Author Topic: Is there ever going to be documentation for Terragen?  (Read 3981 times)

Offline EoinArmstrong

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Re: Is there ever going to be documentation for Terragen?
« Reply #30 on: April 06, 2017, 07:05:56 AM »
I keep forgetting this Wiki exists! *blush*  I'll browse through it to see if there's anything I can add :)

Offline N-drju

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Re: Is there ever going to be documentation for Terragen?
« Reply #31 on: April 06, 2017, 08:02:46 AM »
I'm afraid we are slightly veering off the topic here...

It's not about reconstructing or exporting TG documentation into various "discoveries" like Confluence, Postgresesses and whatnot. We are talking only about filling the wiki with the information that is missing from these pages. Wiki as a manual is a clean, readable source of knowledge, provided it is complete!
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Offline Matt

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Re: Is there ever going to be documentation for Terragen?
« Reply #32 on: April 06, 2017, 07:55:09 PM »
However, what I think you could do as a first order of business would be to just fill up the Global Illumination page. This is one of the most important features, in my opinion at least, but it is filled with TBCs.

Just a quick note to say I've updated that page yesterday and today. No more TBCs on that page:

http://planetside.co.uk/wiki/index.php?title=Terragen_3_Global_Illumination

Quote
Once upon a time, there was a magnificent GI reference made by user dandelO which explained the feature very comprehensively in a user friendly manner. Later, he also made a video showing the same stuff. However, it's gone now! I tried to find it but none of his GI-related work is around on the web anymore... I went to check with his YouTube channel but the GI stuff was deleted from there as well. His webpage is also no more.
...
I could perhaps re-create dandelO's GI instructions because I've been doing it for myself anyway. You could put that on wiki if you like.[/font][/size]

Something like that would be very useful and we'd love to include it in the Wiki. The GI page is quite dry and technical, and some rendered examples would really help.

Matt
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Offline archonforest

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Re: Is there ever going to be documentation for Terragen?
« Reply #33 on: April 06, 2017, 08:04:16 PM »
However, what I think you could do as a first order of business would be to just fill up the Global Illumination page. This is one of the most important features, in my opinion at least, but it is filled with TBCs.

Just a quick note to say I've updated that page yesterday and today. No more TBCs on that page:

http://planetside.co.uk/wiki/index.php?title=Terragen_3_Global_Illumination

Quote
Once upon a time, there was a magnificent GI reference made by user dandelO which explained the feature very comprehensively in a user friendly manner. Later, he also made a video showing the same stuff. However, it's gone now! I tried to find it but none of his GI-related work is around on the web anymore... I went to check with his YouTube channel but the GI stuff was deleted from there as well. His webpage is also no more.
...
I could perhaps re-create dandelO's GI instructions because I've been doing it for myself anyway. You could put that on wiki if you like.[/font][/size]

Something like that would be very useful and we'd love to include it in the Wiki. The GI page is quite dry and technical, and some rendered examples would really help.

Matt

Pretty cool and usefull update! Thx Matt! :)
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Offline N-drju

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Re: Is there ever going to be documentation for Terragen?
« Reply #34 on: April 07, 2017, 05:44:34 AM »
Agreed. Thank you for doing this, it should help clarify many questions. Why, I'm educating myself too!

I'll get back to you with GI examples as soon as I finish my current project and complete them all.

Now, pick another empty spot and fill it in in a week or two. :)
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Offline Dune

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Re: Is there ever going to be documentation for Terragen?
« Reply #35 on: April 07, 2017, 06:07:14 AM »
Thanks very much, Matt!
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Offline Oshyan

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Re: Is there ever going to be documentation for Terragen?
« Reply #36 on: April 07, 2017, 06:20:59 AM »
We'll aim to keep the mini-update train rolling, so to speak. And we welcome contributions from others as well, of course, but for now I want to reiterate that registering and editing is disabled for all non-administrators. We'll address that soon and then you can all jump in if you like. :D

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Offline MutantPixel

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Re: Is there ever going to be documentation for Terragen?
« Reply #37 on: April 08, 2017, 09:20:53 PM »
I'm so glad I asked my question and even happier to see some small amount of progress being made on the wiki. I completely understand the amount of effort required to document a constantly evolving, dynamic 3D application. I worked for Luxology and then The Foundry for 8 years writing the documentation and making training for MODO. It is a lot of effort, but an application simply can't grow if there isn't a community of engaged and educated users to pass the knowledge around.

   My philosophy is that the documentation should cover the technical 'whats' of all the various aspects of the app. Like a definition or paragraph of explanation on what a feature is or does. For example what is "Fake Dark Power" is and why one would ever need 'Tweaks' in the first place. That's the stuff that to me make the app so opaque. Once the specifics are filled in, training videos are a good way to show workflow- "Do this, or enable that setting to get this effect.". The last piece of the puzzle is having some amazing samples provided that users can then dissect to figure out how things all hook together. Without any basic understanding of what a setting does the dissection of files is largely useless. I downloaded the latest demo and there's was none of any of that, no documentation, links to a seemingly long ago abandoned wiki, no links to basic video introductions and no sample files. I'm not asking for documentation on how to do every possible permutation of node combinations, just an explanation of the basics one can expect from a setting.

I would highly recommend a license to camtasia, and if someone with a decent understanding of Terragen there at Planetside made a weekly 5-10 minute video covering a specific function, withing a year you'd have 6+ hours of useful training users could refer to and 50 more videos than you have now. And I'd feel like my upgrade price wasn't going to waste on another iteration I'd never be able to use or understand.

For reference on what I'm talking about here is the docs I wrote for MODO--
http://modo.docs.thefoundry.co.uk/modo/801/help/index.html

and here is the training channel I set up on YouTube and the videos I made for it--
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3gcz4qAcvMtrVCiRZvEnzg

Please, please Planetside, I hope this is the start of a new push for moving documentation forward, and not a blip in the otherwise same ol' same ol'. Mostly thank you for responding.

Offline N-drju

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Re: Is there ever going to be documentation for Terragen?
« Reply #38 on: April 11, 2017, 01:02:16 PM »
My philosophy is that the documentation should cover the technical 'whats' of all the various aspects of the app. Like a definition or paragraph of explanation on what a feature is or does. For example what is "Fake Dark Power" is and why one would ever need 'Tweaks' in the first place.

Arrr! Same here matey! This is exactly how it should work and what's it all about!

I would highly recommend a license to camtasia, and if someone with a decent understanding of Terragen there at Planetside made a weekly 5-10 minute video covering a specific function

I don't think this is going to happen, with people having lives, y'know! ;D
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Offline N-drju

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Re: Is there ever going to be documentation for Terragen?
« Reply #39 on: April 12, 2017, 01:14:30 PM »
Added a little something to fill in another gap! Planetside can refresh the link on the wiki if desirable.
"I don't know what 'pokygon' is but I like it."

Offline MutantPixel

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Re: Is there ever going to be documentation for Terragen?
« Reply #40 on: April 12, 2017, 03:41:01 PM »
I don't think this is going to happen, with people having lives, y'know! ;D

When your livelihood depends on growing a market segment, having happy and educated customers is one of the number one ways to ensure that future. It used to take me between 3-4 hours a week to make my weekly videos for MODO, but paid back far more than that in customer satisfaction and goodwill. I can say from first hand experience that it is worth the effort.

Offline N-drju

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Re: Is there ever going to be documentation for Terragen?
« Reply #41 on: April 12, 2017, 05:04:59 PM »
Yes, but you did it as a dedicated professional from what I understand. :) With hobbyists or freelance creators this is more difficult I reckon.
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Offline MutantPixel

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Re: Is there ever going to be documentation for Terragen?
« Reply #42 on: April 12, 2017, 05:13:18 PM »
Yes, but you did it as a dedicated professional from what I understand. :) With hobbyists or freelance creators this is more difficult I reckon.

I have no expectation of users doing any of this, I'm hoping this is a call to action to the folks of Planetside. Education is as important as engineering and development, marketing and features can only take an app so far.

Online bobbystahr

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Re: Is there ever going to be documentation for Terragen?
« Reply #43 on: April 12, 2017, 09:20:31 PM »
Yes, but you did it as a dedicated professional from what I understand. :) With hobbyists or freelance creators this is more difficult I reckon.

I have no expectation of users doing any of this, I'm hoping this is a call to action to the folks of Planetside. Education is as important as engineering and development, marketing and features can only take an app so far.

there are 2 folks at planetside workin their buns off as it is....just sayin'. I for one am grateful just for the program...make me think a bit every day.
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Offline plugsnpixels

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Re: Is there ever going to be documentation for Terragen?
« Reply #44 on: April 13, 2017, 01:15:23 AM »
MutantPixel got me thinking:

What if Planetside took a short actual break from development to write documentation (i.e., a month maybe)?

Doing so might even be more effective in the long run than grinding on adding new features and fixes that no one but a few know how to use.

After all, if more people could actually use TG out of the box with less mental effort, more people might buy it. New and returning customers are the motivation behind development in the first place.
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