Carmen's Graphic's Blog Turns One Years Old!

Let's take a look at how much has changed in one year here on my blog.

Keywords: life lessons, blog advice, how-to, goal setting

By Carmen Cincotti  

It’s official! Carmen’s Graphics Blog was created by me a year ago! Since that time, I have not failed to write a new blog post every week in French and English.

It was truly my goal to make an effort to learn as much as I could on computer graphics, and to learn what it means to run a blog.

Like most things that are worth doing, running and maintaining a blog take effort.

However, the effort has truly paid off. It has been, and continues to be, quite a fun ride to see this website grow!

Small Announcements for the Week

I’m celebrating this momentous milestone by opening two features of my blog: a monthly newsletter and a much more helpful jobs offers page.

Monthly Newsletters

I’ve gone ahead and started a a monthly newsletter to keep the computer graphics community up-to-date on important news, of helpful tutorials and articles that have just been released, intriguing academic publications and of course high-paying job offers and postings.

Subscribe

Subscribing to the newsletter is easy. You can use the form below to subscribe.

Otherwise, you just need to scroll down to the footer to find a subscription form.

Updated Jobs Offer Page

Second, I updated the job offers page!

The listing is more verbose and will be updated weekly so that you are exposed to new job openings as soon as possible.

Traditionally, applying to jobs requires perseverance, speed, and determination.

With weekly updates, you can be sure that you’ll always have an ear to the ground regarding the asks of the industry as well as being able to keep up to date on what graphics skills are desired by large and small computer graphics companies alike.

With that said, I would now like to review the history of my blog up to this point in order to summarize how we got to where we are today.

Summary of the Past Year

When I started this blog, the idea in my head was to write posts on the technologies that I wanted to learn.

Through writing blog posts on the topics that I was learning, I had a hunch that I would be able to better solidify my understanding of graphics technologies.

This new-found knowledge could then, maybe, be applied in my daily life.

We’ll see later on if this assumption panned out. Before we arrive there, let’s first take a look at how www.carmencincotti.com arrived to where it is today.

CarmenCincotti.com: Open For Business !

www.carmencincotti.com’s GitHub repo was created on February 8th, 2022.

www.carmencincotti.com first commit

The website was created using a GatsbyJS Starter Template that you can find here.

Starter Template of carmencincotti.com

I decided to use a template because I wanted to get something out-the-door as fast as possible.

Too many times before, I’ve striven for perfection… which had prevented me from just releasing something to the world because it wasn’t “ready” in my misguided opinion.

If you’re reading this, and you want to create something of your very own to share with the world… take it from me… nobody will notice probably for quite a very long time.

Thus, don’t strive for perfection… but rather strive to get something out-the-door and then refine from there.

3D Modeling is Boring

If you’ve been following this blog for quite some time, you’ll remember that my first article was written on February 21st, 2022.

First article commit on www.carmencincotti.com

It was about rendering a fluid simulation of ice cream that I created in Houdini, a 3D modeling and rendering software used quite a bit in the film industry.

Ice cream simulation

However, my interests changed quite rapidly…

I immediately discovered in myself that using 3D software to create 3D assets was, well, very boring to me.

It truly felt like a chore at times to follow a YouTube tutorial whether it be using Houdini, Blender, Maya, etc.

I really felt uninspired.

However, I found myself much more drawn to the more academic side of computer graphics such as its science and theory, the coding required to perform rendering operations, and the sweet, sweet beautiful math that I, truthfully and regretfully told, completely disregarded after finishing up my college degree 7 years ago.

And just like that… I had one article under my belt, and already I felt a desire to change up my curriculum.

Oh boy, time to refine my path…

The Computer Graphics Thirst

…and just like that, I luckily found my first project to undertake.

I immediately discovered that SIGGRAPH has a free Pixar course on Physically Based Modeling that teaches the math and science required to understand modeling particle physics.

The subjects presented in this course were, well, somewhat foreign to me…

Picture of Pixar Course

I totally forgot about numerical approximations. How did they even work?. What are they used for?

Dynamics was another subject that I may, or may not have, learned during my tenure at university. Spoiler: Turns out I did study it and I just completely forgot about it.

Facing this large mountain of seemingly ungraspable knowledge before me, and the over-arching feeling that I’ve already bitten off more than I could chew… I became to feel overwhelmed.

But that didn’t stop me. In fact, I knew that in the back of my head that all I needed was time.

What’s the rush?

So, I decided here on out that I would maintain a weekly cadence. I would take one subject at a time and truly understand it before moving on.

One week at a time learning numerical approximations

And that’s what I did. Soon enough (after a month of learning numerical approximations), I created a particle physics simulation in JavaScript.

Particle System in Javascript

I felt like I was onto something. I needed to keep going.

Enter WebGPU, Cloth Simulation, and Rendering Pipeline Theory

While learning particle physics — a brilliant idea popped into my head like a thunderboltto create a cloth simulation.

What a seemingly impossible challenge to overcome.

However, I understood that this goal would push me to learn so much!

My mind starting thinking about all the topics that would come with such an undertaking: The Render Pipeline, WebGPU, Cloth Physics, etc.

WebGPU

I started by creating a tutorial on how to render a triangle with WebGPU, which is to this date one of my most read articles that I’ve written so far :

WebGPU triangle

Trough this entire project, I would come to write a bunch of posts on WebGPU which you can check out here.

The Rendering Pipeline

However, I felt like I had some huge gaps with my understanding of computer graphics.

I felt as though that I needed to better understand the Rendering Pipeline in order to progress through something as big as rendering cloth.

So I took a detour into the magical world of Rendering Pipeline Theory:

Rendering Pipeline Learning Path

Here’s the full list of my articles on the Rendering Pipeline.

Cloth Simulation: (Extended) Position Based Dynamics

Finally, I was able to focus all my efforts on the physics of simulating cloth.

I was excited to finally put what I learned in the SIGGRAPH Pixar Physically Based Modeling course to the test!

Except, well, I accidentally discovered that Position Based Dynamics (PBD) was a thing and Oh My God did it seem cool and cutting edge.

I luckily was able to find quite a bit of publications and tutorials on PBD and Extended Position Based Dynamics (XPBD), and thus made another last minute detour in my learning path…

Here’s the full list of my articles on (Extended) Position Based Dynamics.

Additionally, you can find all my articles on Cloth Simluation here.

Cloth Simulation: Complete!

In any case after six months… I reached my goal. The WebGPU fabric simulation was finished!

WebGPU Cloth Simulation

You can see this project and the others that I created on my Projects page.

Name Change To “Carmen’s Graphics Blog”

Around this time, I recognized that it seemed a tad odd to maintain the name of the blog as “Carmen Cincotti”…

Old Header for CarmenCincotti.com

It was not really a blog about me… but about the joys of computer graphics development and the really cool things that you can do equipped with such knowledge…

Thus, it was a relatively no-brainer at the time to rename my blog to Carmen’s Graphics Blog.

New Header for CarmenCincotti.com

And that brings us to where we are today!

And Me?

My goals have changed a lot in the last year…

Originally, I was thinking that I would like to work in computer graphics because the work seemed like a real challenge to me.

However, that has changed…

The respect for the sector will never leave me. Computer graphics is extremely challenging and the engineers that work in the field are wildly intelligent, talented, passionate, and extraordinary people.

My personal life has also changed in quite a few ways:

  • I started a new position at my current place of employment. I’m now a DevOps engineer. My life is now in the clouds…

  • I found a deep interest in theater. I do quite a bit of improv here in San Francisco, and I’ve even co-written a comedy play. I also take circus lessons (flying trapeze, static trapeze, clowning).

  • I fell in love with San Francisco. San Francisco is now a city that I am happy to call home.

  • I found in me the adoration of writing and communicating. I intend to keep writing even though I have achieved my goal of writing a post every week for a year, because I love doing it!

Going forward !

I think the future will bring changes to this blog. For now, I will continue to write and provide information primarily about computer graphics.

With that said, I would like to write about more diverse topics in the future.

Thank you

Before finishing up this very large post, I would like to send a sincere Thank You to everyone who has stopped by to read this blog.

This has been truly a fun and worthwhile experience and your viewership motivates me every day to keep writing more useful content, all while improving the blog experience.


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Written by Carmen Cincotti, computer graphics enthusiast, language learner, and improv actor currently living in San Francisco, CA.  Follow @CarmenCincotti

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