Virtual Gallery Reflection

Introduction
This is my reflection on the virtual gallery I created to show off the work I have done during this course. The virtual gallery can be seen in the video above and was created in the Unreal engine.

Skills
I have demonstrated many skills in creating my virtual gallery. I have shown 3D modelling skills as some of the objects in my virtual gallery were created using 3DS Max, such as the microwave and television. By including these objects in the gallery I am showing that I can use 3D modelling software. Other skills I have shown are recording, editing, and manipulating sounds including the voiceovers I have in the gallery that I recorded and the sounds I created for the Limbo paper dub that I recorded and edited. Also I manipulated sounds to create the Walla that is heard from the TV. These show that I am capable of basic editing and manipulation of sounds. I also demonstrate texturing skills as I applied textures to the rooms in the gallery and to objects in the gallery, including the microwave, TV, and the photo frames. I also show skills in scripting as I set it so the doors could be opened and closed by pressing E on the keyboard. The virtual gallery also demonstrates my Photoshop skills with the montage I made and the photo that I added a tilt shift effect to, as well as the logos I created for Facebook. I also demonstrate skills in Unreal engine as I placed the doors and set it so they could be opened and closed. I was also able to demonstrate skills in Premiere as that is the program I used to create the Limbo movie in my gallery. I also demonstrate skills in animation with the doors as I had to create the movement for them opening and closing. I also show photography skills with the photos that are on display in my gallery.

Industry sectors and Job roles
These skills are applicable to a wide range of industry sectors due to convergence making the sectors more similar. As Unreal engine is used to create a lot of triple-A games the skills I have obtained in Unreal would be very helpful in that sector, as would 3D modelling skills as games require 3D objects. Sound skills are applicable to all sectors as they all need sound, whether it be for a game or app sound is very important and my skills at being able to record, edit, and manipulate sounds will be useful. Animation skills also apply to all the sectors as games require animations and apps also have animations.
Game Developer is one of the jobs these skills prepare me for. The pros of this job role include, being able to use my various skills to create something people will like, being able to improve my skills as I work, be able to learn new skills in different pieces of software. The cons of this job include, possibly having to work unusual hours to fix any potential problems and meet deadlines.
Another job these skills prepare me for is Audio engineer. The pros of this job are getting to create different sound effects in order to create different moods. The cons of this job are not being able to work with anything but sound, and having to work to what the developers want so there isn’t much freedom to create different sounds.
Another job role is photographer. The pros of this job are I would be able to take photos of whatever I wanted and would be able to use my skills to take different kinds of photos and create different effects with those photos. The cons of this job are I will have to be looking out for a photo opportunity all the time and some photos may not appear the way I want them so it could take a while to get a photo I like.

Deadlines
I completed my work and met deadlines by managing my time well and making sure I finished any uncompleted work as soon as possible so that they did not start to pile up. I also had a checklist of work I needed to complete so that I could keep up to date and would know exactly what I needed to do and what I had already done.

Safe working practices
I ensured safe working practices when creating my gallery by taking regular breaks at one hour and fifteen minute intervals. I also did not sit too close to the computer when working so that I did not damage my eyes. I ensured the chair was adjusted correctly so that there wasn’t any unnecessary stress on my body. I also did not eat or drink near the computers so that I couldn’t damage them in a way that might damage me or someone else and I made sure that any wires from the computers were not in positions to trip anyone up.

Audio and visual language
With the lighting in my gallery I made the lights bright in the photo gallery, 2D room, and 3D room to create a calm, safe environment as that is how I wanted people to feel in those rooms. I also selected calm ambient music to play in those rooms and I used bright textures on the walls and floors. In the cinema room I used very little lighting and made the lights I did use dark to create the mood of being in an actual cinema, and I used colours you would normally see in cinemas, such as dark reds and black.
If I wanted to change the themes in the rooms I could use more intense ambient sound and have darker textures and lights in the room if I wanted people to feel slightly afraid while walking around.

Research
In preparing my virtual gallery I did secondary research and looked at real life examples of photo gallery’s and cinemas to get an idea of the mood they had and how I would set up my gallery. Using this information I created mood boards for each of the rooms showing the examples to give people an idea of the mood I wanted to create in my gallery and show what kind of colours and textures I would be using. I also crated an asset table and researched potential ambient sounds I could put into my gallery to help create the mood I wanted.
I used this research by using similar textures and colours in my gallery that are used in real life galleries and cinemas to create a similar mood to them. My sources were very useful in helping me complete my project as I already knew what textures and colours I wanted to use in each room and knew what ambient sounds I wanted which meant I was able to complete it quicker than if I had to search for textures and sounds while creating the gallery.

Evaluation

I would improve my research methods and preparation in the future by getting more variety of examples so that I have more of a choice and have more ideas for what I could do with my gallery.

 

The interview proccess

Introduction
For this task we were interviewing and being interviewed for jobs at design studios that we created in teams. We applied for these jobs on the Facebook pages of our studios. I posted my job specification on the Wet Flame Studios page. The jobs we interviewed for were Animator, Game Designer, Audio Engineer, and Graphic Designer.

I applied for the job of Storyboard artist at Acumen Animation by posting my cover letter on the job application on their Facebook page.

Wet Flame interviews
Some of the questions we asked each applicant were “what skills do you have for this job?”, “what are your strengths?”, “what are your weaknesses?”, and “if working in a team do you prefer to be the leader or just one of the members?”. These questions were designed to tell us about each person and what they are good at and what they can improve on. Also we wanted to know what sort of role they would have in a team, whether they could lead or not.

My interview
When I was being interviewed I was asked similar questions to when my design team was interviewing.

Evaluation
This task was useful as it gave us experience of being interviewed and now we know how to act and what to say during an interview.

I think when we were interviewing we could have structured it better as we didn’t have a plan of who would ask which question at what point of the interview and the interviews ended up with only a few members of our group asking questions most of the time. However I think we asked good questions that gave us the information we needed about the applicants.

When I was being interviewed I think I could have prepared better as for some question I didn’t know how to answer and had to think for a while but I think I answered all the questions to a good standard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Environmental lighting and sound in Unreal engine

Introduction
This task required me to create a 3D environment in 3DS Max and then apply different lighting and ambient sound to it in Unreal engine to create a horror atmosphere. This task links to other tasks I have done, including the task discussing techniques developers use to create mood and atmosphere in digital environments, and the virtual gallery I created as I had to create different atmospheres in the rooms.

Making the environment
The first step in this task was to create a box in 3DS Max that would become the environment. Then I created a second box and set the height at 192cm, length at 84cm, and the width at 84cm so that the box would represent the size of the character in the Unreal engine so that I could scale the environment so that the character could walk through it.

Adding lights
Once I had created the environment in 3DS Max I exported it by selecting it and going to file, then export selected. Then I imported it into Unreal engine by dragging in the file.

Once I had the environment in Unreal I started adding lights to it. To make it a horror atmosphere I decreased the brightness of the lights by selecting them and setting the Light map Resolution to -512. I also set the colours of the lights to darker colours so they did not illuminate the environment much to add to the horror mood I wanted to create. I did this by selecting the lights and changing the colour in their settings. I changed the colour of the lights to blue, orange, and purple.

Ambient music
When I had the lights how I wanted them I created a box trigger in one of the rooms and set up a piece of ambient music to play when the character entered the box trigger. I did this by selecting box trigger and scaling it to the size I wanted in the room. Then I selected the box trigger and went to Blueprints and then Open Level Blueprint. From here I set it so that the ambient music would play as soon as the character entered the box trigger and would continue playing until the track finished, then start again when the character entered the box trigger again. This added to the horror atmosphere as the ambient music was eerie.

Evaluation

I think the lights and ambient music did work to create a horror atmosphere as it was quite a dark environment and the music added to the mood, however I think the lights could have worked better if I chose different colours as the orange light I had didn’t darken the environment as much as the others and so it created a lighter area of the environment that didn’t fit well in the horror atmosphere I was trying to create.

 

Manipulating sound- TV Walla

Introduction
For this task I was creating a Walla sound to be used for a TV. I did this using the tools available in Audacity.

First I had to import the Walla sound into Audacity. I did this by pressing Ctrl + I on the keyboard and then selecting the Walla sound. Then I had to create a white noise to act as TV static while the Walla was playing. I created the white noise by going to the Generate tab, then noise, and then selected White noise and adjusted the amplitude of it until it sounded right and wasn’t so loud that you couldn’t hear anything else.

Then I went to the Effect tab and selected equalization. From here I could change the frequency of the Walla sound. I was able to increase and decrease frequencies until I had a sound that sounded like it was coming from and old television set.

Then while still in the Effects tab I went to leveller. This allowed me to change the difference between loud parts of the sound and soft parts to make the audio easier to hear. To do this I set the degree of levelling to moderate and the noise threshold to -70 dB.

Evaluation
As I had to use different effects to create the Walla sound this task has made me better at using Audacity and I know what more of its features do now.

The different effects that I applied to this sound have worked in making it sound like something being played through an old TV and the white noise is not so loud that you can’t hear anything else so I have done that well.

I think I could have used the equalization effect better and change some of the frequencies more to improve the overall quality of the sound.

 

 

Key Media Concepts

Assassin’s Creed

For this task we had to research the key media concepts for a company/product of our choice. I worked with Joel for this task and we decided to focus on Assassin’s Creed. The key media concepts we focused on for this were religion and race, gender, Ubisoft (the company that makes the games), the Assassin’s Creed franchise, and the Assassin’s Creed brand.

For gender we talked about how the main characters in Assassin’s Creed games are male and the female characters in the games do not have large roles. We also talked about how Ubisoft caused controversy by saying a playable female character  would be too hard to animate.

For religion and race we talked about how because most of Ubisofts staff come from Christian countries that the beliefs in the games will mainly be Christian, however before each game there is a disclaimer that says “Inspired by historical events and characters. This work of fiction was designed, developed and produced by a multicultural team of various religious faiths and beliefs”.

When talking about Ubisoft we talked about the gender of their staff and how this could affect the gender representation in the Assassin’s Creed games.

For the Assassin’s Creed franchise we talked about how the franchise has grown over the years and how it now includes books that go with corresponding games, and also has games that are not a part of the main series but are still connected in some ways.

For the Assassin’s Creed brand we talked about how Assassin’s Creed is now recognizable just from the logo.

This task taught us about key media concepts and gave us an insight into the industry we would possibly want to work in in the future. We were able to find quite a lot of useful information about Assassin’s Creed for certain concepts such as gender, both in the video games and at Ubisoft, and religion and race.

 

Digital Photographs

Aperture

Aperture

This photo shows a wide aperture as the plant that is close to the camera is in focus whereas the objects in the background are blurred. This has been done to draw the focus to the plant. To create a wide aperture I went into the settings of the DSLR camera I was using and selected an aperture level that I liked.

Shutter Speed

Shutter Speed

This photo of water coming out of a drinking fountain demonstrates a fast shutter speed so that you can see the movement of the water and the shapes it creates. Different shutter speeds are used to create different effects when there is movement. A slow shutter speed will not capture all the details of a moving object and will have a motion blur because of this. To change the shutter speed I went into the settings on the camera I used and increased the shutter speed.

ISO

ISO

This photo shows a low ISO. This means that the camera is less sensitive to the light which creates a darker image. I lowered the ISO by going into the camera settings.

Tilt shift

Tilt shift

This photo has had a tilt shift applied to it in Photoshop. The tilt shift effect makes the people and objects it has been applied to look smaller and further away than the people and objects a tilt shift has not been added to in the photo. There were many steps to creating this effect.

 

First I selected the image and went into quick mask mode. Then I applied a vertical gradient to create the effect in the image below.

Tilt shift gradient

Gradient

After this I exited quick mask mode and applied a lens blur by going to filter in the toolbar at the top and then selecting blur and then lens blur. then I adjusted the blur.

Lens blur

Lens blur

Then I changed the saturation of the image to complete the effect by pressing Ctrl + U on the keyboard.

Saturation

Saturation

 

 

 

 

 

Digital Photography and Composition

portrait

Portrait

This is a portrait photo that I have taken. You can tell this is a portrait photo as it focuses on one subject and you can see the expression on the subjects face and the image has been composed so that the person is the main focus. To improve this photo if I took it again I would position the subject so that they are facing the camera to make them right in the centre of the photo to make sure that as little of the background as possible can be seen. If I had changed the orientation of the camera so that it was landscape this photo would feature more of the background and would make the subjects face look square.

landscape

Landscape

This is a landscape photo. You can tell this as it focus on the landscape and does not just draw attention to one part of it. Also the camera had been rotated for this photo. This photo has been composed so that goats and ducks can appear together but I think to improve it I could compose it so that it focuses on maybe just one goat or the ducks. Also I could have taken the photo from a different angle to improve its composition.

abstract

Abstract

This is an abstract photo which means its not obvious what the subject is. This photo was taken of a chair and is extremely close to it so that you cant tell its of a chair. If the camera orientation had been flipped to landscape for this photo it would not have much affect because the camera is so close to the object.

Rule of Thirds

Rule of Thirds

This photo has been cropped so that it fits the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds refers to the composition of the photo and means the photo is split into three sections both vertically and horizontally. The fence in this photo contributes to the rule of thirds as the wooden panels going across it create sections. The rule of thirds is used so that you can position points of interest in a photo in a place where people will notice them more and will make the photo appear more balanced. The rule of thirds can also make a photo appear more dynamic which makes them more interesting to look at.

 

Digital Photoshop manipulation

Photoshop collage

This is the montage image that I created in Photoshop using different images and using the various tools in Photoshop to make them look like they are one image.

This is the original background image that I started with. I picked it because it was a just a plain sky background and so I would be able to add whatever I wanted to it.

Death star

This is one of the images that I added to the montage. To remove the black background from this image I used the Magic Wand tool to select the background and delete it, and I also used the eraser tool for parts of the background that the Magic Wand tool couldn’t delete. Then I scaled the image using free transform on the move tool to make it larger.

MillenniumFalcon

With this image again I used the Magic Wand and eraser tools to remove the background.

Fallout 4 power armour jetpack

I also used the Magic Wand tool on this image as well as the eraser to remove everything but the character. I also scaled this image to make the character bigger as otherwise it would have been too small.

Superman

On this image I used the Magic Wand and eraser tools to remove the background and I also used the rubber to remove his left hand, which I replaced with a robot hand.
Robot hand

With this image I just used the Magic Wand tool to remove the white background and then rotated and scaled it so that it looked like it fit on Superman’s arm.

Evaluation
I think all the images have come together well and look like they could be part of the same image, however on some of them I need to use the magic wand and eraser tools more as some parts of the backgrounds are still visible. Also I could try changing the hue and saturation of the images so that they all look the same.

 

 

 

 

 

The best social media for interactive media studio

Wet Flame Studios Research

Introduction:
For this task we had to find out what the best social media would be to promote our design studios and also find a relevant job role related to social media marketing. Each member of our studio was tasked with a different type of research to do. Kallum did primary research and actually got in contact with an existing design studio and asked what social media they use, Sam did secondary research looking at articles about what people thought was the best social media, Joel did primary research and looked at what social media the big design companies use, Kieran did primary research and made a questionnaire that he then handed out to people around the college, and I created a survey on Survey Monkey and sent that out to various people, which is also primary research. The different questionnaires made by me and Kieran were also a mixture of qualitative and quantitative research as well as we got peoples opinions on why they chose what they did as well as the numbers of people who chose each social media and what they mainly use social media for.

My questions:
One of the questions I asked was “What social media site do you think would be best to promote a design studio?” to give me an idea of what sites people thought were best so that we could make a decision. Another question I asked was “Which social media site would you be more likely to use to find information on a company?” and also got people to explain why so that I could see what social media we could use that would be seen by the most people and know their reasons for their decision.

Results:
From our research we discovered that the most popular social media used by design studios is Facebook and Twitter. Every design studio we looked at used at least one of these. Also the majority of the people who answered the questionnaires said they would use Facebook and Twitter for promoting a design studio. Many design studios also use YouTube to promote as this is a good platform for showing off their creations. Therefore these are the three social media networks that we would use for our design studio.

Job role:
The job role we found for social media marketing is a Marketing PR and Social Media Manager. The responsibilities of this job include managing all the social media accounts of the studio, such as the Twitter and Facebook accounts, and managing the marketing budget.

Conclusion:
For this task primary research was very effective as we could actually find out what social media networks existing design studios used to promote themselves which meant we could make a clear decision on what social media would be best for us. Also this research allowed us to see why design studios used these social media. In this way secondary research was not quite as effective as we didn’t know the reasons why these social media were being used. The questions that we asked allowed us to understand why people used the social media they did and why they think certain social media sites will be better for promoting than others.

 

Mobile phone research

Mobile phone spreadsheet

This task was to find the best deal on a number of different phones from different data providers. The phones had to meet specifications that I would need of them and the research that I did for this task was secondary, looking on the data providers websites at the information and specifications of the phones, and quantitative, looking at the numbers related to the phones. The primary research I could have done for this task would be going into a shop and talking to someone about the phones and learning more about them that way.

The phones I compared were all the latest models to be released by the various phone manufacturers and I compared them all on a 24 month contract so that it was a fair comparison. The data provider I used for most of the phones was Three to also make it fair however I did have to use Vodafone for the Blackberry phone as Three did not have it.

I found that the cheapest phone to get over the course of a 24 month contract was the Motorola Moto Maker model as this would only cost £361 for the duration of the contract. However I felt that this phone did not meet the specifications I wanted as it only had 8GB of memory which was the joint least memory of all the phones along with the Nokia Lumia 735. Therefore I would choose the LG G4 as that has 32GB of memory and is the fourth cheapest phone at £696 for the 24 month contract and its other specifications also meet my needs as it has 1GB of data, 600 minutes of calls, and all you can eat texts which is very useful for me as I text a lot.

In conclusion the research I conducted allowed me to see that the cheapest phone that I could get was not the best phone for me and I have learnt how secondary research can be very useful and it is quite easy to do.