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.

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook logos for interactive design studio

These are the Facebook profile picture and cover photo that I created in Photoshop for my interactive design studio Wet Flame Studios.

Profile Picture:

Wet Flame logo

I created this profile picture in Photoshop by first researching the Facebook profile picture dimensions on the internet and then setting them as the Photoshop dimensions so that the image would fit as a profile picture. Then I found the image of the flame on the internet and used copy and paste to bring it into Photoshop. Then using the text tool I wrote “Wet”, “Flame”, and “Studios” separately so that I could position them individually and use a different colour for each word. I decided that I wouldn’t position the words together in a structured way and positioned “Wet” and “Flame” so that they did not overlap much with the flame as that could make them hard to read.

Cover Photo:

Logo Facebook banner

To create this I found out the Facebook banner dimensions and set them as the dimensions on Photoshop. Then I found the flame image and set that as the background. Then I added the blue flame on top of that. I added some effects to the blue flame to make it stand out.
Facebook banner bevel effect
One of the effects I added was a Bevel. This created an outline in the actual flame that made the outer area of the flame a lighter colour than the inner area. I also added shading to create a shadow around the outside to make it stand out against the background.

I used the Text tool to create the text and changed the size of “Studios” so that “Wet Flame” stood out more as that is the most important part of the name. I also added a stroke effect to the text so that it had an outline.
Facebook banner stroke effect
I only added a very thin stroke as the text is not very big and so a large stroke would make it hard to read. I changed the colour of the stroke to a lighter shade of blue to the text so that it stands out but uses the same colour scheme.
Facebook banner effects
I was able to manage all the effects and choose the effects I wanted using this menu. By double clicking with the mouse on any of the layers I was able to choose what effects I wanted to add to each of them.

Manipulating sound: Limbo dub

This is my limbo dub. All the sounds in this clip were created with a piece of paper. To create the footsteps of the character I laid the paper on a surface and tapped on it gently. To create the sound of the jump I tapped the paper slightly harder as the impact needed is greater. Other sounds were created by crumpling the paper to create different effects.

This is the original Limbo sequence that I then added the paper sounds to.

 

Once I had recorded the sounds I edited them using Audacity. Using Audacity I was able to trim the audio I had recorded so that I only had a sound that I wanted and I was able to amplify the sound to make it louder for the sounds that needed it, such as the sound when the character lands after jumping and the rock crashing into the character.

Then I used Adobe Premiere to add the sounds to the clip. This involved watching the clip to find out on which keyframes the sounds would need to be added to in order to properly sync with the video.

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.

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 http://ao.com/product/mwh2321x-hotpoint-hd-line-microwave-black-37759-50.aspx.

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.