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 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.

 

Virtual Gallery

For this task we were comparing the experience of actually visiting a museum or gallery to the experience of a virtual gallery and discuss the pros and cons of each. We did this task as it relates to the work we are doing which is creating a virtual gallery showing off our work so we need to know the pros and cons of a virtual gallery.

There are many pros and cons of visiting a museum or gallery in real life and of using a virtual gallery to view the artwork. When discussing these pros and cons it is important to consider all the factors, such as the scale of the object you are looking at.

Pros of visiting museum:

The pros of actually visiting a museum include you can actually see the scale of the pieces of art you are looking at, for example most people have only seen the Mona Lisa through pictures online and don’t know the actual scale of it, but by actually going to the Louvre you will be able to see the actual scale. This is the same for all pieces of art and you can’t tell the scale without actually seeing it in real life.

Another pro of visiting a museum in real life is you get the full visitor experience that is not available elsewhere. You can also see the curation of the exhibits when you go in real life which you can’t see in a virtual gallery. Actually seeing the object in real life offers a much better experience than looking at an image of it and your interpretation of the art can change depending on if you’re viewing it in real life or in a virtual environment as in real life you can see much more and it creates different feelings.

Also viewing art in real life means you can see all the finer details of it, such as the brush strokes on a painting, which gives you a greater understanding and appreciation for the art.

Cons of visiting museum:

However, there are also cons to visiting a museum in real life. These include;
The cost of visiting a museum can be quite high if you do not live close to it and have to travel a lot to get there. This could potentially keep people away from visiting museums and galleries.

Another con is some museums and galleries do not have disabled access, for example the Louvre does not have much wheelchair access and because it is so busy it would be hard for a person in a wheelchair to get around the museum and see the art pieces. This means that disabled people can not actually go to museums in real life and have to find other ways to experience the art.

Pros of virtual gallery:

One option for disabled people to view artwork is a virtual gallery. The pros of this include it is considerably cheaper than actually going to a museum. For example the Louvre guide for the Nintendo 3DS is only about £15 which is a lot cheaper than travelling to the Louvre and paying for admission, which would be quite a lot of money as you would have to pay for transport and accommodation as well as the admission fee.

Another pro of a virtual gallery is you can view a wide range of the exhibits in the comfort of your own home. This is much easier than going to the Louvre and can be available to everyone. This means that you can look at the exhibits without the huge crowds of people who could distract you or obscure your view of something.

Also a virtual gallery has detailed audio and video descriptions of what you are looking at, so you can learn more about the exhibits without having to go and see them in real life.

Cons of virtual gallery;

Virtual galleries also have cons. One of these is you can’t get any sense of scale when you are looking at a virtual image of an exhibit which can affect your interpretation of it.

Another con of virtual galleries is not all of the exhibits are available to view in them. For example the Louvre guide for Nintendo 3DS only has over 600 images of the exhibits compared to the 70,000 exhibits that are actually on display at the Louvre. This means that you are not seeing all the exhibits when you use a virtual gallery and the only way to see them all is to actually go to the Louvre museum.

Conclusion:

Going to a museum and using a virtual gallery both have their various pros and cons and there are benefits to using both but you are able to see much more and learn more by actually going to a museum in real life. From my experience of going to museums and galleries I think it is much better to go visit a museum in real life as you can get close to the objects and see all their details and you can see their scale much more accurately.

 

Digital Media and User Generated Content debate

The statement that was put forward for this debate was “Digital media and user generated content has changed the production and consumption of media”.

For this debate the class was split into three separate groups, one group that argued in agreement of the statement, one group that argued against the statement, and one group that had the opportunity to question the two other groups on their statement. I was placed in the group arguing against the statement.

In my research in order to argue my point I discovered that although the amount of content being produced has increased the quality of it has decreased due to everyone being able to create what they want and there being no one to make sure the quality of content is of a certain standard. This strengthens one of the arguments made by the side against that Gatekeepers are still needed to check the quality of the content.

Another piece of information that I found during my research was that user generated content is becoming more like the old content made with old media as they all use advertisements to try and make money and the content that they make is made to make money.

The group that was arguing for the statement opened up their argument by saying that newspaper sales have been declining gradually over the last 10 years, in comparison to Twitter which in the last 5 years has gained around 300 million active accounts, and the group had the statistics to back this up. They also claimed that Twitter offers more unbiased viewpoints than newspapers because of the Gatekeepers that control the newspapers. They finished their opening argument by saying that the internet has become a much safer platform for viewing the news and other things that were formally viewed in old mediums.

The group against this statement started by saying that the old media is still around, such as newspapers and radios and the old Gatekeepers such as BBC are still the largest providers of content. They also argued that modern editing techniques on software such as Photoshop are techniques that were used before for editing in places like Dark Rooms, so the only thing that has changed is the platforms used for editing. Finally they argued that we still take in information in the same way suggesting that consumption hasn’t changed and that even in all the new ways of getting information bias still exists as its just peoples opinions instead of companies opinions.

After this the side arguing for had a chance to counter and they said that the BBC uses new media t get its information and even has a whole section dedicated to searching social media for news. They also said that digital media and user generated content has introduced the “many to many” communication option whereas before it was “one to one” or “one to many”.

Then the against side had a chance to counter and I argued that although anyone can become producers now the quality of the content being made has declined so we are getting more content but it is no longer as good as it used to be. I also argued that many of the older generations do not use social media and therefore still rely on old media such as newspapers, radio, and television for information. Another argument that was made was most Twitter accounts are inactive, meaning that those account don’t post anything or follow any other accounts.

After both sides had made their arguments and counter arguments the Floor had the opportunity to ask questions to both sides about what had just been discussed.

After both sides had had a chance to answer the questions we took a vote and 14 people voted in favour of the statement with 2 people voting against it. The end result was we all agreed that digital media and user generated content has changed the production and consumption for the better as everything can be accessed digitally it makes accessing them easier for everyone.

Evaluation
This task was difficult for me and my group as there was not a lot of information available about what we had to argue but there was a lot that the side arguing for could say so it was easier for them in the debate. However if I had searched a bit more I could have found more useful information that I could have used to strengthen our argument.

Research sources
http://www.copypress.com/blog/the-pitfalls-of-user-generated-content/ – Date accessed 5th November 2015
http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2014/04/28/user-generated-content – Date accessed 5th November 2015
http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2014/04/28/user-generated-content – Date accessed 5th November 2015

 

Introduction to research

There are many types of research that can be carried out. These are Primary research, Secondary research, Qualitative and Quantitative.

Primary research is research that you have done yourself through techniques such as interviews and questionnaires. Primary research also includes observing photos, film and drawing. Talking to other people is another form of primary research and can be useful as it gives you an opinion from someone else that can help with your research.

Secondary research comes from another source such as reviews on a company’s website or reading information in books or magazines. Secondary research can also be collected in the form of documentaries as they include information that someone else has found.

Qualitative research is heavily based on peoples opinions, for example a questionnaire asking someone to write about something. This allows for better feedback as people can explain their opinion in detail. This type of research gets more personal results.

Quantitative research is about statistics and numbers. This way the responses can be measured and instead of getting peoples opinions it is only dealing with facts.

The research task that I have carried out is to find the cheapest possible mobile phone that has the specifications that I want which is, how much data the phone has and how much memory the phone has. I do not need a lot of texts or minutes as I rarely text people or make calls. Other factors such as the battery life also are not important to me as I don’t mind having to charge a phone often.

The primary research that I did for this task was asking people about the different phones that they have. This gave me more information about the phones that I don’t have, as I have an IPhone 5s and don’t know much about all the other phones.

The secondary research I did was going onto data providers websites and looking at reviews of phones posted by people who have bought them. This also gave me more information about the phones. Also on the websites I looked at the different deals I could get with each phone and worked out which would be the cheapest deal that would have the specifications that I require. The document below contains my findings in a table.
Mobile phone spreadsheet

This task has helped me understand research as now I know about the different types and what they all contain and now I also know the various methods of researching, such as using books and websites and asking questions. This knowledge will help me in future research tasks. I think the task went well and I am happy with the information I found that I think has helped me make a good decision on what mobile phone is best for me.