Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Books?

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Sean Weaver

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Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Books?

PostWed Feb 21, 2024 11:26 pm

Is there a contact email or official place on this forum to report bugs in the training manuals and courses? I looked on the main site and didn't see it if it is there

I've been fully through The Beginner's Guide (back when it was 17), The Colorist's Guide (back when it was 17), the Editor's Guide To DR 18 (I took it twice), and now The Visual FX Guide To DR 18.....

I'm finding a combination of omissions, blaring typos, and pictures mismatched to text illustrations in the VFX Guide.

After spending 10 days getting derailed on a one-page practice exercise which I only got through with the kind help of a user on the Fusion boards who built an entire annotated comp to show me (and sure enough, vital, essential, critical information was withheld from the training manual thus far....and the completed timelines bin did not contain the practice exercise to reverse-engineer), I continue to move forward.

The VFX Guide....is in serious need of editing. It's making the process about 10x harder for me to learn from and the only reason I'm not giving up is that I'm not a quitter.

--------

Typos/Issues I have found so far in the VFX Guide:

A -Page 54, Lesson 2, point 9 -- the image overlaps the instructional text on the left margin.

B -Page 77: First sentence of new section titled: "Composing Using the Darken Apply Mode." The sentence ends with, and I quote: ".....as we used in Lesson 1 with the HUD. There is no HUD in Lesson 1. To get to the bottom of this I altered the link to pull up the DR17 guide (not 18), in which Lesson 1 did use an HUD and explained it as a "heads-up display." The current Visual FX Guide For DR 18 is an entirely different Lesson 1, containing no HUD at all

C -Page 94, Practice Exercise, end of Lesson 3 -- This took about 10 days (while I was banging my head against the wall re-doing the entire manual thus far about 4 times) until someone on the forums rescued me. Just a few things I learned from a human that were literally nowhere within the pages before:

1. When the tracking data for the robot is applied to the polygon mask, the mask will go off a bit. To readjust it to the original position it needs to be offset using the center attribute within the modifier tab.

2. The match-move operation on the tracker node needs the merge menu set to FG over BG. All that was explained in the book was way back on page 50 in Lesson 2. Again, I quote: "The Operation menu options depend on the inputs connected to the Tracker node. To stabilize a clip, you must have the clip connected to the background input, as we have here. Then you set the match move operation to apply to the background. From the Merge menu, choose “BG only.”

The other operations were not explained or even acknowledged before throwing the reader out there on their own with a practice exercise containing no completed timeline/node-tree to reverse-engineer, speaking of which:

D. The Editor's Guide made it very clear the entire time where and when there were completed timelines to review for study. This.........

It's not until page 126 in Lesson 5 in a little yellow box where the existence of these backups and completed timelines are even acknowledged at all for the first time.

E. Minor complaint but still annoying (perhaps because I was really tired). Page 134, Number 8: "In the viewer menu, de-select Checker Underlay." Well, the picture underneath it shows a cursor positioned beneath the LUT dropdown menu. I'd been in DR long enough with enough experience behind to find the option under the 3-dots menu, but this wasn't explained at all in the text and the picture is misleading to anyone starting out and/or who might be getting exhausted by a manual they're starting to get annoyed with for typo after typo.

F. Simple Typo but still....Page 136, point 13: "Drag the Balance slider to the right until it is between .3 and .4" No. Drag the Balance slider to the left for that value.

G. Adding A Second Media Out Node, Page 151. Step 3 (quote): Drag the output of the Delta Keyer to the input of the MediaOut2 node . Okay, but....

The picture underneath the text is obviously mismatched. It shows the output of ColorCorrector1 into MediaOut2. Then....

H. Page 153, image with caption "Completed Node Tree For Lesson 5" shows the node tree with the Delta Keyer going to the input of MediaOut2, as was stated in the text containing the wrong image back on p. 151. But.....

I. Now there is a ColorCorrector2 node between Background and Merge1. At no point was this node referenced, explained, or instructed to add in the preceding text and sections. Then this ColorCorrector2 node is attached to Merge 2 on Page 371 in Appendix A.

I looked at the completed timeline and while the ColorCorrector2 node is indeed there, what it's there for is entirely unclear because it looks like no adjustments were made using it. I confirmed this toggling the node on/off.

----------

I'm really not trying to be a jerk here. I'm sure the authors of this guide are good humans. So far as an instructional manual goes.....

Purely from a self-guided student perspective, this is starting to get ridiculous. As I found more and more issues it made me feel more and more like "why am I even doing this" but I guess figuring out the mistakes and errors and omissions is an additional element of the training. Considering it's the most complex page in DR (to me at least), for the guide to be this full of typos, omissions, and mismatched images seems counter-productive to the end-user in general.

I'm maybe half-way through the book at this point. Depending on what else I find moving forward into Lessons 6 and beyond, this thread may be updated. Again, I'm not trying to be a jerk. Hopefully this information might help someone else going through the training guides.

If you're reading this in the future, trying to work through the same book I am, and find yourself getting as frustrated as I've been, let this post reassure you that it's probably not you. (I thought it was me and that I just wasn't smart enough....until it became clear just how many issues there are in this guide).

The book really needs to be edited.
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Re: Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Boo

PostThu Feb 22, 2024 9:32 pm

I'm just going to keep adding stuff here as I continue to find it....

The typos, inconsistencies, and issues are so pervasive I almost can't believe it. Just found another:

J (cont. from I, previous post): Page 158, Lesson 6, The Art Of The Credit Roll - Building a credit roll will reinforce some of the text functions you learned in Lesson 1....

There is no text component to Lesson 1 in this version. Once more, I rolled back to the previous version of the book (VFX Guide to DR17) to check that instead.

In the previous version there is a section in Lesson 1 on adding Text. In this version, there is not. Any new person reading this would be going "wait, what, where was that?"

It's like the book got rewritten without taking out references to earlier versions that are no longer contained in the current version.
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Re: Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Boo

PostMon Feb 26, 2024 1:32 am

Addition

K. Page 193, Lesson 7, Animating With The Follower, Step 7.

It says "We'll make this a quick spin that lasts only 10 frames."

But it really lasts 15 frames, as stated in Step 8. "Move the playhead to frame 15...."

L. Page 194, Lesson 7, Step 10: It says "Because you set the delay to 2 frames, the first letter begins to spin, and 2 frames later, the second letter begins to glow But this is not so. No glow was applied in this example.

No big deal but two more typos. I will continue to update this thread over the coming days or weeks if it helps anyone....or quit if there is absolutely no hope of BMD seeing or caring (in which case, tell me so that I don't waste time)
Last edited by Sean Weaver on Mon Feb 26, 2024 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Boo

PostMon Feb 26, 2024 1:36 am

Why don't you add these here: viewtopic.php?f=21&t=143494 ?
Would always stay in line of sight.
Now that the cat #19 is out of the bag, test it as much as you can and use the subforum.

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Re: Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Boo

PostMon Feb 26, 2024 2:23 am

Thank you Sean. This thread is useful. We are keeping an eye on this.
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Re: Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Boo

PostTue Feb 27, 2024 12:10 am

Uli Plank wrote:Why don't you add these here: viewtopic.php?f=21&t=143494 ?
Would always stay in line of sight.


Thanks Uli. I will copy the contents of this thread over there sooner or later then for sure.

Today's Updates as I keep moving through the VFX Guide:

Page 240, Lesson 9, Step 2 (Placing Elements On 3D Shapes. Not confusing but obvious typo. "Open R17 Fusion Guide Lessons Folder." But since this is the VFX Guide to DR18 it should say R18....

Page 244, Lesson 9, Step 13 Image -- The image of the Merge3D node shows yellow, green, and pink triangles, as if the yellow corresponded to the BG of a 2D Merge and Green to FG.

In actuality, the Merge 3D Node does NOT contain these colors in DR 18.5. Yellow is SceneInput1, White is SceneInput2, and another White at the bottom says SceneInput3. I will consult the monster DR Manual to take a closer look at this and it's not really confusing, but the image in the VFX Guide does not match the reality of a Merge3D node in the program...

Edit: This must be an 18.5 bug. The reference manual and some YouTube videos have just confirmed the colors should be green and yellow as shown in the VFX Guide
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Re: Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Boo

PostTue Feb 27, 2024 12:58 am

I think you don't need to move this, Shrinivas wrote that they'll watch here.
Keep up the good work, and thank you!
Now that the cat #19 is out of the bag, test it as much as you can and use the subforum.

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Re: Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Boo

PostTue Feb 27, 2024 10:49 pm

This is long but very detailed and explains the problems with this specific section in-depth:

Update from today/last night after going over Lesson 9 for hours over and over and over again...(if this was a request for help I'd start a new thread in the Fusion sub-forum but I'm pretty sure now that my confusion stemmed from more typos and missing context in the guide, so this is that update):

M: Lesson 9, Setting Up A 3D Scene: Setting Up And Animating A Camera, begins page 262

All goes well until Step 8 (page 264), at which point I believe the guide had me re-tracing steps for 2-4 hours (I lost track of the time but gave up at 2 am and now put in another hour comparing everything to the finished comp in the Backups bin)

Step 8 ends with: For our animation, we’ll create a simple pull back on the camera to expose more space
on the right. We’ll use this space in the next lesson when we add 3D text.


This implies the equivalent of a "zoom out" pulling back along the Z-axis. This sets the student (i.e. me) up with a very specific idea of what to expect from the finished animation, and it says so right there: to expose more spaceon the right. We’ll use this space in the next lesson when we add 3D text.

However, that is not what happens when following the steps, or upon dissecting the comp in the Completed Backups Bin ("Lesson 09 COMPLETED").

The orientation that things begin in with the earth to the left edge of Viewer 2 in Perspective mode (back on Step 1, page 262), combined with adding the Camera 3D node, places the starting Z translation value at 5.493 (on the BMD completed comp....mine was more like 7.3).

I should also add that it was never clear what was affecting those translation values upon applying the Camera 3D node to the Merge3D as instructed in Step 3, Page 263....I had to figure that out completely on my own (once more studying things in far more depth than described in the text). Had it made this clear in Step 4 (page 263) that would have helped. HAD it said something like: "Rather than tweaking a lot of parameters to essentially match what we have in the Perspective viewer, you can copy the Perspective view to the camera....[Now my addition]. This will shape the translation values you see in the Transform tab of the Camera3D tools panel."

If I thought it was just me or a fundamental concept I wasn't grasping then it would deserve a help thread but upon a lot of scrutiny, it just does not seem like the typical "student" is going to intuitively make sense of small things like that without either (1) a ton more background in Fusion (in which case why take the guide at all) or (2) as much patience and repetition as I'm willing to go through (let alone time to write all this out, which is not a pat on my back, just an acknowledgment that the only conceivable reason for doing so is to spare some future Fusion student of all the re-tracing and backtracking I'm going through on this journey). But even (far) more importantly....

Steps 9 - 13, Pages 264-265: It instructs the student to keyframe from the first to last frame and gives an approximate value for an ending keyframe in Step 14 (until the Inspector’s Z Translation is set around 4.5., but it gives no starting value (which of course was determined by copying the Perspective view to the Camera3D view, as I finally figured out). The end-result and reality of the BMD finished comp is the opposite (George Costanza does the opposite) of the VFX Guide!!!

There is no "pull back on the camera to expose more space" as stated in Step 8.

There is the equivalent of a camera moving forward, closer-in. Again, to confirm it wasn't user-error I studied the completed BMD comp, which confirmed.

On the completed comp (not mine), the Camera 3D Translation Z-value begins at Frame 0 with a value of: 5.493024

Frame 119 ends with a Z-value of 5.023095

Further inspection reveals that Step 14 is also bogus when it says: drag the camera’s Z Translation blue arrow back, away from the spheres. The blue arrow moves towards the spheres. (I think this is so but now my brain is completely frazzled once more so I'll review this after a break to confirm I'm thinking straight. Either way, the last main point remains....

By providing the starting and end-values this also negates the guide text that says until it is set around 4.5

The camera motion moves in and down...it certainly does not appear "to expose more space Screen-shot of BMD comp for context:



If I've missed anything conceptual then take this with a grain of salt but I'm pretty sure I have not, and the finished comp gives credence to the impression that this section of the guide would be much better if it were completely updated, edited, or just re-written where need be.
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Re: Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Boo

PostTue Feb 27, 2024 11:34 pm

Okay, after all of that, now upon loading Lesson 10 - START, the camera motion/animation appears to match the text at the end of Lesson 9 that sent me into oscillation, like a dog chasing its tail (or the earth rotating in a Fusion lesson).

This befuddled me so much that I loaded a fresh new restore from the downloaded .dra just to confirm, and I was mistaken....

Lesson 09 - COMPLETED does match the text so somehow I moved something around that I wasn't supposed to and altered the stock completed comp.

I'm leaving the previous post above as a record of events but from here I guess I'll re-take Lesson 9 for a fifth time and if I keep running into issues, take it up on the Fusion sub......

If in the process I discover a piece of text or missing context that led me down this rabbit hole, I will update again. At the moment I still don't know if it's being exhausted and frazzled, or if indeed there is something missing from the instruction contributing to this series of events. To be continued over the coming days
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Re: Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Boo

PostWed Feb 28, 2024 1:47 am

okay somewhere around hour 7 or 8 (on a lesson that says "50 Minutes"!!!).......

I'm not sure what it is yet. If I can't get there by the end of the evening I'll start a separate thread to get to the bottom of solving this, but the problems begin on step 1, page 262, Setting Up And Animating A Camera.

I've narrowed the issue down to user-error with the Perspective view (wildly) throwing off the values of the Camera 3D translation values after following the steps in the guide.

If I find out it's a critical piece of information missing from the guide, I will post the update on this thread.
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Re: Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Boo

PostWed Feb 28, 2024 2:56 am

Somewhere approaching hour 8.5 - 9, I solved the riddle for myself, and by solving it, yes, there is vital, critical information withheld from the guide. Here is what I found: Forgive the abundance of bold. I'm not trying to shout but to convey information.

Page 262, Step 1, Setting Up And Animating a Camera either needs a major update or a new lesson previous to it needs to be added. The issue with the Z-translation values run deep, and I'm out of energy to keep chronicling this in 1,000 word essays but I'll try to explain the holes.

On Page 248 (Step 5), the key and mouse functions are introduced.

— Pan: Drag while holding down the middle mouse button.
— Rotate: While holding down the middle mouse button, Option-drag (macOS) or
Alt-drag (Windows).
— Zoom in and out: Hold down Command (macOS) or Ctrl (Windows) and scroll the
middle mouse wheel.
Now, let’s get back to a default starting point and begin to build the planets.


Subsequently, zoom in/out are used in several later sections (i.e. page 250, step 5 - In viewer 2, hold down the Command (macOS) or Ctrl (Windows) key and scroll the
middle mouse button to zoom out the view a bit until you can clearly see the top and bottom of the Earth sphere
) (much later, step 13, Page 264 - Position the mouse cursor over viewer 1, hold the Command key (macOS) or the Ctrl key (Windows) and scroll the middle mouse wheel until you can clearly see the Earth
and the camera in the frame.


At no point does the guide convey the 3D relationship between the Perspective view zoom (command-middle button on mouse and depth/Z when setting up and animating a camera!!!! Depending on the size of the screen, layout, etc. no wonder what I was getting was different than the guide or completed example. But it gets worse....

By lack of this connection being stated or taught previously, when one follows step 1, page 262, Setting Up and Animating a Camera....immediately the Z-translation value is dependent on what level of zoom the viewer is at. When it says "In viewer 2, hold down the middle mouse button and drag to position the frame so the Earth is against the left edge," this says nothing of the role of command-middle mouse wheel in the process that follows, so.....

Once Copy PoV to > Camera3D1 is performed in step 6 (page 263) and the first keyframe is set in step 11 (page 264), it sets the student up for the George Costanza opposite because no context is given to the starting Z-translation value!!!! I first had to examine everything under the microscope and then figure out why following the guide was not working as I beat my head against the wall for about 8-9 hours. THIS is what I mean.....

In Step 14 (now page 265), the first time the Z-translation is mentioned at all it says: In viewer 1, drag the camera’s Z Translation blue arrow back, away from the spheres, until the Inspector’s Z Translation is set around 4.5. BUT....

If your Z-value on the first keyframe was wildly different (I was around 6 -7 consistently) because of your zoom, because of your screen real-estate, even if you have the Keyframes window open in a dual-screen viewer (as I do)....and then you set the last translation value (Z) to 4.5 because the guide THEN gives a specific number, you're not pulling back at all! You're moving in!! Which is exactly what was happening to me.
Instead of starting at 3.95 or so and pulling back to 4.5 or so, you're going 6 or 7 or whatever DOWN to 4.5. And then the camera moves in towards the spheres, not back from them.

Copying the values from the Inspector in the completed example and putting them into the comp I had created ultimately was no help because that wasn't revealing the connection between the Perspective view depth and what happens after adding the Camera3D. FURTHERMORE.....

The reason for corrupting/damaging the "completed" composition and needing to reload from a fresh .dra (which I had to do twice and almost three times because I kept corrupting/damaging the actual "Lesson 09 - COMPLETED" I was studying ) was because of the next part....

At no point is it stated that when navigating around viewer 2 with the Camera 3D view, that any changes in the viewer create new keyframes and/or alter the old ones. The Camera 3D view is the default upon loading the completed example. So by adjusting the "zoom" to see the spheres, I was ultimately damaging (and hence ruining) the completed comp I was attempting to study, making it worthless until reloading a fresh .dra to "get back to where it once belonged".

Also, when loading the completed example and togging between Camera3D and Perspective in the viewer, the Perspective view is quite different than the Camera3D view, making it basically impossible to see where the Perspective was when the value was copied.

I'm sure the authors are brilliant, nice, helpful, all around good people.....

But this is another major omission I had not seen the likes of since the Practice Exercise at the end of Lesson 3, Replacing a Sky, when it took 7-10 days and outside help to find out that the only match move operation even mentioned earlier in the guide was "BG Only."

I really hope future readers of a hopefully updated, crystal-clear, spectacular VFX Guide benefit from all of these things I'm finding out the long way around (but finding out all the same)
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Re: Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Boo

PostThu Feb 29, 2024 6:20 am

To save time I'm starting to make these as videos instead of walls of text. I've lost count now of what number this typo brings the total up to.....

A page or two later I'm hitting another brick wall, but instead of fighting it for another 9 hours I'll post a new thread with video on the next issue. As I find myself on the cusp of another one, I have to say....

At this stage I've lost the usual self-deprecation that "it's probably just me," and am beginning to just assume when something doesn't go well that there's another problem with the guide itself. Seeing as two major omissions have caused hours to days to weeks of stalled progress up to this point (Lesson 3 and Lesson 8 both chronicled earlier), it's a wonder I haven't given up. I'm not saying this guide is worthless. The pervasive typos and omissions lead to a lot of questions instead of answers though, which is not really the point of a guide....

Again, not a criticism of the authors. Two weeks ago I was ready to pay them (anyone who could, really) for help over Zoom or FaceTime, but of course had no contact info and someone else kindly stepped in to help. It's so weird too because all of the other BMD guides had gone so well and were so useful and helpful...until this one. It just needed an editor, that's all.

"The producer.....was a non-producer" - Mike Bloomfield on the Highway 61 Revisited sessions for Dylan.

The guide.....at times...is a non-guide! And I just wrote another wall of text after making a video to save myself from it. The words just poured out on the page from frustration I suppose. The video shows the actual next typo/issue, though:

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Re: Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Boo

PostThu Feb 29, 2024 6:48 am

Preparing to make a video to start a separate thread for help, I kept exploring the next issue I was running into, and.....

I don't think it's a help thread anymore (but I'll start one just to confirm this is not user-error).

Everything is in this video.

If I start scrubbing videos later on maybe I should write out the problem too:

Page 320, Steps 2-3: When you set the style to bitmap, a yellow input is displayed on the pEmitter node that allows you to connect any image in the Node Editor....Drag the output of the Noise movie to the green, style input on the pEmitter.

Issue: THERE IS NO GREEN INPUT AND THE COMPLETED (AND BACKUP) TIMELINES FROM BMD CONFIRM THIS!!!!

(as shown in the video)

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Re: Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Boo

PostThu Feb 29, 2024 7:15 am

No need to start a help thread, I just confirmed this is another MAJOR disaster of a typo in the guide.

vfx guide mistake.png
vfx guide mistake.png (170.12 KiB) Viewed 669 times


After beating my head against the wall sufficiently, I looked closer at the actual inputs. Not only does a green input not even appear as shown in the previous video, but when I "force" it to appear using what I showed in the previous video, it doesn't work....

YELLOW IS THE STYLE INPUT, NOT GREEN!!!

George Costanza does the opposite and his life improves. The VFX Guide says the opposite and minutes into hours go down the drain!



As a last "check" of sorts, I consulted the DR 18 Reference Manual, shown below. Without understanding everything, this much confirms that section in the VFX Guide is plain wrong. The highlighted part with the orange text NOTE is what got me. It makes it look REALLY important to select the green input, when in reality the green input isn't even there and once getting it to show up somehow, isn't the style input at all.

reference manual.png
reference manual.png (87.4 KiB) Viewed 669 times
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Re: Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Boo

PostThu Feb 29, 2024 10:51 pm

This update is not so much a typo, omission, or "problem" with the guide, but it seems fairly pointless and is somewhat annoying after meticulously completing the previous section.

Page 340, Lesson 12 - Preparing The Camera Tracker

In case you were unable to complete the mattes for all the frames, we’ll jump ahead and open a completed version of the previous exercise.
Screen Shot 2024-02-29 at 4.44.05 PM (2).png
Screen Shot 2024-02-29 at 4.44.05 PM (2).png (551.77 KiB) Viewed 617 times

When we were kids in math class in school, after completing a rigorous Calculus exercise from the textbook, did the book begin the next section with, "just in case you couldn't do it, use this now instead." No!

What's the point of this? Either we rotoscope in the previous section leading up to this and use our mattes, or we work with a completed version. Both sections back to back don't compliment one another.

There's also the distinct possibility I'm getting overly cranky and overly critical this near the end of the harrowing experience that "I think I'll take the Fusion course, that would be a good idea!" has become! I wanted to learn Fusion...but not quite like this, and REALLY hope this guide gets re-written, or at least the really major stuff gets repaired, so that no one else goes through what I've been dealing with these past few weeks
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Sean Weaver

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Re: Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Boo

PostThu Feb 29, 2024 11:17 pm

Study breaks are marked by consistent updates here! Next issue:

Page 344, Lesson 12, Yellow "TIP" highlighted box
Screen Shot 2024-02-29 at 5.07.58 PM.png
Screen Shot 2024-02-29 at 5.07.58 PM.png (236.2 KiB) Viewed 602 times


That's fine but "Refine Lens Parameters" are not on the presently selected Camera tab, which the student is on in Step 1, and this guide gives absolutely no word of where to find "Refine Lens Parameters." Is the student supposed to just automatically know?

This book feels to me as if I wrote a guide on guitar playing and put in a yellow highlighted box - "now shred Eruption." How? Where? When? What is Eruption? Do I find it under the Kenny Rogers Gambler tab previously pictured? Might it be a good idea to cite the player and recording on which to find the referenced title? A great guitar player must retain the mind of a beginner in order to make their guide useful.

Once more I had to pull up the Resolve Master Manual again and run a full-document search to get to the bottom of it.

Refine Lens Parameters is under the Solve tab:
Screen Shot 2024-02-29 at 5.08.36 PM.png
Screen Shot 2024-02-29 at 5.08.36 PM.png (98.82 KiB) Viewed 602 times


Then once in the Solve tab, "Enable Lens Parameter" needs to be selected in order to access the field:
Screen Shot 2024-02-29 at 5.08.59 PM.png
Screen Shot 2024-02-29 at 5.08.59 PM.png (57.02 KiB) Viewed 602 times


At a bare minimum, this yellow highlighted TIP box needs to be moved beneath step 3, to make it clear that this field is located within the Solve tab. Ideally, more detail on where/how to find it needs to be provided.
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Re: Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Boo

PostFri Mar 01, 2024 12:08 am

Sean Weaver wrote:This update is not so much a typo, omission, or "problem" with the guide, but it seems fairly pointless and is somewhat annoying after meticulously completing the previous section.

Page 340, Lesson 12 - Preparing The Camera Tracker

In case you were unable to complete the mattes for all the frames, we’ll jump ahead and open a completed version of the previous exercise.
Screen Shot 2024-02-29 at 4.44.05 PM (2).png

When we were kids in math class in school, after completing a rigorous Calculus exercise from the textbook, did the book begin the next section with, "just in case you couldn't do it, use this now instead." No! By the way, this prompted me to look for a solution in the training field. I thought it would be easier to find experts who understand this very thing so that they can help me do it faster. I really didn't know where to start, so I am glad that with the help of my super geek review I was able to learn more about the experts who do this. It is very important to have experienced writers and experts rather than newbies to help in such an endeavor. Thanks to these materials, finding an assistant has become many times easier. It is also very important that there are reviews from real students, so it is easier to get confidence.

What's the point of this? Either we rotoscope in the previous section leading up to this and use our mattes, or we work with a completed version. Both sections back to back don't compliment one another.

There's also the distinct possibility I'm getting overly cranky and overly critical this near the end of the harrowing experience that "I think I'll take the Fusion course, that would be a good idea!" has become! I wanted to learn Fusion...but not quite like this, and REALLY hope this guide gets re-written, or at least the really major stuff gets repaired, so that no one else goes through what I've been dealing with these past few weeks

Totally agree with you, but I doubt it will be rewritten. It will just have to be adapted one way or another.
Last edited by Hataki on Fri Mar 01, 2024 5:45 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Boo

PostFri Mar 01, 2024 2:30 am

I'm pretty much at the end of this mission. Have not yet gone over Appendix B and if I find anything in there, I will update this thread. Otherwise, any final questions or issues I guess will get posted in a separate help thread.

I've put about another 4 or 5 hours into it this afternoon/early evening alone and am now trying to figure out what went wrong with the last practice exercise. I own all my attitudes and outlooks on things; no one else is responsible for that.....

That said, after the past several weeks and basically losing complete faith in entire sections of this guide that snowballed me into reservoirs of time-drain, it's almost like the end is when the drain, frustration, and zig-zag path through the guide coalesced into a self-owned state of "why am I even doing this anymore?"

To be clear, user-error, learning hard things, and patience through challenge is never a problem. I thrive on those things. Being sent down a rabbit-hole because of missing, critical information, typos and plain wrong statements (recalling the Style Input on the pEmitter node being yellow, not green, and other incidents on that level throughout the guide) is where the struggle gives way to mixed emotions.....but just working hard for something, that's fantastic. This was not a case of learning something hard. It was a case of zig-zagging through a guide that all too often became a riddle.

Time will tell if any of it is useful as I move ahead. I'm not trying to become a professional or even sideline VFX artist. I got into this to learn the software better and hopefully make some better videos. In the end, the feeling of "what did I just do for three weeks" is NOW a question. A lot of mixed emotions. Over and out for now

(unless Appendix B merits one last update)
Last edited by Sean Weaver on Fri Mar 01, 2024 2:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Boo

PostFri Mar 01, 2024 2:39 am

Seems it's worse than the other PDF guides, which have minor errors, like leftovers from 17, but nothing that serious.

For those who don't want to go through that frustrating experience and rather spend some money, I can recommend those from Ripple Training.
Now that the cat #19 is out of the bag, test it as much as you can and use the subforum.

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Re: Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Boo

PostFri Mar 01, 2024 2:45 am

Uli Plank wrote:Seems it's worse than the other PDF guides, which have minor errors, like leftovers from 17, but nothing that serious.

For those who don't want to go through that frustrating experience and rather spend some money, I can recommend those from Ripple Training.


Thanks Uli. Just looked up the Ripple Training website. $220 would have been nothing if I'd been aware before going through this process! For that matter, after the dust settles, if I feel like not enough stuck, I still may very well shell out some money on the Ripple bundle. That said, a lot stuck from the Editor's Guide in particular, which I found to be very, very useful and all-around eye-opening. I've been through The Beginner's Guide, Colorist's Guide, Editor's, and now VFX. Nothing else came close to the issues in this VFX Guide. The rest were all very good to pretty much great!
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Re: Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Boo

PostFri Mar 01, 2024 2:49 am

Well, that would be the whole shebang. Single trainings are cheaper.

For free, I can recommend the "Fuseday" series by our forum member Sander de Regt.
He's ShadowMakerSdR in YT.
Now that the cat #19 is out of the bag, test it as much as you can and use the subforum.

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Re: Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Boo

PostFri Mar 01, 2024 7:52 am

Thanks Uli - Sander got back to me on a thread over in the Fusion sub when I was beating my head against the wall on Lesson 3.

Everyone else/thread update/whoever sees this in the future.....

After another 2.5 - 3 hours, surrendering once more near 2am, because of the last Practice Exercise......

This much is clear.....

Having dissected the BMD completed comp, whatever the case is with the last practice exercise is irrelevant for right now. What IS relevant is that there was another obvious omission....

The beach exercise from the main body of Lesson 12 is shown with the PointCloud and GroundPlane nodes de-activated in the final completed comp from BMD, merged over the Media1 node to the MediaOut....

At no point after instructing the reader to Export from the CameraTracker was it EVER explained or even acknowledged what the five generated nodes are really doing. Working with it myself into the late/early morning hours, of course I see that "command-P" on the GroundPlane gets rid of the 3D lines that were otherwise present on the MediaOut image, but my point remains. None of this was even broached in the VFX Guide, and for that, I can't even begin....how is it a guide when the completed exercises implement additional steps never even alluded to let alone mentioned or explained at all.

Otherwise I have some ideas on what went wrong with the last Practice Exercise and some more things to try in light of day tomorrow. It SHOULD require focus and patience and determination, consistent with all of life's big lessons....

But it SHOULDN'T be like beating your head against a brick wall. How much of that is my comprehension? One would have to accept that to be a part of the picture. But one would also have to accept that, for whatever issues may be individual that I own for myself, after all of this, parallel to the experience is a guide containing a lot of room for improvement. A guide that almost feels like it would have beaten me down if I wasn't so focused on picking myself up and moving through adversity.

Past that I've got nothing to add (unless Appendix B contains more typos once I get to it)
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Re: Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Boo

PostSat Mar 02, 2024 12:51 am

Took another few hours but I sorted everything out, went through Appendix B (no typos or issues there), and figured out the last Practice Exercise from the end of Lesson 12, albeit with a few questions for another time.....

Maybe in a few weeks I'll casually re-take the course, knowing now what to disregard, implement, and how to get around the issues persistent almost from start to end. Imprinting the information might be better then now that I know what to replace, substitute, or mentally fill in missing gaps or typos with to re-read it the way I was able to work with the other guides before this. One last thing I just spotted:

Casually looking over and re-reading Lesson 12, I spotted this highlighted text on page 341:
Screen Shot 2024-03-01 at 6.38.37 PM.png
Screen Shot 2024-03-01 at 6.38.37 PM.png (87.33 KiB) Viewed 363 times


Since the entire lesson depends on using the CameraTracker, any future changes/edits by BMD might consider removing that highlighted notice altogether. There would be nothing for a non-Studio user to continue with after the solve section since the entire lesson relies on having the Studio version. The notice on page 332 at the start of Lesson 12 would be enough, shown here:
Screen Shot 2024-03-01 at 6.44.04 PM.png
Screen Shot 2024-03-01 at 6.44.04 PM.png (268.99 KiB) Viewed 363 times


Beyond what's in this thread, there were several times when loading the .dra files that the text still says "DR17" in the guide to 18.

I'd compile EVERYTHING into a bullet-point list if requested (so that BMD doesn't need to read every word of these often-long, almost emotional journal like posts throughout the thread) but unless it matters I'm out of time and totally fried. One centralized post start-to-end with no extraneous commentary could be provided upon request though.

The end.
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Re: Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Boo

PostSat Mar 02, 2024 1:18 am

You did the community a great service anyway, Sean!

Maybe a mod can at least make this a sticky?
Now that the cat #19 is out of the bag, test it as much as you can and use the subforum.

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Re: Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Boo

PostMon Mar 04, 2024 12:32 am

Thanks Uli --- this post will be double-posted, both as a new thread on the Resolve side, and a new thread under the Fusion side, for a combined total of 3 once this follow-up post is factored in. If that's a problem, go ahead and delete mods, but with all due respect....after performing a borderline public service to find all the hiccups and issues with the guide......

Can someone at BMD (or an expert on this forum) help sort out the last question I had at the end of Lesson 12 please?

To keep this really simple, organized, and to the point, here is a Dropbox folder containing the .dra, a separate export of my .comp from the exercise, and the VFX Guide .pdf : https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/nm5b3qta ... hmfe2&dl=0

The question/issue involves values on Camera3D1 after Export from the CameraTracker, after creating the mattes for the areas I wanted to avoid.

The BMD completed one is in the Lesson 12 Completed timeline. The one I worked on is under Lesson 12 Start. In the comp I tried to keep things clear. On the left side is a series of nodes containing a set of mattes that was not keyframed, so it drifts off the subjects. THIS is exactly what I found BMD did in the Completed timeline. But it's not what I originally did....

Because previously we had keyframed everything throughout the .comp, I went ahead and rotoscoped everything like usual, and when I got done and performed the Export, things were very weird. The flag seemed to move and never looked tacked down to the rocks. Things were generally off. Looking closer, the Far value under the Camera3D1 node was low - as in, sixty-six.

But when I didn't keyframe at all the way that the Completed timeline from BMD has no keyframe on the mattes....the Far value was 1078 and everything looked much better.

Digging deeper into the Reference Manual born out of complete and utter frustration and despair with the holes and omissions throughout the VFX Guide, at least I did learn a little more about the Camera3D near/far values.
Screen Shot 2024-03-03 at 6.24.33 PM.png
Screen Shot 2024-03-03 at 6.24.33 PM.png (109.39 KiB) Viewed 295 times


But I'm still very unclear on what is shifting the value that much just because I adjusted the mattes throughout the render range vs. a sloppy few mattes that are not but somehow....that's what in the BMD completed timeline and what seems to work better in this case.

And I'm also not entirely clear on why if I copy the ImagePlane3D node from the completed timeline into my .comp in the Lesson 12-Start timeline, things don't line up with the transform values and the banner doesn't look as good as it does in the Completed timeline.....my suspicion is it may have to do with the Ground plane settings.

My computer is slow and laggy to work with the practice files anyhow in this 3D exercise and I'm not about to buy a new computer in the immediate future, and whether or not I even need to do 3D Camera Tracking at all for guitar videos seems unlikely. But after all of this (and it was excruciating), I'm not about to let the last Practice Exercise defeat me.

So what's going on here?

Thanks,

Sean
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Re: Where To Report Typos/Confusing Mistakes In Training Boo

PostMon Mar 04, 2024 6:17 am

Davinci Resolve Editors Guide

Page 449:

2 Navigate to R18 Editors Guide/Lesson 10/Subtitles and select the file SYNC SUBTITLES US.srt. Click Open.

Should be:

2 Navigate to R18 Editors Guide/Lesson 9/Subtitles and select the file SYNC SUBTITLES US.srt. Click Open.

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