Orientation 3D Animation and Artistry course

In a very confronting 5pm – 9:30pm session today, I completed my first class in 3D animation and modelling. As usual for me it was a mixture of emotions…exhilaration when I created something unique (3d Art with a face only a mother could love). Terror when it got to 8pm and we still had an hour an a half to go (get ready for these hours so long as I want a career in this world).

Learning Autodesk Maya which pretty logical so far and learning Photoshop (which I already know) we created some 3D models using Polygons and wrapped them in textures we created in Photoshop.

I call my creations Pretty Birdy Lady (2d) and Birdy Buggy (3d Model).

Pretty Birdy Lady is queen of the beans and is both shocked an unimpressed. Birdy Buggy is a happy guy who loves to zoom around in a big empty 3D meshed room on his buggy floater. You’ll note that Birdy Buggy is a HUGE fan of Pretty Birdy Lady and wears a t-shirt with her face on it.


Bathe in the glory of my first masterpieces internet.

X Muz

We actually got a Hololens!

I am so unbelievably lucky!

My housemate Claire has some great connections in the tech industry. Working at a start up incubator, she obtained two Hololens dev kit’s – one of which she was able to bring home.

I’m not going to lie…I had a count down calendar and I checked off the days leading up to it’s arrival. And I was not disappointed.

Playing with mixed reality for the first time was a truly moving experience. Like, using a mobile phone for the first time. Like playing with my first laptop. Blissssssss.

I made a video to share my experience. Enjoy. x


Create Mixed Reality Masterpieces

Every now and again you’ve got to take a step back and have a look at the direction your ship is pointing. Over the last three weeks, i’ve taken the time to do a ‘deep dive’ (such nautical themes in this post) into my ship’s direction.

My interest is (has always been) future tech, sci fi, fantasy, and ‘figuring things out’. Thus far, this has manifested in a 10 year career in digital business – as a Digital Producer/Digital Product Manger.  While i’ve learned a lot and this has been fairly fulfilling till now – it’s not nearly close enough to my real interest area.

I’ve redefined what I want to do and rendered it into the following statement:

Create mixed reality experiences that entertain/help people


I want to create my own studio where myself and a group of programmers, sound engineers and artists create mixed reality apps for devices like the Hololens/Magic leap/Meta (and their next, next gen grandchildren) and make money selling those apps. And have a f**king great time in the process. I want to make the ‘Candy crush‘ of Hololens. Maybe a little lot less soul destroying.

Monday was a ‘F**ked day’

I’d lined up my ducks, ready to crack ’em down. Over the last two weeks i’ve quit my job, defined what I want to do to ‘Live my dream’, made a plan, signed it in blood – never to look back again. I’d done it! I’d defined a path that made everything a-ok.

But I woke up on Monday (Day 1 of the rest of my beautiful life) and everything felt putrid, disgusting, festering.

I wasn’t sick. But I felt heavy. A headache had developed and a tiny little miner was bashing the back of my skull on the back to the left. I suddenly thought my plan was dumb and i’d made a mistake. I didn’t want to make my bed. And I wanted chocolate…mountains of chocolate. A conveyer belt of chocolate that couldn’t go fast enough.

“Darrel! Crank up the conveyer belt to 10 – the beast says we aren’t keeping up with demand”.


When I looked in the mirror – the enthusiastic face of yesterday was having a terrible hair day.

Green spring leaves got me feeling gaga

Spring has sprung here in Melbourne Australia. And what a time of year for new beginnings and rethinking the plan. This week, i’m a free agent. Working from home in the best way possible. With fresh flowers, new buds on the trees and blue skys.

Online unity dev course

I’ve been spending a lot of time studying unity development and have found a fabulous course:  https://www.udemy.com/unitycourse/learn/v4/

Udemy Unity Course

For only $24 (!) i’m going through 52 hours of tutorials. Using Unity and a number of other tools – we build 5 games. I’ve been considering investing in a 10 week course at http://www.aie.edu.au/. But I figure i’ll try the $24 version before the $5,000 version..know what i’m sayin. Bless the internet and it’s abundance of free and engaging materials.

Meeting new friends and old friends

Historically, when i’ve based myself out of the house – I’ve found I go a little stir crazy:

  • No oustisde inspiration = the ideas don’t flow
  • No people = it’s boring and lonely
  • Lots of things to do that aren’t work = distraction and lack of focus
  • Close to the kitchen = unlimited food = unlimited hunger lol.

So, i’m making a point to meet people for lunch every single day. So far i’ve connected with a start up founder, a professional writer and a product manager at a virtual reality company.

Brainstorming new ideas

I want to work for myself. To do this, I need to come up with some ideas. Every day, i’m testing and learning new ideas. This bit is hard. But the way I see it – the more I do, the more chance i’ll have of coming up with something that works for me.

The best week ever

In summary this has been the best week ever. The freedom to connect with myself again.


Will technology induced loneliness become a non-issue?

While focused at work today, one of the senior executives exclaimed:

“Imagine if the phone had been invented after email.”

This instantly got me thinking.

Ignoring that the sequence of events that sprouted the internet were dependant on ‘the phone’ being created – there is something to be gleaned from this charming question.

Think about this.
If the phone had been invented after email, people who previously felt  a social disconnect would suddenly discover a new way to connect. Voice. With it’s warmth, tone, inflection, and lack of ‘back space key’. Their communication suddenly takes a step toward connectedness.

Using this new technology, they would be forced to have more fulfilling interactions day to day. No longer are they just an email address.

Why is this fascinating?

  • The invention of email increased efficiency (debatable of course) and decreased the feeling of social connection – as compared to phone calls.
  • Imagine if something was invented today that truly increased efficiency AND the increased the feeling of social connectedness. An opposing force to the ‘social disconnectedness’ of our time. A cure.

Imagine a world where we can benefit from the convenience and efficiency of advanced communication technology over the internet and have truly meaningful relationships with friends, family and lovers. Digital relationships that fulfil us, and could permanently replace face to face. I could suddenly reconnect with my family who live in New Zealand and it would be like I never left.

It’s a fresh perspective to think this social issue could be but a blip on the radar of our time. The feeling of social disconnectedness could just be a mainstream phenomena that lasts only 10 – 20 years. Soon – it won’t be a thing we talk about any more.

Right, I need to get back to work…

Purchasing my own 360 camera

For a long time, the concept of purchasing my own 36o video camera was like a glimmer of light in the distance. I knew the day would come. Around a year ago – I went on a hunt to find a 360 video camera that would allow me to capture 360 film in good quality without a) Blowing the bank and b) Making me cry because of how crap it was.

At the time – there were a few options: 

  1. Back one of the many kick starter campaigns out there and wait.
  2. Purchase a go-pro rig. 6 – 12 go-pro’s rigged together to form a cluster that captured video in 360.
  3. Spend 1 billion dollars and buy something professional.
  4. Suck it up and wait for another year before I had some real options.

My dear morning routine

If I had discovered this routine 10 years earlier – I think my world would be very different. But I guess, sometimes you’ve got to be in the right time and in the right place to really absorb a new idea and put it into action.

It all started on my way back from a trip to my homeland (NZ – Aotearoa). I’d elected to take an earlier connection to the airport so I was guaranteed to make my flight. This connection got me into Auckland with a cool 6 hours to spare. If you share my love for airports (even little ones like AUX), you’ll agree 6 hours at the airport is always an adventure.

While nibbling a cheeseburger, and drinking sparkling water, I browsed Audible for a new ebook to devour. My plan was to lazily roam the shops and digest some info. I cruised through the ‘personal development’ category, all too familiar with the titles on the best seller list. ‘The Miracle Morning‘ was a book i’d seen before – but was never committed enough to hit the download button and invest my valuable audible credits.

The Miracle Morning – Hal Elrod

The principles of this book are simple. Get up earlier, do the shit you need to get done every day and live a better quality life.

Which VR/AR award is most prestigious?

As creators move beyond ‘proof of concept’ experiences and into magical cinematic masterpieces – I wonder how will they will be officially recognised?

Do you think virtual reality will find it’s way to the Oscars? Cannes? How about the MTV video awards? We might see popular video games award shows create new categories. Or maybe virtual reality/augmented reality will get it’s own black tie event …where we all swoon over the gowns of virtual darlings.

I’ve done some research to find out some awards shows that exist right now, and while it’s in no way a comprehensive list – it does prove that the seed has been sewn:

1) The Proto Awards


By the Virtual Reality foundation who also bring us the Virtual Reality Expo. A dedicated virtual reality event with categories for:

Service Design fundamentals

It seems, to be any kind of Digital Product Manager, you need to have your finger in every pie. More fingers than I’ve got on my hands. And toes. From UX, generating and validating ideas, knowing your consumers better than they know themselves…and that’s just the beginning. Daily, i’ll get a storm in my brain caused by the enormity the task.

To overcome the horrors of ‘option overload’, I seek out methodologies, tricks and craffty manoeuvres that I can pull out with mere moments notice. Most of which involve posit notes… (Can I get an hallelujah for 3M)

I attended a General Assembly evening class on ‘Service design’ so I could start understanding and optimising our eCommerce service at Treasury Wine Estates.