Everything is on fire. This is fine.

MEL

I’ve been hitting some dead ends with my MEL scripting, after initially encouraging results I quickly hit a wall as none of my code from around chapter 6 onward would not run.

My first thought was “Well that’s not an uncommon occurrence for a beginner so maybe I’m just rubbish.” But after looking for online help I discovered others had similar experiences with this book and it turns out it’s not me, the code in the book just doesn’t run. I’m not giving up though, I’ve ordered Complete Maya Programming in an effort to continue learning.

Unlocking Potential

After the interruptions from the snow, the Stand Out From the Crowd course finally came to a conclusion (except for an essay I still have to start). I hastily presented myself and some of my work to a panel of volunteers from local businesses. I didn’t plan ahead very well and ended up bungling through the show, but I still got some excellent feedback. Note to self; make sure you’ve always got an elevator pitch on hand in the future.

Computer Problems

I’ve been held up a bit for the last two weeks, as ongoing computer instabilities have finally come to a crescendo of BSODs accompanied by mysterious error codes like IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL.

I’ve stripped the entire system, tested each component, reinstalled Windows, even tried switching to Linux and come to the conclusion that the computer is, in fact, haunted. No individual part reports errors under even the most rigorous testing, there’s just a gremlin in there somewhere shutting me down.

 

I intended to write this post last weekend but I got carried away trying to make my computer, you know, work.

Snow, Photogrammetry

It started snowing last Wednesday and didn’t stop until Friday, which has delayed my Unlocking Potential Course. In the meantime, I’ve been trying my hand at Photogrammetry (A technique for building 3d meshes and textures from a series of photographs) using the free trial of 3DF Zephyr from 3DFlow.

This is my first successful photogrammetric model, a small owl sculpture I whittled with a knife one afternoon from a scrap of basswood.

It’s a composite of 50 photographs, the limit for the trial version. You may notice a green tinge, which is a reflection from a piece of greenscreen fabric I used as a high contrast background, but I don’t think it was necessary in the end.

And here is an earlier attempt, which went horribly wrong due to poor lighting and rushed camera handling, so it still takes some effort and knowledge of basic photographic technique.

My overall impression of Zephyr is very good. I found it easy to use even though I skipped the essential step of RTFM. The trial imposes some limits but I didn’t encounter a problem with them, and it exports .OBJ and .JPEG files which can be opened in other 3D software packages for editing. I was even able to upload directly to Sketchfab using my API Token.

10/10 Would Owl Again.

Unlocking Potential course and other goings-on

Employability Course

I’ve taken a bit of a break from self-study to attend the Stand Out From The Crowd course run by the Unlocking Potential team from Cornwall College.

It focusses on improving application and interview technique as well as improving general interpersonal communication skills.

I actually attended the same course after I graduated in 2012. I got a lot of value from the course back then, but it’s been a few years and it’s interesting to see what’s stuck with me and how much I’ve forgotten.

I’ve retained a lot of the CV and application skills, though I discovered my interview technique has suffered over time. I will work on that.

Drivers and Type  Dynamics Indicators

We did some exercises on personal drivers and type dynamics indicators during using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator system.

Wikipedia, 2018

I self-assessed as ISTP (Surveyor), while my Profiling For Success test result reported INFP (Idealist). These results are very similar to my original results in 2012 which is … interesting and a bit of fun, but not much more than that.

While reading the summaries for all 16 psychological types in the Myers Briggs system I found I identified with every single one. A friend recommended I try The Big Five Personality Test if I was interested in an industry standard personality test for business, which I may be eventually but for now I’ve had enough of paid-for quizzes.

I feel more optimistic and driven than I have in a long time and I’ve got a couple of ideas for film projects that I want to storyboard.

Sports and Injuries.

I used to be an avid runner. Never the fastest or the furthest, but I enjoyed it. In late 2013 I crashed my car (Graphic description of injury hidden.) ramming my left patella through my femur like a pirate closing a telescope. To save my leg, the surgeon shortened my femur by about two inches resulting in a mild physical disability known as an LLD or Limb Length Discrepancy. But that’s all in the past and I’ve returned to the sport, full of titanium pins and plates and an asymmetrical gait. I’m building back up slowly.

I might talk about other sports or disability stuff on this blog but haven’t decided yet. I’m trying to stick mainly to my work. But anyway, running is a thing I’m up to at the moment.

Replacing Stock Images

This site is intended to keep track of what I’m up to and act as a portfolio, so while WordPress’s themes have allowed me to get up and running quickly, it’s counter-intuitive to use the provided imagery. I’ll be replacing stock images with my own work, piece by piece.

MEL generated hardback book

This model was generated using the following script, it is an example script from chapter 3 of the MEL Companion book.

“polyCube
-width 2.2
-height 0.4
-depth 3.2
-axis 0 1 0
-constructionHistory off
-name book ;
select
-replace book.f[0] book.f[2] book.f[4];
polyExtrudeFacet
-constructionHistory off
-keepFacesTogether on
-localScale 1 0.782538 1 ;
polyExtrudeFacet
-constructionHistory off
-keepFacesTogether on
book.f[0] book.f[2] book.f[4] ;
move
-relative
0 0 -0.0434924
book.f[0] ;
move
-relative
-0.0434924 0 0
book.f[4] ;
move
-relative
0 0 0.0434924
book.f[2] ;
select
-replace
book.f[16] book.f[19] ;
move
-relative
0.0434924 0 0 ;
polySoftEdge
-angle 0
-constructionHistory 0
book.e[0:43] ;
select -clear ;”

Learning

I’m trying to learn things and I intend to post updates about my progress here.

ZBrush

Learning ZBrush is like trying to roll a mountain up the side of a boulder but I’m sticking with it. I’ve got a background in 3D modelling software but ZBrush plays by its own rules. I’m following Introducing ZBrush Third Edition by Eric Keller.

MEL

Life would be easier if could write my own MEL scripts. This is something new for me so I’m following The MEL Companion: Maya Scripting for 3d Artists By David Stripinis.