405th Tutorials - Now Online!

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Chernobyl

Sr Member
That's right, ladies and gentlemen. Now you can all stop throwing the same questions at the forums ad irritatum - we've finally got a functional tutorial section online for members to use when they're struggling with their projects.

Currently we only have one tutorial up and online - Assembling Pepakura Files, by Frozensnot - but it's my hope that other members will eventually step up to the plate and offer tutorials for the community to benefit from.

One caveat: this section of the Archive has much more strict permissions than the others you may be familiar with. Upload privileges are restricted to Librarians (such as myself) and to forum Admins only - this is to prevent users from maliciously damaging these resources, or by uploading duplicate or un-edited content. Anybody wishing to upload a tutorial should contact me first and we can work something out.

Otherwise, please - go nuts, people. I hope that people will use these resources to further their projects, and in turn reduce the number of questions asked in the New Members section of the forums.
 
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RobotChicken

Well-Known Member
I recommend having the tutorials proofread and grammar-checked before they're uploaded. The first one is very comprehensive and although a long read (with some of the photos being too small for clarity) does thoroughly cover the subject but contains several grammar and punctuation errors which can be distracting. If there's going to be restricted uploading permissions and a review process (presumably striving for a certain quality standard) then it should make sense having these grammatically-clean as well.

I think these would look spiffy if passed through some sort of "branding filter" so all the tutorials have the same "style" to them. Something like UNSC or ONI technical documents with 405th branding (in the sense of style, not copyright infringement) could give them a more polished look.

Here's an idea (just an idea, not a recommendation) for increasing the accessibility to those 405th members from non-English countries. Divide the Tutorials branch into sub-categories for language and offer translations for the more prominent languages so people can read them in their native language. This should be easy to accomplish considering the number of document language translators online and the number of bilingual 405th members. Again, just an idea.
 
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Chernobyl

Sr Member
I recommend having the tutorials proofread and grammar-checked before they're uploaded.

That's on my agenda. Having ten-hour work days means that some things tend to slip my mind now and again - I'd meant to proofread this before uploading it, but in my haste to get it up, I neglected to do so. I'd left this particular tutorial sitting for a week or so before getting around to it, and with it being the elephant in the corner, I just wanted to get it uploaded and out of my immediate pile of concerns.

The first one is very comprehensive and although a long read

If people are complaining that they don't have the patience to read a tutorial and learn about a craft, then it's quite likely they don't have the patience to construct a costume. It's been my experience through my time at the 405th that the people who complain the most about having to read and learn something are the ones that fall off the radar the soonest. That aside: the techniques involved with creating costumes are usually quite involved, and it's very difficult to break the subjects down more than I already have envisioned. Perhaps the first tutorial could be broken down into two parts (a 'shopping list' as well as a guide on how to assemble Pepakura forms), but I fear that might dilute the subject too much, particularly with accounting for local variances in products. It's recommended that focusing down specific shopping lists should be done at a Regimental level as opposed to focusing acutely at it in a tutorial - for example, resin and filler products can vary wildly between locations, it's better to offer a point in the right direction than try to catch every single product.

We're playing this by ear and learning as we go. If people complain that the subject matter is too dense, we'll revise the reading material. But let's face it - how difficult is it for somebody to CTRL+F within a PDF document?

(with some of the photos being too small for clarity) does thoroughly cover the subject but contains several grammar and punctuation errors which can be distracting. If there's going to be restricted uploading permissions and a review process (presumably striving for a certain quality standard) then it should make sense having these grammatically-clean as well.

See above: ten hour days a forgetful Cherry make. It's on my list of Things To Do, after fixing the Archive issues and getting some more files populated. I appreciate the concern but let's not make this a major issue - I know it needs doing, if you want to take some of the pressure off my hands you're welcome to do so - otherwise, just let me work around to it. I will get around to it, when I'm not busy with my other duties - sometimes it's easy for you guys out there to forget just how much work I put into this place, and then wonder why I get so irritable. These documents are being put together to alleviate some of that pressure, but unfortunately, there's a lot of work involved in getting them to a fit state before they can go live and be used.

As for the images: they display fine on my own monitor. Bear in mind that scaling the image sizes up is going to both bloat the .PDF file size and increase the amount of reading. The aim here isn't to create a completely comprehensive 'idiot to expert' tutorial, but instead to give users a guide to refer to when they're stuck. Do bear in mind that PDFs can be zoomed in on - these tutorials are being made with multiple platforms in mind, such as tablets, so that users can consult them on the fly.

I think these would look spiffy if passed through some sort of "branding filter" so all the tutorials have the same "style" to them. Something like UNSC or ONI technical documents with 405th branding (in the sense of style, not copyright infringement) could give them a more polished look.

No. Flash and flair is something I want to keep out of these resources - other than perhaps including the 405th logo, these tutorials need to be kept as simple and as digestible as possible. The more graphically dense these tutorials become, the more difficult it will be for people to read: hence, short paragraphs, broken up by plenty of pictures. I already discouraged Frozensnot from using non-standard, 'exotic' fonts for certain sections for this exact reason - things need to be easy to read.

Here's an idea (just an idea, not a recommendation) for increasing the accessibility to those 405th members from non-English countries. Divide the Tutorials branch into sub-categories for language and offer translations for the more prominent languages so people can read them in their native language. This should be easy to accomplish considering the number of document language translators online and the number of bilingual 405th members. Again, just an idea.

It's in the works. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, though - my main priority is getting the material online before converting it into other languages. Please bear in mind that, despite having had positions open for months, I'm still waiting on other tutorial slots to be filled - we need to do the raw work first, before looking further beyond.
 
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