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Mindless Pursuits

Changing My Approach to Recording & Editing Tutorials – Let the Weekly Blogging Commence! 1

Posted on March 09, 2016 by Keith

Common Concepts - Beginning AI In Unreal Engine 4

The first of the ‘Common Concepts’ tutorials was posted yesterday, and it has already received 175 views as I sit down to write this, the first in my promised shift to weekly blog posts rather than semi-annual! In the new tutorial, Basic A.I. in Unreal Engine 4.10 Using Blueprints, I decided to begin taking a new approach to recording and editing. In prior tutorials, I would sit down and start recording as I worked through the topic on the fly. Then, after finishing, I would go back and edit the tutorial down to a ‘more streamlined’ format to eliminate a lot of the pauses and missteps. Unfortunately, a byproduct of that approach is that occasionally, a little too much would get cut, and occasionally caused confusion for viewers. An example of this might be me exploring one way of doing things, then deciding to go a different way and cutting the first way out but forgetting that a variable I created in that first way gets used in the second way but now it has no explanation – it just appears. That’s definitely not viewer-friendly!

The new approach works differently. I make an outline of topics I plan to cover, then make the slides, and then film in short segments focused on each section of the outline. I back up the tutorial after I complete each section. If in filming a section, I decide I don’t like it, or I feel I’m being unclear, or I jumble words, then I revert back to the backup and start again. By doing so, I ensure that any re-records have to cover everything, and nothing gets cut that will leave the viewer confused. It also makes it a bit easier for me to record, because I don’t have to plan for a multi-hour recording and editing session. As I record and am happy with each section, I add it to the video editing project in Premiere Pro, and that way the video is built over time without needing a marathon recording or editing session, which means I’ll be able to record more frequently!

The final change for the video is that I decided not to do any microphone post-processing other than a very minor de-noise filter. While I actually prefer my voice with the vocal enhancer on, I think it was making my voice a little more muffled. I also did my playback with my PC set at 60% volume, so that I could determine the level for my voice. If I could hear it clearly at 60% volume, then hopefully that means everyone else watching at full volume won’t have issues hearing me! Still, I want to make a mic test video soon to post, and have viewers offer feedback on what mic and settings work best.

That’s it for this first weekly post. I have no idea what I’ll post about next week, but I’ll try to make it good! What would you like to see discussed?

An additional delay on the Q&A Video – It will be posted tomorrow 0

Posted on September 04, 2015 by Keith

Screenshot 2015-09-04 19.42.22

After two hours of recording today, as I was recording the outro to the tutorial, my PC crashed. Recovery of the files didn’t work. Rather, the audio was recoverable in Adobe Audition, but the video was corrupt and can’t be recovered. So I need to re-record from the beginning. I apologize for the additional delay.

Top Down Shooter Q&A With Cleanup Video Rescheduled Due To Unreal Engine 4.9 Release 0

Posted on August 31, 2015 by Keith

The Q&A / cleanup video for the Top Down Shooter series has been rescheduled to Friday, Sept 3, as Unreal Engine 4.9 was officially released today and I want to upgrade the project series to that platform if there are no hiccups. I will be spending time over the next couple of days ensuring that the project as built to date has no issues with UE4.9, and then will be updating the Q&A tutorial to accommodate changes based upon upgrading (if changes are necessary). I am not a fan of waiting until the end of the series to upgrade to 4.9, given that the series is of indeterminate length but will be running at least two more months. So we’re going to take the upgrade path unless I find a compelling reason not to. The Q&A / cleanup tutorial video will be released this coming Friday, Sept 3rd instead, along with the already-scheduled Friday video! Thank you for your understanding.

Lots of Tutorials and More Updates Coming! 0

Posted on July 08, 2015 by Keith

As of this week, I have drafted a social media manager to help me keep this site and my YouTube channel updated! I tend to get so involved in what I am doing, that I never slow down to take the time and update like I always plan to, and my daughter Alex is a social media wiz compared to me, so she is going to handle updates for me so I can continue to focus on what I do best. 🙂

Additionally, I am broadening the scope of my tutorials. I was originally just going to focus on ‘The Embrace’ as a development log, but instead, I want to provide tutorials that are specific to a given game creation topic and/or engine. Rather than post development logs showing the specifics of developing ‘The Embrace,’ I am instead going to begin a series on making a general three-act horror game. Additionally, I am going to provide some reviews of third-party add-ons, videos on how to integrate add-ons, and more as I am able. The first tutorial video (or two) will be going up this weekend and will be the first in the horror game series plus a tutorial on using the ‘Realistic Weapons’ add-on with the awesome ‘Generic Shooter Game’.

Look for more soon, as Alex takes over the reigns!

Working on Video Content 0

Posted on June 14, 2014 by Keith

Space Painting - In Progress

It has been quiet here, as I work on getting some video content produced and plans laid out for the next six months. I had started a new clay project, but then decided that I wanted to use that as an opportunity to figure out my video setup. At the same time, some health-related needs took priority and so I fell way behind schedule and am just getting back up to speed now.

In addition to video content, I am also refreshing my skills with my suite of digital tools and tablet. I’m looking to incorporate digital projects into my overall workflows. I’m also assisting Alex and her friends with their gaming videos, which you can find under ‘Kamikaze Gamers’ on Youtube.

I am expecting to post the first video this week, then try to have a new video every Monday. I’m looking forward to gaining your feedback so I can improve the videos.

Have a great weekend!

Digital Painting Progression – ‘Remote Space’ 0

Posted on May 08, 2013 by Keith

Yesterday I created my first full digital painting, a piece of space art I’m calling ‘Remote Space.’ It’s based upon a tutorial in Geoff Taylor’s How to Draw and Paint Science Fiction Art, though I added some elements that weren’t in the tutorial, such as a nebula and better color variation for the planet.

Remote Space

‘Remote Space’ – Digital Painting

For this painting, I used my Wacom tablet, the default pen, and Photoshop. It took me about 3 hours of total time to complete the painting. The biggest issue I had was tired eyes. After about an hour, my eyes were tired enough that I wasn’t seeing where I was missing detail. I was also foolish and worked entirely with the painting at 1/3 of full size because I wanted to keep it all on screen. I should have gone to 100% or larger to ensure my detail worked well. As a result of these issues, I had to perform some cleanup after I was done. Extra credit for noticing the differences between the video and the image above, as I did the cleanup after making the video.

I’m really looking forward to doing both more digital painting and more space art. I have ideas aplenty, and making them come to life is going to be a lot of fun!

Quick and Dirty Zentangle Time-Lapse Video 0

Posted on April 29, 2013 by Keith


I made a quick and dirty Zentangle today as I plan on recording the occasional time-lapse video of drawings or paintings or other artistic endeavors, and I wanted to test a setup for recording overhead while I’m drawing. I think it worked pretty well, even if the end cut off when my camera ran out of space!

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