Monday, 19 January 2009

An initial course outline

While I’m getting on with the first chapter of the Modelling tutorial, here’s a little sneak peak at what's coming up.

Lesson 1

The Big Sleep

1. Interfaces

  • · Panels
  • · Viewports

2. Terminology

  • · basics - vertex / faces / polygons / etc
  • · 2D Terminology
  • · 3D Terminology
  • · Gizmo’s

3. Commands

  • · Basic Commands – Extrude / Scale / Move

Lesson 2

Box Modelling

Example Techniques used for Box Modelling

  • . Build a stick man (similar to the Blender Man tut)
  • . Build a plane

Lesson 3

Using 2D

  • 1. paths
  • 2. Build a pipe
  • 3. NURBS
  • 4. Build a curtain

Lesson 4

Messing it Up

  • . Modifiers
      • · Booleans
      • · Deformations

Lesson 5

A Touch of Colour

  • . Materials
  • . Painting

Lesson 6

Where did it go?

  • . Animation

Lesson 7 - ?

  • · Various Techniques and Examples

Some of the later chapters are a bit thin at the moment but by the time we get there, I'll have worked some magic in there.

Also if there are any specific things people are struggling with, drop me a note and I'll just reply back or work something more into the series.

That’s all for now folks.

Monday, 12 January 2009

A shot in the dark

Well as all firsts post go in new blogs, I may as well explain a bit about myself.

My name is Simon, also known as Darkside in the forums and elsewhere (Only reason Darkside isn’t my gamertag is because someone beat me to it, even though I’ve had the handle since the 1980’s, grrr).

I used to a member of the IT geek squad and even achieved the unholy rank if IT Manager, that being the coveted title of Manager who still gets his/her hands dirty but unfortunately also including the supplementary title of “fix anything with a plug on it” and Yes, the Coffee Machine was first on that list every morning. I prided myself on being able to pick up anything and if I didn’t know about it already, I vowed to find out about it in short order (and the rest of it’s immediate family!)

These days I’ve stooped in to the bowels of the underworld and work more like a project manager these days (the pay being the only recompense as I can feel my IT geekness rotting everyday).

I've still got my hand in all IT goodness and took up a childhood dream of mine, to make games. Not just any game but the best a game could get with sharp pointed sticks.

This all started about 4 years ago and I decided to pickup C++ and a bit of C# and delved into the world of DirectX and MDX. Things were shaping up nicely and I was learning a fair bit until a small strangely shaped creature popped it’s head up over a hill and waved saying that it would be there soon (I assume it just had to pack some clothes and a few essentials), this lovely little beast was XNA and we’ve been friends ever since (even though some rather painful upgrade paths)

I even managed to create (I wont say finish because it never was :- ) and submit a game to one of the early competitions in XNA history, the XBOX360Homebrew contest, I even came 4th in the line up with a mention in some of the early XNA media articles by Microsoft. that was my last public release though as all my time was dragged away, although I did manage to keep active in the forums for a while before even that was stripped from me. Dark times. Sadly the old XBOX360homebrew site seems to have left us unfortunately but you can still read about the competition over at Shame I liked that site,

Now were into XNA V3 and things are shaping up nicely. Now ignoring last year (also known as the year from hell plus new babies and god awful work deadlines, all references to last year shall henceforth be stricken from the records), I’ve started to make plans for the year ahead. I’ve stripped down both my current workloads (the wife is disappearing off to weightwatchers and I've scaled down my work work) and have planned for 2 main tasks:

  • A 3D Modeling tutorial series, slow but sure and to cover a few apps
  • Some serious work on my XNA 3 evolved version of my old Hack-1 game, with some serious re-design and a slightly different focus for where the game is headed.

I recently also joined Dark Omen Games thanks to Charles “Randomchaos” Humphrey, so I'll be helping out from time to time with 3D modeling work and some design reviews.

All in all 2009 should shape up rather nicely. Now time for a wafer thin mint to finish this post off.