Monday, 13 December 2010

Vehicle Update

This is my vehicle project. I chose to do a caravan as i spent a lot of my childhood holidaying in one and the benefits of owning our own caravan means i have unlimited access to reference and hardly needed to use the internet.

Rooftop Project

Time for some render updates. This is my rooftop project. Inspired by the recent foggy days we've been having, my level has depth fog and animated fog planes as well as particle effects and fracture meshes.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

There are many life lessons I have learnt during my time at university. In my first year I had to learn how to cook and clean for myself, as well as co-habit with complete strangers. In my second year, I had to get to grips with paying bills, managing my time and learn how to co-habit with friends (big mistake).

And that brings me to my final year. So far I have learnt that gas is expensive. So expensive in fact, we practically never have it on. As painfully cold as it is there are many benefits to claim from this. The first one is having more money but the most important one is I now seem to spend most of my time where it’s warm, and labs happen to be very warm.

So far this year I spend pretty much 10am-5pm, Tuesday to Friday in the labs and as a result my work is practically finished and to a much higher standards than previous projects.
Now I am my own worst critic so I can honestly say I’m not happy with every little detail but that is going to taken care of after I have relaxed and refreshed for a few days.

Guest Lectures .... an inspiration to everone

I’m rather impressed this year to see an increasing number in the amount of guest lectures we’ve had.

It’s encouraging to see that the main selling point of this curse is very much true as the connections we have with the industry grow stronger.

My favourite lecture so far has definitely been Sophia and Meghan from Outso. I’ll admit I didn’t know much about the company but I was so inspired by their presentation. It was great to actually see work produced by the studio as it reinforced their commentary and left me feeling enlightened. It’s even more inspiring to know they are past DMU students that have achieved so much in so little time.

I always enjoy the motivational wonders from Jolyen at Blitz as it always puts me back on track but I’ve seen their lecture 3 years running now and it would be refreshing to see their content change every now and then.

Up, Up and away

Although this whole business with rising tuition fees doesn’t directly affect me I still think it’s worth commenting on.

There are many key points to consider when taking University education into account. A rise in tuition fees will ultimately cause a drop in the number of people going to university as only those of a wealthy background will attend.

Selfishly this will mean my degree will be worth more as higher education will become more elitist and those with degrees will be sort after and job prospects may become easier.

However it does not give everyone a fair chance. A super intelligent student from a working class background may never get the university place they deserve, but Daddy’s little princess growing up in South Kensington can happily pay her way through uni.

I also feel that the impact this will have on society will affect us all. At the moment it may be a quick fix to the governmental debt problem but the long term effects of people with less of an education and higher unemployment rates will bring the county to it’s knees.

Universities will also feel the effects, as less people attend, courses and departments will have to discontinue possibly resulting in the closure of some universities completely.

Ultimately the education system will turn into the one we see in America. Parents will have to save up college funds before children are even born and ridiculous schemes and pageants will introduced in order to fund scholarships.

However, students may learn to really appreciate their education and not take it for granted. It may also mean that the more deserving will get into higher education. Students who actually worked hard and achieved good results will deserve their place at uni, instead of being accepted with 4 Ds just because it fills the institutes quota.

Overall it’s definitely not right to take away someone’s right to an education just because they can’t afford it but remember just because you have the right doesn’t mean you deserve it.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Floor 8 ... Welcome to Animation

As the lift doors slide open I gaze upon the full wall mural for animation, sure it may not be the best drawing I’ve seen but the bright colours and creativity is both inviting and respectful to the animation course.

Turn-around, however, and what does Game Art have to offer - two miniscule guru posters. Not only has it little to do with the course but the artistic skill involved is that of a 5 year old on photoshop.

Thankfully they have since been replaced by some student work but it still attracts little attention and doesn’t really celebrate the success of our course.

We are skill-set accredited, there should be a full wall digi-paint up there. Not only will the technical skill be far greater than the animations offering but it will also claim back the corridor as ours.

The things you learn

One thing that I have definitely learned from the rooftop project is how to manage my time.
I had very clearly written a little calendar schedule which I religiously stuck to but I still found myself going over my personal deadline.

This is because I had miscalculated the amount of time it would take to unwrap, texture and import all my assets. The Unreal engine I have gotten to grips with but the unwrapping and texturing took ages.

But the positives I take from this are how to manage my time for my FMP. As I will be doing an environmental scene I can now budget more time for texturing and I will most definitely be unwrapping as I go along because doing it all in one stint is just brain-rotting!

One thing I was proud of was getting the particle effects to work. It took a while but I was ecstatically happy and now I feel that Unreal isn’t this big scary program but actually a lot of fun and I will definitely incorporate it into my FMP.

The only thing I am not happy about is my skydome and I might re-address this problem before the summative assessment as I am in the zone with y vehicle project.

The main issue I have with it is making the panoramic image. I made my own using photographs taken out of the fletcher building but it doesn’t look crisp enough as other examples of work I’ve seen. Without pointing fingers this is most likely because their magical panoramic images were pulled from the internet but I am going to stick by my morals and use my own textures.

I did originally use the skyline from a recent foggy day as it was spooky and mesmerising but this didn’t come across in Unreal as there are no dynamic elements so I might rethink the weather and lighting over Christmas.

Patience my young Grasshopper

As the Gurus and Grasshoppers comes to an end I thought it appropriate to put my thoughts on here.

Overall I think the scheme is beneficial for both sides and turned out to be rather successful.

At first I was apprehensive that none of the first years would be interested but luckily enough they were still in that bewildered phase where they turn up to every lecture religiously and soon enough they become genuinely engaged and listened to what we had to see them take on-board our advice and improve and I must admit I learned a few things myself. Working closely with other Gurus gave me the chance to see their techniques and shortcuts they use and giving mini tutorials every week has definitely improved my communicated skills.

However the scheme did have its downsides. No clear timescale was set so the tutorials and texturing projects we planned to give were cut short as the scheme was brought to an abrupt end and some weeks when stress levels ran high, it was extremely annoying to have a first year hanging off your elbow.

Overall I’m not sure how much the Grasshoppers benefited. They pretty much learned to model and texture quicker than our weekly meets but I guess it’s the little shortcuts and timesavers that will help them most. It also makes the course more close-knit as we all work and learn together which is very rare to see in other university courses.