Team Rocket?!

Ok the group projects are over.
First thought; 'thank god!'
Now that isn't to say I didn't enjoy it, because it did (for the most part).
Everything started great, lots of ideas bouncing round, loads of energy and optimism. All the best bits of working with others. This lasted for a while but soon people started to drift, myself included.
I think this might have been due to us not nailing down a firm concept early enough. It left people abit unsure what to do and where to take it.
Once we had the concept sorted and more importantly the area we wanted to portray, I settled down and began my bitter sweet love affair with Unreal.
Initially it was great, I was making good progress and had new stuff to show everyone on an almost daily basis.
Then. Then the learning curve took a sudden upward dive and I was getting bogged down and demoralised.
This happened around the time the rest of the group were completing their first assets. So I was constantly torn between importing assets testing them re-importing them ect, and trawling through online tutorials on topics from lighting to triggers.
The situation was totally of my own construction however, and in hindsight I should have done a couple of things differently:
First I'd have made a much more official asset list with clear precise naming conventions. This would have saved me loads of time renaming peoples work etc (which leads me onto my second point.)
In future mi going to have to be a little more forceful and learn to say no, so i dont take on more than i can cope with. Maybe abit of delegation would have helped instead of trying to tackle everything myself.

However, I am pleased with what we ended up with. The level looked great and showed a real consistency with the great concept work Cherrelle and Blair did. We really pulled it together in the last few weeks. Although that kind of make me wonder what we could have achieved if we started like that.


In a previous blog I wrote that I had applied for BMW's internship in Munich. After completing the brief and sending off my work. Nothing. I waited for ages and ages. Finally I decided enough was enough and trying to sound as polite as possible sent an email asking how everything was going.
A little more waiting and Gareth (the boss) said he would like a telephone interview with me the next day and a CV. I hate writing CV's! I can manage my details and past experience, but what makes me right for the job? Erm, give me a job because I am awesome? Maybe not.
So, the phone interview. Telephone voice at the ready. Everything seemed to be going well, then I compared myself to a fifteen year old Ford escort (my awful car).... I don't need to say any more than that. After asking him not to write that down, it picked up a bit and ended with a request to see more of my work. Gareth was really impressed at my model of the BMW X6 I made and he was actually one of the team that worked on the development of that car and referred to it as 'a beast.' Sent my portfolio and a couple of weeks later after another follow up email or two and one internship at BMW thank you very much :)
I was so excited that I had managed to get the internship that I was jumping around doing cartwheels (not quite- I have no balance). After a few days it suddenly sank in that I would have to leave my home and move to Germany. For a year. Its such an amazing opportunity, but hell I am scared. There is so much that I have to sort out and so much that I have to think about. Let alone trying to understand at least a little of the language!

3D engine design isn't rocket science – it's far more complicated than that.

I vaguely remember Mike mentioning in one of our group therapy sessions that, he thought 'software programmers are like the industrial revolutionary engineers of our generation'. (probably horribly misquoted, but they were words to that effect.)

The cause of this flashback was an article on This one to be precise

Although around five months old now it is still fairly current for a mainstream newspaper, who often tend to treat video game articles as a novelty. Rather like the a story of a German Shepard becoming a surrogate mother to a trio of piglets, you'd expect to hear at the end of a news broadcast.

“Today some of the most brilliant minds in the world – physicists, mathematicians, architects, aerodynamics experts - are working on video games” The question is why? Turns out that the amount of programming and the difficulty that it entails means that this may be even more challenging than there chosen professions.
Software used for games companies has been used to power everything from the New York Stock exchange to a democratizing tool, so if someone in a village in Suffolk doesn't like the bench the council want to put in the park they can design a new one.

So it seems that software is the new iron and steel, not only of this country, but of the whole world. Anything is possible.

“John D Carmack, the programming legend behind the Doom and Quake games runs an aerospace company as a relaxing diversion from his role as technical director at games developer id. Which goes to show that 3D engine design isn't rocket science – it's far more complicated than that.”

3D cinema

Having just gone out and bought James Cameron's Avatar and recently going to see Clash of the Titans at the cinema, I thought it would be a good idea to write a blog about 3D Cinema. 3D cinema has been around for quite a long time, however it has quite rapidly come to our attention in very big ways.

After seeing Avatar at the cinema Clash of the Titans didn't seem to be anywhere near as good. I began to wonder why and after researching the film I found out that the decision to make the film available in 3D came at the last minute. It is quite clear that the premium rate charged for a 3D film was too much of a lure. It seems that I am not alone as the film itself seems to have picked up solid reviews its just the 3D aspect that doesn't seem to have been so popular. If Clash Of The Titans has proved anything though it is that if a studio is keen to release a film in 3D, it should be committed to from day one of filming. That way, we don't get a boardroom decision at the last minute that demands a hasty tack-on that doesn't really work.

Opposing this though Cameron's Avatar, which was intended to be 3D from the first day of filming, has been a great success. I was genuinely impressed at the films technological accomplishments. The narrative seems to be lacking slightly, but the whole concept of Pandora, another planet in space inhabited by strange and wonderful creatures, gives the opportunity for creativity. Inevitably it has led the industry towards a brave new world of stereoscopic film production.

Unfortunately I was unable to go and see Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland or any other films recently out in 3D, but I am assured that it is very good in that aspect. The two films I saw at the cinema seem to be at either ends of the spectrum. Really amazing and truly a failure.

Twenty years from now, we are assured, all movies will look like Avatar. No doubt it is the fate of all cutting-edge technology to eventually turn blunt, dull and outmoded, but that is a concern for another day, another era.