Saturday, October 1, 2011

A bit of background...

I suppose a bit of background on myself is in order...

My name is Eric Hulser - I've been working in the Games/Animation/VFX/Film industry for just about a decade now.  Ever since I got my hands on 3d Studio Max back in college, I've been hooked.  This blog will be a series of tutorials based on the experiences I've had and knowledge I've acquired over the years.



I started working for a couple of small, independent game companies in Los Angeles, California doing everything from character animation, through environment modelling and lighting, to rigging and development.  Overall, it provided a very good groundwork for my understanding of the CG Pipeline from start to finish - but my real skill set proved to be developing software and tools for artists, production, and pipeline.  I didn't like using faulty tools and when time allowed, I would develop tools to help out my process - and in the doing so, help out my peers.

While I began my career as an artist first and developer second - I had always been very savvy when it came to programming, having initially gone to university to be a computer science engineer.  I was given the opportunity to combine my love of technology and art as a developer when I was hired by Blur Studio in 2005 to develop tools for them full time.

My role there grew as I took on different projects and challenges, learning new languages and experimenting with different frameworks - eventually coming to what seems to be the ever increasing norm in the entertainment industry of development using Python and Qt.  I built tools at Blur to try to integrate those two systems as much as possible into their pipeline - getting Qt based applciations running inside of XSI|Softimage and teaching the Maxscript language how to understand Python using the shared access to C/Python through the Maxscript plugin structure.

In 2011, I took an opportunity to come out to Sydney, Australia to work on the Happy Feet 2 movie, where I was able to work on a much larger development team and continue my learning process.  I tried to soak up as much information as I could, learning a lot about python as it relates to the web, and continue exploration and pushing my knowledge of PyQt.

As this project is coming to a close, I have been asked to share my experiences and some of the techniques that I use when developing Qt applications over the years so that future development can benefit from it, and have been granted permission to begin this blog so that the tips and tricks can be public domain.

The tutorials you'll find in this blog will be general in nature and not specific to any particular problem, production, or application, just general how to's and tutorials that will hopefully be useful for everyone ranging from a new developer on through a seasoned veteran.  While I am sharing the knowledge that I have - I am by no means the definitive word on these topics - we're all learning always, so if you are reading through any of the postings and have a difference of opinion - please post it.  I'd love to learn where my thoughts could be improved as well.

Whenever I post something, I'll provide my reasons as to why I think it is best designed in a particular way, but there are always more than 1 way to do something when developing.

Hopefully - this can become a good reference point for any developer and I look forward to learning what I can along the way!

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