There seem to be a lot of "Here is a video , what software do I use to make an ad like this?" questions.

IMHO They're pretty pointless because yes, you can tell the asker that they can use After Effects, Nuke or Blender or whatever, but that's going to help them as much as telling someone that they should use oil paint if they want to paint like Botticelli.

Should questions like this be flagged:



3 Answers 3


Personally, I'd be more inclined to close as duplicate. The purpose of the question is answerable and the answer is still beneficial. The asker has no clue how complicated it actually is, nor what techniques are used. Letting them know what direction to look in as well as the difficulty of the task they are attempting to take on is useful information for them.

If they were asking how to do it, that would be too broad as it is far beyond the scope of what we can describe in an answer here, but asking what kind of software is used is fully answerable. I see no harm in pointing them in the right direction and explaining the likely futility.

I do see a problem with taking on every single such question with the same basic answer as a different question. We should certainly make an effort to close these as duplicates as much as possible. Perhaps trying to write up a generalized case of some of these types of questions might be useful or trying to generalize the questions people ask if we don't already have a similar one we can direct them to.

  • 1
    Yes, even though the answer doesn't guarantee the question-asker's success in implementation, the question is on-topic and answerable. So it makes sense to provide the best possible answer here. However, we need to eliminate redundancy. So closing as a duplicate is a good solution. Then we can focus on providing the best answer(s) to the non-closed question(s).
    – Crowder
    Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 16:09

Such questions which are essentially requests for initiation may require an answer too long for SE sites but they aren't off-topic. If someone knows of a site/blog, of the sort like No Film School, which has a primer on Explainer/Whiteboard videos, then the question can be closed with a short pointer to that resource.

It gives those visitors a useful jumping-off point while getting them to return when they have a more targeted and narrow query. Offhand, I don't know of such a primer. Will see if I can find one.


For that second link, I would say yes for the reasons you detail - the answer we give is not going to help them: they could use any one of these tools, and more, but what they need is training and experience in using the tool of their choice.

I'd typically close as Too Broad.

For the first one, I suppose their is an argument that they aren't asking for a tool, necessarily, but a technique to implement a particular aspect that could be across various tools - not sure on this one.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .