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March 1, 2019

Project Update and Technological Hurdles

March 1, 2019 | By | No Comments

For this month’s blog post, I am going to provide a quick update on my project. I have updated the artifact pages and created markers for the highland sites on my map. Also the front-end framework for loading my 3D models onto an HTML page is fully functional which is by far one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. The next steps are adding descriptions and text to the designated areas throughout my web page. Deciding what to write is going to be difficult because I need to find a balance between making my text approachable for a general audience while being applicable for academics. If I add to much lithics jargon, I will possibly lose anyone who is not a specialist. If I do the complete opposite, my site will not be useful for anyone in academia.

The next part of this blog will discuss technological hurdles in an age of open information. Recently I have had to teach myself the basics of Blender to create animations for my website. While there are tutorials online and on YouTube I found most of them hard to follow. This was due mostly my lack of experience using Blender and the tutorials themselves were hard to follow. I experienced the same problem when I was attempting to get Three.js to function properly for my artifact pages. Three.js is a front-end framework that displays 3D models on websites and allows users to manipulate the rendered objects. For some reason, one which I finally figured out after an unspeakable amount of time, the models refused to appear in the center of the screen and had an extremely wide orbit around an arbitrary center (I used orbit controls for the manipulation on my artifact pages). My initial thought was that maybe my point of origin (PO) was incorrect for my models so I googled the problem and found conflicting information. I moved on and began a long search to why Three.js refused to cooperate. 300+ commits to GitHub later, I realize that my PO was the problem so I download blender and set the origin correctly. The long journey finally ended and I had a functioning framework.

What I learned from this experience is that I should trust myself more and that the easiest explanation is usually the best. Occam’s Razor strikes again.

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