CGI coffee


Revelations of a computer graphics apprentice

Genshin Impact, GACHA and The Case of an Inferior Electronic Sticker Album

Last week saw the release of a new free-to-play Chinese electronic gambling game disguised as a 3rd person action RPG named Genshin Impact. And it turned out to be one of the largest launches for a Chinese game ever.

I wonder why...

Don't get me wrong: I love games with sexy girls and tons of fan-service! Not so much though, when I'm painfully aware that the actual entertainment product is a trap, designed to slowly condition players to regularly spend money for premium currency. Such currency can then be spent to take part in a game of chance-like ordeal where you pay to get a shot at unlocking a bunch of random heroes and items of different "rank", "tier" or "value" upon "rolling a banner", opening a loot-box, a chest, a magical item or whatever the hell they decide to call those in a specific game of this category.

Remember these?

tom-and-jerry-panini-sticker-album

Yes, the Panini Sticker Albums...

Blender Cycles + NVIDIA RTX = An Artist's Dream

Watch this:

Wow.

Now imagine yourself in the shoes of Autodesk management. You have hundreds of thousands of people who want to enter the 3DCG industry. You tell your shareholders: "Hey, let's take away professional and entry-level perpetual Software licenses and give our customers subscription as the only option. Yeah, subscriptions. The worst possible thing for a freelancer. What a great idea! It will sure stand the test of time!"

Now tell me: after a myriad of amazing Blender updates, more and more companies becoming sponsors of the Blender foundation, and now NVIDIA with their RTX + AI denoiser integrated into the Software this well...

Tell me how many more potential Autodesk clients will turn to Blender to never look back?

Don't ask me why my mind immediately went to Autodesk of all things... Probably because I will never forgive them for killing off Softimage and afterwards going subscription-only route.

Ahem, excuse me. Anyway...

Well done, Blender and NVIDIA!

Run and Rock-it Kristie... Kristie! Re-imagined in 3D

Evgeniy Kozlov, the guy who did an amazing job creating most of the environment art assets for "Run and Rock-it Kristie", surprised me yesterday by sharing progress on his own sculpting studies. Imagine my delight when the first character he fully sculpted, textured and rigged ended up being Kristie, re-imagined in 3D!

Check her out!

Run and Rock-it Kristie 3d sculpt by Evgeniy Kozlov

Run and Rock-it Kristie 3d sculpt by Evgeniy Kozlov

Modeling, sculpting, texturing, rigging and rendering were all done in Blender.

Run and Rock-it Kristie 3d sculpt by Evgeniy Kozlov

Cute. CUTE!

Run and Rock-it Kristie original 2D character

You Don't Know What You're Giving up When You Choose Debt Over Savings

In the following video Louis Rossmann, a skilled repair technician and the owner of Rossmann Repair Group in New York, talks about how one should never willingly put self in debt just to have something "force" him or her to try and become successful. Instead you should save or invest, because, long story short: "You don't know what you're giving up".

So when an amazing opportunity presents itself, it's better to have the funds or resources to be able to take it, than to miss it and regret ever willingly falling back so far that you're in serious debt you need to take care of first.

Louis went from having literally nothing except for an idea for a business and a couple hundred dollars to running a well-known independent repair company and a parts supplier in one of the largest cities in the US as well as on the internet.

So, please, do find 15 minutes to hear what Louis has to say. You won't regret it, I promise.

Looking for a Free Adobe Premiere Alternative? Meet Olive Video Editor!

My fellow pro and hobbyist video editors and geeks alike, our prayers have been heard!

Do you remember finding yourself in a situation where you needed to simply edit a couple of clips together regardless of the format they were in? And maybe add a soundtrack, a title or two along the way, as well as do some basic color correction or time warping on the source material?

Here's how it usually goes: you get an idea, either write it down or jump straight into your NLE and get ready to bring it to life.

kick open door by deathbulge.com (http://www.deathbulge.com/comics/394)

But then you must be sure to have a full-fledged video editing app on the computer you have access to. And even if you do say, open up your Premiere, Final Cut or DaVinci Resolve, you'll quickly realize that professional NLEs are picky about the formats you need to provide your videos in. Then you find out that you need to transcode a clip or two, save some images in another format...

Now you're questioning this sudden wave of euphoria which came with the idea, and looking for reasons not to keep going and finally...

Nope. Not worth it. I'm outta here!

kick close door by deathbulge.com (http://www.deathbulge.com/comics/394)

And that, my friends, is exactly how ideas DIE...

Quietly... In the corners of your mind... Overtaken by a barrage of complications and tedious procedures needed before you can actually get to working on the damn clip.

But it doesn't have to be like this!

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 Ring Fit Adventure Review, Some Nintendo Switch Notes, and What the Hell Happened to Unity Engine!?

hero-image

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.

🎮 Click/tap here to skip my Unity rant and go straight to the Ring Fit Adventure review.

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