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 How to make a tutorial

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Got the Hang of it

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Join date : 2010-10-11

PostSubject: How to make a tutorial   Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:11 am

How To Make A Tutorial
(make this a sticky please, in every tutorial section)

How To Make A Tutorial (With a summary for the attention-impaired)

So you have decided that you want to make a tutorial have you? Very good. Now read this. The top half is on whether you should even be making a tutorial. The second half is how to make it. Please read them in the order I wrote them.

Should you be making a tutorial?

Put simply, you must ask yourself these questions:
-Do I know what I’m on about?
-Do I understand what I’m on about?
-Will other people understand what I’m on about?
-Is there already a tutorial on this subject?
-If so, can I do better?

Basic Aspects of a Good Tutorial:


Important: Do not upload your tutorial to a site like swfup.com where it will not be available next year. If it is a .swf, put it somewhere where it will last.

Should You Be Making A Tutorial?

1. Do I know what I’m on about?

So many people fall at this first hurdle. Before you try to teach anyone how to do something, you have to know how to do it yourself, and how to do it well. Let’s say you want to make a walking tutorial (although this counts for anything at all). You’ve animated a walk yourself, and you’re pretty proud of it. The thing is, we’re all proud of everything we’ve made, but other people may not agree that it’s good. Take your walk here and ask if people think it’s good enough for you to make a tutorial about. If they say yes, you can continue.

If they say no, all is not lost. Ask why it’s not good enough. Work out what you need to do to improve. With a week’s hard work you can get whatever it is you want to teach others about to a standard where you can. Keep on correcting your technique and asking how to improve further, and eventually there will be no more improvement that you can add.

2. Do I Understand What I’m Talking About?

Understanding is different to knowledge. If you know by heart the twelve positions that you want your stick in during a walk and simply duplicate them blindly when you animate then you have knowledge. Understanding is more important. Continuing with the walk example, the front foot must be moving backwards before it hits the floor. This is knowledge. Understanding is knowing why it has to be moving backwards before it hits the floor – in order to merge one step into the next. You have to be able to explain why you’re doing something if you want to really help people. Give them the knowledge and all they can do with it is replicate your walk. Give them the understanding, and they can alter it to fit their own style, and even apply the knowledge to completely different movements.

3. Will Other People Understand What I’m Talking About?

Do you know your spelling, punctuation, and grammar? If not, come back in four years and make your tutorial then. If so, use it. Your tutorial is no good if people can’t read it.

4. Is There Already A Tutorial On The Subject?

There are three basic ways to check this. There is a search function at the bottom of the Pivot Tutorials section which you could type what you’re doing into. There is a “Check if Already Posted” button next to the thread title when you’re making your thread (although this is prone to missing some. Also, you could just skip through the first few pages. If there’s no tutorial in the first four or so then most people probably aren’t going to look deeper so you might as well make a new one.

5. If so, can I do better?

If there are no tutorials on the subject yet then make your one. If there is a tutorial already, ask yourself if the one you make can be better. Can you bring more understanding to the topic than the last guy? More readability? More pictures? If you think that you can make better than the existing tut, then by all means, go for it.

Basic Aspects of a Good Tutorial:


Usually this means printscreens. If you don’t know how to do this, I would seriously consider going back to part 1 of this tutorial and re-reading it, but if you really need to know there should be a key on the keyboard just above and to the right of the backspace key labelled “Printscreen”. Press it and whatever is on your screen at the time will be in the clipboard. Now open up Microsoft Paint and press ctrl+v to put it in. Click on the dashed rectangle to the left and drag around whatever it is you want to be in the picture. Now press ctrl+c, and go to file -> new (don’t save) and press ctrl+v. Now you you’re your image. Save it and go to imageshack.us, click “browse”, select your image, and copy the direct link into the tutorial with [IMG][/IMG] tags around it.

These will help people know exactly what you mean without you having to use a wall of text to describe it (unfortunately they were of limited utility in this tut). It’s easier for everyone if you post a picture of what position is necessary in your walk, rather than say “the back leg should be bent 137 degrees to the left and the….”, but remember that you don’t need images for everything. By and large, you’re wasting your time if you take printscreens of the “File” button. Instead, say “File -> Save as -> …” or whatever, and people should know what you mean.

Note: When you upload the images, you don’t have to use imageshack. If you can keep your account active, use photobucket.com. Or you could use filebox.me. The key thing is to make sure the images don’t get rusty. If they don’t appear any more, re-upload them and replace them. The images are integral to the tut.


People won’t want to use your tutorial to make something if they can’t see what it’s going to look like when it’s finished. They may suspect that you skipped the first half of this tut (you didn’t, of course, did you?) and don’t know what you’re talking about. There are also some things that can only be shown with moving pictures (eg. The front foot moving backwards before it hits the ground in a walk). If you are making a tutorial, you know how to show your anims so I don’t need to repeat that.


Good though pictures are, they can’t be the only part of the tutorial. You need to describe what you have done at each stage. This can be used to highlight the important bits – some parts of your image may be totally irrelevant to the tut and other parts may be crucial but missable. Make sure you walk people through each step carefully.


In tutorial making, this is what separates the men from the boys. A poor tutorial will just show how to replicate your movements so that people, if their memories are good, will be able to insert your style into their animation somewhere. And if their memories are poor, they will just continue to mess up. A good tutorial must always explain why you are doing something so that the person reading it knows that they can adapt the movements within their own style, and there are certain aspects that can be added to other movements too. Imagine a bounce tutorial showing the easing at the top of the bounce. In a poor tutorial, the viewer will go away with the ability to make a ball bounce with a certain type of gravity. In a good tutorial, it will be explained that some people with a heavy spacing style like to have the ball at the top of the bounce for ages but then fall incredibly quickly, whereas others like to accelerate smoothly all the way down, and both styles are fine. It will also explain that the easing at the top is due to gravity, and that this should be applied to all objects in the air. From a good bounce tutorial, a person should go away with enough knowledge of physics to animate jumps, and falls, and reactions anywhere.


As mentioned earlier, do not forget your spelling. No one will take you seriously if you cannot type correctly. If it’s a big problem for you, type out your tutorials in Microsoft Word first and run it through a spell checker. This is important.

thanks to Zed for this tutorial

Peace is a lie. There is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through Victory, my chains are broken
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