These are all our guidelines regarding creating pictures, animated GIFs, and inline videos for our online tutorials and courses.
You want to:
You want to use many small and contextual images to help people visualize what you are talking about. It’s a critical part of writing great tutorials and guides.
Whenever you talk about properties in the Inspector, add a small image of that property and include the surrounding ones to help the user locate it.
If you’re talking about different kinds of games, try to include a screenshot of a popular game. That way, the reader instantly understands what you mean.
Or, if they’re not familiar with the genre, they can look for a video of the game.
We should all have the same interface in Godot to take consistent screenshots:
The resolution and font size make the pictures readable for people who have problems with their eyesight or work on small screens.
In particular, it makes the images readable on mobile devices like phones and tablets, which are prevalent in a fair part of the world.
We want to make screenshots as easy as possible for the user to read and understand.
To do so, you want to:
You should never show more than necessary.
Showing irrelevant parts of the interface adds visual noise. It makes it harder to understand where to look in the screenshot.
For example, if you’re talking about an animation, take a screenshot of the animation editor. Or you could take a shot of the animation editor along with the viewport.
You do not want to include the Inspector, the Scene dock, and other parts of the interface unless necessary.
In some cases, you will need a more powerful image editor like GIMP, which offers great crop and selection tools.
We trim our pictures to remove inconsistent borders around screenshots of docks.
When you take a screenshot on the fly, you might have a little bit of a border left around it with a different thickness on the left and right side of the image.
You can use an image editing tool to trim it automatically and make the result look cleaner.
You don’t have to do this operation as you capture the pictures: as with cropping, you can do it all in one batch at the end of the writing process.
You can trim images manually or in batch using a program like GIMP.
Another great option is to use the command line program ImageMagick.
On Linux, when it’s installed, you can run the following command to trim images in place.
mogrify -trim file1.png file2.png file3.png
When you want to point out a part of the interface, outline the area with a 4 pixels yellow border.
We use that tone for colorblind people, as other tones can blend with Godot’s background depending on the type of colorblindness.
You can use a program like GIMP to do so:
From the next time onward, you can type / and look for Stroke Selection (without the ellipsis) to instantly apply your predefined stroke.
You sometimes want to include animated pictures and videos to better illustrate what is happening in the tutorial or the corresponding Godot demo.
We have some guidelines for those:
We try to keep our course files small for people with slow Internet. A fair part of our audience lives in countries where the Internet is slow or with limited bandwidth.
Before publication, you always want to optimize all your pictures. You can do that in batch using the optimise_images.sh script in the product package.
It automatically compresses jpg and png images and optionally resizes them.
# The -s option uses ImageMagick's resize syntax. The \> means "only scale down # if the image is bigger than this resolution." # The -i option overwrites the images. Be sure to check the pictures in git # before running the program. optimize_pictures.sh -s 960x800\> -i -- *.png
You need ImageMagick installed and available on the
PATH to use it.
We have a similar script for MP4 videos: optimise_videos.sh.
You need FFmpeg installed and available on the
PATH to use it.
Both these programs can scale down your images and videos. When a user reads the tutorial in the browser, the reading area will never get past 960 pixels wide, so that’s the maximum width we use for our images.
For inline videos, we generally go with a resolution of 1280×720 as the users can enlarge them and watch them fullscreen.
Here’s a command to do so.
# The --tune animation option optimizes the output for Godot's interface and our # games' cartoony graphics. # The resize syntax follows ffmpeg's syntax. It's a bit cryptic so you can # copy-paste this. # It only downscales the video if it's larger than 1280 pixels and ensures the # output resolution is divisible by 2. optimize_videos.sh --tune animation --no-audio --resize "'min(1280\,iw)'":-2 -i **.mp4
You can optimize files only once, in batch, when you finish writing an entire series.