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.

 

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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

 

Manipulated Images

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

Thom-Yorke-Before-After-Photoshop

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.

Madonna

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.