CGI coffee


Revelations of a computer graphics apprentice

The Main Difference Between a Normal User and a Power User

Yesterday I stumbled upon a couple of quotes in an article, where the author tried to give succinct and generalized definitions to the terms a lot of people throw around in their everyday lives.

Those are "normal users" and "power users".

I loved his take on this topic so much, that I decided to adapt those into English and share it here (the original article was in another language).

Behold:

  • Normal users have goals. They achieve those goals. But sometimes they need to expand their abilities to do so.

  • Power users act the other way around: they expand their abilities to fit the future goals within those.

I strongly believe these don't just describe "computer users" and "geeks", but fit any area of the "real world" as well, be it construction, civil engineering, woodworking, sports – you name it.

They all follow similar principles:

One user has just the basic tools and knowledge and only wishes to learn and expand the inventory whenever necessary to reach the goals. Whereas the other one has a garage full of power tools, gear and materials and an extensive knowledge developed not strictly while achieving the goals, but rather as a general interest in the area of expertise (like a hobby or a job you really, really enjoy and try to stay several steps ahead of the competition) to later have confidence in being able to solve problems without feeling "helpless" or inexperienced.

Both approaches are viable and it all comes down to preference and life experience.

So yeah...

The more you know

Which one of those would you be?

Short and sweet notes about Ring Fit Adventure, Nintendo Switch, and what the hell happened to Unity Engine!?

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When I mentioned I was working on a Design Document for a third person semi-open world game to a good friend of mine several months ago, he immediately asked me whether I had played The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Super Mario: Odyssey. Naturally, not being a Nintendo Switch owner, I had no such experience. "Get the console!" — he replied immediately — "You gotta check out what those Zelda and Mario games have to offer in the way of game mechanics and overall flow."

"Yeah, right..." — Was my instant reply — "Getting an overpriced piece of hardware powered by a microwave-grade Tegra X1 SoC with games that cost a fortune each? I'll pass."

And with that, I returned to working on the DD and various side-projects and forgot the conversation ever happened.

The pitiful state of the Unity game engine

By mid-February the DD was about 70% done and I considered installing a brand new version of the Unity Engine to start prototyping the basic ideas. I might dedicate a whole post to what I had to go through trying to install and use the latest version of the Unity Editor, but will keep it short for now:

unity-crash

Change of Course and a New Beginning

An overwhelming majority of my readers (a whopping 2 out of 3!) have keenly noticed that the latest string of posts didn't really fit the primary "CGI" nature of the blog. True, I mostly touched upon marketing (something I predominately deal with at work nowadays) and some down-to-life topics which held particular importance to me personally. Some might even go so far as to blame me of procrastinating rather than working on the short film.

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That's... Actually pretty close to ground truth, as you will momentarily find out, and it's something I need to finally admit. However embarrassing it might be.

This is a long post that starts slow, takes a dark turn, raises serious questions, but ultimately changes gears and sets everything right. With some cool stuff and a look at the industry from the eyes of an amateur along the way, as usual.

So get yourself a glass of some sparkling beverage and a couple snacks, and let's roll.

How it all began

In 2016 I started this blog as a means of documenting the everlasting journey into the world of computer graphics. Luckily, I didn't go unprepared: with a fair amount of experience in video production, editing, 2D VFX and compositing as well as basic understanding of the most important aspects of 3D, as well as a released mobile game project in the portfolio, I was armed with just enough tools and knowledge to challenge myself further.

That "further" somehow turned into an animated short film project I've been working on ever since.

Well... Until last month to be specific.

The absolute state of Hollywood color grading

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Parmezan cheese SSS and shadow

Can your glorified path-tracer replicate this crunchy, flaky, perfectly aged Parmesan cheese in all of its subsurface-scattery glory?

Parmesan cheese sss and shadow

Relentless Consumption Does Not A Human Make

In the following video Paul shines a light on the issue of the overall collapse of the Western society. If you're not afraid to see the truth and feel like there's more to life than binge-drinking, uncontrolled sexual promiscuity and relentless consumerism, please do check it out and share with those you care about.

Consumerism does not arm one with a profound meaning of existence. Hard work turned humans from crap-flinging apes into what is now called Homo Sapiens Sapiens (no typo there, it's actually double "Sapiens").

The times when people really had to work hard like their ancestors to provide even the basic needs for themselves and their kin are pretty much over. Which means more free time on our hands. Free time is a resource our forbears could only dream about, but the one many of us take for granted and turn to waste. The roturier and degenerate manners are not only prevalent but also promoted by media, corporations and "advertised" in the form of our peers burning their lives in a hopeless search for meaning in the trash-bin of unending consumption.

And with automation taking over more and more areas of labor, this trend will only continue and probably end in a disgraceful global-scale fiasco of the voracious modern consumerist culture.

Behold the Homo Sapiens Sapiens:

David Eagleman on how your brain and your body are the drivers for your consciousness

David Eagleman is a renowned American neuroscientist and a well-known "brain science guy", who gained widespread popularity following his Emmy-nominated PBS documentary, The Brain with David Eagleman (2015). It's a series I believe everyone should absolutely watch regardless of their interest in science in general. This show raises and answers a lot of questions you may have on how the brain operates (as far as the contemporary science can tell) and how this affects everyone on a daily basis.

David Eagleman

I see Mr. Eagleman as a person from the world of "popular science", considering the way he delivers his ideas and discoveries on public and how he presents his views overall.

In the following video he gives a short and effective presentation on how human biology is tightly intertwined with one's personality. It's no secret that people are different. We have extremely contrasting views on various subjects and beliefs. Our personalities, especially, can make or break our ability to make friends, take part in a conversation, develop skills and so on.

But not many are aware that it's not just society, environment and education that take part in forming a pliable, developing mind. It's the body one resides in and carries around that can, and absolutely does affect one's the very decision and adds even more credibility to a well-known proverb:

"A healthy body makes a healthy spirit"

This brief presentation is a short and sweet bit of information of the topic that might help you take your body seriously as well as think twice before attributing actions of others to pure malice or conscious ill will. The person you know may be either a guest or a hostage to his or her own body and hopefully this talk will give you a basic idea why we are so different at the most fundamental level. Since a tower of cards we call "consciousness" is built upon this very foundation, when the underpinning groundwork is starting to give, the whole building is surely to be affected as well.