Wednesday, December 25, 2013

2nd Maya/Unity quicky. (animating object with multiple individual meshes)

Have you tried to put your animated FBX from Maya and it would just go to 0,0,0 when you pressed play? (If you don't freeze the model before you export it, do so. Freeze it at 0,0,0 to save some extra trouble later on)

The reason for that is that most probably you have nested the meshes under a parent mesh in the Outliner panel and then on top, you've added keyframes to that parent. At least that was my problem when throwing it in Unity.
What you should do instead is select your meshes, group them, and then go in and add your keyframes and blend shapes. Export and your combined object won't crap itself in Unity.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The strange animal called "photographer" and it's environment.

I've been meaning to post something like this for some time now but (being me), I would either forget about it or postpone it until "tomorrow".

Sometimes people wonder about what they can do when others are giving them angry stares or even chased away from places while trying to take photos. It's been said a lot of times by many, I didn't discover the solution to this but it does really work. It has to do with how one behaves at each location. Basically you get back what you show. By that I mean that if you are fidgety and anxious, people will look at you funny because if you weren't doing something shady, why would you be anxious?

If you go in a public place, don't just go there with your camera up in your face aiming it at people. Warm up to them first. Don't go there rushing either, make room in your day for two to three hours and go to the place you thought that there would be some nice picture opportunities and take some time to just show people that you are there with a camera, let them warm up to the idea that there's someone with a camera and might take their picture. Don't walk around with the camera in your hands ready or have it hanged around your neck like a tourist. I won't be forcing anyone on how to wear their camera, I just found it really easier and out of my way if I have the camera slung across my left shoulder coming down to my right side. I can just pull it in front of me like those movies with the marines drawing their guns :P. Just as fast and out of the way as well.

In malls or other privately owned places it's important to ask for permission and to make people realize that you just want to take some pictures and isn't stalking people. Don't shove your lens in people's faces or sharply pop up to take photos of kids... Having a couple of business cards with you is a also a nice idea in case someone wants to throw you out while you still need to stay as it helps even further in making people realize that you aren't up to something no good. Who would give out their details if they wanted to cause trouble? (I know Joker would, but if you are The Joker and want to take pics while you are on the job all the more power to you. Send a couple pics over.)

If you notice someone that glares at you for taking pictures just breath in, go over there and ask them if they would like to see the photos you took.

So, stay calm; don't rush it; be relaxed and don't forget to smile in a non threatening way :P. (It helps)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Noobie Maya modeling tip...

... for the one person other than me that didn't know it.

If you made a model with a hole and went ahead to seal it with Mesh --> Fill hole and it wouldn't do it, then you have messed up normals in your model. Select your model, click on Display --> Polygon --> Face normals to view your normals. Then select the faces with the reversed normals and go to Normals --> Reverse. Now fill up that hole.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Coffee shop interior

I like how this one came out. Yeah i know that franchises make sure that their stuff look a certain way down to the last detail, but i like this angle.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Troubling iOS...

So Paddle Trouble is out in iTunes as well now. Free iOS version of Paddle Trouble

It seems that now is a perfect time for people to make their own little game that think is just perfect, right?
Well the tools may be there (and seriously, there are some pretty amazing tools now available to the masses) but unless you know how to promote the app, you'll be in deep water.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Paddle Trouble update.

Just a small update on Paddle Trouble. It's now posted in 2 other app stores other than Google's Play;
Amazon's Appstore and SlideMe. (And between you and me - and anyone with internet access) SlideMe and Amazon, both have done a great job in promoting things, and supporting a lot more countries for paid apps; a lot more than Play.
So to those wanting to make their own stuff, consider 3rd party appstores from the get go on top of the 1st party one.

Free version at:

Get it on Google Play
Get it on Amazon appstore

Paid version (no ads and leaderboards if you have Play Game Services installed and a G+ account) at:

Get it on Amazon appstore

And yes... i know i should make a small site aiming the game instead of posting here... :P

Monday, July 22, 2013

Packaging wtf...

They have been using this same package for their sweets for some time and I always make a comment on how naughty their characters get, whenever i see them.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Paddle Trouble

Muaahahaaaa. My 1st video game is out (Click for tablet version) :D It seems the time is perfect now for someone to make a game if they want to. The tools are there, the outlets are there...
(For phones:

Monday, June 10, 2013

Visual cues

Since we don't have radar or distance sensors embedded in our brains yet, we need to rely on our eyes and ears for cues on where something is, and this is even more important on video games since unless you use a 3D monitor, the view you are seeing is 2D. (Yes, even with 3D games. The monitor is still a flat 2D plane where everything is squashed into a single,flat view, so there goes your stereo vision)

So what can be done visually wise? Shadows someone might say. Well yeah, that is number one in the list but it's not just that. There are a couple things more that can be done in the levels themselves to show the spatial relationship of things. (Spatial relationship, bet that made me look smarter than what i am). Take a look at the image below for an example.

The image shows a level from a game that you have to stop the blue balls from falling in the pit, a pretty basic premise with no story behind it. The top part has the shadows disabled. It looks as if the balls are just pasted on top with little to tell you the distance from the ground at a glance and you don't really have time to observe because that thing is coming at you and you need to throw it back. The bottom half has the shadows enabled and the player can see exactly where on the playing field the ball is and how high.

But that's not the only cue. The pit is textured in a checkerboard like pattern. That makes it even easier to tell where the ball is going to be the in the future (since the balls fall towards the centre, you can use the pattern as a guide) and give you time to turn the paddle at that angle to throw the ball back. There is also a trail effect. That not only shows the general direction of the ball but also if the ball is going up or falling down, its angle and its speed.

(The shadow may look as if it's a bit ahead of the ball but actually it's right under it. The camera used is wide so it makes it look like that, a tiny bit - sort of - fisheyed).

P.S. Since this is for a mobile game, the shadows are not real time.The shading on the level and glove/paddle are baked (drawn) into the texture and the blob under the balls is from a script solution from Unity's Asset store.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

To stand out

I kinda like how that yellow lantern looks in the middle of all that silvery stuff. (If only I had my polarizer with me.)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Quick heads up for perspective and people

If you are taking pictures of people while standing, it may be a good idea to try and lower your point of view just a bit, especially if you have a really wide lens. If you are sitting in a table with friends, then you really don't need to pay any special attention.
If you are standing and trying to snap something with a wide lens, then most people have the tendency to point their camera a bit downwards to have as much of the object as possible in the frame.
That will distort your perspective; it will make your subject appear as if it's being sucked towards the center of the since the top of the subject will be closer to the camera's focal plane than their feet/bottom part.

By lower your view point, you'll be able to frame your subject with the camera in a more level position in relation to your subject and avoid as much as distortion as possible.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Maya tip (possibly for other 3D modelers as well)

Made a 3D model that has lots of angles and or complex geometry that makes it hard to select elements?
Or you need to move around your model a lot to select the edges or vertices that you need?
Well if you have made a proper UV map, just load the UV editor window and select away. Easier to do so in there for lots of elements because of the unwrapped model.

Pictured above: Simple model of an ogre's club. The edges were selected in the UV editor; since all the teeth had their UVs overlapping each other's to save texture space, selecting the edges took a couple of clicks.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Dear weather... was wrong with you at noon today? (or as a friend said once: "haven't gotten the memo"...)

Monday, April 15, 2013

White balance (shouldn't really be balanced.)

I'm sure that most people have seen at one point (either on the news or up close) someone holding a piece of white paper and a camera man aiming his/hers camera at it.

Their aim was to calibrate the camera's "white balance". You see, this is important because if they don't set a point of reference for what is considered white, the colors will be off depending on the lighting conditions.
Our brain does it as well, only in a much much more sophisticated and automatic way that we don't even notice it. (One way of noticing it is to stare at point with a bright color on it and then quickly look at a white wall. Colors will look funny for some time, and that is because our brain was compensating for the light conditions of the place we were staring at, and glancing at a different place, it keeps doing that compensation for some more time. This is even more noticeable if looking at an LCD screen and then looking at a wall lit by an incandescent light (or any light with a different temperature than the LCD screen).

A camera doesn't really know what it is looking at, so in order to make more sense we need that white balance, to get the colors straight. The sensor received some light spread out in a range of wavelengths and then the camera is using that "white balance" point as a reference to map that light to colors that will look normal to us.

The problem is that it will try to make white look white all the time; while things may not have looked like that when we took the picture. White balance is more of a scientific equation thing rather than how the scene made us feel when we first saw it. We tend to associate warmth with red/orange and cold with blue... A camera though will try to make the colors look as neutral as possible even though that piece of paper might have looked a bit orangey.

Setting the camera in auto white balance is ok for the most part, especially when you just want to take a snap of something to have as a reference, but when you want something to evoke a certain emotion; then it's a nice idea to change that white balance setting on your camera. Just go outside in a sunny day with no clouds, set the white balance in auto or "sunny" (so that the camera will try to set "white" according to the sunlight) and then set the white balance to "cloudy" even if it isn't just to see the difference.
You can make a winter's day have a summery vibe and vice versa. 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Color swatch

Color swatch... saw those guys just hanging there and thought they made a nice pair. Click for a bigger version in case you can't read the RGB.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Making things interesting

Most of the time photos are important and dear to the one taking them. It doesn't matter if the photo is blurry, shaken, crocked, eaten by a dog or whatever. That picture however is only special to the persons in it and/or the one that took it. So what could someone do if he/she/it wants to take a photo of someone and keep it interesting?

Since I'm no expert myself, I try to keep a couple of things into consideration when taking photos. Things like colors, light and shadows, perspective and patterns. Of course not everything will be present in the scene most of the time patterns. What I'm trying to do then is to think of the scene and how it would pop out, what element would make the scene show itself, because sometimes having everything in there (or giving attention to a lot of elements) may ruin the photo by being too busy.

For example if a scene has a nice interplay between light and shadow, it may be nice to tone down the colors to give more importance to the lighting. Or perhaps there is a prominent pattern going on with elements in the scene but the perspective is not exactly right. Do something; don't just stand where you were when you saw it. Go out of your way, climb something to go higher or drop down on the dirt if it's going to give you a better perspective. Try not to show things from the same angle as you saw them, simply because others would have also seen them from that angle (And this is not me being great at taking photos, it is just something that I've picked up from someone else that knows what he is talking about. When you think about it, you were walking on the same path someone else just did. So what you are seeing isn't really all that special when taken as something “new”). You see a flower that looks great? Don't just stand over it and take a photo of it. Chances are people have already seen it a million times. Drop down to its level as you may be able to get light through its leaves or petals or find a small insect there minding its own business. Go upside down, see if you can make a pattern with the grass around it…
Is there something you want to take a photo of and its angles or perspective aren't jumping out enough? Get close to it by walking if you can and zoom your lens out to its widest angle possible. You won't be doing it so that you get more stuff in the frame, as you widen your lens and you get more breathing room, you can also get closer to your subject. That would make things look exaggerated. If you want to “squash” something (perspective wise) use your lens's narrowest zoom setting and take a few steps back. Wide angles exaggerate perspective, narrow squashes it.
If something isn't contributing to the scene, don't be afraid to change it or take it out to make the rest pop out.

By dropping to the ground - even for this cliché image - the sky is visible in the frame, making it easy to get silhouettes. Plus, the viewpoint is not the same one as the one that someone would have when just walking by.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

New upload at artflakes

So I got around into uploading a new image over at ...
(It was this or a different version of this one, so naturally i keep thinking which one i should have uploaded)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Product naming

You have a company making electrical parts and accessories. Would have never thought to choose that particular name and put the stuff in red packaging...