Heading to Oregon for a work trip. A new app idea has come across my desk and I am headed out to investigate. Hopefully good fortune can be created. I will get online as often as possible.
Spent the last three days rewriting my direction with a decent enough thesis. The project concept changes a little, and it's target is better focused. With a focus on Multi-player interaction, I have added a large amount of "no idea how I can do it." To emulate a multiplayer concept, I will look at single screen multiplayer system to demonstrate how interaction will happen.
Professor gave me a doozy of a to-do list this past weekend. Some I am aware of and fully in tune with, others hit a little harder and came out of nowhere a little bit. So I initially thought, at least. After thinking about it, she nailed some things I need to focus on:
Putting energy into narrowing my focused market down to something specific:
My son goes to a school with learning needs, and there are a couple of ideas brewing there. The school attends to the needs for students from 1st grade up to 12th grade. Very small school, and the science teacher is still asking for more info
There are a couple of interested parties at the school I teach at as well.
Answer a problem, don’t just make something and send it - develop something new and needed:
The goal is to create a tool to help illustrate a complex subject matter through the use of 3d space, specifically VR.
Well, VR is out based on research, feedback, and goals of the software
Real Time on WebGL is still on the plate
Initial research pulls up very little in this sector when dealing with Education, so I will hopefully benchmarking some things in this arena.
Fix my website, it's a mess
Set up for a better presentation, prepare for the 45hr
I will be building my written component in conjunction with the website and visual, it only makes sense to match the template of the MLA requirements in some regards
Research, citations, bibliography
Tagged and appropriately cited throughout.
Clean up the work I did last qtr, and present it more uniformly
Organize based on the needs of the reviewers
Clean outline of site
Each topic easily found
Reduce the buttons needed to navigate
Prepare for the 45 hr review
Demonstrate ability to do this work
Be ready and organized.
Been a crazy week, let me recap:
Monday 7-1 – normal working day: taught some modeling, did some tutoring, and worked on my portfolio.
Tuesday 7-2 – This was an all-day orientation at Art Institute, which has gone through some serious changes, so there is a risk in coming here. There are giving me 3 classes to start off with, so, I had to spend a lot of the week finishing out the syllabi. This is an art school, unlike at my Austin Community College gig which is a work-force based Associates program. Not much time to get work on the thesis project.
Wednesday 7-3 – Wednesday is just like Monday, except this is the 3rd and Thursday is the 4th. I do not plan on working on the 4th. So I did a lot of work on my syllabi, as they are due on Friday...
Friday 7-4 – Spent the day finalizing my syllabi for AI...
Saturday and Sunday were focused on this class and getting the art influences set up. There is still a lot of work to do, bu the professor’s ppt file was useful in helping me define my thesis better.
Beginning prototyping for my visual style component. This will be able to change a little bit down the road, but this is the area I am dreading the most. I am pretty confident I can get the code decent enough, but I have had a hard time being consistent when it comes to my art style. This is about my Art Ability or something like that, right?
There is no doubt this will be a major undertaking and will allow me to learn new technologies and processes which will be absolutely important when I start my next project after graduation (can’t wait to get that ball rolling).
To get started, I am looking at different ways to illustrate what my goals are. It may be all in unity from here on out, minus some basic layout and UX planning (either ppt or a web builder can do that pretty easily) Right now I need to look at the flow of action for the user, a basic concept of UI and how users will interact with the simulation in general.
If I got into Unity right away, I will still need a solid visual plan of my direction, set for flexibility.
! Due at the end of week 5 !
Step one: Research art ideas and photo-chop them together, maybe use this in AE to help create a visual concept
Step three: I need to create a basic design doc to help define what I am after.
Step two: technical research (based on below)
Idea one: Everything in 3ds Max and edited in Premiere/AE-
-Build a landscape, use some older trees, and define material changes.
Idea two: Done in Unity, but as a set animation, not interactive yet.
-Same as above, but with some interactivity
Refined the thesis paper for project 1 getting it put into better format, cleaned up the streams of thoughts and tried to boil it down into effective values. The thought is starting to take shape and I am beginning to see how I will form the system in general. There is still a lot of work to go, and I think I need at least
Womens World Cup, US beat France, so I was not able to work on the project effectively. I spent time organizing my website and putting in thoughts on the project goals.
Worked on my portfolio. Its not very deep, and I need to build more stuff which will reflect my skills better. I will aim for at least one finished looking interactive project this quarter, mostly just cleaning up the 2 I have, simplest one first.
I have added the works to my portfolio page and will update this page as often as I can to ensure I get the best work up. I still have other classes to take, so I will put renewed effort with those to make my review as successful as I possibly can.
Still refining the two topics I have and still searching for a third. I really like the two I have and everyone past these two just spin off of them more than stand out alone.
Refining the topic, organizing my website and thoughts to better hit the goals in the 3rd unit (research). Research goals will be based on technology goals, historical data, and how it fits into my goals. Regardless of my choice, these will be the full factors which will be most effective for me.
kept putting some attention to the interior structure of my website, and spent some more time thinking about idea #3. Which I don't really have.
I am very intent on following through with my Esther's idea (see Project #1, a link should show up here somewhere).
The real concern I have is to figure out my 6 portfolio images, as I have some art, and some documents. I still have several classes left, but, for this project, I really need to put some focus in my programming skills, which I barely got a C in. I don’t need to write from scratch this time around, but I will need to understand the code I am utilizing for whatever project I end up choosing.
I read a couple of my classmates' ideas, and there are some cool ones there for sure! I may need to find these people later on to see if there are any more common interests! Probably should do it sooner rather than later...
Spent time on both the Abstract and the Visual Component. This is becoming easier to see in my head, but there are real concerns that came up in a discussion tonight during dinner with friends, and hopefully a future participant in the company.
There are several things he brought up which may not affect my thesis project
Got in touch with a VR evangelist and also a colleague at one of my jobs, which generated some really great responses. I have found new excitement for this project which has brought on along with it a feeling of concern and stress as I start to see where this idea can lead.
I am working on my visual concept this week, which I think will be pretty simple. The construction of the overall item will be a challenge, but I got one programmer who believes in this project so far. I am using 3d Max and will look into doing some asset creation for Unity as I go.
Building the visual concepts over the last few days, getting caught up on all the docs I need to resubmit for proper review. There are so many new moving parts I need to put this together, but I was reminded today that I need to stay focused on the prize, which is the thesis. I am behind in some ways, but, ahead in others. I need to spend a minute to prioritize my direction on this project and how I want ot use it later, keeping
I needed a day away from this project for a minute, and spent time working in Zbrush for classes I am teaching the software in.
I am interested in seeing how the newer versions of 3d applications and game dev applications are slowly letting the mouse and keyboard slip away as we head into more and more touch screen type solutions. I have been using 3ds Max since it came out, been on Maya since it released, but mostly 3DS. This app is wholly a CAD software with great free form modeling tools and have decent rigging and rendering tools. The newest thing I am working on adding to my processes is the shelf which is a set of quick-selects tools which I can see being useful with a touch screen concept. When I was younger, I remember Maya guys working on digital tools which reflect how car designers use tape to create the side view of a car’s silhouette. Real exciting to see this movement happening again.
This will be an exciting aspect of future teaching tools, and I am excited to finally find a direction which I will be discovering new ways to utilize these new UI/UX methods. Some of my classmates are working in onboarding and management systems which will be critical to the future of how we will interact and develop the next round of these tools. Very exciting times!
I won’t lie, this is intimidating if I am going to get what I want out of this. I am a pretty simple guy, and I want my students to be engaged with their future. This class has really changed a lot of my thinking. There is a true push here which I personally can’t ignore. This project is not new, but, the tools are finally coming together that I can see how to build it. After this week’s reading, I am not looking at just this project now, but, where I can take it. I am looking at 5 years, 10 years, and possibly 15 years with these ideas. Onve VR and Web VR’s new-ness and allure wears off, we will become numb to the concept, possibly using in very unique ways because it is just a tool at that point, not a shiny new toy. This is all just as exciting, but the changes will have to take place to keep up with that kind of adaptation.
Think of when Facebook launched their games, and how much of our time was spent on it. Right when the tool became pretty cool, some people began exploiting it or others just moved their wares to mobile devices. There are those games still, but not on Facebook. So, when considering where VR has come from to where it can eventually lead too, I think it will become a tool, a mere additional way to share, view, and use equipment. Goggles will get smaller, smarter, and less intrusive and less extrusive. Google Glass is a good example, but people began to shun wearers because of privacy issues. Maybe useful, but, maybe best left at the office or at home. The truth of the fact is that it will either become a tool or a it will be left in the garage to use only at certain times.