No Video Tutorials

Some people are visual learners which means they can typically learn more easily from videos than they can from text based tutorials. This page explains the reasons why Animancer doesn't have any official video tutorials.

Video Tutorials refers to videos accompanied by audio explanations while Animancer's Documentation uses text explanations accompanied by images and videos in the form of short animated GIFs. This means that the distinction is not really between visual learning and non-visual learning, it's actually about two main points:

  • Audio vs. Text.
  • Long uninterrupted videos vs. Short specific videos when there is something worth showing.

Feel free to use any of the listed Contact methods to discuss this topic if you feel that video tutorials have some advantages which outweigh the disadvantages listed here or if you find a section of the documentation where a new GIF would be helpful or if you encounter anything confusing. If you want to see a video tutorial, what exactly would it be about? Why would a video convey that information better than Animancer's text and GIFs could? Would the video be better than the amount of other documentation content that could have been produced in the same amount of time? Rather than considering an ideal video, do you really think that a video I can make would be that good? Are you really that interested in listening to me talk?

Development and Quality

One of the most important factors in this discussion is the amount of time and effort required to produce the instructional materials because that directly influences the quality of the result. If content is easy to produce then more of it can be produced and it will be more effective at conveying the intended information. Less time spent on documentation also means more time spent developing Animancer itself.

  • Developing a draft document, refining it, and recording images and GIFs where necessary is far easier than writing a speech and recording large segments of video then editing them together.
    • For comparison, the Animancer v6.0 Trailer Video is only 3:30 long and took longer to make than the entire 3D Game Kit example took to implement and document (which includes a dozen scripts, over 10,000 words, and several dozen images and GIFs). The end results are a mediocre video with an uninspiring voice over compared to a section of documentation that has been praised for its detail and clarity.
  • Documentation can be changed far more easily than videos in case of:
    • Spelling mistakes.
    • Poor word choice.
    • Missing information.
    • Changes in a new version of the product.
    • Bugs in any code shown.
    • User feedback. Some examples of sections added due to user feedback include the C# in Unity section and an explanation of how to set up UI Buttons even though those things are not specific to Animancer.
  • Version control systems like Git can easily be used for documentation to compare changes with previous versions while you can't really do much more than store backups of video and audio source files.

Advantages of Video Tutorials

  • Certain disabilities can make it hard for people to read large amounts of text so they prefer audio.
    • This issue can be mitigated with common accessibility tools that modify things like the brightness, contrast, or font size, as well as text-to-speech systems that can read the text aloud.
    • It is also somewhat inevitable due to the fact that Animancer is a code based system so even if you could learn how to use it without much reading, once you get to actually using it you won't be able to avoid doing far more reading.
  • Using an uninterrupted video to show every step of a process might include details that could otherwise be missed if the author had to specifically choose what to record for short and specific videos.
    • This issue can be mitigated by simply asking questions and providing feedback using any of the listed Contact methods so that the documentation can be improved. If an author can miss key information in a short GIF, they could just as easily miss it in the audio for a long video (which is even harder to fix).

Disadvantages of Video Tutorials

  • Just as there are reading disabilities, there are also ones that apply to listening.
    • But the accessibility options in this case are not as powerful. Speech-to-text is much less effective than its counterpart.
    • There are also various related issues which are not disabilities such as the speaker's accent or mumbling. If you read a word you don't understand you can look up its definition or a translation into your native language, but that's not so easy for audio.
    • Volume can also be a problem depending on the listener's environment. For example, you might need to keep quiet for the people you live with or there might be background noise you have to deal with. Headphones can usually help, but that's not always an option.
  • The appearance of a video can't really be changed by the viewer, but there are many tools and browser extensions like Dark Reader which can modify the appearance of a page of text to suit the reader.
  • An uninterrupted video will show lots of irrelevant information and requires constant attention to avoid missing important information where images and short videos can focus on things that are actually important without wasting the viewer's time or attention.
    • This also applies to the area that is shown. Images and animated GIFs can draw attention to the important part of the screen while videos are rarely edited to do so.
  • You can't copy code directly from a video.
  • You can't search for a specific phrase in a video, but you can do so easily with text.
  • Most people can read far faster than they can speak. You can't "skim-read" a video or go at your own pace like you can with text.
  • Re-watching a section of video takes much more effort than re-reading a section of text.
  • Videos use far more data than text which can affect people with data caps and can take time to load on slower internet connections.
  • Video quality (resolution and encoding) can make it hard to see things (such as trying to read the code on-screen).
  • Videos can't use hyperlinks to direct the viewer to related information as effectively as text can. Some video platforms support annotations on screen that can contain external links, but trying to do so at every opportunity would cover up the actual video.

Collaboration

Even with these reasons against video tutorials, the fact remains that some people prefer them so if you are interested in producing some to be featured in Animancer's documentation, please email animancer@kybernetik.com.au to discuss potential payment and other details.