with what's been said before, It'd be great to have a node-by-node explanation, but that'd be a crap load of work! Although I'm sure it'd be considered the go-to resource for nodes though since nothing like that is around. Thanks for all you do also! I must've watched your tut on unified sampling at least 10 times!

RebelHill
07-31-2012, 08:50 AM
Yes, I thought a node by node section would be a good idea as it can be hard for folks to really interpret networks sometimes, no matter how well they're explained, if they dont already understand each node in its own context.

Obv, I cant, and wont be covering every single node, itd be huge, and ridiculous. But I shall have vids on the major nodes, the most commonly useful ones, as we as many of the more common problem ones for folks. But aside to this there's also stuff in there for understanding the actual data types, and information components that the nodes output and receive. Vectors, colours, how they all cross-interpret between one another, and so on.

wesleycorgi
07-31-2012, 09:11 AM
Looking forward to this — Sensei/TrueArts "forced" me to go nodal with surfaces with Global Materials. Prior to this, James W's tutorial were a great primer.

I would also like to see third party (TrueArt & Dpont), as well as to see how MDD works with nodes.

jeric_synergy
07-31-2012, 09:27 AM
Awesome example tutorial!! I think that the whole "project based" explanation worked the best for me. I liked that you explained the "theory" behind the node and then gave a very awesome example that could actually be used.
Yes, that approach worked very well. :thumbsup:

Axis3d
07-31-2012, 09:29 AM
These would be a tremendous help to the understanding of LW's nodal system. I have enjoyed your tutorials in the past for you have a true wealth and understanding of LW's technical aspects and an ability to explain it clearly. I look forward to anything you would have to offer.

creacon
07-31-2012, 09:44 AM
Looking good, where did you get that node that shows the values of the inputs? Looks like "spy" or something.

creacon

raw-m
07-31-2012, 09:49 AM
Any explanation that doesn't involve an Maths degree is very welcome! Looking forward :D

jeric_synergy
07-31-2012, 10:05 AM
Looking good, where did you get that node that shows the values of the inputs? Looks like "spy" or something.

creacon
http://lwplugindb.com/Plugin.aspx?id=c793077b

Very handy, but I wish it had "thru-puts".

Tobian
07-31-2012, 10:15 AM
input spy http://www.lwplugindb.com/Plugin.aspx?id=c793077b essential tool!:)

I'm interested in seeing what you do here too. I'd have to see what you have done about before I could offer any specific suggestions on what might else be covered, but yeah some of the major useful tools within DP, DB&W and Sensei's toolsets (as well as other highly useful free single tools) would be a great addition. Perhaps showcasing what they were made for... i.e. reproducing the same effect (if possible) using native node groups.. a single simple node is much better than a huge chain of complicated ones (and because of the way nodes are calculated, also slower to compute). It would also further explain how the node system works?

creacon
07-31-2012, 11:27 AM
Thanks,

it has the source too! If I find the time I'll add the throughputs, shouldn't be too hard.

creacon


http://lwplugindb.com/Plugin.aspx?id=c793077b

Very handy, but I wish it had "thru-puts".

raw-m
07-31-2012, 11:40 AM
Thanks,

it has the source too! If I find the time I'll add the throughputs, shouldn't be too hard.

creacon

Can you make it Mac compatible (pretty please!!) :thumbsup:

devin
07-31-2012, 12:35 PM
This is great news and I think it's something that is not only overdue but also would be in high demand. A straightforward explanation with examples that avoids repeating the math definition would be much appreciated.

Look forward to the release.

H_Molla
07-31-2012, 12:44 PM
gr8....as usual :-D

Empedokles
07-31-2012, 01:11 PM
this is great news and i think it's something that is not only overdue but also would be in high demand. A straightforward explanation with examples that avoids repeating the math definition would be much appreciated.

Look forward to the release.

+1

alexs3d
07-31-2012, 11:45 PM
there are a lot of not documented nodes and features in lw11, would be cool to see some tuts on these.

thanks and looking forward...

jeric_synergy
07-31-2012, 11:49 PM
Perhaps a list of UNdocumented nodes, and explanations, could find a home on LightWIKI.

geo_n
08-01-2012, 04:41 AM
Seems like good content but couldn't see clearly.
Same comment to Sensei tuts. Too small text and icons with that high desktop res. I'm probably in the minority group 5% according to sensei. But I'm willing to buy quality tuts. Bought tons of tuts from Kurv to expedite learning lw. Too bad they're gone.

Very clear screencaps for reference.
Splinegod
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnsM_MprsFQ&feature=plcp

William
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMEvA1mFqDI

Don't really mind the 4:3 aspect ratio because its super clear like digital tutors, lynda.com.

RebelHill
08-01-2012, 04:53 AM
Im not sure if thats gonna fly for something like this. Theres just TOO much on screen at any one time, it cant be crammed into that tiny lil resolution.

I cap at 1920 and bring down to 1280. If your monitor is min 1280, and you watch full screen, the text, etc, should all be readable without problem, given a normal working viewing distance ofc.

Tobian
08-01-2012, 05:44 AM
It is a bit of an odd resolution you have, not HD, as it's narrower. It does need to be a pretty large screen size though, I agree, as node networks can get large, and if you're trying to show the network and a render behind it, then you need a decent resolution. Shame it does look a little blurry though.

RebelHill
08-01-2012, 05:52 AM
Text is a lil softened due to the downscaling, yes... but I don't see it being blurry... not on any of my 4 screens anyhow. Seems perfectly readable. But yes, space is the major consideration. With the size of some networks, or the need to show changes in a network updating in a viewport, etc... it'd be FAR harder to follow, I believe, if things were constantly having to be shuffled and scrolled around. Too easy for the viewer to lose track of where I am, what Im doing, and what effect its having.

COBRASoft
08-01-2012, 06:37 AM
Very interesting indeed!

Would love to see more about DPont and others too. DPont has some very special ones concerning motion of parts.

jeric_synergy
08-01-2012, 09:10 AM
Text is a lil softened due to the downscaling, yes... but I don't see it being blurry... not on any of my 4 screens anyhow. Seems perfectly readable.
It's preferable to go by what a group of users perceive, rather than one's own perception. WTSIWTG, on their systems.

Larry's tuts are always very legible.

Some educators use the occasional split screen to clarify the more confusing bits.

fram
08-01-2012, 09:29 AM
I can only say..


http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/5513/shutupandtakemymoney1.jpg

RebelHill
08-01-2012, 09:52 AM
So which would folks prefer then??

Something thats big, fat, easily read, but which scrols around all over the place like a nightmare, maning you have to constantly memorise what was on the screen a minute ago to understand whats being shown now

or

Something that's clearly laid out and easy to follow whats being described/talked about with the downside that you may have to squint in a lil closer to your monitor to read the occasional bit of text??

You see... I had EXACTLY the opposite complaint about some sections of RHR (in the beginning sections) where I use a more "zoomed in" view to make text/boxes/etc very clear, and many users said they found THAT confusing.

Trust me though... it IS better this way.

BigHache
08-01-2012, 10:00 AM
It is a bit of an odd resolution you have, not HD, as it's narrower.

Actually that is standard res for DVCPRO HD 1080i60. In terms of BD playback it would kind of work like widescreen SD video. Yeah kind of weird but there's 1440 too.

COBRASoft
08-01-2012, 10:04 AM
I like the resolution. It's good readable and that counts :).

Ryan Roye
08-01-2012, 10:11 AM
Maybe its just me, but the nodal system's learning curve isn't really the math IMO, its finding out and discovering what exactly you can do with it that's useful. Math is logical... and most often there is only 1 or several answers, whereas figuring out what to do with it has infinite possibilities.

In any case, tutorials that cover nodes is an excellent idea and coverage/highlights of some of Dpont's stuff would be especially cool (not all of the nodes have obvious practical usages, and a tutorial/demo would help bring that out).

Concerning the tutorial video I think it is well enough... audio is great, spoken clearly with good volume as usual (unlike 90% of other tutorials out there), pacing is ok and while video quality will almost always leave something to be desired there is nothing that's unreadable here. There are better video formats out there, but few which offer the filesize vs. quality ratio as .Mov which is probably why that was used.

geo_n
08-01-2012, 10:13 AM
Since I also have your RHR tut, yep it was confusing when it zoomed in and out inconsistently. So they have a point there. But Williams tut doesn't seem to zoom in too much or too fast giving vertigo.
With regards to resolution, the highest I think that's still readable on most screen is 1280 given the monitors are atleast 22-24inch. I don't expect commercial tuts to be seen in smaller screens.
The commercial tuts from liberty by dwburman was 1280 and imho this is the max. Anything higher is small or blurry.
Even the rigging tut from lino grandi was a bit unreadable because it had an odd res and lw now has smaller buttons and text making it worse.
Possible solution for node network being too big. Make chapters that coincide with samples files that are also broken down into chapters so nodes are not fully built. Slowly add on to the node network. Its much easier to follow videos and look at sample files on the side anyway and seeing what nodes where added.
Splinegod is a master at breaking down steps and making it into something big slowly at the end and he's using a reduced window for lw. But still I've never seen better lw tuts made even though he has memory lapses where the buttons are in the default gui :D.

RebelHill
08-01-2012, 10:21 AM
Maybe its just me, but the nodal system's learning curve isn't really the math IMO, its finding out and discovering what exactly you can do with it that's useful. Math is logical... and most often there is only 1 or several answers, whereas figuring out what to do with it has infinite possibilities.

Sort of runs both ways...

Thing is... you dont need to know how to do ANY of the math in the node editor, thats what your computer is for. But you DO need to know the concepts behind some of the math, or rather, understand what it is that the math/procedures are describing... the ideas.

From there, learning/imagining the possible combinations becomes the process of trying to link ideas together, rather than numbers/equations.

Thats why Ive got a video (Paint By Number) covering this approach in the fundamentals section to try and help artists (who very often turn their noses up at the idea of math stuff) to understand the ideas, and work with those instead.

geo_n
08-01-2012, 10:24 AM
Check this screengrab.
One from youtube 1280 by chazriker so its not high quality compression. It looks fine at 1280 because lw 9 has bigger text. Its readable at relax distance 2-4ft.
The sample node video. Small lw 11 text. Readable at 1ft maybe.
Kurv tutorials are super readable. I'll have to dig my collection.

Ryan Roye
08-01-2012, 10:46 AM
One from youtube 1280 by chazriker so its not high quality compression. It looks fine at 1280 because lw 9 has bigger text.

The filesize of the tutorial shown was 349 MB before YouTube compression (source is Divx 6.8.5)... RH's video with equivalent quality would be ~60+MB. It really just boils down to what kind of distribution is desired, where the video is being uploaded/downloaded, etc.

As for getting maximum quality out of quicktime, I don't have much experience there as YouTube can be finicky with it depending on the settings and framerate.

EDIT: Compression and compression settings matter far more than size concerning video quality.

geo_n
08-01-2012, 10:47 AM
Ok seems it is possible to have good readability with 1440, lw 9 though. Must be the codec and compression.
Splinegods final webinar with kurv with Relativity, rare video. Kurv didn't bother to package and encode this for its customers as it went mia.
Text is super clear on this one. Anyway looking forward to these node tuts.

RebelHill
08-01-2012, 10:49 AM
fine at 1280 because lw 9 has bigger text.

No it doesnt...

Mine is DOWNSCALED from 1920. (so not 1:1)

Trust me, the extra screen space afforded here is far better than the alternative.

geo_n
08-01-2012, 10:55 AM
No it doesnt...

Mine is DOWNSCALED from 1920. (so not 1:1)

Trust me, the extra screen space afforded here is far better than the alternative.

No worries. I think its good as long as the codec and compression used is a good one like that one used in splinegods 1440 vid. Some wierd gotomeeting codec. I'm sure mp4 is fine.
Looking forward to it since only James Willmot had real commercial tuts for nodes.

Lito
08-01-2012, 11:54 AM
The sample video looked acceptable for me when played in the default sized window. From all the video tutorials I have bought and watched, the easiest videos to read have always been those that were captured at the resolution it was going to be played back in. While all the others that were done at the authors default resolution then scaled down always has a blurriness. The biggest issue with scaled down videos is that unless you watch it in a window at the default scaled down size, you add even more blurriness to it if you decide you want to double the resolution or even just watch it full screen. That makes it harder to read the text on screen most of the time.

In this case I can understand you wanting to have the space of a 1920x1200 resolution screen. Node flows can get very large and having more room would be advantageous, but because of the amount of settings in node properties and having to follow the connection lines, I think clarity is going to be more important to those watching. I would say it would be better for you to just setup a 1440x870 type resolution (like the lino rigging revealed videos) to capture and playback in than scaling down a 1920x1200 resolution to 1280x800.

Also one question...why .mov Quicktime format? I know it was necessary a while back because of Mac computers, but .mp4 is a much better standard and is playable in almost everything.

jeric_synergy
08-01-2012, 12:18 PM
So which would folks prefer then??
Since you're doing market research, I'll supply my singular data point, to be tossed into the bushel:

My main monitor res is 1680x1050, so a 1280(?) res should easily be legible.

And I've already posted my accolades, so whatever you used for the sample certainly works for me. But that's just me. :thumbsup:

Afalk
08-01-2012, 02:03 PM
RH this sounds like a fantastic idea, and if executed as you describe it'd provide a solid go-to resource for all things nody. Sign me up :)

BigHache
08-01-2012, 03:11 PM
Splinegods final webinar with kurv with Relativity, rare video.

Thank you for the reminder. I have this and I've been meaning to get back to it. Time...

jeric_synergy
08-01-2012, 03:14 PM
Ok seems it is possible to have good readability with 1440, lw 9 though. Must be the codec and compression.
::SNIP:: Kurv didn't bother to package and encode this for its customers as it went mia.
Text is super clear on this one. Anyway looking forward to these node tuts.
That IS nice. :thumbsup:

wyattharris
08-03-2012, 10:53 AM
Repost:
Man RH, you alright bro. :thumbsup:

And dopey me. I should've known MOD stood for Modulo. I don't know why I always assume because its 3D its got to be something I've never heard of.

Edit:
The video looked fine to me. Everything was legible plus you are naming everything as you do it so its pretty easy to tell what is what.

aidenvfx
08-03-2012, 11:55 AM
I personally like to work on project tutorials that also include theory. This is something cg masters textures series did well. The man thing that bothers me is when textures are created and then shown n a spear or cube. If say one is creating a concrete texture show the end result on a building or concrete slab. Just my personal preference. Regardless your training is fantastic so I will buy what you put out. From what you described it sounds like it will be excellent.

Philbert
08-03-2012, 01:58 PM
Just wanted to say, great sample tutorial. I've always had issues with nodes and many tutorials seem to just tell you what each one does, not why, when or how I would use it. it is a little fuzzy but It's readable so I could deal.

RebelHill
08-03-2012, 02:22 PM
Cheers guys Im glad y'all like it.

Def the having of both theory and practice is important, and the 2 divide up over the videos a fair amount, with the first section being much more toward the theory side, and the last toward the practical, with vids throughout all 3 sections varied with bits of both views. The aim is, ofc, to try and help users best connect the dots (literally, lol) in a step by step fashion picking up the needed know how as they go.

jeric_synergy
08-03-2012, 02:38 PM
RH, I think that's precisely the way to approach it: a little theory, and then the implications of the theory.

Philbert
08-03-2012, 03:09 PM
It might make more sense to record after you get ahold of 11.5 though since it looks like the node connectors will be spline based after that.

RebelHill
08-08-2012, 11:59 AM
Here's another lil peek at something...

cheers.

adk
08-08-2012, 05:37 PM
Here's another lil peek at something...

cheers.

:thumbsup:

When do you expect to wrap :D this all up & ready for release RH ? The more I see the more I'm looking forward to this.

Tobian
08-08-2012, 06:47 PM
ahh nifty use of the wrap tool. Funny presentation style :D

Afalk
08-09-2012, 02:26 AM
Love your style, and the quality of all your recordings. I'd never really looked at the Wrap node before and now, I am really started to get excited to see you release this set of training!

RebelHill
08-09-2012, 04:27 AM
When do you expect to wrap :D this all up & ready for release

Are we including, or not, the time required to convalesce and recover from the puns?

Nah... Im thinking a couple weeks ish... Knocking out the different videos for the nodes, and the fundamentals section is ok enough, but putting the projects section together properly is the more involved part of it... hoping all y'all will be chuffed with some of the stuff going in those vids.

Cheers.

Kuzey
08-09-2012, 04:40 AM
Looking forward to them...stellar stuff :thumbsup:

Kuzey

Afalk
08-09-2012, 04:52 AM
Are we including, or not, the time required to convalesce and recover from the puns?

Nah... Im thinking a couple weeks ish... Knocking out the different videos for the nodes, and the fundamentals section is ok enough, but putting the projects section together properly is the more involved part of it... hoping all y'all will be chuffed with some of the stuff going in those vids.

Cheers.

Fantastic news, you just made my morning !

hrgiger
08-09-2012, 06:39 AM
Looks great Craig, very useful.