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Not-master classes?

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Message 1 of 6
aaronfross
880 Views, 5 Replies

Not-master classes?

Hi,

 

The Bifrost developers are too smart, there's too great of a gap between what you guys do and the cognitive abilities of mere mortals. I just tried to watch Marcus's new Visual Programming Masterclass. At about ten minutes in, he actually starts building a graph. As soon as he starts whipping together a bunch of compounds, I become instantly lost.

 

I get the broad concept of what he's doing (breaking a mesh into polygons) but I don't fully understand the specific terms and processes. I have to stop the video and look up terms... what's an array slice, etc. It's just going too fast with too much new information and not enough explanation. So I find myself rewinding over and over trying to parse this fast and dense information.

 

I thought that part of the mission of Bifrost was to make graphics programming accessible to artists. And I guess that's true, relatively speaking. But it does seem that without any background in graphics programming, users are just not going to get it. The developers have insulated users from the really difficult stuff, linear algebra etc. But unless there's a "Bifrost for Dummies", it's just not going to be adopted by anyone but those with established advanced technical skills.

 

But I feel like it doesn't have to be this way. If the creators of these tutorials could just slow WAY WAY WAY down and explain EVERY single thing they are doing, without assuming ANY prior knowledge, then they could reach a wide audience. I've always been a cheerleader for Bifrost. I am amazed at its potential. But there's a massive knowledge gap. Even someone like me, with 25 years as a CGI artist and 20 years as a teacher, is frustrated and despondent when confronted with the difficulty level of this material, and the nonchalant manner in which advanced terms and concepts are casually thrown around.

 

So, where are the NON-master classes? Where are the learning materials that are in any way approachable by non-programmers? I tried to do that with my Bifrost course on LinkedIn, but I could only work within my very limited scope of understanding.

 

Bifrost itself could be an incredible teaching tool. The graph could be a way to "elevate artists" as Marcus once said in an interview. But we need teachers who understand the material AND can make it comprehensible to non-expert users. I can do the latter, but I can't do the former. As it stands, I feel like there's a huge potential here, but it's squandered for need of effective communication.

 

Maybe regular schmucks like me are not the target users of Bifrost. Maybe I had it wrong all along and it's not intended for anyone without a computer science degree and years of experience. That makes me very sad because I feel like I've completely missed my opportunity. I wish I had a time machine so I could go back 30 years and enroll in a computer science degree program instead of studio art.

 

Aaron

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Message 2 of 6
abercaine
in reply to: aaronfross

@aaronfross 
well he can't stop on every concept and explain from zero how to manipulate a vector or matrices etc it would simply take way too much time.
Also don't forget that the bifrost board if fairly "young" and the task is huge, they need to create the foundation/building blocks before having higher nodes and ultimately a maya UI like what we had for the first iteration of bifrost for liquid, when we didn't have acces to the graph.

So i think the very end goal of the bifrost project is to have an easy to use artist friendly UI like let's say fumeFX and things like that, with an easy to use UI select emitters and play with some sliders, exactly like the first bifrost for liquid. But at the same time be able to dig inside if needed and modify whatever you want, or even create your own solvers. 
But it takes time, and things need to be done in order      
 

Message 3 of 6

Some master classes will be more geared towards beginners, like Kosta's Aero master class, and others, like Marcus' recent one, is more geared towards advanced users. That's fine. We want to provide learning material for both groups of users, so it's normal if you won't be understand everything. Please don't dismay. 🙂

Message 4 of 6

In the beginning of the Bifrost Graph Autodesk told us Bifrost does roll out in three stages.

First TDs, second Artists, Third Hardcore TDs and API stuff.

I fear we are still in phase one. TDs. Thats why we dont see easy to use Compounds and beginner tutorials.

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Message 5 of 6

At any given point, some Bifrost workflows will be more developed than others - this is never going to change. We've been very focused on developing our Aero, particle and MPM workflows, and hopefully you agree that these workflows are relatively accessible even for beginners. Other workflows are less developed, but since Bifrost Graph Programming is quite flexible, if you're an advanced TD you will still be able to achieve almost anything as long as you are willing to be a trailblazer. Marcus's recent master class is an example of such an advanced workflow.

Message 6 of 6
Anonymous
in reply to: morten.bojsen-hansen

I understand those concepts, but at the moment there is not enough examples on simple things, for example how to install graphs and compounds, why where, etc.

So a lit bit more documentation would help.

Also dependencies inside the compounds, are so easy to break it seems from version to version, and hard to keep up, if you don't have them all installed in the right order.
So one example of this would be nice too. How the bifrost lib should look like, what should be in Maya.env etc.
I'm trying to move the compounds outside of the suggested place on C drive, at immediately get in to the unknown.
Also downloading the compounds and graphs is nightmare, guessing which version is actually the right one, loading them one by one, etc. It would be much better to have a version edition which works, with user compounds directory for example for the rest of the mortals.

 

Aleksandar

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