Hello, all. I would like to ask for advice for a particular problem I have when working on a project. This problem pertains to my very debilitating tendency to get hung up at a particular point in a project, in this case, texturing a mod for Kerbal Space Program. I like to think of myself as a perfectionist, and when I am unable to achieve the result that I desire, I get hung up on it until I finally attain what I consider to be passable. Going on two weeks now, I have been held at the texturing phase for a spacecraft’s solar panel, which possess a very unique look in contrast to other solar panels. So far, I have been unable to achieve a look that is identical or similar to that which resembles the real-life spacecraft’s solar panels, and as a result, I cannot move past it. And so, I was wondering (hoping, more like) that somebody here would be able to offer me some advice on how I could remedy this “disease”. Thank you for your time, and I eagerly await some incredible responses!
Sometimes you’re most productive when you’re not being productive at all. Or something like that…
If you’re stuck on something, working through something complicated, as soon as you start to get frustrated or you feel like you really just can’t think anymore, do something else for a while. There’s nothing like a good skirmish in RE3 to clear your mind.
Thank you for the reply, SilentRainstar. I often do find myself giving up and focusing on something else. I’m pretty good at becoming distracted and sort of “stalling”; what I mean is, when I have to get to work on a particularly difficult point during a project, I find myself performing a google or youtube search, signing into facebook, or playing a game.
I would definitely let a placeholder and change the subject, continuing the Project, so that I could come back later, with a better Vision of the whole to replace it…
Alright, I’ll have to try that. Would it be smart to move onto a different project, or just continue work within the same project? I would assume the latter is the wisest bet.
One “point to ponder” is that the texture and appearance of most real-world things is probably best described in terms of layers of effects … which might well not be rendered at the same time. Consider the many “shot breakdown” videos that you’ve watched over the years: consider how the final effect was built up.
Also, from a pure project-management point of view, you should always constrain your “artistic sensibilities” against the cold reality of practicality. “Does this-or-that actually matter to The Show?” In how many seconds of footage will this-or-that model, effect, or visual doodad actually appear? (And, if I cut-away the entire shot, would The Show be better … or, just as good … for it? If you decide to drop the entire shot “on the cutting-room floor,” you never have to build it at all.)
So: “go straight for The Show.” Set up potential shots, and use ‘OpenGL Preview’ renders to quickly(!) crank them out. Use “Scenes” liberally, as well as linked Blend-files. Put this footage … which is accurate in every detail except, well, “detail” … into your video-editor of choice, and start pushing yourself toward a final(!) cut, into which you can eventually start dropping “really-final” shots, one at a time.
This will tell you, and tell you very pragmatically, which details are going to be deserving of your lavish attentions, and which ones won’t. If it matters, do it. If it doesn’t, cheat.
Thanks for the advice, Sundial. Although my project pertains to a video game mod, your suggestion is still very helpful in terms of how and where attention and time should be focused. Once again, thank you!
If you feel a little tired and seems not being productive due to pressure or stress. the best way is to have a break. In almost all fields,this is really needed.
It depends, as it was said, sometimes we need to refresh, but sometimes we have deadlines. I personally couldn’t get good results by switching projects without finishing them… But that was me, long ago, maybe you have more luck, by doing that and having action lists, who knows? As artists, its aways good to be experiencing with a lot of different ideas, but thats not necessarily productive…
I agree that you really do need to stick to a project to a logical stopping-point, whether or not that point is “the end.”
Creative projects of all sorts are “marathon” efforts, never “sprints.” But they are also always timed.
Even if this is a video-game project, you still should be able to conclude such questions as:
- From which angles will my model be seen?
- How close and how far might the camera be from my model?
- Will the player be “desperately battling a ‘slathering grue’” when he sees my model in-frame?
- Is my model that “slathering grue?”
- Is my model a ‘Major Plot Point?’
- Are any of these decisions finalized yet, and what would be the cost/advantage/risk of finalizing them “later?”
These questions will help you to decide just how much “agonizing over,” the decisions that you are right-now agonizing over, actually deserve … and whether they deserve such agonies now or if the agonies can wait. :yes:
Whenever possible, I like the “let’s sneak up on it” approach … within reason. While taking great pains to identify every point-of-detail that might require my attention, so that I don’t miss anything, I constantly “perform triage” on that list.
Because here’s what I don’t want to have happen: “Yeah, I know that you agonized over the light-bounce off that solar panel, but we’ve decided to move the Sun.” … :ba: …
Until the decision about the placement of the Sun was “locked,” agonizing over the bounce of that sunlight off a solar-panel was premature, and therefore the labor-cost of your agonies was … sunk cost. (Insert your favorite image of an outhouse here, along with your favorite “big sucking sound” sound-effect… money-gone, time-gone, agony-wasted, nothing to show for it, zilch, nada, g’bye.) Avoid that.
I always love advice with some personal experience to back it up. Thank you for the helpful tidbit, March!
Thank you, Sundial, for the extremely informative reply. When it comes to mods for Kerbal Space Program (a space exploration/orbital mechanics game), I would like to think that everybody, at some point, will zoom in and orbit the camera around the craft at some point, analyzing details and wanting to see just how sweet their craft looks. So, that mindset certainly doesn’t help my OCD. Another reason why I have been so obsessive concerning the textures is because I want the parts in the game to match their real-life counterparts as closely as possible.
As I said, thank you for the incredibly knowledgeable advice!
I’ll get around to posting some WIP shots on the Works in Progress forum on BlenderArtists. I would appreciate your guys’ input when I do!
interesting thread, I too was having the same problem