Friday, May 26, 2006

Progress! I'm making progress on my build. Only 3-4 more weeks at the most, I think. Which sounds like a lot -- and which has been my estimate for a good long while, now -- but this time, I think I've generally got a handle on things. See, now the things I have left to do are generally things I already know how to do. In same cases, they're very tedious (e.g., reshooting all my product photos), but I'm not having to figure out how to do them first. This is a Very Big Deal.

The big problem with this build -- besides the fact that I'm a slow worker anyway -- was that about 80% of the textures involved were things I had little to no knowledge of how to do. I couldn't just sit down and go for many of these textures: I had to put thought into how to do them, and even then, I often had to redo things when it became apparent my current strategy wasn't working. There was a marble mosaic floor texture, for instance, that had to be redone more times than I remember. I had to figure out how to arrange things so that it the pieces looked distinct but not too far apart. I had to figure out how to shade the mosaic. With no shading, it looked flat. With very gradual shading, it looked like I'd just taken a gradient tool and gone to town. With too abrupt shading, it looked... well, bad. And then I had to redo the marble itself repeatedly, so as to give it the right color without making it look like a stunningly nasty bruise.

The end result was that doing the textures has been taxing, not just in terms of time, but in terms of mental and emotional energy. It was challenging and frustrating, and there was always the constant fear that I wouldn't be able to even come close to what I wanted to do, or that a strategy I was trying would fail and I'd lose all the work I'd done on it.

So even though I've got a few more weeks to go, and I'm sure on the outside it doesn't seem like I've made any particularly significant progress, I have. From now on, it's mostly going to be doing the work, rather than figuring out how to do it. It's a big relief, and I feel like I've taken a big jump forward.

(The only things that are potential issues are some shapes that don't take PSP's Sculpture filter very well, the rose bush, and the dress. But even those are not going to be the problem that some of the earlier textures were.)


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