We've Moved

The blog has been retired - it's up for legacy reasons, but these days I'm blogging at blog.theodox.com. All of the content from this site has been replicated there, and that's where all of the new content will be posted. The new feed is here . I'm experimenting with crossposting from the live site, but if you want to keep up to date use blog.theodox.com or just theodox.com

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Just Put One Foot In Front of the Other

We've been look a lot at movement animations at work, which reminded me of this old Game Developer article from 2007. It's got some handy reference for animators and tech animators, and it pushes one of my favorite ideas - a four way blend between  fast and slow, short and long versions of the same walk cycle as a way to get lots of variety and nicely tweakable ground speed for characters.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Race to the bottom?

I'm notorious for issuing gloomy pronouncements at GDC and elsewhere about the long term decline in artist pay.  I often point out that my starting salary in 1995 was about what an 6-year veteran makes today.  Maybe I'm just trying to scare the fainthearted out of the business and drive prices back up.

Still, my complaints are nothing compared to what's been going in the VFX industry.  The latest victim is PDI, which will be laying off 500 people.  While games has had it's ups and downs the last few years, VFX has had a brutal time with lots of closures and disruptions.

In that connection I came across VFXSoldier , a site which has been fighting for more unionization in the VFX world.  While I'm deeply ambivalent about unionizing in CG -- I don't know if it's really possible, much less a good idea -- but it's certainly not something to dismiss without thinking about and it is hard to see how it could make life worse for the poor VFX folks.  It's a worthwhile read just to see how the other half lives. I'm curious to hear what others think.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Trust Fund

A recent discussion on TAO reminded me of this old GDMag column from 2010. Tech artists always have to fight to stay focused on the relationship at the heart of our business: no amount of technical wizardry matters if your artists aren't actually benefitting from what you do.

While much has changed in the last five years, a lot of this still seems like good advice (to me, anyway, but I'm biased).  I might add a couple of sentences about 'more unit tests' and 'continuous integration' and similar buzzwords but that's just fluff: taking care of your users is all that really counts.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


You know the old saying, "you learn something new every day?" Well it's true. Usually, it's something like "I don't know where I left my keys," but sometimes you run into something that you realized you should have known all along and yet somehow it takes you by surprise.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

To Scale!

In our last visit to 3-d math land, we moved from the 2x2 and 3x3 matrices we used to learn how matrices function to the full 4x4 matrix that we all know and love to hate from 3d applications. This time I’d like to add support for scaling to our matrices so we can round out the ways matrices work.