A New Outlook

November 13, 2006 11:38 pm

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!

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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.
November 13, 2006

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Article Comments

3DSublimeProductions ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 15 November 2006

I often debate this same question when I am looking into buying, or even trying a new program for that part. My first question is will it be worth my time to invest hours and hours, and money into this. For the most part, there hasnt been one program that I purchased that I have looked back and said... I wish I hadnt bought that. There have been days tho when I say.. why am I doing this? lol THe monetary investment for me isnt as important as the time investment. I say this because I try and "afford" my hobby but sometimes time is not as easy to come by and I hate the thought of spending 200-300 dollars on a program that I wont ever be able to use because the learning curve is so steep. I normally ALWAYS start with the trial versions if they are offered, that way I can kinna judge how the outcome would be if I bought it. Sometimes tho, programs are offered at such a good price that I buy them knowing nothing, but I dont have that "I spent alot of money" guilt hanging around if I dont learn to use it right away.

deemarie ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 15 November 2006

I too recall the days of my little Apple computer and a dot matrix printer. What a pain it was to transfer all my stories to my really cool new PC with its whooping 32MB of memory. Woo! Woo! My first copy of Coral Draw is still gathering dust on my CD shelf, stuck way behind several upgrades of Photoshop. Of course ... once you go Photoshop you never go back! Ahhh, yes ... those were the days. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, and the reminder that in ones heart in soul ... everyone is ageless. Dee-Marie

TIMMYLYNN ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 16 November 2006

What a nice article. Thank you...

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