Time Management(CIU05)

In this blog entry I will reflect on my time management skills because the workload at the institute is getting heavier and this reflection will benefit me in my studies. Before beginning my institute courses, I had around a year of not being tied down by any educative facility (not to say that it’s necessarily a good thing) and needless to say, I had a lot of free time. Circumstances are a bit different now and although I can be fairly good in managing my time using schedules and checklists, procrastination gets into my way a bit too often.

A few strategies to improve studying time management include prioritising and completing important tasks first, constraining the time you have to finish a task in order to push yourself to do more work in less time, and creating a habit of completing at least one task every day(Bates, no date).

Gummy bears.jpg

(The Tudor House)

As the above photo demonstrates, treating yourself is one of the best ways to fight procrastination. Positive reinforcement, studied by psychologist B.F. Skinner, plays a big role in motivation and is proved to improve productivity(Give your motivation a makeover with a little psychology, 2013). Another good tactic is dividing a large project into smaller, manageable tasks as it delivers a psychological boost of motivation and makes the whole project easier to complete(Akalp, 2012).

There is a wide range of apps available online which help with time management and productivity such as Top Tracker,  Harvest and Due Time Tracking(Johnson, 2016). Personally, I prefer the more traditional approach of keeping a notebook to track my tasks. I’ve recently discovered a method of simplifying time management through journal logging called Bullet Journal and so far it’s proven to be very helpful.

bullet journal.jpg

(Bullet journal:Journaling at the speed of life, 2014)

Bibliography

Bates, J. (no date) Work smarter, not harder: 21 time management tips to hack productivity. Available at: http://www.creativitypost.com/create/work_smarter_not_harder_21_time_management_tips_to_hack_productivity (Accessed: 15 February 2016).

Тhe Tudor house (no date) Available at: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/125819383312216796/ (Accessed: 15 February 2016).

ive your motivation a makeover with a little psychology (2013) Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201310/give-your-motivation-makeover-little-psychology (Accessed: 15 February 2016).

Akalp, N. (2012) 5 tips to fight procrastination. Available at: http://mashable.com/2012/09/11/procrastination-tips//#Qls2vMCJ2sqH (Accessed: 15 February 2016).
Johnson, C. (2016) 8 great time-tracking Apps for freelancers. Available at: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/269991 (Accessed: 15 February 2016).
Bullet journal: Journaling at the speed of life (2014) Available at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1562027630/bullet-journal-journaling-at-the-speed-of-life (Accessed: 15 February 2016).
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History of 3D graphics (Anim04)

The first documented use of a computer software to create a three dimensional graphic can be traced back to 1960 when William Fetter produced wireframe models of objects such as various aircrafts and pilots(William Alan Fetter | database of digital art, 1960). Below is an example of his computer-generated perspective transformations.

William Fetter.jpg

(William Alan Fetter, database of digital art)

Although it is difficult to pinpoint the first ever 3D video game as it depends on what is implied by 3D (vector graphics/3D elements/3D environment etc) but a common opinion is to believe Battlezone to be the first ever computer game set in a 3D environment, released in 1980 on Atari (History.com, no date). It is a tank war game, which reminded me of an extremely popular modern tank game, World of Tanks, for which I also included a comparison image below. While classified as 3D, Battlezone game elements are all wireframe which might seem unconventional today.

Battlezone

(Keetie, 2014)

World-of-Tanks_KV_Battle_Impact_2D_600px

(Coles, 2013)

 

 

 

 

 

 

A bit earlier than the release of Battlezone, in 1972, co-founder of Pixar Ed Catmull and his colleague Fred Parke, created a short animated film titled The Animated HandInline(Fulton, 2015)Their approach was quite different from the standard modern 3D pipeline, to say the least. The process actually started with a real life plaster model of a hand, below is a video with real footage of the fascinating procedure.

In 1982, Tron was the first Disney movie to use a lot of 3-D computer graphics, even though it might look like a video game at first glance. Then, only in 1995 do we get a full length 3D animated film; yep, you guessed it: Toy Story(Computer graphics, no date).

One example of 3D art which inspires me is the art of the Assassin’s Creed franchise. I am fascinated by everything from the concept art, to the environment and character 3D art. One of the artists who has contributed to this is Nicolas Collings, who has modelled various in game characters for video games such as Assassin’s Creed II and Far Cry(Nicolas collings, no date). Below is an example of his work and a link to a website featuring his artwork.

Collins AC

Assassin’s Creed II in game characters

nicolas collings FC

Far Cry 3 character

https://www.artstation.com/artist/collings.

 

.Bibliography

William Alan Fetter | database of digital art (1960) Available at: http://dada.compart-bremen.de/item/agent/174 (Accessed: 13 February 2016).

History.com (no date) Battlezone arcade video game by Atari, Inc. (1980). Available at: http://www.arcade-history.com/?page=detail&id=210 (Accessed: 13 February 2016).

Keetie (2014) Ross. Available at: http://www.retroforum.nl/topic/4226-tank-game-1994-1998-pc/ (Accessed: 13 February 2016).

Coles, O. (2013) World of tanks 3D vision game review. Available at: http://archive.benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=844&Itemid=64 (Accessed: 13 February 2016).

Fulton, W. (2015) Let’s give a hand to the original 3D computer animation from 1972. Available at: http://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/give-hand-first-3d-computer-animation-1972/ (Accessed: 13 February 2016).

Computer graphics (no date) Available at: http://www.comphist.org/computing_history/new_page_6.htm (Accessed: 13 February 2016).

Nicolas collings (no date) Available at: https://www.artstation.com/artist/collings (Accessed: 13 February 2016).

 

 

 

Pathway to becoming a concept artist(CIU04)

 

concept-art-tutorial-and-myth-busting-mass-effect-2-matt-rhodes.jpg

Concept art by Matt Rhodes(Anhut, 2014)

 

 

Someday I aspire to become a concept artist and to achieve that goal, there are a few things to consider and work on which I will discuss in this blog post.

A concept artist conveys a visual representation of an idea to be used in the production of a film, video game, book etc. and is responsible for focusing the artistic vision as expertly as possible (Just what is concept art?, 2012). Needless to say, this requires one to be proficient at art, and while I have been drawing for a long time and consider myself to be quite good at it, I have yet to reach the level of artistic skill to be able to apply my skill to professional practice. One of the elements of my artistic education would be anatomy as it is an extremely important fundamental skill which even long term artists struggle with(Russell and Articles, 2014). I will also need to master digital art as nowadays art is becoming more and more digitised, especially in the film and video game industries.

There is no formal qualification for a concept artist so one can be qualified in graphic design or illustration instead (Concept artist, 2016). I enrolled for the Animation course as I think that it will allow me to cover most of the necessary aspects of my desired career, but another key step would be to do some independent studies as well, primarily on digital art. At the end of the day, what really matters is the great work and the heart that goes into it.

Bibliography

Anhut, A. (2014) Let’s get real about concept art – Howtonotsuckatgamedesign?. Available at: http://howtonotsuckatgamedesign.com/2014/02/lets-get-real-concept-art/ (Accessed: 10 February 2016).

Just what is concept art? (2012) Available at: http://www.creativebloq.com/career/what-concept-art-11121155 (Accessed: 10 February 2016).

Russell, E. and Articles, L. (2014) Character concept artist tips. Available at: http://blog.digitaltutors.com/10-tips-becoming-hotshot-character-concept-artist/ (Accessed: 10 February 2016).

Concept artist (2016) Available at: http://creativeskillset.org/job_roles_and_stories/job_roles/3072_concept_artist (Accessed: 10 February 2016).

Lighting, Rendering and Compositing(Anim03)

In this post I will introduce three 3D modelling concepts which are mentioned in the title.

different lighting

Different amounts of lighting affect the output render(Interior lighting in 3DS max and Vray, 2015)

Lighting 

Try to imagine the world without any source of light. Truth is, there isn’t much to imagine as the result is complete, unbounded darkness. Similarly, it is essential to create and expertly implement appropriate lighting in a 3D scene so as to not be left with a flat and unimpressive model. There are some standard types of lighting in 3D software which are Point, Directional, Spot, Area, Volume and Ambient light; each of which produce a different result and can be used in different situations or parts of the scene(How to light a 3D scene. Overview of lighting techniques, 2014).

Lighting V-RAY

Render using V-Ray (Dyee, 2015)

Rendering

If all the previously mentioned aspects of the 3D pipeline can be attributed to the modelling process, then rendering can be thought of as the finalisation of the scene and its components. From a mathematical perspective, through the process of rendering, the software’s rendering engine computes the scene’s spatial, textural, and lighting information to create a finalised two dimensional image(Slick, 2014). The two types of rendering are realtime, which is a much more rapid process, and off-line, which produces a more photorealistic result but a longer rendering time. There are two main rendering engines, primarily associated with Maya and 3DS Max: Mental Ray and V-ray. Each engine can be used for different purposes and although they both have their advantages, it is commonly argued that V-Ray is the superior to its competitor(Slick, 2014).

compositing

Example of compositing(Peter, 2015)

Compositing

Depending on the intended use of the produced 3D model, a render can be the final step in the pipeline or one could go a step further and composite the product. Compositing means polishing a ready 3D modelling through processes such as implementing it into video footage or a photographic scene, or adding final touches in the case of a 3D animation(Masters and Articles, 2015). Additional software such as NUKE and After Effects is used in compositing and it is used in a wide range of industries such as movies, games and product design.

Bibliography

Interior lighting in 3DS max and VRay (2015) Available at: https://www.udemy.com/interior-lighting-in-3ds-max-and-vray/ (Accessed: 5 February 2016).

How to light a 3D scene. Overview of lighting techniques (2014) Available at: http://www.3d-ace.com/press-room/articles/how-light-3d-scene-overview-lighting-techniques (Accessed: 5 February 2016).

Dyee, 3 (2015) 3DS MAX VRAY LIGHTING – 3D show. Available at: http://3dyee.com/3ds-max-vray-lighting/ (Accessed: 5 February 2016).

Slick, J. (2014) What is rendering? Finalizing the 3D image. Available at: http://3d.about.com/od/3d-101-The-Basics/a/Rendering-Finalizing-The-3d-Image.htm (Accessed: 5 February 2016).

Peter, M. (2015) Start. Available at: https://agenzasbrothers.com/en/tag/compositing/ (Accessed: 5 February 2016).

Masters, M. and Articles, L. (2015) How to get started in 3D CG. Available at: http://blog.digitaltutors.com/how-to-get-started-in-3d/ (Accessed: 5 February 2016).

 

 

Learning Style(CIU03)

I have recently discovered that I am what is called a visual learner through an online test ((What’s your learning style? 20 questions, no date). Also commonly known as the spatial learning style, such people communicate and organise information through visual images and mind maps (The visual (spatial) learning style, no date).

Researching visual learners felt like completing a psychological test; I was shocked at the accuracy of the visual learner traits. Some of these include needing a quiet environment for studying, preferring to work alone and enjoying drawing (Spanella, no date). However, this can be applied to sixty five percent of the population as that is the ratio of visual learners to auditory(Pearson Prentice hall: ETeach: Strategies for visual learners, no date). Many visual learners tend to underachieve in school due to lack of concentration and I can say for myself that sitting through a two hour physics lecture was a real trial, not to mention that my school hours ran from eight to four in the afternoon (boy am I glad those twelve years are behind me). Performance in school, however, does not predict future successes as some of the most notable geniuses including Einstein, Da Vinci and Steve Jobs were all visual learners(Trépanier, 2015).

Visualising, visualising, visualising. As a spatial learner, all learning tips can be summarised into this word. In detail, to improve my capabilities I should use diagrams and charts to illustrate the received information, make use of concept and mind maps and watch more videos on learnt topics (How-To-S, no date).

Bibliography

What’s your learning style? 20 questions (no date) Available at: http://www.educationplanner.org/students/self-assessments/learning-styles-quiz.shtml?event=results&A=5&V=9&T=6 (Accessed: 4 February 2016).

The visual (spatial) learning style (no date) Available at: http://www.learning-styles-online.com/style/visual-spatial/ (Accessed: 4 February 2016).

Spanella, T. (no date) Visual learning style: Definition & characteristics – video & lesson transcript. Available at: http://study.com/academy/lesson/visual-learning-style-definition-characteristics.html (Accessed: 4 February 2016).

Pearson Prentice hall: ETeach: Strategies for visual learners (no date) Available at: http://www.phschool.com/eteach/social_studies/2003_05/essay.html (Accessed: 4 February 2016).

Trépanier, C. (2015) Gifted visual-spatial learners are twice-neglected. Available at: http://crushingtallpoppies.com/2013/06/30/gifted-visual-spatial-learners-are-twice-neglected/ (Accessed: 4 February 2016).

How-To-S (no date) Visual Learner. Available at: http://www.how-to-study.com/study-skills-articles/visual-learner.asp (Accessed: 4 February 2016).