Saturday, July 12, 2014

Video Tutorials or Diagrams on Paper?

NYTimes talks about the rise of online tutorials in comparison to "traditional" books and diagrams:

For centuries, lovers of the ancient art had to consult books to uncover such secrets. Increasingly, though, experts and novices alike are learning about origami through online films and videos.
There are animated shorts — like Sipho Mabona’s “Origami Rhino Unfolding,” a 21-second wonder of stop motion animation — and commercials, like one Mr. Lang did for Mitsubishi, in which an S.U.V. rolls through a forest and then a city constructed purely of origami figures. There are documentaries, like Vanessa Gould’s seminal 2008 film “Between the Folds,” and scores of time-lapse shorts, like “Origami Scaled Koi,” by a Munich folder, Sara Adams, condensing 14 ½ hours of labor into a minute-long video. Perhaps reflecting the ever-growing complexity of some pieces, there are even “making of” films, like the one produced for Mr. Mabona’s origami installation “The Plague,” a socially conscious work in which stacks of dollar bills are transformed into a swarm of locusts.

And then there are the online tutorials, which teach in ways that origami books, with their arrows and dotted lines and static images, never could. Creators of these videos, like Ms. Adams, have their own fan bases, with their most popular lessons drawing millions of YouTube hits.
“The advantage is that you can show the continuous action from one step to the next,” Mr. Lang said. “In book instructions, each diagram gives you a snapshot, and you have to infer the action between these snapshots. Now that we have video, you can see the action. You can slow things down and move back and forth between folds.”
Read the rest of the article at the NYTimes.

Hat tip:  Dick and Serena LaVine on the O-List


Sandra said...

Hi! Long time lurker here. Really interesting read, thanks for sharing it.

Paper Paladin said...

You're welcome! Thanks for delurking. (^_~)

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

I feel like I read a story recently where someone was quoted as saying that they found the videos useful when they were first learning, but now they prefer diagrams.

When I teach origami I usually rank the ways of learning a model, starting from best:

1. Learning from someone in person
2. Watching a good tutorial video
3. Diagrams/Books

However, I personally strongly prefer diagrams over a video. I find videos frustrating because they rarely have the same pacing that I do, so I am either having to pause the video to finish a step or, worse, needing to skip ahead some unknown arbitrary amount to find the next step because I am tired of waiting (or maybe I was halfway done already). With diagrams, I can do things at my own pace and I don't worry too much about getting lost.

For a while I have wondered if this is a result of the fact that I grew up learning origami before the internet was really a thing, so there were few videos around and none of them were accessible to me. (I think Michael LaFosse and Valerie Vann had videos you could order back then.) Or if I would have this preference if I had been raised on video tutorials.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I think for myself, I prefer diagrams, with video or step-photos as a means to clarify a specific folding step when it becomes tricky to get across what is going on in the diagram.

Some unique steps are difficult to draw.