Learning something new can be scary as well as exciting. I think the initial investment plays a part. I do not only mean money but time as well. I would imagine that most of the people reading Renderosity's Front Page have been using computers for a while. A program might be new or at a new level, but the whole concept is not new. Now, in 2006, most children learn some computer skills as soon as they can touch a keyboard or use a "computer" type toy.
When I decided to learn graphics, I already had a PC and did not have the funds to buy a MAC. I was also using Windows 3.1. I had to use MAC books and change the commands. Was I afraid? Not really. Probably, frustrated would be a more likely term because the dealer I went to (he has since closed shop) suggested I buy a WACOM tablet (good idea), but use CorelDraw (not PhotoPaint) with it (bad idea). He should have known vector based programs from bitmap based programs, but as it turned out, he didn't. I, of course, did not have a clue why I could not get the results I envisioned. Fortunately, a light version of Photoshop came with my scanner, and I could use bitmap based programs as they were supposed to be used and vector based programs, also, for their strengths. It is hard to believe that there actually was a time when I thought Photoshop wouldn't work because I had not selected file>new but had tried to paint on the basic gray screen.
I find it interesting and informative to sometimes look back to the beginning of a project and look at where I am at the present.
I had always liked to explore new fields of interests. I traveled over the USA by myself and even into the Yucatan when I was in my 20's. With my art interests I have done the same. At the last SIGGRAPH, I felt somewhat lost because animation is to a great part "where it is at" and realistically, as I am older, I do not want to invest the time necessary to learn it.
I guess I am writing this because I suddenly felt "old" and it was not a nice feeling nor one I wanted to honor. Old is really a state of mind and I was guilty of it. But how could I change it? I began to realize that age was not the factor that had made me feel that I could not start anything new. Maybe I had been "looking in all the wrong places". Maybe I was just not interested in learning certain aspects of the computer? One does not have to put a time frame around everything as our society tends to do. Learning can take place at any age so long as the interest is there. My husband has been interested in astronomy for a number of years now and suddenly so am I. Whereby I had never gone with him when he used his telescope, now I want to look through it also and have him show me how it works. Basically, the correct project came along for me at the correct time. How do we know if the time is right and being involved in something is feasible? The following areas might be valuable to explore:
1 - Research what you might want to do.
2 - Evaluate the cost.
3 - Evaluate the time involved.
4 - Evaluate other commitments.
5 - Communicate with others in your life if this will have any effect on them.
If everything seems workable. Go for it. What hampers us is often in our minds!
copied, printed, or reproduced in any manner without written permission from the artist.
The Paula Sanders Report is a regular Renderosity Front Page featured column, where Paula investigates and comments on graphic software, techniques, and other relevant material through her reviews, tutorials, and general articles.