Been quiet recently because I've been getting set up in my new apartment. In september of last year we had a fire related incident that had me relocate across the country to New Mexico for a while. Happy to say I'm finally back home in Boston! I've been gone so long that its taking me a little bit to readjust to the city lifestyle. If there any game industry professionals or hobbyists in the area interested in connecting let me know!
Added some color to the glider (JUST a really quick placeholder), because I thought it would be neat to compare it to the concept I drew for it almost 2 years ago. Funny how long an idea can go between inception and becoming an actual thing. The original image might also be a hint as to how I'll animate it, if you couldn't work it out already.
Started work on V2 of the glider. Not necessarily using one over the other, might end up using both. Still working on the animation rig for this one.
I had an extremely busy week, so I didn't have much time to work on anything amazing this week. I did manage to rough this together as a concept though and I'm pretty happy with the idea. Also as a side note, any game that has gliders automatically goes on my favorite games list.
I've always been pretty self-conscious about my voice but I've been asked a few questions about Cascadeur that I feel I couldn't appropriately answer within the limitations of a reply comment, so I took the time to record a little video showcasing some of my favorite aspects of the program. This video only scratches the surface though, and I could easily make several more if I wanted show off every cool feature of the program. But for the sake of anyone willing to listen to my god awful voice I've tried to keep this one 'relatively' short.
Recently I applied to a game UI programming internship. Now whether I land that internship or not, its motivation to practice some actual UI programming. I'm not the most experienced UI programmer but I'm really proud of this little revolver customization HUD I made. First I created the UI background image by rendering out the 3D models of the revolver and holster, and applied some filters to make them look like an old fashion print. Then I created individual flat 3D planes following the shape of and overlapping each various clickable section. These planes toggle their visibility when you click on them and are textured with a pen scribble. This was a case of the final idea taking longer to come up with than execute, but I'm very happy with how it turned out.
Been learning how to use Marvelous Designer. It is such a fun tool with some really powerful technology. Being able to drape a simulated cloth over a model and stitch fabric together like you would in real life is such a cool concept to me. That said I'm not exactly a competent fabric worker in the real world, but I'm pretty happy with this practice piece I made.
I really love this software and wanted to spread it around to anyone who might not have seen it yet. It's been in development for several years and I've been watching it evolve with great interest. It uses AI and physics to help aid your animation workflow and the results are a treat to watch. I'm looking forward to sharing some of my own animations made within Cascadeur soon.
Another point worth mentioning is it's published by Nekki which also publishes my most favorite Mobile games, the Shadow Fight series. Shadow Fight 3 and Shadow Fight Arena are a great showcase of cascadeur, as most of the animations in these games were made using this animation tool. They have a very recognizable and satisfying fluidity to them that I immediately fell in love with. I hope some of you out there can share my love of this animation software.
As a creative I tend to stack a lot of projects on my plate. I find myself often bouncing from idea to idea as the motivation takes me. Whether that is learning new programs, technologies, and techniques, or suddenly having an idea in my mind that I just need to get out and make real. This can lead to major problems, like some projects have a higher priority than others, and they may not be the project you want to work on at the time. You might get several projects in and realize you never finished (and may never finish) one of your earlier ones. So what can be done about this, and what should I be doing? I'm definitely not the end all be all when it comes to this kind of thing. I struggle with motivation and project management just as much as if not more than the average creative; but I recognize this fault and I've been working on a few ways to combat it.
The first way I have begun practicing is creating a list of each goal I want to accomplish for the week. The important part, for me at least, is making sure this list is as specific as possible while not being too ambitious. Ensuring that your list is easily achievable for the week will help manage any stress and anxiety you might have about completing it. So far this has been the most motivating way for me to get things done.
The second step I've started is creating more deadlines. Even for projects that may not be very high priority. If you have a goal you want to complete, but its not imperative that it must be done within the same week as the rest of your list, add it anyway and give it a deadline. This is an ever shrinking reminder that you want to get this done. Keeping track of your progress on more important goals will help you find the time to fit in those lesser ones somewhere.
Third is have an accountabilibuddy. Talk about your goals, and pick a time to go over them with someone each week. It is a lot harder to put off something when you know somebody else will be checking your work. You not only want to prove to yourself that you can get your work done, but its rewarding to show someone else as well. This person may also have valuable suggestions on how you might better manage your workload, as having an outside perspective is always important with any kind of creative endeavour.
What about that inevitable monkey wrench? You know the one, it always comes sooner or later. Allow me to regale you with an anecdote from my very recent personal life. You may or may not know that I am currently going through programming classes, while simultaneously working on my own indie game, applying for internships, and also trying to find time for animation practice. There are a lot of goals I could potentially fit into one week with that kind of life, and for the most part I had that goal list set reasonably. That is until finals week started. Always sneaks up on me sooner than I realize. Suddenly my schooling, which already took a good 40-50% of my allocated goal time, has been turned up to 11 as I finish the final 2 weeks of classes. This has made it pretty easy to fall behind on the rest of my goals.
So what do I do in this situation? I'm still figuring that out for myself, but I can tell you that each step I listed is like a failsafe for the previous one. If my list was too ambitious for that week, I'll push back the tasks I didn't get done and add a deadline for when I WILL get it done. Having someone to talk to about it, whether that's for helping find a new way to manage those expectations, or just to help keep me from beating myself up over it, is a huge help. The final piece of advice I can give, and one that I've struggled with all my life, is don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I can't pretend I know what is best for you. I barely know what is best for myself. So in the end let me ask you for help now. Let me know that kind of techniques you use to stay on task and keep yourself motivated. Every perspective is worth hearing, and there is always more to learn!