Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Bins, unicorns and freakin' cars!

Since my first post, the frost has begun to kidnap the sun and everything’s turned orange. That’s another way of saying, “time flies when you’re having fun!” The past few weeks have flown by, but I’ve enjoyed every day of it. Although the workload is very hard to cope with at times, the freedom of the course has allowed me to develop strongly as an artist even in such a short space of time. With uni-life presenting the challenge of balancing a social life alongside work, I’ve made new friends, learnt some awesome new artistic techniques, and made friends who have learnt these techniques too!

So what have I been doing over the past few weeks…

Well, With Heather in our Game Production module, we were given the task of creating and this time texturing a wheelie bin! I know that sounds rubbish (bad pun…sorry!), but it has been a simple way to develop my skills with texturing in a manner of different ways, such as learning alpha channels and how to unwrap and texture the UV’s of the bin. Aside from that, we’ve been with Chris in our Visual Design module. During his tutorials and time out on the field, I’ve started to develop my techniques in two point-perspective to draw buildings and more recently cars. We also drew dinosaur and animal bones in New Walk museum in order to understand tonal values and textures of objects and how to render them accurately.

In Critical Studies with Mike, I’ve also learnt a lot. His tutorials help us to understand certain areas of the course and are usually very relevant lessons. With him, we’ve looked at how to act as artists and how to understand the discipline we follow, as well as how to be a great games artist without making  mistakes which quite frankly make a piece of serious work unintentionally hilarious! I mean unicorns, slutty women and unoriginal mythical creatures.

But to continue to fully understand what I am learning I must understand how video games were first conceived. In looking at the very early history of games, I discovered that the first video game was created in 1958 by William Higinbotham, although the game more commonly renowned for being the first game was ‘Space War’ in 1962. Steve Russell designed ‘Space War’ on an MIT PDP-1 mainframe computer, which was about the size of a car. I think that one of the main reasons for the birth of games is clearly the development of technology. With humanity’s creative desire to make everything fun, it doesn’t seem surprising to me that such a new and revolutionary piece of hardware was converted from a military purpose in most cases, to one of entertainment, even when it was the size of a freakin’ car!

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