Organizing Blender 2.5 manual
After some discussions on #blenderwiki irc, I want to make some suggestion for the new 2.5 manual organization :
I think, one of the most important problem in the actual Blender manual organization is that there is a sort of big messy in the structure. I mean to find something, there are plenty of page where you can get informations :
- The manual
- The external links (tutorial page)
- The tutorial
- The theory
- The glossary
All these page do not refer to each other. And when you want to learn Blender, you loose a lot of time by searching it (or you find only a part of the informations that are contained in the Blender wiki).
I think (suggest), each page/chapter of the manual should be structured this way :
- Theory : Why this function, how it works in the theory, uses...
- Practice : The function in blender, available options... in a world : the manual part,
- Tutorial : Blender Wiki page or external links which present the function with a tutorial.
- Read more : Wiki page or external links which talk about the function (theory or practice). It can also refer to other function which can be combined...
Remember that a lot of (and more and more) people start 3D with Blender (it was my case, and other students in my CG school start 3D with Blender, even if we use Maya or latter). It mean that Blender documentation must contain 2 types of informations :
- Theory : What is 3D, how it work, what does technicals world refer to...
- Practice : 3D in Blender
In fact, a lots of technical world of the manual are not explain on manual pages (some of them are explain on the glossary, but no visible linked refer to it).
I am not sure theory should come first. Users who come to the online manual probably came here with a specific question in mind. They need to see the instructions or answer that solves their immediate problem. If they don't find it here, they won't stay to read the manual anyway. You described "Practice" as "the manual part." I think that makes my point. Practice should come first.
The practice section should be organized based on tasks that the Blender user wants to accomplish. A rough example of that would be: 1. Viewing and moving the views, 2. Adding 3D objects with the Add Objects menu, 3. Modifying object shapes, 4. Cameras, 5. Lighting, 6. Rendering, etc.
Mooncaine 19:22, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
I think images and videos are better than text when you learn something. Some of the Blender Wiki page contain only text. Blender Manual must be illustrated with screenshots of course, but also examples (images, animations...) to show what you can do with the function.
Secondly, I think that it would be a good think to convert some (not all) pages on video (I make it for this page).
Well, that's just suggestions about the future 2.5 (or 2.6 ;-) ) manual. I'm waiting for other ideas and point of view...
--Guillaume22 13:28, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Manual not even close to being complete
I think images and video are better for some people. Images and video are great to have in some situations. Text is always important. There must be text. There are many advantages to text that I won't list here, but one comes to mind immediately: easier translation to other languages. Another advantage: it's random-access, vs. the sequential-access nature of video or audio. Text is much more easily searched.
This manual is not even near completion. Hugely important sections are completely empty.
Mooncaine 19:22, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Incomplete or missing pages
Why was Blender released as stable before the documentation was finished? It seems to me that supporting a product is part of a stable release. The idea is to make the product stable for the end user. A product that the user can't learn for lack of documentation doesn't make the user feel very stable using the product?
As a follow up. Some time ago, I created many a page, with a singled underscore simply so that I could save them for watching. It wasn't until after that I discovered that there's a watch link at the top of the page. At the time I was using the watch checkbox. If some of these pages were 'un-created' would they be easier to catch for documentation completion?
- Hi, I reverted all your underscore-pages, these are completely unuseful because they make it seem the manual it completed but in effect it's not. These create false expectancies in the reader.
- If you want to contribute, just write actual pages, one at a time. Thanks! --mindrones 01:05, 6 July 2011 (CEST)
Suggestions from a newbie
I'm a newbie to Blender (but not to 3D modelling), and as such I browse the manual. May I suggest a few improvements (sorry, I'm not yet familiar enough to Blender to make those changes myself) ?
- A typical question of a new Blender user is : where do I set the units (e.g. meters, inches, ...) ? Usually it's in a Preferences menu (and preferably before starting to work !), but in Blender it's located in the Scene Properties panel (but this is described nowhere - or I have not found it yet). Maybe dropping a simple "nota bene" about it in the general Configuring preferences page (Doc:2.5/Manual/Interface/Configuration), because it is there it would be searched for in the first place, would help the new user to locate this setting ?
- I am also a bit confused by the Outliner, but I made my comments directly to the "Discussion" page of the Outliner Window wiki page.
- Finally, some pages of the 2.5 Manual still seem to use the 2.4 manual screen captures, which don't look the same in 2.5.
I've not yet read the entire Wiki, maybe I'll find other issues (and I hope to be then able to make the changes myself). Amreg 20:00, 11 August 2011 (CEST)
Hi How can I create a similar start page, like http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.6/Manual in other language (RO). In the above page I haven't Modify buttons to copy the contents of the page. If I use copy/paste, I get an incorrect design page - without formatting. And after that, if the start page in English is modified, how can we do the same in other language? Thank you. Best regards, ed62
Is there a way that we could covert the Wiki to PDF as blender gets updated, and make links to areas in the PDF that users could go to if they were curious about something?