Thursday, 27 December 2012

Assessments, Stress, Procastination and Christmas Break

So, it has been around 2 weeks since my assessment and whoever is reading this is probably wondering why I am so late in blogging about that. I WAS OCCUPIED!! In deep procrastination and… home stuff (which means nothing… at all). OK! Anyway, throughout these past weeks I seem to have been caught in a spiral of doing not much at all, this may be because during the first semester I kind of burnt myself out in trying to meet every deadline which I did succeed at to some extent. Of course there are always things you can add to, when you don’t have too many constraints. I have been dabbling in a few personal works here and there so not all time has been wasted although I do feel I can always make more out of these free days. It is of course the holidays so SOME slacking is in order, but I think now I have had enough of all that.   

As far as assessment goes, everything went well. Much better than last year, that’s for sure. At this stage I am working towards a 2.1 grade, which I am very satisfied with but of course, why not aim for the highest mark, right? All my modules seem to be going smoothly; it was a bit of a pain with critical studies because I was not sure where the ‘should be’ mark was. This happened to be put on our blackboard system (online database for updates and information from the university) the day before our assessment so a last minute catch up was almost impossible, however our tutor Mike will always say ‘should have referred to the critical studies handbook’ which is, I hate to admit… true. Visual Design also went ok, the main thing I learned here is to make sure I put everything up on Facebook for the tutors to see, because no matter how much work you do, if it is not posted online, it will not be given much feedback as no one would have seen it. Game Production went extremely better than expected because I really did think my project was a bit of a last minute mash up. I was ill during the 4 days before the deadline, I thought my personal set brief was not amazingly thought out, and I felt it was a lot of random decision making. To my surprise I was told I met the criteria very well and it was what Blitz were looking for. Nice. 
So what have I been doing these past few weeks? Well, like a lot of people I did go see The Hobbit!! I decided it would also be good inspiration as films like this go to great lengths to not only construct in depth storylines, which can be very difficult when done from books, but also create amazing CGI sequences. As I had never read any books from the franchise, my only reference point was the previous trilogy, Lord of The Rings. Though the film takes its time grasping into this ‘adventure’ it does set a very convincing stage for the characters to progress the narrative by means of another trilogy. I had no idea myself until I saw the film, that there would be more. It is also nice to see a team of people take their time to encompass the books events into trilogy’s instead of cramming it all in to 2 hours and 30 minutes. A key part of the film involves Gollum’s re-introduction, in a deep cave inside the mountains where Bilbo unwillingly finds himself, of course here is where he also unites with the ‘precious’ ring. This set of scenes really got me thinking about lighting, and portrayal of characters; so when creating artwork I found it is important to think in ‘camera mode’ so you don’t always have be eye level standing up with everything. Setting up angles from various locations around the scene can convey illusionary attributes such as dominance, power, and scale. 

I also think I have been neglecting character design so this film consisting of Hobbits, Dwarfs, Wizards, Goblins and Orcs, really made me question what direction my future portfolio my look. I really found the Dwarf kings attire to fit very well, these characters also don’t seem to dress in crazy, colour armour so instead of looking like something out of Warcraft they do seem like they are not too far from our world. Although Gandalf does seem to appear more and more like a homeless person in each film.

Characters are a weak point for me so I may have to come up with some interesting designs to assist my learning in this area. There has also a few blogs I have had ‘planned’ which need finishing so it’s time to really catch up with everything and start planning this portfolio stuff too.