Psmith

The New "Dynamic" Manual

39 posts in this topic

As you might have discovered, 3D-Coat is constantly changing and improving - as Andrew likes to keep it alive and growing. It keeps us on our toes, as well.

So, to keep "in sync" with Andrew and with 3D-Coat, the manual must remain as living as the application. Also, as time goes by, interface lingo and layout are changing, at the same time.

Now, those who want to stay current can do so by looking here.

I'll post a Manual Update, here, as often as is practical, complete with all new Video Links, courtesy of the "The Candy-Foss Kid".

Greg Smith

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I would imagine it could be very confusing to a new user not knowing the names have been changed to see something in the manual that doesn't match what they see on the screen.

Here are some things I noticed that need to be changed:

The brushes used to be called pens but there are still references to pens.

In the preferences panel there is a section that deals with brushes but sometimes calls them pens.

Hide pens with cap lock

Show pen shape curve

Show pen alpha texture

The next four items use the word brush, yet if you hover your mouse for the help text, it says pen.

then it has:

message above pen

message below pen

Tom

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Thanks Tom. This is exactly the kind of assistance we can use. I've uploaded a corrected version of the "English.xml" file in place of the old one. So, feel free to find more errata, and be sure to download the corrected version.

Greg Smith

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The word "Transparency" on the top of the screen in paint room really needs to be called "opacity".

The 100% percent value doesn't correspond to 100% transparency. it corresponds to opacity. this would also make it match the terminology used in the layer panel where the same thing is called opacity.

Also, the help tip that pops up for the transparency adjustment doesn't look right. It says " select a mask for applying color or depth"

Tom

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Tom:

I only have access to the "English.xml" file, where most of the interface text is found. I can't find this one, or I'd have changed it long ago. I think it is "hard-coded" somewhere else.

I've written Andrew about this, but . . .

If you have access to an XML editor, feel free to find it, test it, (by selecting "Help/Languages/English", while in 3D-Coat - selecting your changed "English.xml" file. If it works, let me know.

Greg Smith

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Nice thread :)

But I always thought that 3DCoat wiki-manual should be the most up-to-date source (besides Andrew's news on Twitter, or in updates thread in the forum), but - Nope :( (at least we have such a possibility to fill in 3DCoat wiki manual in future).

Thanks for you excellent job!

PS. I`m not sure - Greg, are you the author of 3DCoat pdf layout?

As I would like to have a template somewhere in the place (for futher translation work).

(Excuse me for bothering...)

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Currently, I'm the guy doing the English updates for the manual. I didn't author the document you have mentioned.

The original English 3D-Coat manual was authored in Adobe InDesign - and was extremely convoluted and difficult to modify. After much discussion, Andrew allowed me to use the general scheme for the manual, but also to use a different software app, (a much simpler and cheaper one), to do these updates.

I don't really know the state of the manual for the other languages. My suggestion is to try and keep all language versions closely related and, if possible, to use the same authoring software. But, this is up to Andrew to determine.

For your information, I am currently using Serif PagePlus X5 for my manual contributions. I can't speak highly enough of this app, its cost and its ease of use. Absolutely sufficient for this type of work.

Greg Smith

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I see, Thanks (and sorry for hijacking the topic with my suggestions about the manual ;))

And what do you think about wiki-manual as 'up-to-date thing for dynamic 3DCoat manual' ?

Just wondering... I thought wiki was made for this (but not used to be used :) as supposed) may be for now?

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I'm all for the wiki containing any and all helpful and current information about 3D-Coat. It's just a community effort and not necessarily monitored or regulated or even, necessarily, right about what it teaches.

The manual, on the other hand, tries to reflect more official kinds of information and practice - not necessarily the only ones.

And, for my part, I'm always open to correction and improvement of the text.

Greg Smith

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Am Getting an error about a corrupt pdf file when I try to download...

Could someone confirm the pdf file is ok, so I know if the problem is at my end....Thanks

IK

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Hi Greg,

I have one small request: Could you please keep the resulting pdf layered?

So that one can switch off the grey mask for printing like in the old manual.

thanks!

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Am Getting an error about a corrupt pdf file when I try to download...

Could someone confirm the pdf file is ok, so I know if the problem is at my end....Thanks

IK

No problem with it here. Also 190 people have downloaded it I think someone else would have mentioned it if there was something wrong.

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Polyxo:

It is layered and you can turn the background off - I just downloaded and checked.

I do believe, however, that you must use a "bona fide" .pdf reader like Acrobat, for the layers to work. I don't think that Adobe Digital Editions, for example, is compatible with layers.

Greg Smith

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ok thanks for replies... Problem was at my end in firefox prefs.. Sorted now!

Nice work by the way, very slick!

IK

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Polyxo:

It is layered and you can turn the background off - I just downloaded and checked.

I do believe, however, that you must use a "bona fide" .pdf reader like Acrobat, for the layers to work. I don't think that Adobe Digital Editions, for example, is compatible with layers.

Greg Smith

No problem, I have Acrobat.

Btw. I just did a Brochure with Indesign. It is so economic to work with - I can not believe that I spent 10 years with other DTP Software.

Just sayin...

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Polyxo:

InDesign, if used properly, can be very economical and useful - but the original authors of the manual didn't use it in an economical way.

Also, I didn't have the extra cash laying around to buy this overpriced Adobe Product.

So, there you have it.

Greg Smith

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These Manual and .xml changes are current, through the 9th of February, 2011.

Phil's Video Links are delayed.

Greg Smith

Thanks Greg. Just downloaded it. :good:

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is there no possibility to compile this in a wiki rather then pdf? pdf's always load slowly for me and usually end up being quite buggy.

im only mentioning it because it seems like a really great resource, but honestly the fact that its pdf makes it frustrating for certain people to use.

either way thanks for the effort!

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Sorry, but the "Manual Update Feb 15th" I downloaded at 11:13 24.02.2011 has only 21 of 120 pages. Are there more pages to come?

I discovered only this morning, that a this manual exists.

I am a bit sad, that it goes only to page 21...

But it seems to me, that it´s much better than the wiki-thing.

That dreadful and soooo incomplete wiki-manual (which for me IS the official manual, because it is linked from 3 prominent places on the website) is very disappointing.

My opinion is, that the by far weakest point of 3DC is its wiki-manual (which for most beginners seems to be the official manual !!! )

Imagine a potential customer coming along and downloading the test-version of 3DC. Maybe kids or hobbyists don´t need a manual, so they install the soft and doodle around. Professionals, especially older guys like me, not only want but NEED a good and COMPLETE manual that covers every tiny feature. So they look around your website and aahhhhh - the downloads section! there is the wiki-manual! and oooohhhh - the tutorials section ! there is the wiki-manual again ! and yahoooohhhh - the community section ! there is the wiki manual too ! so there is no doubt, that the 3DC bosses want to tell you that this is the official thing and you have to read it. So you do, but this wiki-manual is bad! It´s so incomplete, and even the features that are not skipped are very short explained. Many features are only mentioned but not explained.

For a software with such a big potential and such great features it is a MUST that it is explained properly to it´s users. Sorry to say that, but the wiki-manual is the complete opposite of a great manual.

Recently I tested Mari - in my opinion the 3D painting soft with the by far best manual. That software has great marketing and a fantastic manual. But for me, it´s feature-set is so poor. You cannot even see the displacement you are painting. The soft shows you only the greyscale bumpmap you are painting on, but to test the displacement, you have to export and render in an external app. Oh, oh... maybe for some very specialized texture artists at Weta that makes sense, but i want to SEE the bumps I paint, and not guess what displacement I am painting. I think in comparison with 3DC Mari is so poor and only suitable for some egg-headed ultra-specialized texture artists. But I wish 3DC had such a good and complete manual as Mari has...

I hope my post wasn´t too negative, but I mean it only good with 3DC !!!

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The latest official manual comes with the program, just like any other program, look under the Help menu. The "dynamic" manual is still a work in progress, which is why it's incomplete.

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The latest official manual comes with the program, just like any other program, look under the Help menu. The "dynamic" manual is still a work in progress, which is why it's incomplete.

Thanks Phil for the hint. That manual is quite good; not as extensive as I wish it would be, but it helps...

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3DC already has a Wiki you can get to it by clicking "manual" on the main 3DC website:

http://www.3d-coat.c....php/Doc:Manual

I also agree with the other posters that the manual should be in wiki form online instead of PDF.

A wiki that many people can contribute to would vastly increase the information available.

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