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    1. Kit: , by (VIP/Sponsor) hot ford coupe is offline
      Builder Last Online: Dec 2019 Show Printable Version Email this Page
      Model Scale: 1/8 Rating:  Thanks: 0
      Started: 05-03-09 Build Revisions: Never  
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      Writing tutorials is not as difficult as many people think. The best formula for a good tutorial is 1) clearly written and complete instructions so any builder regardless of skill can follow it; 2) a good, solid knowledge of your subject; 3) well composed, clear pictures in focus with no background distractions (All important details must be visible); 4) confidence in what youíre doing. Thatís basically the whole deal.

      Letís take each one of these factors one by one so we can demystify this thing. Firstly, your most important consideration is to get your point across. You really donít need to be a great wordsmith or have a fancy vocabulary to write a useful tutorial. We realize that not everyone has the best command of the English language. We have many members here whose primary language is not English and for the rest of us, we donít have advanced degrees in English. In my case, Iím used to writing only because it was an integral part of my job, especially with the Air Force. I had to take several extra courses so I could write all those military reports. Whenever youíre in doubt about what to say, write like you speak. How would you tell a friend over the phone how to glue a wheel on? Also, donít try to compose your tutorial on the site itself. I use Microsoft Word but you can even use Word Pad or any other simple writing program. Once you have it down, transfer or retype it onto the site. One of the easiest ways to describe a procedure is by the numbers. Just list the steps, add your photos and thatís all youíll need.

      Secondly, know your subject. When you write a tutorial, you are the expert. Some of the more experienced builders can fill in what youíve left out but less experienced members may need all the help they can get. Make sure that when youíre describing a procedure that your information is accurate and complete. If youíre not sure, contact someone on the site who you feel writes tutorials well and ask, ask, ask. Itís well worth the time an effort.

      Third, use as many photographs as you can to bring your point across. Nothing explains a procedure like an accompanying photo or drawing. Somewhere on the site there is another tutorial that Esteban Loco (Steve Osbourne) did on how to take good photos and how to compose and light them. Check that one out and check out some of his other tutorials. Steveís photos are some of the best on the site. If you canít find it, Iíll describe some of the important points here as well.

      To compose a good photo, you need more than just your subject to make it effective.

      A). Try not to take your photo on your workbench or on something that has a heavy pattern. Usually on the bench, there are tools in the background, cans of paint, debris, soda and beer cans and other junk that can take all the attention away from the focal point. Take the shot on a table on a relatively neutral colored (white, gray, light blue) covering that can cover the junk thatís in the background. That way, thereís no question as to what youíre trying to concentrate on. If you look in the photo department of Wal-Mart, K-Mart and possibly Best Buy, you can find a portable ďphoto studioĒ which comes with a small folding photo booth and a set of lights. Itís designed for people who put a lot of photos on eBay. Itís well worth the small price if you intend to show a lot of your work.

      B) Next, make sure your photo is in focus. Nothing is worse than a picture where you can barely make out the details. In short, a student canít learn what a student canít see.

      C) Another thing to consider is the cleanliness of your subject. You donít want your model covered with dust and debris unless thatís what youíre trying to show. Dust and dirt will obscure detail and will give your work a sloppy look. Besides, a clean shot will give your work more credibility.

      D) Your lighting can also make or break your shot. You may have to experiment a little with your lighting before you get the right blend. Both too light or too dark will obscure your detail and even affect your focus. Steve Osbourne had pointed out that the best lighting to use is outside lighting on a bright day. The way the light bounced off of his subject made whatever he was shooting look real. You can use a flash A Guide to Writing a Useful Tutorial but just make sure youíre not washing out your subject. Turn the flash A Guide to Writing a Useful Tutorial on and off as necessary and experiment. Before I accept a photo, Iíll take shots with the flash A Guide to Writing a Useful Tutorial on and off and then pick the best one.

      E) If youíre lucky and you have a photo editing program, you can use that to correct the color, the sharpness, crop your photo or even emphasize an area. Some of them are not too expensive and can be found at most software stores. When you see the difference between edited and unedited photos, youíll really see the value of the program.

      F) You can even use drawings. Most computers come with Microsoft Paint which can be found in the accessory section under all programs. You can draw what you want and edit it as you see fit. Another way to do this is to draw your diagram on paper, perfect it and then photograph it. The drawing does not have to be a work of art. It just needs to clearly show what you want. Just do the best you can and thatís that. Either way, drawings can be an extremely valuable aid and can speak volumes.

      Finally, have confidence in what youíre doing. Anyone can learn from anyone regardless of skill level. If you know what youíre talking about and you know your work looks good, then you have no problem. There will definitely be members that know more than you do but there are also many members that donít. This is your target audience. Also, donít let anyone intimidate you out of writing your tutorial. If they know so much, why arenít they doing it? Remember, SMC is about improving your models, learning about new techniques and materials, Most importantly, itís about fostering and keeping the large scale modeling hobby alive and going strong for many years and generations to come. When you write a tutorial, youíre doing just that. So when you get that urge to share something with the group, just do it. Itíll be more than welcome.
      Below is a grouping of pictures that demonstrate some of the bad and good points of photography I discussed. Pick out what you do and donít like about them and use that as a guide for your own pictures. Again, if youíre in doubt, ask me and Iíll be most happy to answer any questions.

      Remember as I mentioned in the beginning, the sole purpose of all this riggamarole to keep this great hobby of ours alive for generations to come. When you think of it like that, your tutorials take on a much better meaning. Good luck.

      Build Photos

      A Guide to Writing a Useful Tutorial-dsc00008-jpg  A Guide to Writing a Useful Tutorial-3-jpg  A Guide to Writing a Useful Tutorial-46-jpg  A Guide to Writing a Useful Tutorial-dsc00065-jpg  A Guide to Writing a Useful Tutorial-dsc00136-jpg  A Guide to Writing a Useful Tutorial-dsc09672-jpg  A Guide to Writing a Useful Tutorial-dsc00012-jpg  A Guide to Writing a Useful Tutorial-dsc09662-jpg  A Guide to Writing a Useful Tutorial-dsc09764-jpg  A Guide to Writing a Useful Tutorial-wax-5-jpg  A Guide to Writing a Useful Tutorial-flat13-jpg  A Guide to Writing a Useful Tutorial-nypd4-jpg  A Guide to Writing a Useful Tutorial-12-jpg  A Guide to Writing a Useful Tutorial-33-jpg 


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  1. Wow, nice job. were my first few pictures on the boydster box that annoying?...giggle. I hope that the others are better
    QUOTE QUOTE #2

  2. hot ford coupe's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Jeffrey
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    Sep 2005
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    7,827
    Yes, the others are much better but the good thing is that it wasn't your pictures that made me write the tutorial. Someone had asked me a few weeks back and it took me a while to get it where I wanted it. It was just a coincidence that Rick gave you those tips.


    A Guide to Writing a Useful Tutorial
    Sometimes a handful of patience is worth more than a truck load of brains. Have the courage to trust your own beliefs. Don't be swayed by those with louder voices. W.S. Maugham :)
    QUOTE QUOTE #3

  3. Don Garrett's Avatar Asst. Administrator
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    Don
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    As a wise man once said.....ahhhhhhh, never mind I forget. Some stive for perfection, while others perfect the chase and become a Jack of all trades and masters of none.

    Is there a right or wrong way...nope! I figure if it blows your skirt up it's right. Point is have fun and enjoy what you're doing.
    Grandpa McGurk.....Steppin' Large and Livin' easy.
    TDRinnovations.com
    QUOTE QUOTE #4

  4. hot ford coupe's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Jeffrey
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    Well said. Expanding on that, a particular tutorial is nothing more than one way to do the job. If you can come up with another or even better way to do something, don't hide it, get it out there so we can all learn. Remember, if it blows up your skirt and it's wrapped around your little finger, then a wet bird never flies at night.


    A Guide to Writing a Useful Tutorial
    Sometimes a handful of patience is worth more than a truck load of brains. Have the courage to trust your own beliefs. Don't be swayed by those with louder voices. W.S. Maugham :)
    QUOTE QUOTE #5

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