Re-learning Blender

I am currently learning Blender after using it on and off for about 8 years now. This time I am taking it as a hobby, and hopefully I can improve my 3d skills further than before.

I was planning to learn it with the initial goal of maybe using it for some future game development or animation project, but lately I am not so sure yet. Doing those things are not as simple as I thought they would be given my opinion of my skills right now. I would need to know more about animations, color, texturing, drawing and painting, etc. and they cannot be skipped in the fastest time possible.

So I am taking a step back and just enjoying the experience and tutorials for now from Youtube, from a guy named Grant Abbitt (https://www.youtube.com/user/mediagabbitt). The thing that I liked about his tutorials was they were small and short, maybe not enough for some beginners to learn but good for me who is coming back to learning it and having a refresher course on using blender.

I also want to learn Zbrush (I have Zbrush Core but I feel it might be limited, and has almost same features with the current Blender sculpting tools) but I have no money to currently buy the full version (since I also assembled a new PC). Well, I can still stick to Core in case or make do with blender sculpting.

A low poly set piece I made from following the tutorials of Grant Abbitt

 

Analysis Paralysis and Time

I have a big problem…

I tend to procrastinate because I want to do a lot of things given the time constraint.

When I think what I want to do, even if I have a plan, I tend to question it the next time, leading to me not doing anything at all.

Probably I am thinking ahead too much and forget to stick to my decisions instead of JUST DOING IT.

Reading the book The War of Art has given me ideas and inspiration on what is holding me back, and so far (though I don’t know if it is the main topic or not yet) there is something called Resistance.

And to do art (game, programming, whatever), you need to beat the hell out of the Resistance.

SO, I should probably be aware of this resistance when it occurs, and if need be, need to just do what is needed and stick to the plan.

Low Poly Race Car

As you can see, I have my banner a low poly race car, that I did using Blender 2.79.

I am currently following some tutorials on blender focused on low poly. This is to do them as fast as possible, and getting the needed skills in a short time.

Moving to intermediate or advanced lessons may take time, but need to be consistent first with practice.

Also, the goal is to practice skill and lessen tutorial dependencies. So following a certain level of skill, I might create an original piece later.

This isn’t even my Final Form (yet)

Hahahaha….

I had pruned my supposed schedule but made some changes…

For one thing, I’ll be focusing on my fundamental programming and art skills.

For now, I’ll be focusing on game fundamentals in HTML and learn Java standalone (due to work study on certification might be delayed to end September).

I’ve tried to not focus on fundamentals and notably, 2d game dev since even though I could miss some needed initial tricks I could probably learn them as I go, since I don’t want to waste my time stopping momentum on learning Blender.

But I figured, this was also limiting me in a psychological way, that because of that “requirement”, I was unconsciously getting myself in procrastinating things that I really want to do.

So, I’ll focus on Blender, I’ll retain my lessons there, but only on the low poly side. Any gamedev plans might be moved to next year, but the intended “game” concept is like dead cells (3d workflow in 2d) or like Strider 2.

To summarize what are the new plans, I have listed them below:

  1. Remove Zbrush and Unity / UE4 lessons (for now)
  2. Focus on Blender, basic first / low poly, then gradually increase to advanced lessons when inspired (more on game dev or animation workflow)
  3. HTML5 fundamentals then probably LibGDX then Unity3d, but defer further gamedev to next year for now (only fundamentals)
  4. Learn drawing using DrawABox methods / practices
  5. Java lessons on its own

This plan will be evaluated up to the end of the year, but overall will stick to this up to creating a small, polished game in Unity. Then reevaluate the next plan from that. The trick to the plan is even if it seems long, I’ll be hitting a lot of skills learned at the same time. Also by focusing on small skills at a time I could make use of no more zero days strategy.

*Note: article has been edited due to a sudden change of plan.

Needs Reevaluation Part 3+1

Shoutout to Rebuild of Evangelion, with the last movie coming up in 2020 (2 years’ wait!)

Okay, pruning’s done.

Technically I still haven’t readjusted my schedule (with procrastination, health and work ruining my pace) but I did some pruning, which would be a big deal in what I will be doing, and hopefully make for a better hobby / work life balance (and really doing something!!!)

The biggest thing that I removed was game development; Since I want to focus on my art skills (or lack of some) and programming skills not related to gamedev, it proved to be a blocking distraction and developed in me a false sense which led to procrastination (I can’t do this before doing this, etc.). It was holding me back, since I wanted something “fun” to learn while programming, and was “trying” to combine my hobby and programming skill development.

At the end of the day, I could combine them, but probably for the best not this time, maybe not even the next year. Because:

  1. I want to focus on 2d/3d art skills as a hobby,
  2. Improving programming skills do not need to be in the context of gamedev (and arguably, best to not be with gamedev first),
  3. I need to learn to focus on one at a time, so I can have separate time schedules for hobby and work to maximize learning pace, and
  4. I technically have no idea for a game this time (it’s more like I want to play games, but well that is another matter haha…)

I’ll probably have further updates on what will happen, but this is the best way to make of it (since I am also frustrated in a way my mind works, being distracted and not able to start anything, always analysis paralysis). Removing gamedev was hard at first, but thinking of plans for the past weeks shows this is the best strategy.

Needs Reevaluation Part 3

So, after some planning, I still think and realized that I still want to do too much with the given time span and schedule.

There is a big issue within me about maybe liking to do all things at once. 

And end up doing nothing at all (overwhelmed!!!)…

Maybe there will be a Part 4 (haha) but now what really needs is not ADDING and PLANNING…

…but PRUNING.

Better to let go some things even if it is hard, to make something more realistic.

Needs Reevaluation Part 2

Okay….

After posting that last article (a long time ago) and saying that I will do something, and end up doing nothing…

Typical me. 😉

Anyway, again a half year has passed. Being distracted by real life and some urgent matters (a.k.a. Fallout New Vegas) at the start of the year didn’t do any favors on my blogging plans, though I don’t really regret playing New Vegas by the way.

I haven’t really finished the whole game; I made the mistake of finishing all the DLC first and those were one of the best stories a video game has to offer and made the default campaign a slog to finish that I uninstalled the game for another day.

But now I want to focus on my plans to make the story that I want. We had a recent seminar on time management and it was rather amusing in that it didn’t focus on managing time per se, but more on managing oneself. It had awakened a guilty conscience within me that I was basically wasting time in not taking action, in fact delaying the story since there is really no urgency for anything. The wrong thing that I might have concluded then is that this is a lifetime thing; hence believing that yes, forever can wait.

There are 3 new realizations before I would “restart” again:

  1. This is primarily a hobby and not a “life or death” situation; treating it previously so have only hampered my desire to do it due to my unfounded fears and anxiety,
  2. I might not become rich of famous from this but THAT IS GONNA BE FINE
  3. BE SURE YOU REALLY WANT TO DO THIS

Ok, about the 3rd line, there is a small stumbling block that I might have to pass through to overall restart, and that is to really, evaluate what I do really want to do: a story in a GAME, MOVIE or NOVEL format.

I have an idea but that is a post for another day.

ALSO, from now I’ll be updating this blog constantly, documenting most of my day and probably random topics again, but later be more focused on certain topics.

Needs Reevaluation

I haven’t touched my blog in the longest time. After my last post that need to step up for the latter half of the year, then nothing happens.

There needs to have more than a step up, but rather a thorough examination and reevaluation of my plans / habits / desires / goals in life.

I’ll probably come back to this blog sooner than usual, but before that there needs to have a massive cleanup of actual things to do in my life and remove the crap / cruft.

It’s Now the Later Half of the Year. Time to Step Up!

This year has been a year that has brought me many teachings about life, however some of them I haven’t really applied yet to my life (because of my inherent procrastination, heh)

The main problem in my own life and lack of disciple thereof is that usually I start something but then later due to problems in life or money, I stop. I shouldn’t do that next time. If I want to be successful in anything, it is best to learn perseverance. The one idea that I had recently acquired from some other blog (Mark Manson I think 🙂 ) is that not thinking about the easiest way to success but what is the level of discomfort that you are willing to endure to succeed.

How Can You Explain the Difference between Null and Empty

For developers, the question might already be obvious, as experience makes us more aware of the answer, given any language. Or may have been discussed properly in Computer Science courses.

But may I ask, how do you explain it to non-developers? or even to beginners?

I heard a discussion among my team about it and someone said “You can look at it in terms of a drawer in a desk, it is empty if the drawer has no things inside it, it is null if the drawer itself is missing”.  It was simple but effective.

Thinking about the question actually made me realize the things that I can improve more in my developer life: If I could explain it to others in the most informal / layman’s terms possible, then I might conclude that I thoroughly understand the subject.