Building with Dexter

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Building with Dexter

Post by Dexter on Sat Sep 05, 2015 6:51 pm

Hello guys,
I have recently had an idea about creating a few tutorials on object building. These tutorials would be commeted Youtube videos, where I would be building an object in real-time. Later on, we could be also building a route.
What do you lot think about this idea?

We can also make it a coop project, I could be inviting some of you to contribute... Smile 
Please write your ideas below!

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Re: Building with Dexter

Post by graymac on Sat Sep 05, 2015 8:35 pm

Some people can get on with video tutorials. I can't myself, I prefer to have documentation that I can print out and have handy while I go through the steps.
It's still worth a try though.

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building with dexter

Post by jckhinks on Sat Sep 05, 2015 8:46 pm

hi. i agree with graymac I would prefer to have writen documents.jack

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Re: Building with Dexter

Post by Dexter on Sat Sep 05, 2015 10:23 pm

Oh well... I thought I would include typing the commands in the video along with practically showing what they do.

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Re: Building with Dexter

Post by Stevegr on Sat Sep 05, 2015 10:39 pm

Making the object is the easy bit, although a 'how to' might help.

Then you get to route building and putting the object were you want it to be.

That's the hard bit, so why not videos?

But then you have to move on to showing how to place them in a route, that means you also have to show how to make the route.

Or something that not been done for many years,  a guide on how to configure a route and is a very intense bit of understanding of how to make one.

So if anyone that's made a route and actually released it want's to do a Dennis Lance that's great!

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Re: Building with Dexter

Post by MattD6R on Sat Sep 05, 2015 11:07 pm

I prefer written documentation as I can easily refer back to an aspect I am unsure of and is easy to follow. Whether there is more interest if done as a video or written I am not sure. But either way if it gets more interest in developing add-ons for the sim then it would be a good thing.

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Re: Building with Dexter

Post by phontanka on Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:42 pm

Videos may attract teenagers, who don't bother reading much. So a good idea, I think.

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Re: Building with Dexter

Post by phileakins on Sun Sep 06, 2015 5:31 pm

Why not both?

A written script/how to (as Dennis Lance did) with an accompanying video tutorial showing what happens when implementing the script - step by step. Would work both for routes and objects although the component objects/graphics would also have to be made available, again as DL did with his tutorial. Thinking out loud, would DL allow the use of his materials without someone throwing a wobbly about his copyright?

You could host the paperwork etc on your site Dex with pointers (Chris' site for instance) to each of the tools freely available for download, with videos showing the best use of each.

A lot of work but the best of both worlds? A damn good and original idea to my mind, just needs some more thinking through though.

Phil

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Re: Building with Dexter

Post by Dexter on Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:03 pm

I think I might just go ahead and record the first episode today - you guys will then know exactly what I mean and you can give me feedback on it. Otherwise we will just be left with contemplations...
I will, of course, produce the required material from the scratch and it will then be available for everyone. Don't get me wrong here, but I think it is always good to rely on yourself only...

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Re: Building with Dexter

Post by JimH on Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:42 am

From a non-developers point of view, I have often wished I could sit with someone and watch how it's done. I personally would welcome a video/s on object/route building. The documentation will always be there for reference, but to see images on the subject would, for me, be a great advantage. It would also enable me and folk like me to assess whether or not it was within my capabilities to build a route.

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Re: Building with Dexter

Post by graymac on Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:27 pm

It would also enable me and folk like me to assess whether or not it was within my capabilities to build a route.

Good point, Jim. Let's face it, if it was really simple there would be lots more doing it. Although it isn't really hard to do there are some indicators to who will or won't succeed before the first bit of the simple code gets typed in.
Participants will need to spend some time. It isn't a particularly quick process, though like anything else more speed comes with familiarity.
You will need to obtain some documentation to keep handy for reference. I've been "at it" for five years and still need to look things up.
It is much easier when you have good image editing skills. A lot of time is often needed especially when the source photos for textures aren't ideal (and mostly, they're not). Getting those skills if you haven't already got them takes a lot of time and effort.
Some degree of patience will be required and some competence with numeracy too (to calculate dimensions and the texture coordinates). Not that its hard to do, just that it may take time to get it right.
Simple object building, to start off, is easy to try. There was a "knowledge base" page on this site (I can't seem to find it right now) with a link to a basic object tutor called the "Eejit's Guide".  I know , I'm the eejit wot rote it  Razz  Also, Luigi Cartello has a guide in English somewhere on his site, see http://bve.altervista.org/


From a non-developers point of view, I have often wished I could sit with someone and watch how it's done.
Agreed, it's easier to grasp when someone explains it. That's what teachers were invented for. My reservation with videos is simply that the pupil can't always keep up with the teacher and it steams on regardless. In a real small classroom the teacher can ensure the pupils are following, and pause, reinforce or modify the discourse to ensure full understanding. This cannot occur with a pre-produced video.

Making the object is the easy bit, although a 'how to' might help.
Then you get to route building and putting the object were you want it to be.
That's the hard bit, so why not videos?
But then you have to move on to showing how to place them in a route, that means you also have to show how to make the route.
Or something that not been done for many years,  a guide on how to configure a route and is a very intense bit of understanding of how to make one.
So if anyone that's made a route and actually released it want's to do a Dennis Lance that's great!

Steve's made some good points here and it all true. Dennis Lance's guide for BVE4 routes is still the easiest and best tutorial made to date.
I've only produced a simple object tutorial in the past. As a routebuilder who learned the craft by the Dennis Lance method, to present my own version "How To . . ." (which would be, for the most part, duplication)  would cost me more time and effort than I would be prepared to invest, especially as there is currently so little interest. You see, it goes round in a circle - someone's going to say that "if there was a tutorial then there would be more developers"  But there already is a tutorial. The reason there's not more active participants is the lack of dedication and sheer willpower to learn the stuff. Too many people won't do anything that doesn't give instant gratification. This s**t is satisfying in spades, but you gotta pay your dues.


Last edited by graymac on Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:50 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Building with Dexter

Post by Dexter on Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:45 pm

Well, I have run into a technical problem yesterday- I have tried to record the first session of object building, but found out that stupid Fraps is only capable of recording OpenGL and DirectX windows. It was omitting Notepad. Anyways, I have found a new software, so I will record the first session another day. Instead, I took a ride on the Kilmagranny route and I will upload that to Youtube today. Very Happy

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Re: Building with Dexter

Post by graymac on Mon Sep 07, 2015 6:45 pm

OK, this isn't exactly a tutorial, more of a "prequel to a tutorial", which might help the undecided to make up their minds whether they will be likely to get to grips with the construction side of things. In pdf format.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8742935/nuther%20eejit.pdf

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Re: Building with Dexter

Post by Quork on Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:35 pm

I think video tutorials are a great idea. Different people learn in different ways. With objects, the thing most valuable with videos is that you can show in a very dynamic way how the plain numbers relate to the 3D object. Thinking 3D objects in trivalued vectors is a challenge for many, especially those who didn't learn vector manipulation at school (or did 50 years ago). Even more if you add the normal vectors, I've even seen experienced devs getting the idea wrong or not at all and thus trial-and-erroring them out.

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Re: Building with Dexter

Post by Dexter on Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:41 pm

Well, that should all be in store. But I will do it in sessions to make it easier to understand. The difficult part will be finding free time and silence with a toddler in the house. Very Happy Time is money and and our daughter does not have any understanding for these activities whatsoever. Very Happy

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Re: Building with Dexter

Post by Dexter on Thu Sep 10, 2015 9:58 am

So I have revised my options today and the most comprehensive software I could use is either a demo, putting watermarks and automatically stopping recording after 5 minutes, or €30 to stop it doing that. Do you guys think it is worth the investment?

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Re: Building with Dexter

Post by graymac on Thu Sep 10, 2015 12:45 pm

No albino
Not unless you are really into video production.

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Re: Building with Dexter

Post by MattD6R on Thu Sep 10, 2015 12:47 pm

It's up to you if you want to spend that amount. If was me, I would not. There might be something cheaper or free. However I am not an expert on video recording. Maybe you do this with less comprehensive software?

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Re: Building with Dexter

Post by graymac on Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:10 pm

I found the free Hypercam program suitable for capturing all the clips I used for the celtictrainsim.co promotional videos (on the website). The free Serif MoviePlus (starter edition) is OK for editing.

I can't really do videos now because of bandwidth shortage due to having satellite broadband as a last resort cos nothing else is available that works. It's expensive and useless for streaming videos.
Ireland is the most backward, primitive country in all the EU for broadband provision, especially if you're outside any of the larger towns. Blame the useless government giving all our money to greedy German bankers.

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Re: Building with Dexter

Post by Dexter on Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:34 pm

Well, I have finally managed to produce a video, the first episode is already on Youtube. I will include a link when it is processed. More than on anything else, I would like to have some feedback from you guys. I need to know what to improve and what to probably explain elsehow. Put your suggestions below and / or to the comments of the video.

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Re: Building with Dexter

Post by Dexter on Thu Sep 10, 2015 6:30 pm

So here it is... I am hoping it is understandable and clear enough. I NEED feedback on this. Smile Recommended at full screen for you to be able to read the text.



Special message for graymac --- the uploaded video at FullHD was approx. 70 MB only, so I think your broadband might be able to handle that. Shocked

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building with dexter

Post by jckhinks on Thu Sep 10, 2015 6:48 pm

hi it does'nt work for me, it says this video is private

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Re: Building with Dexter

Post by Dexter on Thu Sep 10, 2015 6:54 pm

Sorry about that... better now?

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Re: Building with Dexter

Post by graymac on Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:02 pm

Special message for graymac --- the uploaded video at FullHD was approx. 70 MB only, so I think your broadband might be able to handle that.

It's not the just the overall size that's a problem Dex, it's just a characteristic of satellite that it's useless with streaming content. You'll find in use it has to pause every 10 seconds and wait another 15 to "buffer" or catch-up. Even for poxy little  360pix clips on news sites.
Sorry, but you'll have to count me out for anything with videos involved.

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Re: Building with Dexter

Post by Dexter on Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:30 pm

graymac wrote:It's not the just the overall size that's a problem Dex, it's just a characteristic of satellite that it's useless with streaming content. You'll find in use it has to pause every 10 seconds and wait another 15 to "buffer" or catch-up. Even for poxy little  360pix clips on news sites.
Sorry, but you'll have to count me out for anything with videos involved.

OK... but you just made me sad... Sad

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Re: Building with Dexter

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