Photo by Here’s Kate
Hi, I am Nick, and I was a tutorial junkie. I just couldn’t help myself. Tips, tricks, and how-to tutorials were everywhere. I watched them all. I felt like I was learning a TON.
It wasn’t until I tried to use what I learned in a REAL project at work that I realized that I was practically clueless on how to actually do anything. It wasn’t that the project was difficult… it wasn’t. The problem was this:
Watching or reading about something is not a replacement for doing it yourself. Working from scratch gives you real problems to solve and real things to learn. Sure, it’s fun to just read about techniques, or just play around. But, why research a problem or try to solve a difficult technical issue when you’re “just having fun?”
There are rarely problems to solve in most tutorials. Usually the “instructor” runs though the tutorial step by step with no missteps or blunders. The proverbial cake is already cooked. He is just running through the recipe. Yea, you can replicate his exact tutorial but what if you want to make it slightly different? Usually you’re stuck.
Try this instead. Make your own small project from start to finish. Or, try to replicate something that inspires you. Now there are real problems to solve. How do I render for widescreen? I need to make that spin around. I want to make the material reflective. How do I do that? I need the timeline twice as long. How do I cut this out of the background? Alpha Channels? How do I make this go backwards? Go look for the answer. Now we’re actually cooking instead of just sitting on the couch watching a show about it.