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Tutorial Presentation & Guidance

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Dup
  • Dup

    Retired Lurker

  • Zaibatsu
  • Joined: 18 May 2002

#1

Posted 25 June 2004 - 05:23 PM Edited by Gangsta Killa, 24 April 2009 - 06:14 PM.

Introduction
Welcome to the Tutorial Forum. This guide is intended for anyone interested in contributing an insight and guide into the skills they have developed. This guide has been written to ensure the tutorials are clear, presentable and coply with forum guidelines/rules.
This guide has been written with basic knowledge of the forums and its tags in mind. If you are unsure about anything, read the GtaForums : ReadMe

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Topic Titles
Main topic titles must follow these guidelines and codes to enable users to quickly identify a particular tutorial.

Each title will need to display a "tag" enclosed in square brackets. Inside this tag there will need to be short abbreviations to identify the type of tutorial.

The first thing that should be included in the tag is an abbreviation for the software that is used in the tutorial. If your tutorial covers a range of software, then an abbreviation to cover the subject of the tutorial would suffice.

Example:
[Zmod] Vehicle modeling tutorial - This has a specific program so the abbreviation "Zmod" is suitable

[Mapping] Mapping Tutorial - This has no specific program so the "Mapping" covers the field in which the tutorial covers.

If your tutorial is specific to either GTA III or Vice City, then the next abbreviation should be either "III" or "VC".

Example:
[Mapping|VC] Vice City Mapping Tutorial - This covers mapping for Vice City only, so the "VC" abbreviation is added.

If your tutorial is not fully complete, requires feedback and comments to expand on some areas then a work in progress tag must be displayed. This is to ensure users are aware that the tutorial might not be 100% accurate.

Example:
[WIP|Zmod] Vehicle modeling tutorial - The WIP comes before the rest of the tags.

The tags you use are not set in stone as there are many tools, programs and areas in which you’re tutorial could be based on, so really you have the freedom to make your own. But I must stress that if there is already a tutorial up that covers the same area, that you mimic their style of tag/abbreviation to overcome confusion. Otherwise it would defeat the object of the tag format.

If you do feel you have made a mistake or need a little guidance. Do not hesitate to contact the forum led-by or active moderator to help you out.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tutorial Presentation
They key to a good tutorial is quick easy steps and clear simple presentation.

People don't want to read line after line of paragraphs to wait to get the point. They want short, clear, and direct step by step instructions.

I strongly advise you write the tutorial off the forums in a text editor. Notepad is simple enough. Then just use copy, paste and preview to test before making the official post. You MUST remove "Word Wrap" before copying the text, otherwise strange things will happen.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The forum has the usual Invision tags to aid presentation but here at GTAForums there are a few custom tags developed by Azoyken which will aid presentation further.

One of the special hacks installed is the table hack. This is good for separating sections or grouping images with a caption, but could be used for almost anything.

Here's an example of the table code:
CODE

[tableb]
[tr]
[th]Table Header 1[/th]
[th]Table Header 2[/th]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]Row 1, Cell 1[/td]
[td]Row 1, Cell 2[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]Row 2, Cell 2[/td]
[td]Row 2, Cell 2[/td]
[/tr]
[/tableb]

The table would look like this:
Table Header 1 Table Header 2
Row 1, Cell 1 Row 1, Cell 2
Row 2, Cell 2 Row 2, Cell 2
That example was the table with a border, the next example will be the same layout but without a border or shading:
CODE

[table]
[tr]
[th]Table Header 1[/th]
[th]Table Header 2[/th]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]Row 1, Cell 1[/td]
[td]Row 1, Cell 2[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]Row 2, Cell 2[/td]
[td]Row 2, Cell 2[/td]
[/tr]
[/table]

The table would look like this:
Table Header 1 Table Header 2
Row 1, Cell 1 Row 1, Cell 2
Row 2, Cell 2 Row 2, Cell 2
There is little difference. Only the trailing "b" is removed from the [tableb] tag.

The way I have set the code in a vertical fashion makes the tables easy to follow and edit. One problem is that after you post officially, the codes style is lost, and the tags bunch together when you come back to edit it. One method I have found to get around this is before posting officially, copy the text into notepad. If you come to edit the post, copy it back in from the saved text file. You must remove "Word Wrap" for this to work, or it does strange things.

Another great hack is the list hack. This enables you to create lists of points or very short steps and gives you different styles of leading symbols.

Hears an example of the list code:
CODE

[list]
[*]list=a
[*]list=1
[*]list=i
[/list]

There are the usual beginning and end tags plus the "*" tags. The "*" tag defines each point in the list.

This is how it will be displayed:
  • list=a
  • list=1
  • list=i
As you can see in the list example, there are 3 list types. These change the bullet point type for the list.

list=a - Gives you "a Blah", "b Blah", "c Blah" etc
list=1 - Gives you "1 Blah", "2 Blah", "3 Blah" etc
list=i - Gives you "1 Blah", "ii Blah", "iii Blah" etc

You can also create sub lists by adding extra list tags inside the previous list tags.
Here is how it works:
CODE

[list]
[*]list=a
    [list]
    [*]list=a - Gives you "a Blah", "b Blah", "c Blah" etc
    [/list]
[*]list=1
    [list]
    [*]list=1 - Gives you "1 Blah", "2 Blah", "3 Blah" etc
    [/list]
[*]list=i
    [list]
    [*]list=i - Gives you "1 Blah", "ii Blah", "iii Blah" etc
    [/list]
[/list]


This would be displayed like this:
  • list=a
    • list=a - Gives you "a Blah", "b Blah", "c Blah" etc
  • list=1
    • list=1 - Gives you "1 Blah", "2 Blah", "3 Blah" etc
  • list=i
    • list=i - Gives you "1 Blah", "ii Blah", "iii Blah" etc
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Images
Images are a must for any tutorial. Having a visual aid whilst instructing any subject is far better than making an image up in your head to what you think it may look like.

This doesn’t mean that you should post a huge full resolution screenshot for every step. This will upset the balance of the page layout, increase loading times and render the tutorial useless for most users.

To help keep the forums working at optimum performance for all users, here are a few guidelines for images:
  1. To help keep the page layout tidy, images should be no larger than 640px x 480px.
  2. To optimise loading times, images must be no larger than around 300kb
  3. If there is only one specific area of a screenshot that is relevant, please crop the image accordingly.
  4. The forum will only allow 10 images per post, so plan placement and relevance of images to reduce multiple posting.
There may be a situation where you might need to post an image outside these guidelines. There are two ways around this:

You could create a thumbnail for the screenshot that could work like this:

user posted image
click to see larger image

To do this all I did was create a link to the full size image, and then in that link inserted the "img" tags for a thumbnail version which is rendered visually on the forum.

The code looks like this:
CODE

[center]
[URL=http://media.gtanet.com/gtaforums/images/layout/lhs_top.gif][img]http://media.gtanet.com/gtaforums/images/layout/lhs_top.gif[/img][/URL]
click to see larger image
[/center]

I also added the "click to see larger image" to identify to the user that the image is clickable.

If your bandwidth is short and you can't afford to host the smaller and larger versions, you could just simply create a text link to the full size image.

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Backup
I strongly advise that you keep a copy of your post code in a txt file when it is fully complete along with the images you have used. If there is any kind of breakdown of the forum in the future then your valauble time, effort and knowledge would have been wasted.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Credits
Credit goes to firstly to all the people that aided the support of this forum being eventually implemented on the forum. Thanks.

Credit goes to Illspirit for finally getting round to implementing the forum tounge.gif Thanks once again.

Credit goes to Gangsta Killa, Demarest and Cerbera for their valued support on how the forum should be run and moderated. Most appreciated.

Credit goes to Azoyken for the use of his wonderful IPB hacks. Without those, formatting for tutorials would be a greater task.

BenMillard
  • BenMillard

    aka Cerbera

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#2

Posted 29 June 2004 - 10:31 AM

The instructions on how to use forum formatting code is dealt with better by the various posts in the GTAF Readme. Cutting that section out by just mentioning this fact would make this guide less formidable. Shouldn't it be pinned, as well? Also, you shouldn't point out to people that they can multiple-post because it splits the tutorial up, makes it disorganised. Most images are better URL-linked than IMG-linked for tutorials anyway, so you can view them in a totally seperate window and therefore keeping scrolling through the guide whilst viewing the image.

Niggles aside, these are good guidelines. I'm planning on organising a conglomerate of folks to make a single, definitive coding guide because the GTAF Readme has some conflicting data, a great deal of duplicate data as well as not being set out in an especially neat and consistant way.

Demarest
  • Demarest

    what could be

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#3

Posted 29 June 2004 - 11:25 AM

I think Cerbera makes some good suggestions for a revision.

Pinned.

Dup
  • Dup

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#4

Posted 29 June 2004 - 12:13 PM

They are some good points. I spent ages wondering about whether to have the tags in or not. They make the guide a little longer i know, but linking to the external ReadMe means opening a new window, then having to read even more text. I put them in as they are the only tags really needed, making less reading and one topic to look in. The ReadMe is linked to for total novices though, just for good measure.

The whole aim was to have this here, so each tutorial has set layout so that everything is consistent.

As for images, i prefer having the images inline. Multiple posts thig is an issue. I'll have to revise that bit i think, but some smaller inline images are better i feel. Bulk text and reading cross-windows is harder than having it all inline if the images aren't huge scrrenshots, which for most things will never need to be.

Any more thoughts and views on this then i can get a decent plan of how to revise it?

BenMillard
  • BenMillard

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#5

Posted 29 June 2004 - 03:23 PM

QUOTE (Dup @ Jun 29 2004, 12:13)
They are some good points. I spent ages wondering about whether to have the tags in or not. They make the guide a little longer i know, but linking to the external ReadMe means opening a new window, then having to read even more text. I put them in as they are the only tags really needed, making less reading and one topic to look in. The ReadMe is linked to for total novices though, just for good measure.

The whole aim was to have this here, so each tutorial has set layout so that everything is consistent.

As for images, i prefer having the images inline. Multiple posts thig is an issue. I'll have to revise that bit i think, but some smaller inline images are better i feel. Bulk text and reading cross-windows is harder than having it all inline if the images aren't huge scrrenshots, which for most things will never need to be.

Any more thoughts and views on this then i can get a decent plan of how to revise it?

By not having the tags in, people won't have to wait for all the extra kilobytes of topic code to download before they can view this thread. Pinned threads should be as accomodating as possible and bear in mind that the vast majority of people intelligent enough to write tutorials about GTA modifications, modelling or GFX'ing will find board code a piece of piss. smile.gif

Besides which, I am serious about making that be-all-and-end-all conglomerate formatting tutorial. I'm just seeing what MMMS and the rest of the staff have to say about it as it would require them to restructure the Readme and so forth. Lists and tables are described better elsewhere by the Ill/Azkoyen entry in the Readme, that section I'd want to carry forward into the conglomerate if it goes ahead.

As for forcing the format for all tutorials, in a lot of cases that will be impossible because some tutorials will require big lists of values, such as SCM ones which will have code samples showing the syntax, whilst GFX ones will be a list of images with small little comments about each step. The tutorials will be dealing with a very wide range of media so standardising the presentation is unworkable. The little "Tutorial Presentation" section you have is more than adequate, especially where it says clarity is paramount.


As a little suggestion about the style, there are some paragraphs which are just one sentance and could be combined with the sentance afterwards to make the topic less fragmented. Fewer hyphens between sections is a good idea as well because on 800x600 they wrap to a new line, even with the menu collapsed.

ghost of delete key
  • ghost of delete key

    ಠ_ಠ ... otter ...

  • The Connection
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#6

Posted 30 June 2004 - 12:30 AM

@ Dup:

Excellent outline for post form- especially the part about keeping the pics small tounge2.gif

I would like to propose a slight revision to the header format, to give it a bit of solidity and uniformity.

Here's a quick diagram of the proposed format. I have attempted to keep it as close to what has already been posted, and offer definitions for the "tag code".

You will notice that codes have been limited to 5 characters, to save headline space.

CODE

    [WIP]   [GAME(S)/(CONTENT)/(SOFTWARE)/(DOC.VER.)]
     ^^^      |^^^     |^^^       ^^^|       ^^^|
optional   required    | optional    |     A version
 * as         |        |  * as       |     number for
 needed       |        |  needed     |     the tutorial
            *III       |             |     may go here
            *VC        |             |     if desired.
     (soon!)*SA        |             |     (latest post
            *ALL       |             |     date- DDMMYY)
                       |             |
                       |        - Examples:
                       |        *ZMOD     *LWAVE
                _______|        *3DSM     *POSER
                *3D             *BLEND    *CHSTU
                *VEH            *BRYCE    *RHINO
                *MAP            *IMGT     *MOO
                *GFX            *VGXT     *RWANA
                *GEN            *PSP     *PHOTO
                                *NOTE  (Windows Notepad!)
                                *TXDW  (TXD Workshop)  
                                *TXDG  (TXD Gold)
                                *AUDED (GTA3 Audio Editor)
                                *IFPCS (IFP Chop Shop)
                                *LIMIT (ST.MU's limit adjuster)
                                *BWINS (Barton's Myriad Installer)
                                *TRAIN (any of various trainers)
                                *Etc., etc... you get the pic :p


So, obviously, if it's a WIP document, the header begins with [WIP] in seperate brackets. This lets everyone know that C&C is welcome and expected. Cheerleading is frowned upon. Posts in [WIP] threads should certainly be limited to additions, corrections, and constructive suggestions pertaining directly to said document. 'Nuff said bored.gif

The main header should consist of the most relevant general categories.
These I have arranged in a logical subset order;

1) What game we are talking about
2) What are we doing to this game
3) What are we using to do this to this game

... so if you ask yourself these as questions, the answers tell you what tags to use (or create as needed)

A little clarifcation on the use of the header fields:

• GAME(S) - Absolutely necessary! use whichever is needed.

- if the tut covers any game, use "ALL".
- Soon San Andreas will be out, and the madness will begin all over again, so we already have a shiny new "SA" tag to use when the time comes tounge.gif
- so then a tut covering the newer games, but not GTA3, might have [VC,SA/... in the header, each seperated by commas. or you could have ... III,VC... or
... I,II... etc.

I swear to GOD, if I see a NFS2 or a 2F2F tag in a conversion topic header, I'm gonna kick the doors down and scream at the top of my lungs for a week straight.

I'm not playin'.

To end my conversion rant, I'll just say that if you know how to make a GTA car, and get it ingame successfully, then you can convert any car to GTA without further aggro from fellow Forumers. If you need to know more about how to edit the other game's models, go to those forums and search.

OK, now.
The following fields are optional, but should be used if possible.
• (CONTENT) - Basically, this is the modding activity we're engaged in:

- 3D Anything to do with modeling, in a general sense.
A paper discussing the use of Splines, and how they are a Good Thing regardless of the modeller you use, would use this tag.

-VEH Discussions of the various aspects of editing vehicles in GTA
(primary class of Dynamic models)

-MAP Discussions of the various aspects of editing all other 3D models in GTA
(Static models and secondary class of Dynamic models)

-GFX Discussions of graphic editing, texture management, etc.

-GEN Anything not covered in the specifics above.

... more tags can be added if needed, but I have tried to distill this category to its essence, and should cover everything adequately.


• (SOFTWARE) - Use a program code in this field if the primary focus of the paper concerns a particular tool or app.
I have proposed codes above for a number of the most common tools we use, and new tags can be created as necessary. The only hard limit these tags should have is that they, as the other tags, should be limited to max. 5 char's.
(maybe 6, for things like IDAPRO... I dunno blink.gif should be short, anyway.)
The tag should be pretty obvious as to the tool it describes, but if not, be sure to add the tool's name in the headline/tagline title.


• (DOC.VER.) - If you make major revisions, you may want to include a DDMMYY code to let peple know what the latest version is. New readers will only see the revised version, but people who have previously downloaded the tut may want to see if they have the most current version. Just a thought.

The header codes will of course come first in the headline. There will not be much space left in the headline, so this should be reserved for the header code, and any additional data you can fit on the end.

The tagline should be used for a full and descriptive title for the article.
DO NOT OMIT THIS!!

Some example tutorial headers:

[III,VC/MAP/MOO/290604] re-formatted text
Placing your building in the gameworld with MooMapper

[III,VC/MAP]
Placing your building in the gameworld with Notepad

[WIP][VC/MAP] need .ipl info...
How VC model placement works

[ALL/GEN/MOO]
Using MooMapper to locate a texture's TXD location

[ALL/GEN/IMGT]
Using the IMG Tool - Full Instructions

[VC/VEH/ZMOD]
Adding reflections to VC cars in Zmod.

[WIP][ALL/GFX] need DXT data pls.
Creating textures for your models

[ALL/GFX/PHOTO]
Creating alpha channels in PhotoShop

[ALL/GFX/PSP]
Creating alpha channels in PaintShop Pro

[ALL/3D]
Using splines for efficient mesh layout

[ALL/3D/3DSM]
Using splines in 3D Studio Max r3

[VC/GEN/AUDED]
Modify engine sounds in Vice City

[ALL/ZMOD]
The entire Zmod helpfiles re-written! Real English!


These should be plenty of examples to get a feel for the ease of the layout.
IMHO, it has a good flow to it, and it is easy to see what you're looking for at a glance.

Flame/mangle/mock this as applicable. kthx

BenMillard
  • BenMillard

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#7

Posted 01 July 2004 - 05:12 PM

Far to bloody complicated, Ghost. People can just use a bit of sense to figure out what prefixes they should use, they don't need to be spoonfed little details like that. People who are intelligent enough to write tutorials which aren't locked for being rubbish will be plenty smart enough to figure out what thier topic title should be, wouldn't you agree? smile.gif

Unecessary beurocracy is something the GTAF staff are trying to eliminate, hence the abandonment of the warning stars and the clearing up of the rules thread, amongst other measures. Things like document version are unnecessary because if the tutorial doesn't have all the information someone wants from it, they'll post saying so and the author will either update it or say they can't be bothered to update it. There doesn't need to be a public declaration of how many updates a thread has gone through; it is the actual content it contains which people want and they can only access that by opening the topic anyway.

Dup
  • Dup

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#8

Posted 04 July 2004 - 02:51 PM

It's just a guide. If people have problems they have copy and paste. Everyone is different and reads things differently.

I think im doing quite well with minimal english vocabluary and dyslexia.

Noby but you is having any problems therefore there isn't much warrant to re-write everything in forum.

BenMillard
  • BenMillard

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#9

Posted 13 July 2004 - 10:18 AM Edited by Cerbera, 13 July 2004 - 10:21 AM.

QUOTE (Dup @ Jul 4 2004, 15:51)
It's just a guide. If people have problems they have copy and paste.  Everyone is different and reads things differently.

I think im doing quite well with minimal english vocabulary and dyslexia.

Nobody but you is having any problems therefore there isn't much warrant to re-write everything in forum.
Who was that comment aimed at? GOTDK or me? I didn't really understand how it was relevant to anything in this thread...

What is the protocol to nominate existing tutorials be moved here? I posted in the requests topic nominating a tutorial by Ashdexx to be moved here but that has't happened. As modifiers often leave without notice, or move onto other projects after a big tutorial, it shouldn't just be left to the authors of tutorials to ask for them to be moved here, imho.

Lord Molo
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#10

Posted 06 August 2006 - 11:06 PM

I just wanna know one thing. Where can I download the Zmodeler?

quickTutes
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#11

Posted 26 September 2008 - 11:54 AM Edited by quickTutes, 26 September 2008 - 11:59 AM.

Excellent tips on tutorial building, How important is XML script in tutorial.


http://www.quicktutes.com (http://www.quicktutes.com)

Newfie_Dude08
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#12

Posted 04 October 2008 - 09:29 PM

can somebody help me please!!! i Have installed IMG Tool 2.0 and downloaded the MOd and installed everything correctly.. but when i go to play GTA SA it loads half way and freezes.. this is a proper copy of GTA SA(bought) .. someone help please.. thx..

mr.Dageron
  • mr.Dageron

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#13

Posted 01 January 2009 - 12:45 PM Edited by mr.Dageron, 01 January 2009 - 12:48 PM.

Moderators, why when I start new topic it disappears in the same moment? confused.gif Just like is not creating. I want to post my tutorial

Andrew
  • Andrew

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#14

Posted 24 April 2009 - 07:03 AM

Topic unpinned, topic is included in topic header.




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