Archive for the ‘Technical Art’ Category

Embracing the Tech side of the Force

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Here’s a quick 3 hour head study that I did, uploaded and promptly forgot about um.. 2 months ago? Heh, it’s all good though. Work has been pretty busy, every project is pushing my understanding of a variety of subjects. Art wise I’ve been having lots of opportunities to keep things fresh, so my focus lately outside of regular work has been improving my technical skills. So far I’ve put together some macro like mel scripts that turn some multi-step file export processes I had to go through into a single click on a shelf button. Pretty basic stuff though, I’ve been limited by my rather haphazard coding education:

– Being taught BASIC by my dad when I was a kid and writing messy programs like one that filled the screen with circles of random size, colour and position.

– A 5 week course in “Visual” C++ during secondary school – we spent the whole thing coding in DOS, so I’m not sure where the “Visual” went.

Mainly I want the ability to assess a workflow issue that’s annoying the heck out of me, take half an hour to code something and end up with a button that saves me some sanity. This lead me to jump at the opportunity to take a class in the Python scripting language. Python’s pretty interesting because of its ability to interface with different programs via a range of modules. Using the IDLE intepreter, we went through basic python concepts.

To reinforce those concepts as well as learn to apply them in production, I spent a week going through Digital Tutors Python Scripting in Maya.

One of the main takeaways I had from this recent training

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is that the fundamental concepts needed to write most programs are simple yet extremely powerful (iterating through loops and comparisons of values form the bulk of most). It’s figuring out what the problem is and how you go about tackling it that’s the problem. If assessed incorrectly, you could end up writing something that leads to more complications in the pipeline.

Anyways, here are some resources that have been helping me in asserting more control on the tech I depend on..

http://techarttiki.blogspot.com/

http://diveintopython.org/toc/index.html