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Things have been a bit down of late. I've only done a few small things on my projects. I lost my job late October, so having to shift focus and reconfigure life again. While I'd love to be able to do something with my projects, like use them in a production, they're simply not ready. And finding new work with be somewhat more of a priority.

Job losses never happen at the right time. But when they do, they can really pull up stumps on you. You lose the income, the contact with others, the daily routine and more. No one's to blame for it, there hasn't been any nasty happen. It was a redundancy because the business' federal contract ended and wasn't renewed. The staff were really bummed out, everyone was doing good things (even if certain stakeholders didn't think so). But the government put out new tenders and we weren't successful. No one's to blame. I've been here quite a few times before as it turns out. It's just part of business sometimes. But it's never easy joining the 'job queue' again. Especially with a skill set like mine. I'm a really good as a handy-man in an office environment, but unfortunately mot people won't hire based on that. They want you for a particular skill, say programmer, which I can do but not in the way a Uni-taught individual might be able to. So it leaves me somewhat out in the ethos without much light to garner new attention.

And as much as the projects might be interesting for some people, they're probably not going to get me a job. At least, not yet.

Of the small stuff I have done, I've made a first attempt at creating some interface features for The Dark Room. I won't go into detail here, I'll make a post another time on this, but I'm starting to design and develop a kind of tool and plugin system for my software. If I can find a way to design it so that you can plug things in (like a plugin!), then it allows me to build tools off the same framework and means I only have to maintain a small section of code in order for the system to function.

Here's an image showing the first interface overlay. Though there isn't much in it, you can see an icon with a question mark on it. This is a tool I'm building that will let the user select a tool to use in the viewport. It's a tool for tools! The concept I have in my head seems to work.

The question mark icon is a tool the user can select. This overlay, is in fact it's own tool.

How it works is you can register with Cinema4D and my tool will pick up this registration and add it to its internal registry. I can then use this registry to access what items have been registered for my software, and allow them as an option for the user to select. You'll notice the viewport blur as well while the tool overlay is active. When a tool is selected and active, the blur will disappear again.

The issue I'm facing and trying to solve at the moment is how do I allow the tool to communicate with the project data. I already have some ideas on how to do this, which I'm working on, but there will be further work on this no doubt to make it come to life. The end goal here is to design a system where one might be able to come along and build a tool or plugin themselves. I have no idea if this would ever happen, maybe it won't! But building it like this from the get-go means if I ever make the software publicly available, the functionality will be there to support it.

On a slightly different note, I've been networking recently after the job loss with the local film industry. There isn't much happening there at the moment, but I'm learning some things and getting to know some industry names. No idea if this will lead anywhere yet.

We've known that work was going to finish for the past month or two. But it's still sad. They were a good bunch of people to work with. But things aren't forever. And where one door closes, another may open and lift the spirits again.