Friday, 30 April 2010

Yr2 Yr3

When I was writing the essay on time management I was really motivated to keep to what I was learning, but somewhere along the line the work caught up with me and it all started to pile up. Now I feel like I have not done enough or tried my best and I feel guilty because no-one is to blame but me. I also doubted my work, at times I was telling myself I just couldn't do it and I didn’t try. I also didn't feel confident enough to show my work for others to critique, and I didn't feel that it's anywhere near good enough for industry standard.

However as a human being it feels natural to want to keep on trying and living through, and now I just can’t wait to practice over the summer holidays. I want to create so much of my ideas and I feel that this would work better as I would have more of an interest in them. I noticed I got more excited about the 'Mortal Engines' Self Portrait project and spent a lot of time on it, and i was really uplifted by the end result. I think this was because I was curious to see how I’d be able to re-create myself as some1 else.

However by concentrating on it so much that the other two projects related to the mortal engines book; were pushed aside. I know that if I can balance out my time and efforts better then the projects will run smoother.

I'm really proud of my team’s recent group project, I think that I’ve learned so much from it but it seemed difficult at times. It was hard to keep everything together, and felt like sometimes it was progressing in different directions. However it was inspiring seeing a combination of peoples work come together and in the end work as one.

Some things I thought that could have gone better was the planning and actually working together as a group because sometimes people did not show up much in the labs, as they preferred to work elsewhere. I did enjoy helping each other out and learning little shortcuts and other people's ways of working.

Even though it was nice working from the Queens building and imageniring all the fun little things, I loved the beginning of the year where we went to Abbey park and Bradgate Park. Being outdoors feels so much nicer to draw, unlike interior spaces, I really struggle with the perspective on close objects. This can also be something to improve whilst I don’t have actual University work to do over the summer.

I remember Heather giving us a tutorial on using Zbrush, but I’ve not had a go at it yet, so that's also something I want to get on with, just to try it.

Having the group project has made me more confident on working with other people and I'm considering working in a group for the third year as I feel that sometimes I get stuck on work and i need a bit of guidance to proceeding. Also knowing that other people are relying on me to do my work is more motivating to me than just doing it for myself. However if i do end up working on my own I will still try my best.

I know this is all everywhere but it's a lot of what I’ve been thinking about recently, and again I only notice all of these things because I’m having to write them down. I've got into a bad habit of not writing in my blog unless I’m asked to. I know it's my space to put anything and I know I should be putting things up but it feels like I need permission, I have to stop thinking like this.

I remember Chris saying that "...You have to do what we're asking for and more..." I really like the idea of this, doing all the work and doing it in your own way with your own touch. I want to try and follow this most for next year, doing what's expected and that little bit more.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

1500 word Essay

Time management and motivation.

Time Management: Time management refers to a range of skills, tools, and techniques used to manage time when accomplishing specific tasks, projects and goals. (wikipedia definitions).
Motivation: The psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal; the reason for the action; that which gives purpose and direction to behaviour. (Princeton wordnet). This essay is about time management and motivation and its uses.

Some time management skills include; goal setting, planning, prioritising, decision making, delegating, and scheduling.
Goal setting is setting targets to achieve with in a certain amount of time. Its useful for big projects which can be broken down into smaller parts.
Planning is an important skill to do, with a lot of things you will find you can't do something without having done something first, for example you can't do a uv unwrap with out first having made the model.
Prioritising goes hand in hand with planning its the ability to figure out the importance of a task and to put it ahead of less important tasks.
Decision making is crucial for time management if you spend to long making a decision about what to do and when you will find you have no time left.
Delegating is the process of passing on work to other people, for example a secretary will do filing for their boss.
Scheduling is a little like planning but can involve things like time tables and is a more definitive form of time management.
One important aspect of time management is to not overwork. You need to make time for breaks and enjoy yourself whilst still sticking to the deadlines. If you are overworked and tired your work will suffer.
Some important applications of time management in the world are things like logistics, military manoeuvres, business management.

The uses of time management in logistics where logistics is having a certain number of objects which could be; people, cattle, supplies or vehicles and providing it with suitable transportation, are; planning and scheduling among others. Planning is used to work out how long it will take to reach where it needs to be and how much transportation is required. Scheduling is then used to make sure everything is where it should be in the least amount of time.
Military manoeuvres require precise time management to see the manoeuvres are a success. This requires synchronicity and a high level of scheduling.
Business's have to be run in real time so time management means money. The more efficient the workers and the quicker the responses to market change the better the business will do.

Some good examples of time management are time tabling, and building a hierarchy of tasks. These are good examples because they show prioritisation and scheduling. Some bad examples of time management are taking work as it comes, and leaving work until just before the deadline.

Motivation is a large and diverse subject so this will be a summation of some of the major points and ideas behind it. Motivation is an intent towards a goal. Motivation can be split into intrinsic and extrinsic behaviour.
Intrinsic motivation is doing something like a jigsaw for the satisfaction of having done it or for the enjoyment of the puzzle. Intrinsic motivation is usually found in people who find enjoyment of being in control of a situation.
Extrinsic motivation is an incentive. For example money and threats of violence are the most common extrinsic motivations. Things like trophies and rewards for doing well are also good examples. Though it has been found that an abundance of extrinsic motivation leads to a decrease in the subjects intrinsic motivation.
Self controlled motivation is a sign of emotional intelligence. Someone may be intelligent by normal standards (such as intelligence tests) but not willing to apply their intelligence to anything. The idea of self controlled motivation is that someone will consciously dedicate time and effort towards getting something either for the intrinsic or extrinsic rewards.

A lot of things have come about because of certain motivations, such as great master pieces, wars, even some self mutilation. Some of the motivations that cause these outcomes are things like love, and war, and money. Some famous things that have been done through these motivations are things like the fall of troy, van Gogh cutting off his ear, even the song green sleeves! With the right motivation people have been known to move mountains, or at least go through them.
One of the most famous examples of motivation was the Russian Tzarina Alexandra Fyodorovna who gave up her influence to Rasputin under the motivation that he would heal her son.

Ever since I can remember, I've always worked hard but it was never within the time limit, and because of this, most of it was never finished properly or to the quality that I would of liked it to be. This was not because of my skills, because they have always been improving but because of my really poor time management. After listening carefully to Mike's lecture's I've decided to try harder to make changes in the way that I work. There is a lot that Mike has advised us about and I have fully understood, which is rare because most of the time I feel so confused.
However some of the things I want to try and work towards are, Planning, timetabling and practising. For example if I have been set a project and my deadline is in 2 weeks time, I could plan what I need to to for the different stages, research, development and final(s). Then time table it all out so that I give myself the first week to finish it in and the second week, if needed I can make changes or improve it. This way I would have a lot of spare time to do other work as on the course we have overlapping projects.
I also listed Practising, what I mean by this is, to do more than one piece, this way I have more options in final, more development and more understanding of what I'm learning by not making the same mistakes twice. On another note, I've not been using my Dmuga Facebook account as much as I should be. I find critiques really helpful, but I get shy about people looking at my work in progress, like its not meant to be seen because its unfinished. However I do need the help so I'm setting it as a goal to get more work up as I'm doing it. If I can keep this up for all of my projects and finish it all just about on time, then I would be happy to present all of my hard work to the whole of game art.
For motivation all I have to do is keep reminding myself of the reasons I'm doing this, but if I Manage my time better it will work out.

In conclusion time management and motivation are very important towards the course and possible jobs in the future. Motivation is primarily extrinsic for the course as the rewards are grades, and the fact that we are paying a lot of money to study here. There is also the intrinsic value of learning new things and having a marketable skill. My personal motivations are; my family, because when I am back home in my country, I see different family members working so hard and they are so motivated, its very encouraging. Also for a long time I wanted to prove myself to my parents, that my chosen route of education is not a waste of my time, and effort.
The future, motivation to do well in my work now means I finish with better grades which helps towards more options in my chosen career path. Also I want a degree that will help me get a job in something I enjoy doing.
Other people, I like to see other people happy and smiling, and if my work can do that its a good motivation for me to work harder.
Satisfaction of completion, I like the feeling of completing a project in time and with my best efforts.
Time management is very important to the course and the jobs that follow after it. The course and the jobs that follow are all project based, this means that a lot of things will have overlapping deadlines. These overlapping deadlines mean that scheduling and prioritising are important as otherwise nothing will be done on time.
Whilst thinking about all of this I realise just how much I'm lacking in the way of time management skills, and because of this my motivation is not put to full use. Causing me to rush most of my work for a deadline. I really don't like working like this so, as I've mentioned, I'm going to try to put Mike's Lectures to full use, taking more note of where my time is being wasted and doing a lot of thing I've wrote.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Old Masters

Painting in the style of an old artist.

When Chris first explained the task, I was looking forward to doing all of the research, wanting to find some amazing old artist who painted simply, beautifully but also realistically. Imagining, looking for all the details such as brushstrokes, textures and layers of paint on a canvas. So I was excited to learn from them and create my own piece of work.

To start I had to find that Amazing artist so I thought about looking through the library to find an artist book and then choose from that. But a while after looking I just couldn't find one that really took my interest. So I gave up on that idea and decided to look online.

Whilst I was in the Lab I started searching again but I couldn't think of Artist names to search for, so somewhere through looking for one, I got distracted and got on Google maps and discovered a little tool where you could walk around cities. Soon I was virtually walking around Derby and I followed my bus route to college, as you do, and saw the derby art gallery.

At this point I thought it would be a great Idea to go there and look for an artist as I also needed to go home on the weekend. I visited the gallery website and found that they displayed the work of Joseph Wright (at this point Chris was there next to me and made a comment that my chosen artist must be good because of the second name.) Anyway I saw some images of his work and was looking forward to seeing it myself.

As planned, on Saturday morning I got the train to Derby and walked to the Museum. After a while of walking around I finally recognised one of Wright's paintings. I was surprised to the size of it and how amazing it really was. After a few moments of admiring it I realised that the whole room was full his work. I had a look around but this painting was already my favourite. So there I was staring at it, when the curator came up to me and started talking to me, he went on and on about the artist I don’t even remember what he said. But he let me take pictures of the painting so he was all good.

As I came to painting a final for this, I decided to concentrate on some of the close-up photos I took of the painting, so did 2 samples just as experiments.

For the final I cropped the painting down to the part I wanted to concentrate on the most and started to sketch it on Photoshop. I started on an empty layer with a neutral fill background layer. Whilst i was painting this, I was constantly looking back at the painting and trying to copy the brushstroke directions and sizes.
I noticed that the artist had also used different brushes for different areas, as the female’s body is very smooth, however the tree trunk behind her looks rough and textured. To finish it all off I applied a canvas texture on the whole painting.

Original painting -> here

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Week 24: finale

Good points: Student interaction on the course is helping me to get to grips with my work. People like Mitch helping me with my digital art and Guy helping me with my 3d as well as the others <3. I like the feedback from the lecturers its helped a lot. King us out to gather reference material and experience and encouraging us to go out on our own helped improve my work. The general timetable is reasonable.
Bad points(T_T): We could do with A3 scanners and printers in our labs. We could do with more general equipment in the labs, and not to be thrown out for the animation classes. Could have done with a wider variety of emotion in films (instead of the depressing ones).

Week 22: GDC

My portion:
There may not be a lot to write on this but I thought it would be an awesome thing to see. Mirrors edge is a new type of game and the innovative things they say they have come up with in tackling this game would be interesting to know. Also it demonstrates a creative use of rigging and a solution to some rather obscure yet difficult problems in game design. The movement system also would be cool to get a look at.

Week 21: Reflections

In the beginning (life story...), me and some friends from school thought to make a game in the future. My role was the game artist (role playing dream :P) and I would be designing characters and landscapes. Going through college we split up and the dream fell through. Now that I am here at uni. I don’t know what I want from the future. But I do know that I want to do art and that game art is a lot more fun than fine art or any other art for that matter. I’ve not put much thought into what I want to do after uni. But I hope to learn more throughout the years I am here and hope to work with some of the people I know. I think the best way to decide what I am going to do is wait till I get there. Mainly due to the fact that I don’t know what skills I will develop the most over my time here. In one of the lectures mike mentioned that if we had dreams then we should go for them. For drifters this isn’t helpful but I thought about it for ages (and got very frustrated) but still couldn’t think of anything to aim for. So as for dreams and the future we shall wait and see as for now I think I shall carry on working hard and enjoying my time here.

Week 20: creativity

Creativity is a wandering mind and experiences. If you can find yourself an idea that grabs your attention be it old or new or any idea for that matter scribble it down. Creativity isn’t just about art, its everything. What changes the idea from a thought into matter? Motivation, duty, accident? E.g. why idea of light bulb become invention of light bulb? Just to see in dark? Or something more? Everything you look at is someone’s brain child. Everything you listen to and everything you do is someone’s inspired idea. Things like bricks and engines and spaceships. Creativity lives in everyone and how they express it is due to how the environment they were brought up in shaped their ideas and the motivation to excel in what they do. There is no such thing as an original creation, just an inspired take on an existing thing. Things which may seem original like planes and wheels and cars all emulate nature or earlier creations to some degree. Take everything you know stick it in a jar and shake it up. Throw in everything you have ever felt, heard, touched, experienced. Mix it all up in a cauldron under a full moon on the solstice and see what comes out!
The greatest creations are usually carried out by people other than the person whose idea it was, for instance look at things like the SHC(super hadron collider) at Cern that could only have been brought about by many other people hard work. To be truly creative then you must never get bogged down on anything! You must be open to the universe and new ideas. The usual idea of a creative person is someone who thinks of 1000 ideas a day and forgets them just as quick. The reality is similar it’s the creative persons implementers that bring their creativity to life. Sometimes this is the person themselves. Other times like in most instances it’s more talented or skilled individuals that bring out this creativeness, but this also leads to a mixing in of their own ideas making it something more than it began as. A good example of this is games and movies, or architecture, or government policies, or a bank robbery. Where someone else’s idea is brought to life by others. There are those that say that creativity is borne of insanity, and those who believe it is a way that people express the way they perceive an idea or concept.
Creativity is an individual trait; it’s something inherent in all of us but emerges in different ways. From the man who murders hundreds of people and cut them to pieces (gruesome but has happened, leading to the question of the dangerous of creativity unchecked) to Picasso or Da Vinci. But what made these men great artists? Why is their work held in such awe over others?
The other side of the creative coin is curiosity. What happens when people think what if? What if I route the power through the relays this way? (They explode) What happens if I connect this to this instead? (Fork in the toaster) Or if I mix paints in this way, (Hey look! Brown!) or change code like this, (403 Out of cheese error!) or word it like this?
People talk about thinking outside the box making you creative. But in doing that all you do is create a new box for yourself separate to other people.