Giving and Getting

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In this assignment we had to pick and follow one of the RSA Student Design Awards briefs. After reading through them all I decided to do the “Giving and Getting” brief. I came up with a few ideas such as creating a website or something to do with the advertising of a charity but the only one I could come up with that would realistically work was an iPhone and iPod touch App so I started drawing up some ideas.

I thought, what kind of an iPhone App can I link to charity, and in what way can I link it, so after being stumped for a while I looked down at my desk to find a sponsor form for an event I was doing for Help for Heroes, then it came to me. What annoys me most about collecting sponsors from people? Having to take a piece of in and out of a bag or a folder every time someone wants to sponsor you. What would make it easier? Having something at the palm of my hand that isn’t going to get tatty and that I always have with me. My mobile phone. This is where the idea for the Sponsorship App came from, digitalising a sponsor form, making a simple task simpler.

I then went onto thinking about what was going to go into the App and how many different screens it was going to have in it and what kind of features it has and how I could appeal to groups of all ages so I decided to go with the plain and simple approach. I was careful not to over crowd and overload the pages with lots of images and overcrowded layouts.

I did some paper designs but I didn’t include them in the project as the brief specifically said four A3 pages and a 500 word write up to accompany them. It was a pretty simple brief to follow once I had the design work out of the way. Creating the App screens was the hardest part. I only managed to get four out of eleven to look something like a working app. To create the app I used a program from Apple’s Software Developer Kit which is called Interface Designer and then once I had created the layout on Interface Designer I went onto clean them up with Adobe’s Photoshop to make them a little more professional looking and add some images and sample text.

I think if I was gonna do this project again in the future then I would try and make a few more of the screens from the app to show instead of using the same images twice, I would also try and go into more detail when describing each slide because sometimes I feel that when I am describing stuff, the things that my brain thinks and the thoughts that I think do not always go down on paper as well as I would like them to do.



3DSMax Update

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In last week session we started looking at some 3DSMax work with Dan Cole, we learnt some basics and modeled a computer moniter.

This week we were learning more about adding materials and lighting to create awesome effects. We started trying to use Glass based materials to give a cool effect to some basic geomatry.

This is a rendered version of my glass and lighting effect.

Here is the computer moniter in Red with a Wood Finish Table

RSA Competition

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After looking through the selection of Briefs from the RSA Student Design Awards Competition I have finally decided on which one I am going to work on. I am going to work from the Giving and Getting Brief.

Putting Sound to Animation For The First Time

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In todays session with Ed, we looked at a new piece of software called Fruity Loops which in actual fact sounds like a cereal, however, it is a program that lets you create your own samples and tracks using various synth sounds and link them all together in a rather well produced track if you know what your really doing with it. However, I didnt really know what I was doing with it and in true Sam fashion, I missed the first half of the tutorial because I had my headphones in because I was trying to work out how the software worked!

In the end the track I made and the sample I ended up with was actually pretty good in my opinion. We then exported our short tracks out as .wav files and opened up 3DSMax, created a small animation and added the track we just made into the animation so that it appeared that the shapes were moving to the sound of the music in the background. I then added a path and attached a camera to the path so that it moved around the animation. After that, I rendered it out, all 401 frames of it. The longest animation I have done thus far.

I really enjoyed making the samples on Fruity Loops and also adding it to an animation! The only downside is that somewhere between adding the sound to the animation and rendering the animation into a .avi file, the sound track has become out of time, sounds really weird and didnt turn out how I expected it to! Other than that everything went smoothly!


20th October VAL Lesson – Intro to Mudbox

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In todays VAL Session we used a program called Mudbox made by the same company called Autodesk that also makes 3DSMax.

We started with a basic head shape in Mudbox, increased the poly count and moulded it to how we wanted it to look. I found out that the Mirror tool is very useful in getting the markings to be symmetrical so that the figure looks even and equal. After playing about and moulding my head and shoulders looked like some kind of aquatic fish man.

We then exported the figure and opened up 3DSMax and imported the model we had just exported from Mudbox. After importing it, i added a track around it and attached a camera to the track so that the camera panned around the model. The camera moved too fast so i doubled the frame count from 100 to 200 so that the camera moved slower around the model and added a white background. I then rendered it out however the finished rendering was too dark on one side of the model, so i had to go back into 3DSMax and add some light, the original light i used “Skylight” was too bright and because of how much shadow it was casting and how many frames there were it was taking ages to render. So after it had rendered a couple of frames I canceled it because i decided i didn’t like the light that i had used because it bleached the model too much because there was so much light.

I then changed the cameras to using 5 “Omni” Lights, two on each the X and the Y axis and one over the top on the Z axis. I again tried to render it but there was still too much light after the first couple of frames had rendered. So again I went back and removed the light on the Z axis and moved the lights on the X and Y axis’ back a bit. I rendered it out for the 4th time and after watching it back I decided I was happy with it. So I’ve uploaded the finished product to and also embedded it below in this post.


3DSMax Interesting Tutorials

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Here is a couple of interesting tutorials I found on the internet that I would like to try and do next time we are on 3DSMax


Creating my very First FPS Game!

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In this weeks VAL Lesson, we were introduced to a piece of free software that is a First Person Shooter Engine, we created quick levels, got the doors from room to room to work and put weapons, ammo and enemies into the map to see how it worked, it used the engine that powered the games “Unreal 1” and “Unreal 2”.

It was fun to play with and given more time could create something really well developed and something that is fun to play.

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