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Pi-UNIT History

I have an interesting story so please feel free to read this.

1.About changing my job.
I originally wanted to be a painter, a comic artist or an illustrator when I was a kid.
I used to draw so many comics in my textbooks everyday in those days and took a formal painting course too.
I didn't want to go to a big city like Tokyo to work but it was not easy to become an illustrator in the countryside.
So, I joined a company that I was not interested in.
At first, I joined an electrical construction company. That job was so hard for me, so I was always tired.
Next, I joined a welding company, an iron heat-processing company and a building company, etc.
I experienced various jobs when I was younger.
After that, I joined an engineering company as a mechanical engineering drafter.

2.As a temporary worker.
I worked as a drafter for mechanical development because I only graduated from a high school.
People with only high school graduation can't join big companies easily in Japan.
But, I was happy even so because drawing something made me feel good.
I changed several companies over two years after that and finaly I joined a company that I stayed at for a long time.
That company was an engineering company and I found it interesting because it had many departments : mechanical engineering, chemical plant engineering, electrical engineering, software engineering etc.
In addition, there was a document design department too.
Several years later, I worked for about 3 years at a big electric goods company as a temporary worker.
I used various machines to ensure quality control for all goods before they were shipped.
I used a 3D measurement machine to measure geometrical shapes.
This experience in particular helped me understand the difficulties of 3D and has proven invaluable in my work today.

3.My introduction to creating.
I returned to the engineering company 3 years later and I joined the document design department.
I was introduced to make illustrations for the first time there.
They were not pop illustrations, they were line drawings called technical illustrations.
I learned it so deeply because I had liked drawing something since when I was a kid.
I originally liked painting and created 3D shapes in my head from those days.
So I used to like drawing technical illustrations but now I prefer making 3D-CGIs to line drawings.
Even though I still sometimes make line drawings for my clients.
Drawing them was my pleasure for a while but after a time, I wanted to try to make something else, like colored pictures, but I didn't have enough skill to use paints in those days.
At that time, my boss recommended that I tried a different job called architecture perspective rendering.
He was a nice boss at least for me.
Of course I tried to make colored pictures but I gave it up soon because I still didn't have the necessary painting skills, even though I was so interested in the paintings.
After that I continued my usual work for a while.

Two different ideas were fighting in my heart for a long time.
They were "I want to try it again." and "I'm not confident.".
I used to ask myself many times "Do I not want to try it or not?".
My mind gradually changed and I discovered that I wanted to try it in my heart.
After that, I learned how to paint by myself.
It took a long time to decide this and to put it shortly, that was a very difficult and trying time for me.

5.Trial and error.
I started to learn how to use paints but I didn't like using them so much.
So the pictures I made were so terrible because I didn't know how to use water colors so well in those days.
In fact I used to hate using paints from I was a kid even though I liked line drawings.
However, I had to try hard to realize my dream.
I used to think if I were lazy, my dreams wouldn't come true.
But even so, I used to think about it many times in those days.
I usually practiced at home and at my company but I couldn't stay motivated when I was at home.
So I decided to try it mainly at my company to feel the pressure of my co-workers.
I practiced at lunch and my boss let me practice after my work day was finished.
My co-workers sometimes used to give me some bad comments as I guessed.
Everyone was critical but I guess it improved my skill.
One day some of my co-workers even gave me some good comments and I used to try even more after that, as I wanted to become even better.
So I have appreciated them.

6.Changing goals.
When I was learning how to paint, I changed the department and the details of my work.
It was an engineering developing outer cases for electric goods.
It seemed distant from my dream but it was related to my dream too.
For example, when I have to make some drawings, I started by looking at pictures which were painted by industrial designers.
I used to like to look at them and I ususally make drawings as I said, which was satisfying for a while.
In addition, I had a nice boss in those days too who let me try new things and use a computer after work.
But after a while, wherever I looked at pictures, I felt like doing industrial design again.
I used to think the job I wanted to do was not drawings, but just industrial design, even though I didn't think so in the beginning.
Eventually I asked my boss if I could try industrial design but of course he disagreed with my idea because I didn't have any results or skills at that time.
In fact, I was so depressed and I thought I couldn't try it anymore.
After a while, my mind gradually recovered, so I decided to try to learn it by myself.
But it was much more difficult than I expected because I didn't know anything for the industrial design.
I couldn't go to a designing school because I had to work hard for my family everyday, so I thought about how I could do.
I tried various things and decided to try to make design sketches with paints or color markers.
I practiced it in my company as usual.
After a while, my boss sometimes asked me to try the real industrial design as well.
I tried several projects but I sometimes had some troubles because of my lack of skill, and I had to ask expert designers I knew for help.
Of course my main projects were engineering, as usual in my department.
In those days, the way of drawing was already changing to CAD software using computers and of course they were 2D-CADs.

7.My first computer.
I originally liked using computers even before I started drawing.
I was not sure why I was so interested in them, but I bought my own computer to use at home.
It was a NEC PC-8801.
I used to make some application software for myself using a BASIC language called N-88BASIC.
Making software by oneself was usual in those days because no one could buy application software on the market.
Of course I couldn't make CGIs as now but scientists were studying about CGI from those days, and I knew about it.
Unfortunately PCs I used didn't have enough power or speed to make CGIs.
After a while, I sold my computer because using the computer was already boring for me.
At the same time though, I was learning about the industrial design everyday.

8.Computers as tools.
After a while, I sometimes did industrial design.
One day, my boss showed me a picture created by CGI.
He said that he thought I shouldn't have used paints for industrial design and should have made design images using computers.
Of course I quickly agreed woth him because I still was interested in using computers too.
So I looked for proper computers and found a good one I could use them for generating images.
Computers already had enough power to generate realistic images in those days, although I really didn't know so much about the details.
Computers were still so expensive in those days and my company couldn't buy them easily because of the expence..
So my boss told a computer shop that I wanted to use a computer to make CGIs.
The shop lent us a used Macintosh if we actually bought the CGI software.
So my company bought the software and borrowed the computer at that time. Of course I used to learn the CGI software deeply everyday.
In addition, I often asked the support center for many questions.
After a while I could submit CGIs made on the Macintosh as design images to my clients.
But, changing to a new way was so difficult because their deadlines were always so tight.
It sometimes used to trouble me.

9.Illustrations by CGIs.
I started not to enjoy my usual engineering job because my CGI skills were gradually improving.
After thinking carefully about this situation, I asked my boss to move me to another department but looking back, it might have been a little selfish.
That department was a document design group.
Of course it was not the way like I imagined, I had to stop doing industrial design for a while.
In that department, I was doing graphic design and I always made CGIs as a hobby at lunch time like before.
After a while, my boss was looking for new ideas for the department and he found my hobby when I was practicing.
He said I should have used my skill for our department.
(In fact, I was waiting for him to discover my skill.)

The CGIs I made were becoming more complex and greater in number.
At the same time, my desire to become independent grew stronger.
However my skill was still not enough and I had to prepare various things, so I had to continue studying by my self even more.
In addition, I still couldn't have confidence easily.
Then one day, I decided that I would separate from my company after a while.
After that I was able to become independent.
That I did so many things in a company is so useful for my own job now, especially the knowledge of mechanical engineering and drawing Manga that I got.
I think a lot of people can't understand or predict what will be useful in the future, and of course I thought so too.

11.Challenging Evolution.
My job is going well so far but this type of job is constantly changing.
So I constantly have to challenge new technologies even though they are so difficult.
As one of the ways, I have begun to use 3D-CAD software.
It is already an important for my job too now.
I enjoy doing this job and hope that it continues successfully.

The end - so far.

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