Monday, 27 December 2010

Back to the 3DTV's : the final opinion

I can now properly pass judgement on 3D televisions, because i purchased one just before Christmas ha ha!

Yes it was rather and impulse buy but one that i don't actually regret surprisingly. In a previous blog entry "To 3D or not 3D that is the question" i did slate 3DTVs a bit and yes some of the points i made still stand but i can clarify all those points now.

The first is are 3DTV's as pointless as i first made out, well in fact no... I admit i made a bit of a misjudgement about them but granted it wasnt until i took a chance on buying one that i realised this. You get a far better experience on a 3DTV than you do in a standard cinema. Places like Showcase and the Odeon branches whip out substandard 3D movies ( of which i am talking about those that are not designed to be in 3D) and it generates a negative reception towards films and the 3D technology. It wasn't till i visited the IMAX cinema to watch Toy Story 3 that i realised the potential for 3D in media and especially in the field of video games.

Yes it has a long way to go but the picture quality on the TV's is fantastic and the added feature of being able to turn 2D into 3D is far more effective than that used in normal cinemas which just confirms that to them its all about the dough and not the customers (no surprises there no doubt).

In my last blog i had a crack at the glasses and in part that still stands but to clear up a few things they are not as bad as first perceived. In comparison to normal cinema ones they are quite comfortable, so much so i spent 5 hours and had no troubles what so ever. This doesn't obviously apply to everyone some people do get discomfort around the ears, eye strain and dizziness it depends on the person but that's just hard luck.

The glasses do fit comfortably over normal glasses quite snugly to my surprise but i stick by what i said that the sooner 3D glasses are gone the better mostly due to the expense of them at £59.99 a pop for a non rechargeable pair. Companies are working on 3DTV minus the glasses and in fact have some in production but they are to small in size to take off commercially over here in the UK or in the US.

The final issue they seem to have sussed with 3D telly's is how they are made everything dark before, they have fixed this by attaching light sensors that adjust the glasses tint to the conditions of the room. Sometimes this works great other times its a bit dodgy due to light from the screen, but either way its on the right track.

One major plus i have for 3D is as mentioned before with video games. I was playing COD earlier and couldn't get over how much depth it gave the game it was fantastic and can only get better so there is lots of room for improvement.

So overall it now seems more promising than it previously did...

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The First Semester - Brief project reflection

Well end of the first semester and what better time to reflect on the 2 projects we were assigned than now.

The first project being the rooftop, my initial reaction to the brief was quite shocked. 20,000 triangles was a tight budget so realistically i should have gone for a format that was better suited to such a low amount like Wii or psp but nooo i thought 'ah what the hell make it Xbox 360 it will be a nice challenge'... I can tell you know that it really really was.

The first obstacle i hit was the piping as i knew this would take up allot of valuable triangles, so i addressed it by using a Lego style system and creating higher poly ends for the pipes to give the impression that the rest of them were allot rounder than they are. Even with this the sheer amount of piping on the rooftop was to much so i did have to make alterations from the reference just so it would make some sense.

I had other issues and had to try my best to get
the assets the lowest i could and bake the detail on. One of the biggest problems i had was the dam water pumps which you can see in the the picture the left. Other than this everything else was relatively straight forward, sure it all needed to be monitored but for the most part it was a breeze.

This still isn't 100% finished as i need to add some polishing touches such as fixing seams and adding some decals which i have factored into my texture budget but its almost there

The second project was a choice between doing either a sculpt or a vehicle of your choice. Id already been playing around with Zbrush previously and had made a sculpt of Winston Churchill's head so i was more or less fed up of that sort so i chose to make a vehicle. But that wasn't the only reason! I also knew that it was pretty much to me like kryptonite was to superman! I hated modelling cars and planes it just really was my thing so i thought what better way to improve than by taking a gamble on my grades.

If i struggled id have got a bad grade in what is a very important year, this pushed me to better myself in this area and to succeed i needed to make something that i knew i would enjoy making and at first i chose the Honda Civic because its my favourite car and overall its a bit weird, that was until i seen what Amy was doing and from the moment i seen the Wallace and Gromit bike i thought wow what an awesome idea so with her permission i stole the idea but instead made their car.

Amy had a fantastic book which was really a joke book as it was the Haynes manual for Wallace's inventions but it had everything in it that i needed. The budget was 9000 which i actually thought was bang on to create something really nice yet sensible and enough that i could actually try and do the car justice.

So the car is more or less finished just a few polishing bits, the destroyed one is still in the shop having work done but its not far off i guess here's a screenshot of it in unreal. I plan on putting the hierarchy in it over the next week or so so it will be drivable in time for hand in :-).

All i can say is i have thoroughly enjoyed this project and it picked me up from a bout of depression due to the rooftop ha, so all good. The final count for this was 8999 tris so i used almost every triangle to get the best shape i could.

Friday, 3 December 2010

First Blog of Third Year...

Right so first blog of the year and better late than never..

So i don't know how people are managing so far but I personally think this third year is harder for time than the second year was. Annoyingly this is my own time keeping fail and it seems no sleep is the only answer to my problem.

I must say though the highlight of the year so far has been this guruing experience. Not only does this benefit the first years by giving them knowledge we have gained and from a different point of view than Heathers, but it also gives a nice amount of tutoring experience to us as well. On top of all the it also gives the lecturers a better idea of who's got the passion to proceed onwards to year 2.

As I'm sure most of you have seen it's fairly predictable by now who won't be coming back next year from year 1 these are the students who no matter how much you try to help them either they wont truly embrace it or dismiss the fact they need help to begin with when clearly there work suggests otherwise.

This is a great insight into Heather, Chris's and mikes constant yearly battles to get the best out of the students. From this I feel I have grown rather (not by much but enough) as it has made me take a major look at myself and increased my confidence in my own abilities.

So, looking forward to the rest of my final year and though it won't be easy with what I guess is a rather ambitious project it still will be interesting, stressful and hopefully on the rare occasion enjoyable haha.