Thursday, December 27, 2012

Why I Don't Do Painting Tutorials Much, if at all...

A friend recently asked me why I don't do more painting tutorials.  I get asked that a lot.  If you look down my list of videos you won't really see many painting tutorials at all.  I think there's just one and it's just me sitting there painting the Storm Raven for a friend and I'm not sure you can call that much of a tutorial. Most tutorials are mostly techniques and how to use or get started in using them.

First off, painting tutorials is one of the most tedious videos to make.  Though I've been thinking more about it lately as to how to change it up a bit.  Guys like Les from AwesomePaintJob, Andrew from SchnauzerFaceMinis and Alexandra from GirlPainting already do top notch painting tutorials. Sure, there's more guys out there as well but the standard bar is already well set.

We're also talking about sitting there editing your butt off as I like to strive to make the best out of production value in my videos.  So we're talking about hours of filming then hours of editing.  So you spend all that time to do one, put it up and have to deal with the worse of the worse of trolls.  Of course you get tons of support but unfortunately, it's the few nasty asses that speak the loudest.  This in turn puts some sour notes about what you spent all that time in the first place into putting it out.

I see this quite a lot in painting tutorials.  I like to scour the comments often on videos just to see what's going on.  Most of the time the nasties are mainly from people who don't agree with the way someone did something on the video.  Either a technique or a color choice and I say nasty because it's usually these morons who comments in the way that is insulting and no where near constructive.  If it was actually constructive then that's a different story.  That isn't so much of a factor for me though. Doing this as long as I have, you get use to it and just ignore the retards.

And the funny thing is that these people don't do jack for the community. I look at their channel and nothing. The contribute nothing but noise (or written) pollution.  I suppose if you run into that problem then that's the best way to look at it.  They do nothing but yap and yap and contribute nothing back so why even pay attention to them?  Just do what most of us do anyway, block them and hope someday someone will stick a cock in their mouth and shut them the fuck up.

Second, I tend to not finish them.  I have a painting tutorial on a Thunderwolf Calvary that I can't seem to get done.  It's been on the editing room floor since the beginning of 2012.  It was shot with a two camera set up and everything and it looked cool with a PiP of the angle when it switches between close and top cam.  I actually used a footage from it for the "Washes: Using Oil Washes" video.  It was gonna be scripted and all.

I think there is where lies the problem.  When I do tutorials (painting or techiniques or general how to's), I want to convey as much information in little time as I can and keep in flow of the video going.  Even if the video is 15 minutes long, it should feel like you just been watching a few minutes and come away with an hour long worth of information.

Painting Tutorials break all those rules. It's going to be long because painting a figure can be pretty long, even when speeding up the footage and cutting it down.  And when you do that, now you got all the people who WANTS to see every second of what you're doing complaining.

You're also messing with various different techniques so you have to explain them as you do it.  This though, is actually easily fixed by pointing them to a video on just the technique itself which is something Les and I talked about.  This is also why you're seeing a lot of quick tips types of videos from him and I.

Then I come to my own personal problem I think.  I tend to love to try out new things when painting.  And that's something that stops me from finishing a tutorial.  In the middle of it, I might discover something new and say, "Oh, I should make a video of this first." or I might be talking to someone in G+, forums or mail and try something someone was talking about and say, "Oh, I should make a video of this first."

There's so much and tons of information going through my head when painting something, it's hard to remember later when scripting it.  My friend suggested that I should just talk while I'm painting so I can get those thought processes to my viewers.

This brought back a memory from one of my viewer comments:

And maybe that is a great thing to do.  For me, I make mistakes and I try different things while it all happens.  I should show that and it would help people maybe not to make those same mistakes or maybe inspire them to take something I'm trying out a step further.  And that's something I love seeing.  People taking something they learned from my videos and going a step further.  That's how you learn, that's how you become great.

That then brings us back to the same problem - a very long video of my babbling about what's going on in my head - but maybe that's what people need?

I remember before I got back into Wargaming and I was just doing scale models that I was a member of the Flory Models forums.  That's how I got BACK into scale modeling and using an airbrush and that's how I learned.  He was a man-god to me.  He made these long videos that I think went on for 2 to 3 hours for each build.  I watched them all while I just sat there doing my own models.  He went through everything thing. No sped up clips or anything like that.  He just talked through it all, about why he's doing this and trying that.

Now I hear most people paint while they watch a painting tutorial so maybe that's OK to do that.  Maybe that's the key to it all? To make the painting tutorials in mind that your viewers are painting along with you?

So what do you think fellow wargamers?  What do you do when you sit down with a long painting tutorial? What do you want to see or here? Do you want it sped up fast and quick (which probably won't happen) or do you like to sit there and listen and watch while you do your down stuff?


  1. First, I am a scale model builder. I've only been doing it seriously for about 6 months. I needed to jump to air brushing but I knew nothing about it and the idea was a bit overwhelming. After watching your videos,along with Ken's, I was more comfortable with the idea and I was able to make intelligent purchasing choices on equipment. So thank you. As far as tutorials I want to see? Well I'm a noob so I just soak up as much as I can when it comes to techniques. So I don't think I could just sit and paint along. I wan't all the info you can cram in a video. :)

    1. I'm really glad you're learning from the drivel I put up! LOL But I'm glad it helps! Thanks for the feedback.

  2. Great post and i like the look of the Blog

  3. Watch a great read. Yes I watch (Listen) to playlists while painting my stuff. I loved the hangout you did. 3 hours of chatting. Was great maybe do a few more of them ;P
    This isn't you hanging your airbrush up forever is it though?
    Thanks again.
    Peace Spud

    1. No no, not hanging up the brush. Just trying to get the feel of if I should start posting more Painting Tutorials as in sit down and paint a specific figure.

  4. In reading this post, I think the idea you discussed with Les on linking to supporting skills videos make a lot of sense. It seems they will aid in keeping good project flow by not needing to break out with those extra teachable moments.

    I would guess it also depends on how organic your painting process it. If you choose your techniques while working through the model, then you may not have the skill videos ready to refer back to. Although, that may be best way to build the skill video library rather than working off a pre-generated list of skill videos to create.

    I guess to come back to original question on whether you should create more painting tutorial videos, my thought is that it depends on your priorities. It is clear that this type of video requires a significant resource commitment. Is the value of having the painting video greater than the value of alternate content that would be produced in its place? Maybe to make that decision, you could track the time spent making a painting video and compare it to the alternate content produced in the same amount of time.

    Either decision you make will be the right one. The time you and others spend producing content only benefits our hobby and the greater community, and I thank you for doing it!