Helping others on the forum 101

Hi There,

I’m hoping to begin helping others with babylonjs basics and babylonjsVR. Is the best way to do this: scan the forum every morning and look for questions in both of those categories? Should I also be looking at stack overflow?


Forum would be a great help for the community :slight_smile: and yup scanning bugs and questions is usually the way I go :slight_smile:


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Out of curiosity, are there “teachers” (anywhere) that are onboarding people to the engine, and are those people putting their questions somewhere?

This is a good question for @PirateJC :slight_smile:

Hmm…interesting question.

I think there are a lot of teachers around the community, though I’m not sure everyone would consider themselves that out of the gate.

First let me say that a I LOVE to hear that you’re interested in helping people learn Babylon! Surfing the Forum every day and answering questions in depth is the BEST way to help people learn. Answering questions with playgrounds is always preferred, but the A+ version of teaching in my mind is offering a playground example that solves the problem or answers the question at hand, AND takes the time to walk through the playground and explain the important lines of code in depth (related to the question or problem). I have definitely found that is the best way to help people learn. Example and Explanation combined together.

What do you mean by:

Like is there a collection of Beginner FAQs? Something like that? Nope, we don’t have something like that…might be interesting to think about creating though!

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I guess what I was sort of asking is: is there something like a beginner tag?

There’s a webxr tag, so I’m going to pay close attention to that, but there isn’t a beginner or “new to the engine” tag for questions.

But, maybe that’s not super important, I can just scan the questions each morning.

Also thanks that’s a helpful bit of information… about how to answer them in the best way.

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As somebody who is better at answering beginners questions rather the more complex ones I have found over the last 18 months or so there are less beginners questions to answer.

If that is because beginners are finding the answers in the docs all well and good. If it is because beginners feel intimidated (though I doubt it) then a beginners section may be useful. Setting one up might answer the question.


And of course let us not forget your incredible Getting Started Docs!

You are an amazing teacher @JohnK!!!


Hey, thanks for this. You kind of articulated what I wasn’t able to put into words. I think that I noticed this too. Most of the questions are advanced questions, which to me is strange…

I have the suspicion (working hypothesis?) that people are very intimidated to try to use babylonjs. In my particular community, the arts community, people go for threejs, but I’m not sure why… (I am ALWAYS lol arguing on the behalf of babylonjs for artists).

There are the “complete beginner” sections of the docs, but I’m curious why I don’t see questions about them… (oh, you wrote those, lol, maybe they are too good, lol, and no one has any problems). :stuck_out_tongue:

I know that in the beginning of coming to the forums, I think I felt embarassed at how hard everything was to pick up? I know that without the forums, I would have gotten nowhere.

I’m not sure what a “beginner’s landing” (or “beginner’s hangout”) (from a social perspective, not a documentation perspective) would look like. I think that if people saw beginner’s level questions on the forum, maybe it would be easier to ask more beginner’s level questions, I’m not sure. ← is like the ultimate beginner’s javascript framework, but the 3D isn’t great. I sort of view babylonjs as a kind of intermediate level framework, but from personal experience crossing the threshold from beginner to intermediate was really difficult, and didn’t feel well supported (again, coming from the arts, not computer science or games).

If there were lots of beginner level questions on the forum, I’d be answering them daily, lol.

The library I’m creating: Glitch . Is kind of like an, IDK, booster pack for social vr for artists? Like, if you clear the hurdle of fundamentally learning the engine, hopefully the booster pack will throw you straight into designing muliplayer artsy vr experiences with interactions, etc. ← so this is a different kind of beginner scenario, it’s like beginning VR.

But I feel like I didn’t notice a lot of beginner’s webxr questions on the forum either. I’m hoping the library also addresses another gaping hole, again, maybe more for artists, in that it allows you to make a multiplayer sketch with the click of a button, implemented the easiest way possible. I remember that that was a really big point of frustration earlier on when I was trying to figure this all out, without having a lot of CS background.

I don’t know, just some thoughts.


The spirit behind this idea is awesome. I love the heart that you have for beginners and anything we can do to make Babylon feel more approachable and less-intimidating is something we definitely have to explore and talk about!

That said, we have to be careful that we don’t think about segregating the community at all. The first principle of this platform and community above all else is that this is a welcoming, friendly, helpful place where every single person should feel welcome and happy to be here.

To me this means that separating “beginners” from “intermediate” or “expert” questions/posts makes me a bit nervous and I’d steer against it.

That doesn’t mean the core idea/motivation isn’t worth discussing though!

Yes we do have some advanced questions that are asked on the forum, many of which I personally also find intimidating, but that’s not because of the question or the responses, just that I’m not super familiar with the content, and that in and of itself is a bit intimidating.

Instead of separating or tagging questions as a certain level or not, I’d love to explore and talk about ways we can make the community feel more welcoming to beginners in HOW we respond and invite participation, hopefully reducing intimidation.

That’s my 0.02 at least.


Oh yeah, feel you on that, I guess the main point of investigation for me is: why aren’t there more beginner’s level questions on the forum? That’s something I’d like to slowly investigate. I’m in an art+tech incubator program right now, I’m going to post again in our forums that I’m willing to help people with babylonjs (especially if they are beginners); I’ll report back if any interesting data comes out of that. (I guess I’m investigating my specific entry point into the community art → interactive game-like art).

Also on the multiplayer score, I don’t personally expect y’all to be offering back end in a box, but as a developer/artist/whatever, I needed a back end in a box, so I just made it. Some crying did occur though, lol. I’m pretty sure there are others out there who need that too. It’s pretty dope that glitch just gives you a node server ( and is like have at it y’all.

Interesting point. My background is in programming and so I look for beginner coding type questions and see artist type questions (even beginners ones) as complex since I do not have the answer. I would agree that people approaching babylon.js from an artist’s point of view are underserved. My attempts to serve the artist community in the Getting Started section are very underwhelming and my programming bias is very evident. Any artist who could interweave artist focused beginners pages into the Getting Started section would be very welcome.

I say interweave because the concept of the Getting Started was for a readable manual that all beginners from any background could learn new ideas and techniques from. The current version is limited in this because my expertise is limited to one area.

All ideas very welcome.


ah, interesting, let me look at that whole section again, I think when I was getting started, there was a different intro section (?) (like a year and a half ago); I’ll see if there’s any like creative code additions that could be helpful.

so, I just reviewed those docs. I don’t think they were there when I got started, and/or I didn’t see them. lol.
they are very good: very granular, very manageable and very thorough.
I’m going to be sending my artist friends to that page, and I’ll see what they make of it.

I love the fact that people just wonder about the best way to help beginners ! I consider myself as a newbie but I already want to answer wherever I can.

I find the documentation really well made, but I think that it can be intimidating all the same, because it is kind of exhaustive, et often assumes certain basics. (I won’t mention the API which can be offputing to unexperiences devs)

I mean, it feels to me that Babylon is starting to reach a large scope of interested users, and they come from various horizons. Some are software engineer, other are gamedesigners, or 3D artists, or javascript developers. They will have different skills and references, to which the guides can’t always adapt.

Of course, you can’t write each guide in a “for mathematic’s profanes” way, a “for 3D profanes” way, a “for javascript profanes” way, etc. But maybe some kind of introduction about the general adapted basics would be good.
I imagine babylon is not about teaching basic programming, although I believe it could be interesting to kindly adress this issue when an experienced 3D blender user comes to the forum with no prior javascript knowledge (the situation happened recently). But how about explaining somewhere what a Vector3 actually means, for instance ?

Most senior devs and members of the babylon team (I believe) are engineers who knew their maths before starting javascript. But todays, a whole generation is starting to learn web development without this basics. I’m one of them, still studying, and never used linear algebra, matrices, or anything like computer graphics or “near the metal” until a year ago. I think there a whole bunch who would love an general introduction of the world of 3D, and another general introduction to the world of javascript. This should also contain a vocabulary section, since much of the jargon is not defined (some may know the technical word, or not the english one). Tell me what you think about the idea !

All this to say, Babylon is great under all aspects, including the guides, but I believe it’s got the means to go even further, including the noob-friendly aspect.

(as for your initial question, @saitogroup , I think the best would be to watch the forum’s questions section - that’s what I do - and on the other hand to try and gather the beginners in need on other platforms to redirect them to this forum, in order to centralize the askers and the answerers)


This whole discussion is very interesting, loved to see everyone’s experiences and perspectives. Honestly, one of the best aspects of Babylon its the community, so bringing even more people to it would be great!

I completely agree with @Faber that having some kind of “3D Fundamentals” series with Babylon would be fantastic - even through the framework takes care of a lot of low level stuff, these fundamentals help immensely in things like debugging or creating some different effects. Eric Haines’ Interactive 3D Graphics Course, on Udacity is an amazing example of a fundamentals course - and was actually my first introduction to Three.js.


That’s where my journey began. :kissing_heart:
PS: Although Chrome provides the function of translating pages, some people still often complain that it is only in English.
Hey~ @saitogroup I remember you released a GitHub link and it collected a lot of great playgrounds.I went through your history, but I couldn’t find it. Can you link it ?

Ha! Jokes on you! :sunglasses::laughing:

Not speaking for the BabylonJS team of course, but what has two (sometimes more) thumbs, is a professional developer, and picked up BJS so they could learn how to [something something]?

<— this guy :sunglasses::cowboy_hat_face:

And that person —->

<— oh someone over there too!

Point is, you can be from any stripe or walk of life, technical to the bare metal or artistic type; deep diver or more of a light dabbler - there is always more to learn!


I second that.

In the 80s (8 bit home computing era) I was taught calculus, trig, matrices and vectors etc at school, but none of my teachers ever communicated the practical applications, so I promptly forgot most of what I learned.

These days, Google is my friend - I look up most of the math & physics formulas I need. Babylon.js is an even better friend because most of the complex math I need to do 3D is built right into the API as convenient methods.

I’d say it’s advantageous to know college level math, but far from essential these days.


can you jog my memory? what was the specific topic?

I believe that I linked to a github page on 3D machine learning resources

I can’t recall one linking to playgrounds?