Studio 1 Development Blog 10

Hello again. Today we will be evaluating my problem solving strategies and how effective they have been thus far.

So my basic problem solving processes that I fall back on when I encounter a significant problem within my project is as follows. First port of call is to go through what I know about the problem. For instance, when doing an ambient occlusion pass on my skeletal hand it kept coming out very blocky making it hard to integrate into my diffuse texture. What do I know? I thought it might be because of the harsh angles between the faces of the model. I had already unwrapped my model so I didn’t want mess with geometry. Subdividing the mesh doesn’t change the topology but it does smooth faces of the model. Presto! If I add a turbo smooth modifier to the model and use it for the AO pass and then remove it to maintain the lower poly model it might work. I tried it and it worked. So sometimes what you know is enough to solve a problem. But not always!

If I don’t have the knowledge I need then there is a good chance someone else does, and that someone else has also had the same problem that I am having. TO GOOGLE!!! Second step, google it. Use key words or phrases to try and trigger results like people asking similar questions in forums (Digital Tutors, the Autodesk forums, Polycount ect.). As a 2.5 step to asking google, look for tutorials on youtube or embedded in other practitioners blogs or websites.

If I can’t find the answers on google with a significant amount of research than it is time to pull out the big guns… Ask someone for help. Peers if there is someone you can find who might know, but for best results ask someone who definitely knows…. Your tutor/facilitator or someone working in the industry.

In terms of how effective this strategy to solve problems is, very I would say. It works well in several ways. First and foremost, it solves your problems efficiently. If it is something you know about than you just need to get creative and it doesn’t take too long. If you need to know more, it doesn’t take long to do some basic research and test your theories. The last resort of asking someone allows you to simultaneously get the help you need and show the ‘higher-ups’ that you have taken the initiative to try and fix it on your own. It helps to show you are willing to go the distance and put in the effort yourself making them more willing to help you. Additionally it allows them to give you more effective help because you can say “I’ve already tried this, this and that, what else might the problem be?”

So yea, this is how I solve my problems and why I think it is an effective way to do so.

Till next time.

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