Advanced Textures

For advanced texturing I found a texture online and put it into Photoshop and then edited it to be a Specular map, Diffuse map, and Normal map. To do this I went to the Image tab in Photoshop, then going to Adjustments and Desaturate. From here I changed the settings of the image to make it a specular image, then a normal bump image, and a diffuse image.

When I was creating the Specular I pressed Ctrl+I to invert the specular so that instead of the lighter parts of the texture reflecting the light the darker areas would reflect instead.

In 3DS Max I created a plane to apply the texture to. To apply the texture I went to Maps and selected Specular Level for the Specular texture. To fully show the difference added by the Specular texture to the original texture I went to Specular highlights and changed the Glossiness to 40.

To make the original texture a normal image I went to Filter in Photoshop and then selected xNormal and then Height2normals. This allowed me to change the filter to make it a normal bump image.

To add the normal bump texture to the plane in 3DS Max I went to Maps, then down to bump and clicked on none and then selected Normal bump. Then I increased the bump to 100 so that it would be noticeable. Once I had done this I went to the Create tab, selected Light and then Selected Free light. This created a light which I could move around in order to see the effect of the bump. Then I dragged the Specular map that I made earlier to the bump and cleared the bump material. Then I went to Export and Export selected. Then Geometry and I turned Smoothing groups on and also turned on Triangulate. Then I went to Embed media and ticked Embed media.

After this I went to the Start menu and searched for Epic Game Launcher. I selected offline mode and then went to Unreal engine and selected launch. I selected the first person view and no starter content. Then I went to import to import the texture from 3DS Max and deselected Auto generate collision.

When I had the texture imported I selected it and then dragged in the Specular and Normal maps and clicked on Build. This created the texture in the engine.

To change the lighting in the engine so that I could see the texture better I rotated the light source so that it was hidden which made the engine world darker. Then I created a light that I could move around and look at the texture.

Manipulated Images

Images are manipulated often with tools like Photoshop in order to make people like celebrities look more “attractive”.


This image of Thom Yorke has been manipulated using Photoshop to straighten his jawline and nose and correct his lazy eye. This would have been done using various tools available in Photoshop.

I think these changes were mad because whoever decided to make them wanted to get rid of any imperfect details on his face and wanted him to look more “normal” because in the culture we live in maybe his actual face is not considered attractive enough. This raises the issue that many people will look at celebrities that have been photoshopped and think they are “perfect” and then will look at themselves and see all those things that they think are wrong with them but aren’t and will become depressed with themselves. Also these manipulations say to people who have things like a lazy eye or a crooked nose or jawline that they are ugly and that will make them feel bad about themselves.


This image has been heavily modified in Photoshop to make Madonna look younger. This has been done by smoothing her skin and also by using the burning technique to add light to her skin and hair. This has been done because many women in the fashion industry believe that they have to look younger and more attractive to get work and so Madonna is using these Photoshop techniques to ensure she can still get work. This doesn’t just happen in fashion and modelling but also in films as once women reach a certain age they feel they won’t get as many jobs in a male dominated industry. This teaches young women that if they want to be successful in their lives they need to stay looking young and attractive, which results in more photo manipulation being performed by those who are not young and attractive.

I think these manipulation techniques to completely change what a person looks like have become so commonplace because anyone can do it because the technology is so easily accessible and easy to use and also magazines want to make celebrities look attractive enough to sell copies and some celebrities do it to make them look like something they’re not. These issues are relevant to my own professional practice as I am in the media industry and will be working with image manipulation and will need to know the problems that can be caused by image manipulation.

British Wildlife Photography Awards

I selected three photos from the British Wildlife Photography Awards exhibition at The Beaney in Canterbury and analysed them.

Barrel jellyfish and St Michaels Mount- Charles Hood

This photo titled Barrel Jellyfish and St Michaels Mount by photographer Charles Hood was taken in 2014. Hood has used a wide aperture to make the jellyfish appear in focus and clear to show all the detail and St Michaels in the background not in focus to put the Jellyfish as the main focus of this image. A fast shutter speed has been used to get rid f any motion blur caused by the Jellyfish. The deeper water in this photo has been underexposed to the natural light as the light can’t reach to that depth but the rest of the photo is not under or over exposed because natural light is being used.

A shallow depth of field has been used in order to get the Jellyfish in full focus and be able to see all the detail of the Jellyfish and push St Michaels out of focus. This photo has been composed with the Jellyfish in the centre of the image and falling on a point of interest with the rule of thirds to make the Jellyfish stand out more. Also there is a split between the lighter section of the photo above the water and the darker section under the water.

The research Hood did in order to capture this photo was learning that there were many Jellyfish that were floating close to the surface in this area and then waited for the perfect moment. I think Hood was trying to convey the beauty of Jellyfish in this photo by showing all the details of it and all the different colours and by having the Jellyfish in this lighting to really be able to show it off. To capture this image Hood used a Nikon D3 Camera with a Nikkor 16mm f28 lens.

If this photo was in black and white instead of in colour it wouldn’t look as vibrant and you wouldn’t be able to se the beauty of the Jellyfish or all the detail on the Jellyfish. The light in this photo has been used to make the Jellyfish appear more alive and vibrant and this allows for the beauty of the Jellyfish to be displayed.

Dew covered Crane fly- Alex Hyde

This photo is called Dew-covered Crane Fly and is from photographer Alex Hyde and was taken in September 2015. This photo has used a slow shutter speed to capture all the individual water droplets in such a high level of detail and a low ISO has been used to make the image appear clearer and finer. Also a wide aperture has been used to capture the Crane Fly in focus to show all the detail.

This photo does not have any parts that are under or over exposed. It has a narrow depth of field in order to accurately capture the Crane Fly in the foreground and in focus. This photo has been composed so that the head of the Crane Fly is the main focus of the image and the main body of the Crane Fly has been separated by the rule of thirds grid lines. I think the feeling that Hyde was trying to convey with this photo is how amazing nature can be as the water droplets are all reflecting an image and these have been captured in high focus and this adds more to the photo.

If the photo was in black and white the reflected image in the water droplets would not be as clear and the photo would not look as good as it does because of this.

Cranes in hot pursuit- Mark Hughes

This photo is called Cranes in Hot Pursuit by photographer Mark Hughes. This photo has also used a wide aperture to make the main action in the foreground, the Fox being chased by the Cranes, in focus and the background where nothing is happening out of focus in order to draw peoples attention to the animals. This photo has not been over or under exposed. Quite a shallow depth of field has been used in order to make the animals in the foreground in focus and detail and the plants in the background out of focus.

There is a clear split in the photo where it changes from out of focus into focus. This has been done by composing the image using the rule of thirds. The Fox and both Cranes all fall on points of interest in the rule of thirds grid. I think the photographer was trying to convey that in the wild animals fight and its not always the predators who come out on top in these confrontations. This photo was taken after the Fox was trying to get to the Cranes nest and get to their young but the Cranes discovered the Fox and starting chasing it away. I don’t think that the mood of the photo would be changed if it was in black and white instead of colour.




Applying Research Tools and Methods to Drawing

The first task was to draw kitchen appliances from my memory. The second task was to draw them again using a photo of them and knowing their exact dimensions. We did this task to improve our research skills as we had to use different methods of research to be able to produce an accurate drawing of the appliance.

The kitchen appliances I chose to draw were my microwave and washing machine. This was especially difficult for the washing machine drawing as I don’t look at it often as it is inside a cupboard so I did not know where any of the buttons were positioned. This meant I couldn’t accurately draw the washing machine. Also the microwave I do not look at very often and when I do I don’t pay attention to all of the buttons so that was also not a very accurate drawing. Also the scale was not correct of either appliances as I did not know how big they were when drawing from my memory.

microwave memorywashing machine memory

To find out what the microwave and washing machine actually looked like for the second task I took photos of them and measured their dimensions using a tape measure so I would be able to scale them accurately the second time I drew them.

Redrawing the appliances was much easier than drawing them from memory as after I had scaled them I knew exactly how long to make each line and because I had the pictures of them I knew where all the featured had to be placed and could draw them more accurately so that you can clearly see what they are meant to be.

microwave drawingmicrowave

Above is my re drawn microwave with all the features and scaled correctly next to the photo of the actual microwave.

Doing research before drawing an object allows you to draw it much more accurately which will improve the overall quality of the drawings and is much easier than trying to recreate something just from your memory when you might not know what the scale should be.

Doing the research to know the exact dimensions of the microwave and having a picture to reference from meant that my drawing was improved as I was able to scale it so that it was accurate and I could accurately position all the buttons and the clock due to having the photo to reference from. This will help me in future as now I can research dimensions and accuracy when I’m drawing in the future so any drawings I do will be more accurate.


Visual Research Tools

In the documentary Tim’s Vermeer, Tim Jenison attempts to find out how Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer created his art, and then attempts to recreate one of Vermeer’s paintings using a method he thinks Vermeer used.

While attempting to find out how Vermeer painted Tim explained how a Camera Obscura works and that it was unlikely Vermeer would have used one to paint because of the difficulties of matching the colour of the image projection to the paint you are using.

One painting method Tim used was to have a picture being reflected off a mirror over a canvas that he was painting on. This allowed him to see the canvas and the images reflection at the same time and so could match the paint to the colour in the image. He did this by experimenting with different colours until the edge of the mirror could not be seen when looking at both the mirror and the canvas. He used this method of painting to paint three times and then decided this was most likely the method Vermeer used and decided he would use this method to recreate one of Vermeer’s paintings.

To get a better idea of what the actual painting looked like Tim went to look at the original in Buckingham Palace. To recreate the set of the painting Tim was hoping that he would be able to use the actual furniture from the painting but did not get permission to use it so he had to recreate the set in a warehouse. Tim had t make all the props himself and he did this by getting the measurements of the actual props and learning how to operate the machinery to make them. Before this he created models of all the props and the finished room in a computer programme and worked from there.

To fully recreate the room took Tim many months and he had to recreate the lighting from outside in the painting by putting cardboard cut-outs in front of the windows. Once he had done all this he could start the painting. This also took him many months to complete as he had to paint so much detail that he couldn’t see on the painting before he was looking at it through the mirrors he set up. Also he had to deal with factors such as the light playing tricks, which created something Tim called the Seahorse Smile effect, which created a curve on the painting where there should have been a straight line. Tim nearly missed this and would have made the same mistake as Vermeer and painted the curve but noticed it just before he started painting it.

Tim also had to deal with problems caused by the weather. As it got very cold in the warehouse he was painting in he decided to bring in a heater which was not safe to use indoors and was producing fumes that made Tim paint an elephant on the painting.

At the end of all this Tim had recreated Vermeer’s painting and it was almost impossible to tell the difference between the two and so this suggests that Tim was correct about how Vermeer painted.

I think the processes Tim used in order to recreate Vermeer’s painting were very good as he studied the painting for a long time and went to see the original so that he had the best idea possible of what he needed to do and the different techniques he used to actually paint meant he learnt about how Vermeer might have painted and meant Tim could prove that anyone can paint amazing pieces of art.

3D Model Microwave

I was tasked with creating a 3D model of a microwave. The first step in creating this was to change the units that the object would be measured in. I did this by going to customize and changing the Metric measurement to centimetres and then selecting System Unit Setup and selecting centimetres.

Customize unitsCustomize units 2

After this I found a microwave online that i could recreate in 3ds Max at

I used the dimensions for the microwave on the website to create a box that would become the microwave to the correct scale. However I added 10 centimeters to those dimensions because the microwave appeared to small in the unreal engine used.

Microwave dimensions

Once I had done this I went into the modify tab and on the modifier list I selected unwrap UVW.

Unwrap UVW

Once I had selected unwrap UVW I selected the polygon feature, which allowed me to select the individual sides of my microwave. Once I had done this I opened UV editor and selected Quick Planar Map which allowed me to see all the separate sides of the microwave box. I then selected Freeform mode which allowed me to move the different sides and resize them so the more important sides, such as the front, were bigger than the less important sides, like the back, which wouldn’t be seen.

After this I went to Tools and selected Render UVW template and went into Photoshop to put the texture from the microwave image into the sides of the box in 3ds Max.

Once I had done this I went back to 3ds Max and opened the Material editor by pressing M on the keyboard. Then I went to Maps which gave me options for diffuse colour, specular level, and opacity.

From diffuse colour I selected None, then Bitmap, then Browse for file to find the textures in Photoshop.

Once I had done that I selected Assign Material to Selection and then Show Shaded Material in Viewpoint so that I could see what the textures looked like on the box.

To improve the quality of the texture I then selected the + symbol in the top left of the viewpoint and then selected Configure Viewpoints and then finally Display Performance.

Once in Display Performance I went to Texture, then Maps and then changed the quality to 1024 to make the textures on the microwave look better.

Once I had applied the texture to the microwave I had to create all the buttons to make them 3D. I did this by creating different sized cylinders. To make sure I positioned the buttons in the correct place on the microwave I selected the Angle Snap Toggle which allowed me to rotate the buttons easier to make sure they were at the correct angle and pressed Alt+X to make them transparent so I could see where they were being placed.

I then went into the Create tab and selected Editable Poly and then Polygon and then by clicking the left mouse button and dragging the mouse I was able to delete polys on the buttons that I didn’t need.

Once I had done all this I could group the buttons together to the microwave box by going to Attach and then selecting each shape I wanted grouped together. Once I had done this I could re apply the texture over the added buttons. I selected Unwrap UVW and then pressed Alt on the keyboard and then selected the panels I didn’t want the texture to be applied to. Then I opened UV editor and selected the X axis and Quick Planar Map, then Map and started positioning the texture in the best possible place so that it would line up with the buttons.





Genre and meaning of photography

Joana Franca- Abstract

This photo by Brazilian photographer Joana França is an abstract photo of a building in Brasilia. The purpose of the photo is to show that patterns can be found in anything and I think to disorient the viewer as the many different lines created by the blinds make the image quite hard to look at after a while.

Sossusvlei, Namibia
This photo by Charlie Waite is a landscape image of a Namibian landscape. Its purpose is to show how beautiful the Namibian desert is and show how vast the desert is as you can see how big it is. The meaning of this photo is nature is beautiful and this is communicated through the fact that there is nothing but nature in this photo with the trees and bushes and the vast desert.
Runner-up: Cayan Tower by SOM - photographed by Victor Romeo
This photo by Victor Romeo is an architectural photograph of the Cayan Tower in Dubai taken from a slightly higher angle than the building. The purpose of this is to show how tall this building is as you can see it rises above the clouds.

Reflecting on Feedback

For this task I took 3 photos, 1 abstract photo, one landscape photo, and one portrait photo. I then uploaded them onto Facebook in order to get feedback through the comments of the photos. This feedback gave me ideas on how I could improve the photos if I did this again in the future.

Most of the feedback I received was about improving the composition of the photos and the lighting of some of the photos could have been better, but the light quality was caused by the time of day I was taking the pictures. The feedback also said I should try and incorporate the rule of thirds into my images more, as that would improve them both in quality and would make them more interesting for people to look at. This feedback will help me with future projects as I will know what I should and shouldn’t do in order to take a good picture that uses the rule of thirds well.

Abstract feedback

Portrait feedback

Landscape feedback

This is primary research as I have taken photos and am getting feedback on them, so this is something I have done rather than me using what someone else has done. Also this is also qualitative research as I am getting peoples feedback and their personal opinions on the photos so they are telling me exactly what I can do differently in order to improve the photos.

Facebook is not a very effective research tool as many people will just click the like button on things you are doing research for and this will not tell you what you need to know, for example liking one of the photos that I posted doesn’t tell me how I can improve it or what I did well so for this task likes would have not been useful to me. Qualitative research is a very effective research method as the feedback you receive can help you in the future and you can find out what people want from your products as it is a more personal form of research as people can give their honest opinions on things. This makes qualitative research more effective than quantitative research as you are able to find out exactly what people like and don’t like about something and you can find out what you can do differently to make it better, however with quantitative research you can just find out how many people like or dislike something and you won’t know what they liked or what they didn’t like, which means you can’t use that data to help you improve.

This task has taught me a lot about what an abstract photo is and how I can take one, as well has portrait and landscape photos. I have also learnt how I can improve the photos that I take in the future. I have also discovered that Facebook is not a very good research tool and there are more effective ones.