Recent Posts

Beyond form fields

I do web development and design all day at work. I come home, eat a bit, then start thinking if/when my skills will become irrelevant. I browse a few YouTube ’expert’ influencer types. Look through the news to see what technologies are the cool kids on the block. After a short time with the infinite scroll, it begins to settle that the landscape of web development is . Then I hear a voice…

Your 100 year old advisor

Many books and self-help articles bring up the deathbed scenario to help you think more clearly. That is, when you are on your death bed, what are you going to regret? What did you wish you spent more time doing? What are you wasting your time on, or what risks should you have taken that you didn’t. While this deathbed perspective is useful, I recently found a better take on this concept that is more actionable and just feel more natural.

Programmatic weight painting example with three.js

Earlier in the year, I went through a great three.js training course learning more about WebGL and the WebGL framework three.js. You get a certificate that you can share with people for resumé purposes (e.g. https://threejs-journey.com/certificate/view/27115). It is a really good course. While I don’t really use this at my day job, it is a fascinating area in web technology. A side project that I thought would be fun is making a sort of Mixamo clone.

Building Krita for Windows in 2023

If you want to start developing for the Krita drawing and painting (krita.org), developing on Windows is the easiest path in 2023. This is the general guide for building Krita from the source code. If you don’t care about history, skip to the next section. Near the end of 2022, and through 2023, the drawing and painting application Krita has been updating/replacing a few of their core C++ libraries. These new libraries have a much deeper feature set.

Twelve and a Half Book Review

Gary Vaynerchuk is a guy that is all over YouTube if you are get into marketing. He is similar to a Seth Godin type of thought leader. Sharing nuggets of wisdom from his experience as a business owner and entrepreneur. Where he differs a bit from Seth Godin is that he spend more time on concrete examples and real life situations to help teach his message and ideas. Seth always seemed kind of in a higher, ideological, plain of existence at times with his ideas.

The perfect length of a book

Writing is a form of art as much as utility. Whether telling a story or providing education to people, a “book” is something that comes with expectations. One of those expectations is how much content should be in the book. This is an important aspect to writing and something worth thinking about at a deeper level. How many pages, or words, that are in a book seem to be driven by a number of factors:

Education-centered Discussion

When heated arguments arises in the workplace, relationships, or with strangers on the internet, how often is your objective to be right? Harsh words are used and people question your judgment. It can be very easy to get on the defensive where you stop responding rationally. You dig yourself into a hole and come across even worse. This happens to everyone including myself. This loss of control intensifies the more emotions are heightened.

Stepping in the shoes of the Disney CEO for a week

Recently I finished the Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learning from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company autobiography by Bob Iger. A lot of the book is about business acquisitions and all the tribulations it took to make them happen. Over the course of Bob’s tenure at Disney, they purchased many companies including Pixar, Marvel, LucasFilms, and 21st Centry/Fox. These acquisitions transformed the company and did a great job breathing new life into their stagnating animation division.

Switching blogging platform failures

My roommate gave me an idea to start back up blogging to get some ideas flowing. Looking back at my blog, I realized how many things I worked on while blogging. It is easy to get in a rut and stay inert, and that is where I am right now. Maybe starting to blog again could get my curiosity sparked a bit more. Moving to Gatsby Static site generators have been around for a while now.

Building Scribus on Ubuntu 16.04

Scribus is a free, open source application for page layout and design. This is my quick guide to build the program from source on Ubuntu 16.04. This will build the 1.5.x development version. It has some tweaking that still needs to be done, but at least it works and is pretty straight forward. All of these steps are being done from the command line. Go to your search bar at the top left and type “Terminal” if you don’t know how to get to it.

Losing Context with Technology

Every so often, I get to a point with my RSS feeds where I start to get bored. Right now, it is filled with mostly tech news. While technology improves at a rapid pace, it gets rather boring with incremental speed increases, larger screen sizes, companies merging, or someone being litigated. I often times forget why any of this is important. Will most of these technology improvements make an impact?

The Not-So Starving Artist

I now have a comeback for people that tell me the art field doesn’t pay well… https://www.patreon.com/sakimichan

Draft: For Writers

I was recently told about a neat service called Draft that allows you to write in one spot and publish to many places. You don’t have to publish to places to WordPress though. You can just keep it to yourself if you want. I will probably start using Draft for a bit and see how it goes. The interface is minimal - which I love.

Why Elon Musk is so successful

I occasionally read Quora about advice people have. Sometimes the advice is so-so, while other times it is really profound. I recently read an answer describing how Elon Musk learned enough to start his SpaceX program. The advice made a pretty good impact on me. https://www.quora.com/How-did-Elon-Musk-learn-enough-about-rockets-to-run-SpaceX

Why use cases are so important to great design

I frequently hear from people that are having issues using an application. This can be with either software or web applications. It usually goes something to this tune: Can we add a checkbox in case we don’t want it to work that way This feature doesn’t work I need to be able to add the same thing 10 times Of course this type of feedback is ambiguous and raises a lot of questions.

Your Own "Sense or Urgency"

“For a Limited Time”. “For 2 weeks Only”. “Hurry…this offer expires soon” In marketing, it is commonplace to have a sense of urgency in your communication. How many thousands of these messages have we seen in our life like this. Probably too many to count. After years of seeing verbiage like this, the words begin to lose its meaning and our attention is lost. Of course the purpose of having this type of message is important.

Developer Note: Beware of System Updates

If you are on a Linux machine like I am, you will occasionally get a smattering of system updates that it recommends. New features! Fixes! Better performance! More stability! All for free! Those are usually the things that run across my mind when I see my package manager appear. I squeal with delight. I click update…and away it goes. Everything finishes, but I am never really sure what exactly just happened.

New Krita.org Site Deployed!

[] I have been spending the past couple of months working with the community reorganizing, rethinking, and re-designing the Krita marketing website. It was really fun working with the community, artists, and other developers to make this happen. Like any project that has stakeholders, there is a lot of feedback that had to be processed. We started with a brainstorming session and we had a forum going for all of the objectives we really wanted to accomplish.

Setting up an IDE for Krita

I have recently been taking a break from Blender and starting to help with another great open source project - Krita. I posted a little while ago about the features that Krita has. I wanted to start playing around with the source code, but wasn’t sure the best IDE to use when editing code. After trying out a few options, I settled on Qt Creator. If anyone is building Krita from source and wants to hook up that code to an IDE for a better developer experience, check out the Youtube video I made with me getting it set up.

$10 Sale For Your Tech Book Needs

If you like reading technical books like I do, Packt Publishing just had their 10 year anniversary and their entire library (books and video training) are $10 a pop. I haven’t really done the video training at all, but their books have really helped me take my skills to the next level in the past years (just finished a Selenium book). They are more than just a regular publishing company.

Helping with the Blender 3D Project: A One Version Journey

I have been wanting to get more involved with the open source community for a while. It is great to have free options for people that don’t have a lot of money - especially college kids who are more focused on finishing school than owning a real copy of Photoshop. The type of people that work on these open source projects appear to be selfless individuals who really care about having software available to everyone.

Krita: The Best Art Program You've Never Heard Of

No, I didn’t draw that - it is Krita’s mascot! Krita is a free open source software designed specifically for digital painters, illustrators, and concept artists. It has the usual photo editing capabilities like cropping and image adjustments, but really excels with its painting and art workflow. I originally heard about this application through the Blender 3D community. While reading an article about Blender’s Sintel project, it mentioned that the concept artists would use Krita to do all of their pre-production and concept art.

Unity3D: Top Optimizations for the Ouya

[] The Ouya needs some love if you want it to purr for you. It doesn’t give you any slack when it comes to performance on this little $100 box. I have been developing a game for a few months and recently started testing it for the Ouya. The game is an open world sandbox, so optimization is at the forefront of my mind. I didn’t originally think Ouya was going to be able to handle it.

Book Review: Unity 4.X Game AI Programming

Disclaimer: I was given this book as a review copy from Packt Publishing. If I didn’t like this book, I wouldn’t be writing a review. That is a little spoiler of what is to come. The timing for me getting this is rather convenient. My artificial intelligence programming skills are pretty much non-existent - and I currently need to start adding AI for the game I am working on.

ArtFlow Review: Awesome Drawing/Painting Android App

I have used a few different art programs so far in the app world with my tablet. I mostly use my tablet for drawing, so I am always looking for better apps out there that make drawing and painting simpler. I actually stumbled upon this app because there was a review on another app ( Sketchbook Pro) that mentioned that ArtFlow is better. It is “Free” to download, but requires an IAP(in app purchase) to unlock all of the features.

3D Web Viewing Tech - Sculptris and P3d.in

[] I recently was looking at some 3D art and the whole “3D sculpturing” technology seems to be standard now for doing modeling. I have been doing polygonal modeling in the past, but didn’t want to fork over the $$$ for the usual tools like ZBrush or Mudbox. I learned about Sculptris a while ago, but never got around to spend time with it. This past Sunday I was bored and watched a couple hours of training video for Sculptris.

My Relationship with Sketchbook Pro after 6 Months

It has been half a year since I bought my Lenovo Thinkpad tablet and I couldn’t be happier with how my drawing/painting skills have progressed in that time. They just came out with a second generation Thinkpad with Windows 8, but I am usig the first generation model with Android. Before I purchased the tablet, I mostly would use a basic 2B pencil and do value sketching in a traditional sketchbook.

Mecanim: Directional Blend Trees + Concept Art For My Game

After installing the update for Unity 4.1 a few days ago, I saw a release note about different types of blend trees you can do with Mecanim. After playing with the different blend state types for a while , I have found that they solve a lot of issues that I struggled with before. They are very powerful and reduce the amount of code dramatically. [] Here is a setup that I am currently using for idle/walk/run/turn.

Unity3D and Mecanim: The Good, the Bad, and the Strange

I have spent the better part of the past two month using Unity 4 and building a game with the new Mecanim animation system. With the video tutorial and material out there, it seems like a great next step for managing animations in Unity. This post outlines some of my experiences and solutions to make the Mecanim system work with non-trivial situations. Creating a Good Setup for Mecanim When starting with any new system or concept, I think it is best to start from scratch.

Global Game Jam 2013 Music

Just finished up with the Global Game Jam in St. Louis and it was a blast. There are so many awesome people in the game development community. I can’t think of many things that are better than spending an entire weekend with a ton of supportive and driven people like you. I have spent about a year now learning to write and arrange music for video games. It has a lot of challenges that I didn’t expect.

ThinkPad and SketchBook Pro

Tablets are everywhere. The amount of choices can make it a real burden to find one that is a good fit. There is always the iPad to default to, but with new entries popping up every couple of months, it is worth to take a step back and weigh your options. Out of all of the tablets that I looked at, the ThinkPad seems to be superior for what I wanted.

Packt Publishing Reaches 1000 IT Titles

Until a few years ago, I never saw or heard of Packt Publishing. I would always get my technology information from the internet – or maybe from a book on Amazon. This new company popped up and started offering titles on obscure and newer technologies. The type of technologies that have poor documentation on their website because the developers haven’t had time to write tutorials or good instruction. They are a huge supporter of open source software and have donated over $450,000 to different projects since their inception.

Music Lessons Learned: Hardware and Music Study

I have been spending a lot of time learning music technology and composition recently and want to to share what I have learned. I do mostly MIDI composition and orchestration, so my experience relates to those areas. The first half of the post discusses some of the hardware requirements that I thought about when upgrading my laptop to handle audio recording demands. The second half talks about music writing and the recording process as I was trying to recreate a song from the game Shadow of the Colossus.

August Game Jam 2012 - Music

Another game jam under the belt. The audio crew was pretty small, so we decided to have just one audio team. Different teams would come to us and let us know what they wanted. I was the only composer, so I ended up doing quite a few games. I didn’t have nearly enough time to create multiple songs for each game, so it ended up being just a main theme for each one.

Foundation Framework and Updated Portfolio Site

I heard about a new responsive web framework called “Foundation” a few weeks ago. I recently have been reading responsive/adaptive web design and thought I might give the framework a go. Portfolio sites are always a great place to experiment with new technologies… so here we go. Foundation 3.0 website http://foundation.zurb.com/ One important thing to know is that it really sets up quite a bit for you. I thought it was mostly just going to be about the grid system and media queries, but it is much more helpful than that.

Learning Sculpturing with Super Sculpey

I bought the book Sculpturing Mythical Creatures out of Polymer Clay for my Kindle a couple of weeks ago. I have been taking a Java class this summer and am starting to get a little burnt out on programming, so I wanted to do something artistic that didn’t involve a computer. I bought some Super Sculpey clay a while ago, but was just trying to teach myself at the time.

Responsive Web Design Book Review and Insights

I recently finished a couple of books from A List Apart titled “Mobile First” and “Responsive Web Design”. They are shorter books ( ~150 pages each), but they are concise and to the point. The mobile first was more of a sales book promoting why web designers need to consider mobile devices first and some common practices for thinking about the user expierience of a mobile user. This post is going to focus on the responsive web design book, since it was more of a hands on book.

Orchestral Study with East West Symphony

After installing the whole East West orchestral pack, I was anxious to try and learn and start using it. Instead of trying to create something from scratch, I thought it might be beneficial to do a study of another song. I tried to pick a song that had a fair amount of complexity and instruments, so I could give a stress test on my machine. I picked a song by composer Masahashi Hamauzu titled “Saber’s Edge”.

East West Symphonic Orchestra Install Process

During the Valentine’s Day bonanza this year, East West had a 50% off sale on almost all of their products. I was wanting to get an orchestral VST pack for a little while, and thought I would jump on the opportunity. To use the software, you also need to have an iLok for it to work - will explain more about iLoks later. If you aren’t familiar with the quality of this pack, you can check out their website.

And the winners for the Unity3D Book Giveaway are...

It was a heated battle with some great comments for the books that were being given away. Sadly, though, only six people could be randomly chosen. Thanks again to everyone for participating and giving their time and energy. For the random number generator, I used the random.org website to pick out the winners. Names are as they were listed in the comments Neil Michalares Brett K. Alan F. David W Robinson Jaimi Laura I will be notifying the winners via email how to claim their books or e-books.

Win Free Copies of Unity Books

This contest is over. Thanks to everyone who entered. I will be randomly selecting the winners and will let you know soon who will be selected. Readers will be pleased to know that we have teamed up with Packt Publishing and are organizing a Giveaway for you. Six lucky winners stand a chance to win a copy of the best-selling books on Unity. Keep reading to find out how you can be one of the Lucky Winners.

St. Louis Game Jam 2012 Wrap-Up

I just came back from the St. Louis game jam and had such a blast. It was held this year at the University of Missouri - St. Louis campus by the airport. It started on Friday and ended on Sunday night. There was a great turnout with 70+ people. St. Louis was in the top 10% of participants worldwide this year, which made it even more fun to meet even more people and see more games!

Character sheet for modeling

I have read through the first seven chapters of the Character Development in Blender 2.5 book and was thinking it would be more productive if I could model a character that I created. When learning something new, I think you can learn new concepts at a deeper level if you create a derivative work. Since you can’t just copy steps verbatim, it forces you to understand what the person is trying to teach.

Death of Witch Training Game?

I went back to my witch training game I had under source control and am finding out what I thought was going to happen. The meta data inside of the files are getting messed up and a lot of the linking is getting broken across a lot of the files. Since their are a TON of meta data and cache files that Unity stores, I think it is going to be too much work to try and figure out how to link everything back.

Unity 3 Game Development Hotshot Book Review

The Unity 3 Game Development Hotshot book has been released and it had my name on it. I was wondering what type of “hotshot” advice it could help me with. I always love learning new things, so I picked up the Kindle version and started going at it. By the way, if you get the Kindle version, it is easier to read if you make it display horizontally. The code examples are really hard to read if it is in vertical mode.

Unity 3 Game Development Hotshot book - Chapter 1 Review

I was just browsing Amazon last weekend and this book came up along with the sea of beginner books for Unity3D. Dang! I am excited.How did I not know about this earlier? How can a book like this just pop up out of nowhere? I am tired of learning about how to use the terrain tool or create materials from beginner books. I don’t know what the HOTSHOT means in the title, but I guess it is like only bigshots can handle this book.

Getting Started with Digital Music Recording: Part 2

A continuation from part 1 of this two part post. This post will continue discussing getting set up for doing audio recording. At this point, you probably have all of the gear you need to get started, but there are still some technical hurdles that you may need to jump through to get everything working right. In the first post, I covered getting the right gear, hardware, and software get up and running.

Getting started with digital music recording: Part 1

The past couple of months I have been reading about audio recording. I have always thought it would be fun to start composing and arranging music on the computer. I have slowly armed myself with a knowledge base and equipment to get going. This post is going to explain my experience so far getting into music recording and some pitfalls that I have gone through. I am splitting it up into two posts so it doesn’t get too long.

Evolving Your Illustration Workflow through Mental Modeling

Ever since I started my quest a few years back to learn more about color, painting, and light, it appears there are a vast array of options to get to the final result. Say you just did a line drawing of a scene with a nurse flying through a jungle. If you were to try and paint it, where would you begin? Would you block in the colors first, would you do a wash over the whole painting, a lighting study?

Use Calibre to combine all of your Google Reader blogs

If you are anything like me, you love to read about a variety of topics. There is nothing cooler than setting up a feed reader for the first time. You start to see all of the content start pouring in and want to read everything. You begin to read, but your eyes slowly hurt after hours of reading after a couple of weeks. A great solution would be to package it all up and throw it on an e-reader device such as a Kindle, Nook, etc.

Large enemy: Bang-Bang

I have been getting an itch to make some bad guys for the game. It is not only fun trying to draw something, but also really thinking about how it will walk, attack, and come to life in-game. There is nothing quite like breathing life into an idea. Here is one idea I have been toying around with for the game. I call him Bang-Bang since he “bangs” things. I am thinking he will run like a gorilla and have long, strong swing.

Unity3d: Understanding Radars

Radars come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are square, some are circles. Other have the player moving around on the radar, while other ones have them statically looking in one direction. Even with all of these different forms, the structure is relatively the same. In this post I am going to write about creating a radar and the considerations that are needed. This isn’t a tutorial, but more of a mid level explanation with some code.

Enough with shaders - back to Witch Training

I have been going through different phases trying to learn about shaders. They are very important for learning about how 3d engines works. I have read about half of the FREE CG book from NVidia as well as the OpenGL ES 2.0 book. The CG book author does a great job explaining everything. The OpenGL ES book wasn’t that great for a beginning. There aren’t any good books that teach you by writing a lot of scripts.

Texture Baking with Blender 2.56

Baking is a great feature in 3d programs that allows you to change pixel information in the texture. This speeds up lighting and other calculations like ambient occlusion during run-time. Why use this when you can add lights to Unity? If you are like me and are working with the indie version, you can’t cast shadows from any of your light sources. What is the difference? Look below. Notice the shadows being cast and how big of a difference it makes.

OpenGL ES 2.0: Trying to demystify shaders

Does learning about shaders make you a programmer? Gosh, I don’t know, but I sure feel like it trying to get through this book. I have been getting comfortable at my new job, as well as getting an apartment - so that will mean more time for 3d stuff. I am starting to notice that a lot of 3d games/simulations all have the same look to them when they are done by “amateurs”.

Unity3d: Game Progress and Creating Animation Events

I recently changed jobs a couple of months ago and have been pretty busy trying to get up to speed with it. I have been neglecting this blog for a while, which is something that I don’t like. For the Witch Training game I have been working on, the biggest thing that I am proud of myself right now is getting all of the controls about 90% done along with getting in the animation events to fire off walking/running sounds.

Unity3d: Game Progress, Flying Controls

I have been tinkering around with the witch training game and the gameplay is starting to take some shape. I still have a lot of work ahead of me, but it is starting to be fun to move around. I got a new job a couple of weeks ago, so I haven’t had as much time to work on it as I would have liked. I love it so far though, so not complaining.

Witch Training: Gameplay and Character

I have been spending some time reading the new Unity book, but managed to squeeze some time in with my game. I have been spending some time making revisions, adding content, and learning how to use SVN better. I am still not sure exactly what I REALLY need in my project when I am doing the version control, so I know I have more files included than I actually need.

Review:Unity 3D Game Development by Example

I feel like I am in 3rd grade again writing book reviews. Yes…it makes me feel like I am still young at heart. Before I give the review, I want to make a couple of points. First, I received Unity3D Game Development by Example Beginner’s Guide by Ryan Creighton from Packt Publishing for free. They do things like that to spread the word about their new books. If I didn’t like this book, I would give them feedback and not do a review (which I have done in the past).

Unity3 is Out: Short Vacation from my Game

With Unity 3 being released a little while ago, my adrenaline is pumping. I know that if I had a PRO version of it, I could have been on the beta list a long time ago. But since I am not making any money with this, I don’t see it being economical to spend the money right now. Most people that are just starting in game development probably won’t buy the pro version.

UML, Google Code, Game Progress

I have been starting to work on the game and it is getting to the point where I need to really start to outline the class structure for all of the code. I downloaded a free copy of OpenModelSphere where I could do some UML work. I have never used the program before, but it only took about a half an hour to figure out how to do most of the things I need.

Unity3d:Building Cities using Google Maps

I was stumped for a while trying to figure out the best way to make sure everything was in proportion and to scale. Creating models individually seemed very scary since I had to pay a lot more attention to units of measurement every time I created anything. A better way I am finding is to create the whole city in a 3d scene and export the whole thing out. What I am doing for as a base right now is taking a snapshot of a Google maps view.

3D City, Blender 2.53, Level Design book

I was starting to do some research on creating a city and determining how much work it was. If I wanted to be super smart, I could also do research in the field of urban design to learn about how cities are constructed. That would be too in-depth, since all I really care about right now is creating an engaging and fun environment. Level Design My mode of attack is to be taking an assortment of 3d models from the Google 3D Warehouse and alter them into a level.

Witch Training Game Idea

I have been getting pretty stagnant with my motivation in terms of game design, so I thought it would be a good idea to change gears a little bit. I know the other project has more work before it could be considered done, but I don’t want my enthusiasm or motivation to plummet and go months without progressing in some way. New game idea time! As of now, I am thinking of calling the game “Witch Training”.

Unity3D: Bazooka WIP, Animation Events

Bazooka Explosion Unity3D File Controls W,A,S,D - Move 1 - Arm Bazooka 0 - Put away bazooka spacebar - jump Left Mouse button - Fire bazooka (must be walking or stopped) Left Shift button - Walk The bazooka addition to my character is coming along, but it still needs work. One of the things that I am starting to notice is that characters get complicated when there are different types of animations getting stacked on each other.

Continuous Texture Mapping & Bazooka

After doing the planetary gravity post, I started looking back at my models and remembered a great article I read about UV texture tips from Gamasutra. It talks about continuous mapping where you reduce the seams in the mesh and group together larger parts. I updated my character model with a more detailed mesh along with changing the texture map. It is easier to see what parts are being textured with the new layout.

Unity3D: Planetary Gravity, Daylight System w/source

Having characters or other movable objects walk and jump around a plane or flat surface is relatively easy. You can just add a character controller component to the object and you are off and running. There are plenty of scripts and resources to do motion on a flat plane. Creating a physics system that’s based off non-planar movement is a little bit more complicated. To put a preface on this article, this solution is not “true” planetary gravity.

Nouveau Painting & 3D Math Book Review

I finally put enough time into my painting that I feel ok to press the stop button on it. I am sure a couple of month will roll by and I will find mistakes — but there is no better way to document your progress as an artist! That is how I rationalize it anyway. I studied a lot of Mucha’s paintings and put some nice elements in it that made it look more “painterly”.

Gimbal Lock, Euler Angles, and Quaternions

I have been reading a 3d Math book and have been trying to learn some 3d concepts and how they operate. It talks a lot about the pros and cons of using different models of angular displacement such as Euler angles and Quaternions. This topic isn’t very visually exciting, so I created my rendition of “Mr. Gimbal Lock” to the left. You now have a visual reference for the upcoming sinister snake-like creature it is!

Art Nouveau Illustration and the Kaleidoscope tool

The past couple of weeks, I have been working on an illustration for my parents. My mom is a big fan of Alphonse Mucha, a Czech Art Nouveau painter. Here are my results so far. I took a sampling of different elements and ideas from different works by him. It is similar, but not identical any of his paintings. A lot of the detail gets lost in this tiny image.

Don't Think Outside the Box...Expand It

Learning about new subjects is important to me. This month I have been reading a book on a topic that gets a lot of people like me turned off and offended every time I hear the word : Sales. Why read about things you despise? For me, I had to take a step back and realize how little I knew about the topic. My fear and hatred come from the negative perspectives of what tv and movies portray.

U3DObject explanation with API and project source

I have been working with U3DObject for a a few weeks now and have been getting familiar with it. Because there is so little documentation with it, it is a little hard to figure out how everything works and is organized. The company that created this isn’t an English company, so some of their English is a little bit hard to interpret in their documentation. In this post, I will try to explain the structure of the U3DObject framework as well as talk about the API.

Tweener project files & drawing application "Flame"

I was thinking it wouldn’t be that hard to animate things in Unity3d, but the more I got into it, there are no intuitive ways to do it. Many of ways shown end up taking the current game time and using that for the basis of time. Doing an animations in flash was always easier, Just tell an object to do something over a period of time and -PUFF- it works.

Unity3D: "Kill5" Game Architecture w/Source

Kill 5 Unity3D File Controls: Move - W, A, S, D (or arrow keys) Run - left shift jump - spacebar attack - right shift** Kill 5 Source code I tried to keep the game simplistic so explaining the structure would be easier. Before I talk too much, take note that I am still early in my game programming life, so how I organized it is the way I do it.

Unity3d: Approach to learning game design featuring "Kill5" playable game

With games being so complex, it is intimidating to know where to start when it comes to putting together a game. Even after reading game architecture resources, it still feels like you don’t know the best way to delve in and make something cool. Since I have started learning Unity, I am forming my own view on learning the whole process if you are new to the whole game development thing.

Unity3d: Importing Google 3D/Earth models with Blender

I have been working on my game and was at the stage where I needed some models. I was searching around and found out Google has a large library of FREE models via their Google 3D Warehouse branch.This article will go through how I got it to work along with hints and trouble spots. I went through a lot of articles and plugin pages, but they ended up only being partly helpful.

Game Design: harder than tutorials make it appear

I haven’t posted in about a month, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy! I recently bought another monitor and can’t believe how I worked without it. The more programming I do, the more it seems necessary. Getting Visual C# Express from Microsoft has been fun as well integrating it with Unity and other projects. I am starting to migrate to programming in C# because it seems more of a robust language to work with.

Unity3D: 3rd person basic movement/rotation w/source

My original version of doing movement was a pretty sloppy hacked version. I provided the source, but it was almost impossible to really figure out what was going on. I didn’t really know what was happening, but felt good because it worked. I went back and really cut down all the code to the minimum and explained it with a lot more comments. This post explains some of the basic elements to get that 3rd person character moving and rotating.

Unity3d: Study with transforms,rotations w/demo

Trying to understand what is going on when things are moving, rotating, and scaling seems like it would be easy - but when there are local and global spaces, Euler angles and Quaternions, different forms of interpolation, conceptually it starts to get confusing for me. I thought the best way to learn more about how these things interact is having a little application that will show properties dynamically changing as objects move and rotate.

Noob Review:Unity3D Development Essentials

I have been feeling really ambitious and decided to delve into Will Goldstone’s new book: Unity Game Development Essentials (that is NOT me in the picture). I heard the book was good by a few people in forums, but didn’t have a lot of substance behind why it was good and the type of content and layout of the book. I am more trained in web things, so I kind of get programming.

Quaternions & Unity3d Book Released!

I have spent the past month learning and becoming frustrated with the concept of Quaternions. I thought it would be cooler to have some type of planetary gravity for my level where my character could fly to his heart’s content around a sphere. A LOT harder than I thought! Planetary gravity - fairly simple with some help. forum post unity wiki script Once gravity is set up, objects will fall toward the center of the world.

Unity3D: new character and animations with full source

So I have a cool idea for a character, and the ability to do some neat things like have different degrees of running, flamethrowers, etc. - but my box man was making me unmotivated. I decided to design and model a new character (again) and import him in. I decided it would be best to follow along the same line as my last idea and use a lot of the 3d platform code to get me going.

Unity 3D: Part 3 - basic scripting w/example and source

I buckled down and bought a copy of Unity3d last week. They recently came out with version 2.5.1 which has significant stability fixes that I was a little worried about before. I can say after working with it for about 30 hours, it hasn’t crashed on me even once (Unity 2.5 crashed about once a hour). The model I creating in the last part had to be scrapped since it had some problems with how I modeled it (scaling in Object Mode is a bad idea).

Unity 2.5 (Blender lessons): Part Two

I have been fervently working with Unity 2.5 for Windows, or more precisely Blender 2.48b. Eventually you can’t use all of the preset models and animations that Unity gives you, so I wanted to make my own and import it into Unity . This is no simple feat if you haven’t done it before. My 3d package of choice right now is Blender since it is free and I have a book on it.

Mobile version of Wordpress in 3 steps

I just spent 15 minutes getting a mobile version of the blog to work. It was dead easy. Step 1: Download the plugin (don’t use the auto-installer if you have 2.8) Step 2: Drag the files in the respective folders Step 3: Activate Plugin. That is it! Testing to see if it works if you don’t have a mobile device If you don’t have a good way to test it, run Firefox and get the extension User Agent Switcher addon.

Unity 3d 2.5 Part One

There has been a lot of buzz about Unity3D, a new plugin that handles 3d much better than flash. It now works for Windows and can output to a lot of different platforms (Windows, Mac, Web, iPhone, Wii, etc). I read a few reviews on it from a couple different sources and it was a pretty mixed bag in terms of quality and use. I thought I would give it a try.

FontJazz text replacement for web

I stumbled upon FontJazz this week, a lightweight javascript engine that replaces text with custom fonts. There are other text replacement technologies, most notably sIFR ands CSS3 embed fonts, but they are sometimes slow or aren’t fully supported. FontJazz uses straight images and javascript, so it has very good support in almost all cases. To get it to work, you go to the site and upload your font where it makes a map of the different letters.

Character Illustration using mood boards

When designing websites, print design pieces, or anything else creative, there is almost always some type of direction to follow. Mood boards are excellent ways to follow a certain style or feel for something. Mood boards are basically an amalgamation of drawings, designs, photography, or anything else similar. Instead of doing a web mood board, I wanted to design a character that was similar to the artistic style of Final Fantasy - specifically the Tactics series.

Communication skills and Emotional Intelligence

I have worked at a few different jobs so far in my life, but noticed that the biggest reason why things go wrong is poor communication. I have heard it from a number of different sources, but it is becoming more and more true as the years roll by. It is easy to forget about things when you are consumed with trying to meet deadlines, or juggling multiple different projects.

What is interaction design?

I really hear interface design and interaction design get thrown around. How different is it then web design? If it has a whole field and job title to go along with it, it must be very unique. I was so curious about it that I decided to get a book on it recently. The book is “Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design” by Jenifer Tidwell. Nice little book I got off Amazon to read on my spare time.

How to do art workshops

I subscribe to the “ImagineFX” magazine which helps build concept and illustration skills. Having a design background, I am not very skilled in the “finer” arts like painting. I have got a few magazine issues and have read through most of them. One part of the magazine that has baffled me is the “art workshops” section. How are you suppose to do them? Just read them. Follow along? There is a lot missing in the steps!

Using APIs on the web

APIs use to be a topic that I would shun away from anytime I would hear it mentioned. I knew it stood for “application programming interface”, but had no idea what it really meant or how it worked beyond that. To put it in simple terms, APIs are part of an application or site that you can access and do what you want with it. That might mean being able to retrieve your facebook photos, or doing custom searches with Youtube.

Say no to CSS expressions and live a happier life

This past week I have been reading a lot about these things called “CSS expressions” that I have never heard of. I read quite a bit about web trends and different techniques, but I have never run across this topic until this week. Since it only works for IE, I can see why it isn’t talked about much in the web community. Not because it is IE, but because the other browsers make up too much of the market share.

Cross-browser testing in 2009

When I first started out doing web design, I didn’t really think about all of the different people that are going to visit my sites. I thought that if I can see it in Firefox3, it is good enough. After all, I did some crazy CSS to get it to working right. It is their fault for not using a standards-compliant browser. Besides, I didn’t learn this in school too much, so it must not be that important.

Understanding Visualization Skills in Design/Art

One of the skills that doesn’t really get discussed much in art and design are visualization skills. What are visualization skills? How can this help people in the creative field? When people want to draw or design something, they generally start off doing different things to get their “creative juices” flowing. This could be listening to music, looking at other designs or art, or just doodling on a piece of paper.

Experimental Samurai Illustration

I have had an itching to do something a little more creative and unorthodox lately. I am usually very self-concious about my artistic skills and always think that the only way I can make something good is by following someone elses’ example. For many years, I drew scrictly by copying manga and trying to duplicate other things I like. While I still enjoy that at times, it quickly becomes boring now.

Wordpress.tv and Google Gears

Wordpress.tv I recently read that Wordpress set up a tutorial site (wordpress.tv). It has been up since mid-January and seems to have a growing database of movies to watch. I sent them an email about some ideas and got a nice response from Michael Pick. One of my main concerns was that there should be more user-submitted videos. He commented that “We’re already accepting and featuring user videos”. I looked through the website and still and couldn’t find anything, so it must be hidden somewhere.

Foundational web design skills

There are so many different aspects to web design that it hard to really have a “foundational” skill set. It is good to know how to program and make a page look pretty, but I think that is missing the purpose of this medium. Websites are really design, marketing, branding, advertising, analytics, and sales all wrapped into one. The more you know about those different areas - the better.

Why Flash needs Papervision 3D to survive

Augmented Reality Effect Spaceship (use mouse to rotate around) Strongest Truck( micro-game for Volvo) Little Big Planet (PS3 game that uses UI elements) As the examples show, I think that 3d has a great place in the internet world. I think it will eventually spill over into the retail world with companies showing their products in 3D that can be rotated and altered. Th biggest obstacles right now to better adoption is processing power, anti-aliasing, and implementation.

Best blogs and sites to increase web skills

There are so many great sites and blogs out there that have content and tutorials on learning things, there is little need for buying internet books at Borders or Barnes & Nobles. I don’t think I would ever write a tutorial on how to to do something unless I couldn’t find it anywhere (which is almost NEVER the case). My tutorials would consist of saying what I am doing, referencing articles, books, or videos, and then saying additional problems I had after looking over the resource.

My "web analytics" story

I thought this story is exceptionally nerdy/geeky, but that is who I am! I found this image on sxc.hu, so I thought it would make it a little more interesting. Onward! Monitoring a large site, sometime it is difficult to figure out what to do next. Website traffic goes up (yeah!), or down (oh S*^%). What does it really mean though? If it goes up, what are you doing right?

Facebook status blog integration

Wouldn’t it be a great way to customize your blog better by integrating social networking data into it? I was reading a tutorial about using JSON to incorporate my Twitter status and I thought it would be better if I had my facebook status monitored on my blog - it will make stalking me that much easier! JSON(“Jason”) is a great web programming language for cross-site data exchange. I don’t understand it, but it seems just as easy as working with XML data using E4X.

A Tale of Wordpress Customizing

I just updated the theme for this wordpress blog and boy how exciting it was! To do the best testing, I really needed to migrate my blog to a local server where I could edit everything. I really didn’t know how to do that with the database, so I googled it and read a bunch. I have a few couple different local servers that I use for doing local testing. Anything dealing with ASP.

Lynda.com learning resource

Since March of 2007, I have been watching a lot of internet videos on Lynda.com. If you don’t know much about Lynda.com, it is a video training database for learning applications, programs, and programming languages. It has helped me immensely from everything from Ajax to ZBrush. (I didn’t learn Zbrush, but that was the only app that stood out that started with a “z”. I have watched over 900 videos during work and at home.

Windows 7 Milestone 1 Beta First Impression

After a little hiccup by Microsoft, they finally released the Windows 7 Beta. I was so anxiously waiting for the download - refreshing the page every hour seeing if they posted the download. According to initial reviews, they were only going to release 2.5 million public keys, so I thought I needed to act fast if I was going to get it. Long last I woke up the next morning and it was up.

Witch Illustration

I have been working hard on a personal illustration that I have been doing. I really have never taken a painting class before, but I read quite a bit and am hoping that my art skills can continue to improve. To see the image, click on the picture thumbnail. The idea of witches and pumpkin bombs was inspired by an anime series called Soul Eater. It is a great cartoon that has a good looking artistic style (that is usually what draws me into series).

Using Online marketing as a channel for ideas

As the week is progressing and I looking at different RSS feeds, I begin to think how difficult it is to follow the progress of the internet. As a designer, I am constantly trying to find ways to improve. Most of my ideas have been coming from design blogs like Six Revisions, but I felt like there are even more options. I recently started using Google reader for managing my RSS feeds and was trying to think of a different angle for learning new things.

the Holiday week.

The holidays blew by fast this year - don’t they always. I was working most of the Christmas week as well as the week after, so that made it go be even faster. Spending time with the family was great, and just some fun down time is really where it is at. My downtime consisted of buying a couple books at Borders and reading up on them. One of my birthday resolutions in Novemeber was to build my art skills a lot more.

Competition

Ahhh..a word that some people cringe and other people leap forward. It isn’t really the word itself, but different experiences people have associated with it. Some people think of failure and shortcomings, others see challenges and superiority. Competition is such a great tool to help propel you in areas you want to be good in. If you want to be good in web design, you study other web designers and learn new languages and design skills.

Scott's view of life at 23

I don’t want this to be a post where I just start rambling on, so I will try to make it as to the point as possible. Since I am a spiritual person, I have that guide me in most of my life views. All people, whether they be strangers, friends, lovers, or family, have their own agendas. They were made the way they were by how their parents raised them, their biology, and the environment that they are surrounded by.