Update, August 13, 2013: Lots of Video Tutorials on Our YouTube Channel Now

Posting rules: It shouldn't need saying, but... play nice. Please keep your discussions civil. You can disagree, just don't be disagreeable. And, of course, all of the usual stuff like no spamming. Tex adds: I'll be rigorously enforcing this as we go along. We're probably going to be a small community in a little lifeboat, so we can't have members at each others' throats. This is for the sake of the project as a whole. So when you post, pretend you're speaking in person with your very wealthy auntie who has always treated you wonderfully and currently lists you prominently in her will. I won't be tossing anyone out of the forums because we are all in this together (except spammers: immediate membership cancelation), but I'll delete suspect posts right away.

We have a YouTube Channel, The LightZone Project (so clever, no?).  There are now 27 video tutorials there, close to 2 hours and 45 minutes worth, and more are coming. So far there are video overviews of the whole program, both the Browser and Editor modules, Saving and Converting, and then detailed videos about the Tool Stack, Tool Anatomy, Tool Menu, Regions, the Zonemapper-Zonefinder, and the Relight Tool.  These videos go into more detail about the program and tools than anything ever produced about them before. Click on the link under "Help Files" in the left sidebar.

Hieronymus Bosch
Having just watched the spot

Having just watched the spot tool video, all I can say is thank you! :)

You had me laughing.


Really, those videos are very good and to the point. Fine, fine job.


Ha ha!  You are spry, though.

Ha ha!  You are spry, though.  Must be that active imagination of yours!  Seriously, though, i's a great trick!  Look how well it worked, although I didn't make it a perfect circle in the end.  Maybe I should have to better make the point....oh well.  If i remake the video I'll try to do it so that I use the region as a circle.  Try my trick with the specular highlights.  I found an image to show that trick, so i may indeed remake the video.

And thanks for the compliment.  I am actually feeling good about them now. I think there is good stuff in there.  They are slightly long, but if i go too fast non-English speakers won't be able to follow along at all.  That's one reason there are so many of them---I thought it best to break them up into parts.  I have had an offer from a new member to translate them (!) into Italian and maybe Finnish.

Great job with the videos

Hello Tex, Just wanted to thank you for the time & effort you obviously have expended posting these training videos. I've been a LightZone user since the early days and have already learned a thing or two! That said, you post 'em so fast I can't keep up!! :D

Guess what, Alan?  Yours

Guess what, Alan?  Yours truly has also learned a thing or two!  And like you I've been using LZ  since 2006.  And I use it for 90+% of my editing.

I learned this when I was a professor: teaching is the great teacher.  I've had to make sure I was presenting stuff as thoroughly and accurately as possible, so it meant I had to knuckle down and go beyond my usual, tried and true routines. I've been surprised at some of the things I've found---sorta knew the stuff was there and how it worked, but it's like auto repair: you never really understand that engine until you tear it down and build it back up.

Just finished 2 more today, on sharpening and Gaussian Blur, so now we're up to 30 videos.  I'll get to some more tonight and tomorrow. What a damn shame Lightcrafts didn't do these videos back in the day.  It makes you wonder "What if?".

Wery nice and usefull job

Hello Tex!


I gave a look at a good part of your videos. This videos are really top, operations are clear to follow, and clearly explained with smartly broken progression etc. I am conviced  these videos will do a good part of the future success of LZ. Although I used to use extensively LZ in the Lightcraft times, I must confess I learnt some tricks, and remind some others.


Overall a very remarkable job.

Thank you very much.  I know

Thank you very much.  I know that there are several problems with the videos:

  1. The speed of the speaking.  I recognize this is a problem for non-native English speakers.  I tried making these videos speaking much slower, but their times became so long I became concerned.  As it is many are a little long.  As you can see I had to break up some of them into multiple parts.
  2. The use of idiomatic English.  My daughter has done a little bit of translation for me, and she has warned me about this previously.
  3. My own unfamiliarity with the video software, getting used to making the videos as a task, etc.  My admiration for people who make instructional videos has grown immensely!
  4. The need to get these videos out and available to the public in some form to support the project.  Here, the perfect is the enemy of the good.

What I can say is that as I continue the process and "complete" the necessary videos (all the tools, all the parts of the program), I feel like I am learning some things and becoming more sure about what I am doing and how it is done.  I know I'm getting better at it because now, after 30 of them, I don't have to re-do them as much as when I began: at first, I had to do each video nearly 10 times (for some even more) to get it to an acceptable point.  With over 3 hours now published, I think you can understand it has been time consuming.  And given how rapid the growth of the project---we had about 1,700 members at the beginning of June and now have nearly 3,700, with more than 25,000 visits to the download pages---I was very concerned at first how long it was taking to make these things.  I really felt pressure to produce them as quickly as I could.

But now I am feeling more relaxed.  I am more than halfway done on the necessary videos, and I can honestly say that the videos are on balance better than anything that has been done for the program before in terms of attention to the details.  That is less a self-compliment and more a sad commentary on the previous state of things.  Once I am finished with the necessary videos, I will be able to go back and one by one re-do the worst ones, making them clearer for those for whom English is not their first language.  In the meantime there will at least be something now as an aid.

And there may be some good news in the future:  it might be possible to get these videos translated into some other languages.  Stay tuned.

The fun of making videos

Having made one video (the Raw Tone Curve video), I'm in agreement with the difficulty, at least at first. That video I made runs about 12 minutes. I spent maybe five or six hours making that one video. Record, wait for encoding to complete, review, discard, record again, wait for encoding to complete again, review again, discard again, ad nauseam. It's a frustrating process for us newbies to the video world.

Then there's the tiny matter of deciding exactly what you want to cover, and finding the right image for illustrating the matter.

And for all of that, the recording tool that I used apparently produced low-resolution output even though set to high resolution. Grrr.

So to speak...

I confess I had to rewind here and there to get it, but overall It's perfectly understandable and gets the target. Yes it would be better that you speak slower. I definitely don't find that your videos are too long. If I remenber, the legnthiest is about 12 mn, so what? After all, as we say In French, at a given horse one won't look the teeth. You have done a super useful job.


P.S. Actually I learnt flat English, not Texan, Canadian, Australian, Scottish, Irish and so on! :-) But hey, the speakers on the BBC are often less understandable than you...

Glad to see more tuturials

Glad to see more tuturials for LZ.

Without tutorials like these, LZ, IMHO, will have a hard time gaining traction because people can't visualized  what it does and how it does it..

Why it's unique.

Good Stuff, thanks

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