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please forgive your useless sister.

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what do YOU want to see in a flash tutorial site?

Posted by rtil - September 2nd, 2009

over the past year thebackalleys has lost its original point of being my portfolio site and now it's some bizarre aimless community. but this gives me an opportunity to do what i've wanted to do with it for a long time - turn it into a tutorial-based site.

so i was looking @ flashkit, tutorialize, and other big tutorial sites. some of them have a lot of good stuff, but i think they all could use huge improvements. bad ratio of good to poor tuts, outdated information, weak navigation, ridiculous and distracting ad clutter.

some of you might remember 2 years ago i set up a wiki for flash stuff on my site. but i botched the launch of it and i didn't really know what i was doing back then.

but now i'm hand-coding a tutorial interface with php & mysql linked with the forum, and i want it to be something that the flash animation, programming and art community can really make good use of.

i only started a few days ago, and i have some ideas of my own, but i'm sure i haven't thought of some things.

so my question to you is, what would YOU want to see in a site that offered resources, tutorials and guides? i don't care how many suggestions you have just go ahead and say it. i want to spend a lot of time on this and make it as good as possible. here's what i already have planned:

- forum-like category section
- search function for software (can be version-specific) and keywords
- upload section where a member can manage/delete/update their own files for their tutorials
- comment & rating system
- new tutorials moderator checked for quality
- video embed support

so yeah i'd like to hear your thoughts. and yes this news post was just gonna be a parody at first but the subject is so pathetic it doesn't even merit my 5 minutes of blunt sarcasm

lastly, some people have been telling me i should sell this as a poster, and as a matter a fact i have been for a while now. not like anyone would know on account of the caption saying "sonic eats a hamburger", but if you'd like one you can get one here for $9 americas/$10int'l - shipping included.

below: cropped unfinished shot from "lighthouse girl", which will come out sometime this year

what do YOU want to see in a flash tutorial site?

Comments (41)

In before Luis.

Oh shit so you are doing something with the anipedia.

You know I'm down with adding some programming stuff.

anything that is on anipedia now is archived & locked - but you can still view the source. that should make it pretty easy to migrate it to the new stuff whenever it's done.

one thing i wanna have is syntax highlighting.. but that's another monster in itself.

That poster would be totally fucking awesome as a fabric wall scroll.

i bet that costs a pretty penny to print

i actually like tutorials where its not really a 'tutorial' but rather you sitting in on a sped up version of someone putting something together... i found the youtube's of dan paladin drawing his castle crashers sprites to be more insightful than literally getting a tutorial on something. So maybe a section where you could just go through other peoples process... if that makes sense...

sure. i could encourage those who are writing to add their personal touch. i mean really, in the art section they wouldn't have much of a choice

My main weakness is creating painterly backgrounds, and proper character animation. I mean, not just setting up poses, but making it lifelike, like that picture above. You seem quite skilled in both of these things, so it would be nice if you could provide tutorials on them. :D

i've actually been asking channel-square/blvd-square about that, she said she would write it when it's ready :)

the way i see it if your site is gonna get an educational rep, you should have some sort of clever cover


Tutorial for coloring, draw with anatomy references, expresions, 12 theories of the animation in work, guns tutorials, positions refences, shades tutorial, clothes, line art, storyboard, creation of a character, AccionScript basic, IA, and a lot of spin dicks

what is IA? but thank you for the other suggestions, these should all be written

you should add some porn so people will actually visit.

people already visit so that part's taken care of but thank you for your concern

Well, I would imagine that you could stand out above other flash tutorial sites by not only having standard flash and AS tutorials, but also animation and special effect techniques that people who are new to animation would be able to utilize. Just a thought.

animation - check. special effects, sometimes people mix it with AS and it can do that too but an special effects section dedicated to fbf animation is a good idea. thank you for the idea

Downloadable FLAs of quality animation at different levels. It's nice to open up a great piece of work and dig in to see what it's composed of/how stuff works.

But of course there could always be a stealing issue.

i imagine some FBF tutorials will come with clips made specifically for the lesson or clips they don't care about anymore. and i don't see people getting away with theft online anymore, at least not for very long.

I would like more advanced tutorials. We have plenty of "how to make button" tutorials or "how to make a walk animation loop", but users could learn more advanced things like making character movement more fluid (blinking when turning around, weight, etc.).

It's basic, but for the beginning flash animator, it might as well be advanced and I think that would most definitely help them out.

Another topic I think should be covered is shortcuts. Animation is very intimidating to newcommers, and if a beginner goes about animating something the wrong way or in a more complex manner than it needs to be, I think limited animation shortcuts would make them more inclined to create animations.

"how to make button" lmao, yeah no doubt about that. i definitely want it to go beyond the realms of that, in fact i really want the focus to be hand drawn animation.

i'm big on shortcuts, too, and i was actually writing one a few months ago but dropped it. although i'll be sure to pick it up again when i get this done.

Well definitely like different categories for different flash tutorial types (like simple to difficult, and using code or making games ect.). Idk, but it's a really cool idea. Can't wait to get flash myself.

hopefully i finish this around the same time you get flash :)

It's been metioned before, but tutorials of how to manage frames in order to make the characters more lively and realistic would be nice. Sorry if that doesn't make sense.

the closest thing to that is probably timing. timing is SO important, probably why it's one of the 12 principles of animation . in my opinion probably in the top 2-3

I took an introductory course in flash some years ago. It consisted of walking through the door and having tweens shoved down your throat. It lasted a week. So my main concern/desire is that these tutorials teach proper animation techniques, if you're going that basic.

I agree that an .fla bank would be nice.

i agree. thank you

covers do help!

i don't know what you mean by cover though

I agree with luis. yeah, just seeing pro people (or just skilled people) animate is a tutorial itself. so animation tutorials where maybe the animator goes through a particular animation frame by frame and comments the tricks he uses and gives some tips... possible?

Yeah to kind of reiterate previous posts, videos of how animations/characters (maybe even backgrounds if they are complicatedly implemented) in cartoons, movies, and game assets are very useful to even those who have been doing it for awhile. Reading blogs about development processes and watching speed painting/drawing videos can help, but the timeline work and setup of the frames from start to finish is really the key ingredient missing from a lot of those.

Like those photoshop speed paintings or dan paladin's boss animation speed video can be useful to an extent but once you can draw, EFFICIENCY is what's left so you don't waste too much time or spend too much time on something that should be the least of your worries

a font or icon

This wouldn't really be a feature or something but prehaps numbering or possibly placing tutorials into specific catagories depending on a users skill. For example you could take some basic tutorials like simple tweens for animation or hand to eye precision techniques for drawing and place them in a beginner catagory, and have more advanced skills in higher catagories and so on and so forth. If that makes sense?

I think having distinct areas for programming, animation, and design is a safe bet. I second everyone's request to ditch the tween tutorials. Frame-by-frame for the win!

I'd like to see some back-end server help. Maybe setting up a server for high scores, multiplayer and residual information like user profiles or game stats.

Forums may be a bad idea unless you don't mind moderating 100 requests from newbies who want to know how to make a button work. I say focus on video tutorials or VERY detailed written walkthroughs, similar to sites like revision3.com's PixelPerfect or Lynda.com.

i don't have the money to help with high-bandwidth stuff for games, i hardly make games myself. maybe for another day. but thanks for the suggestions

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