Did the dailies, updated some plug-ins, ended up with a half-day.
- Woke up at 0510. I neglected to mention it yesterday, but I was asleep by 2230. I guess my body needed a bit of extra rest; learning to listen to & accept that was the hardest part of my adopting my sleep discipline.
- Pretty sure I had a GTA V dream, so I didn’t start the day with it. Instead, I cooked up the 1AD entry. The hand is less sore, but the eye becomes evermore critical. It’s more painful to publish these images than it was the writing, even though both are horrible & unedited sketches. Just another barrier to punch through, I suppose.
- Spent some time in email. I use a really old, almost feature-free webmail software. I used to be a Google-head, using all of their products with evangelical zeal, but at some point last year I decided I wanted to remove as much of my fingerprint from their services as I could. I just had a nagging, dirty feeling about it, so I switched to non-cloud services. I check my email once every few days, I don’t get notifications, and I only keep a month’s worth of billing & receipts in there (for regular budgetary archival). It’s pretty much the same way I went with the telephone: I let it ring & the machine silently collects messages that I review at my leisure. I’ve never missed an opportunity using these methods; if it’s that important, the callers/senders will wait. I’ve also managed to keep a spam-free zero inbox since the switch, so whatever protections GMail was supposedly offering were probably based more on who I gave my primary email address to than anything else.
- Updated PolyTools & XFormer, a couple of the core plug-ins I use with 3ds Max. I don’t know much about UV unwrappers aside from Max’s built-in stuff & PolyTools, but I started using PolyTools very early in my career & swear by it for the overall efficiency bump it gave me. There could very well be better tools out there; I think with a lot of the development-related workflows most of us will stick with what we get comfortable using & then if it doesn’t break we don’t seek to fix it. There’s probably a lot of stuff that gets overlooked because of this mindset, but there are really only so many hours in the day for learning & adopting new methods of doing things.
- Updating the plug-ins showed me that the OpenSubdiv system is now part of the standard Max install. For some bizarre (likely business-related) reason, Autodesk walled that features off behind the subscription system in ’15. Now that it’s “free”, I guess I should spend some time figuring out how it works, as I recall being very interested & then very frustrated about the crippling of the standard version.
- Grabbed a quick 15.
- Tested PolyUnwrapper & found that it needed a serial code. Found that I’d lost the serial code. Contacted Jorge, the creator, & am waiting on a response.
- Decided to open the Trello board I was thinking about yesterday, will be nice to have all the todos collected into a single convenient dumping ground.
- Started in on the day’s writing session, as prior engagements mean I’ll likely be occupied for the afternoon following the gym, & I dislike writing in the evenings.
- Checked in with Steam. Aside from seeing that GTA V still on top of the Top Sellers charts, I was reminded of Valve’s (&, I would imagine, Bethesda’s) decision to allow paid mods for Skyrim. Though I didn’t mention it in yesterday’s ramblings, I did spend time here & there gauging the response to that move on various forums. A lot of folks made their entitlement known, though it’s not unusual to find a lot of Internet-based commentary on videogames devolving into “it should be free/cheaper”. All that Valve & Bethesda have done is apply the principles of a free market to a single videogame, yet many folks believe it’s the end of the world. I wonder if there was this much open revulsion when the original idea of the free market was proposed? At any rate, a topic far outside the bounds of this little diary, though I suspect I’ll be reminded of it on a daily basis going forward. As much as some folks revile Valve/Steam, they really have been groundbreaking in the way we perceive digital sales of videogames.
- Finished up the writing session. So distracted by this dumb paid mod issue. Should record a podcast about it in a week, after it’s floated around a bit more.
- Headed out to the gym for the 2nd-to-last afternoon session. So glad that’s almost over with, & it’s back to 0800 starts from next Wednesday. That’s been the only drawback to using the university gym: you’re beholden to whatever extra-curricular events they need to hold on the floor. So far it’s only been a couple interruptions like this per year, so it’s a small sacrifice to make to paying next-to-nothing for an Olympic class facility.
- As expected, family business ate up the remainder of the day. Did manage to have a nice session of GTA Online with some of the crew from Colony of Gamers. Did a couple of heists & had a great time.
- Not certain about how to approach the coming weekend. #ScreenShotSaturday always feels like it’s something I should do, & I’ve been meaning to set Saturdays aside for modeling & rendering assets for that. We’ll see how it goes.