The Actual News:
Howdy! Sorry for the lack of updates lately… I’ve just been super busy with school. If you don’t know, I’ve been taking an online course to earn a Unity Certification, so I’ve been basically cramming every night for the last two weeks or so. Now between class and homework, I’ve been making minor tweaks to the website, such as:
- adding the classic “Daily Reminders Du Jour” grey box above (it did the “sticky post” thing before I even know what one was!)
- adding a “Contact Us!” page which isn’t working right now (it WOULD help if the Contact Us form actually emailed properly…)
- updating the “Getting Back Into Making Fake Cards” page with some FYI bits
…and other minor tweaks and updates here and there. I’m also planning a major update to the TCG Card Backgrounds page, since I’ve been getting a lot of new finds from some eagle-eyed visitors. Keep ’em coming!
That said, end of the first half of my course is on April 26th, so I’ll probably still be working hard in the mean time. It’s lots of fun though! Mostly because it’s reminding me a lot of working with Infini-D 4.5 from back in the day. If you don’t know about that, well, Unity isn’t my first rodeo; I actually got my initial training in 3D-CGI art back in the early-2000s using a Mac program called Infini-D 4.5. I used it to make these spectacular pieces of art:
I also used another program called Bryce in order to make the hills and landscape backgrounds… which apparently was still being updated until 2010!
Anyways, I cut my teeth on Infini-D 4.5… but for some reason I never applied my knowledge to other CG programs like Maya or Unreal Engine. I dunno why… I think it was mostly because it seemed so overwhelming. But that’s pretty much the main reason why I decided to get a Unity certification: it seemed like a perfect mix of ease-of-use and robustness. Plus it helps that my friend and VR-cohort Dave Arendash is a long-time Unity professional.
Fortunately though, learning Unity from scratch turned out to be just like riding a bike again: so much about Infini-D 4.5 was much applicable to Unity. I guess that was another fear of mine: that everything I taught myself in Infini-D 4.5 would not be applicable to anything today. It’s like, imagine being an expert punch-card programmer… only for punch-cards to become outdated overnight. I was worried that I had outdated experience in my head and that I would struggle to get back on my feet… but thank goodness that fear immediately disappeared once I realized how much of my knowledge was very easily ported over. That said there is only one downside to Unity: it’s not a place where you can actually DESIGN models. For that I’ll need to use something like Blender. But that’s OK; if Blender is anything like Unity—and therefore Infini-D 4.5—then I should be able to hit the ground running.
But yeah, Unity has been a lot of fun so far, and I’ve actually been able to do more with it than I’ve ever been able to do with Infini-D 4.5, particularly animation. Er, well, I mean, animation tools existed for Infini-D 4.5 as they do in Unity, but back then I didn’t even touch them. Here, take a look at a quick video of my midterm animation: we had to design and animate a construction site, add in signs, lightning, matrials, a video, vehicles, etc. A lot of the assets in the project were either given to me by the professor or downloaded from the Unity Asset store, although some of the buildings were things I made myself using cubes and pictures of wall patterns.
Pretty neat, huh? My screen recorder is kinda crap, so it actually accidentally made the scene look like a CG video from 1995.
Still tho, this practice and experience is actually quite useful, because once this is all said and done, I’ll be able to start designing artwork for my oft-mentioned but barely started Space World fake card set. Yeah I keep talking about making it… but honestly, if it’s gonna be better than the classic Mayakashi Edition (with its variety of artwork styles, including CG, to add to the set’s authenticity), then I gotta teach myself how to do CG artwork again on modern design platforms like Unity and Blender. So… let’s just say that all this hard work has a purpose: to make the best fakes I can make! It’ll absolutely be worth it in the end, I swear!!