Mock Interview Evaluation

This blog is about when I was given the task to be interviewed by the people I sent my cover letter too for their job application and to interview people who sent their cover letters to the job applications my group sent out. We did this so we could prepare for real interviews for the future, here is my evaluation of how my interview went and how my groups interviewing went.

Being the interviewee 

When I was being interviewed for the job of graphic designer, I think that I did pretty well, such as I was able to answer the questions clearly. I was also able to use one of my weaknesses and turn it into a strength, I did this when they asked what are my weaknesses, I responded with “I am dyscalcular and dyslexic” and then followed up with “but I see my dyslexia more as a strength than a weakness as I am more creative because of it”. I was also able to link my skills with the skill requirements very well.

Now there was one improvement I could make which was I should have taken more time in answering the questions, that way I could formulate much better answers.

Being the interviewer 

when interviewing the people who sent in their cover letters for each job application we sent, we made our own questions for the job application we each sent out. We also made some questions that were general questions for all the job application we have, that way some questions were specific for the job role and others were general main questions.

Here is a picture of my questions I did for concept artist:

image

The general questions were questions 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11, the rest of the questions were made for the job application of concept artist. For the other interviews that weren’t concept artist, I only used the general questions, I believe all the interviews went well, we ask question that were aimed at the job role, at the person and are just general questions. We could have improved a couple of interviews where may have rushed a little bite and weren’t able to ask all the questions we wanted.

The interviews that we had that I was most impressed with was when interviewing Josh and Kallum as they answered the questions very well.

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Virtual gallery reflection

Here is my reflection on my virtual gallery I built recently, I answered the questions that we were given for each Unit. Here are the questions for the virtual gallery reflection:

reflection table

Unit 1 1.1: 

The virtual gallery helps me display my skills, the skills it includes are 3D modelling skills, Photoshop skills, audacity and audio producing skills, my Adobe priemier skills and syncing skills, my programming skills. It also displays my lighting skills and manipulating how it works, my animation skills, creating textures and applying them, my scripting skills and my Unreal engine skills.

Unit 3 1.1/ Unit 4 2.1, 2.2: 

There are many industry sectors that the skills used in making virtual gallery can be applied to such as mobile gaming like the IPhone, console gaming like Xbox one, advertising and games for VR like the Oculus Rift, Google Box VR. This is because all the skills and technologies converge with the companies as all of them use 3D modelling, animation, Photoshop, audacity and recording audio, Adobe preimier, lighting and texturing, the only one that might not use unreal is advertising.

Unit 3 2.1, 2.2: 

These skills prepare us for job roles like a 3D modeller, a job that involves texturing, a sound engineer and a video editor. Here are the pros and cons of the job roles:

Pros: 

They all have creative freedom in there work, allowing a creative person to explore more and create things under their own influences. This makes them feel more free in what they do, making them feel happier.

When they finish a piece of work, it can make them feel very accomplished and proud in what they have made, whether it took them a day, week or month, this makes work very rewarding.

Cons: 

They all involve long periods of sitting down which can cause health problems in the future if the employee didn’t get any excise or if the employee doesn’t take quick breaks from the computer.

Some of the pieces of work they create might be rejected by the employer or the main leader in the production of the product. This can leave the employee feel very disappointed about creating something they put a lot of work into not being used.

Unit 3 3.1: 

I kept myself organised which saves time, I did this by priortizing the improtant work that needed to be done and then doing work that I can do at home or work that was not a major priority for the gallery. To give you an example of this, I made all the 3D models and textures for them and place them in the gallery first as it was the most important piece, then I started making a 3D model for the voiceover, which was less important.

I also organised my work by making folders appropriately named for each type of work I did for the project, such as I made a folder called textures to hold all the textures for the virtual gallery and made a separate folder called 3D models and placed all the 3D models in that folder. This way I could easily find the files I need without wasting time, this allowed me to meet my deadline.

Unit 1 1.2: 

I took regular breaks to ensure that I am not straining my eyes, they were about 10 minutes long, long enough to allow my eyes to rest and short enough to allow more time on my work. I also kept a good posture by having the chair kept straight and also had the computer at eye level and I kept drink and food away from the computers as it is a hazard. I was also careful of cables in case I tripped, I did not overload plugs and I kept myself hydrated.

Unit 1 2.2:

I used low lighting in the cinema to make it similar to real life cinemas which is to allow the viewer to focus more on the video and I made the galleries bright again like real life which is to present the work clearly to viewers. I used music in each room to give each room a emotion, like in the photography room and 2D room I used a piano music to make it calm and relaxed when viewing the work. Whilst the 3D room I gave it sci-fi music, because 3D modelling is sort of futuristic and seems high tech, making the viewer feel curious as it seems out of this world.

Unit 4 1.1, 1.2:

The texturing helped to give it the right mood, such as the Photography room’ walls will be a white smooth plaster and the floor would be a wood planked floor, this would keep it calm as its not full of so many colours to dazzle, it is only there to present. The cinema however is red and quite dark, making the mood feel excited but also comfortable and relaxing because of the carpet and leather.

The lighting creates a mood also, like in the cinema it is dark, but has a bight screen, making the view again relaxed as it feels like they are watching a movie, whilst the photography room and 2D room use bright lighting to help the viewer to focus, making the mood more calm and focused.

Unit 4 1.2, 1.3:

Ambient music can be used to alter the element to change the meaning of the virtual experience for viewer, this is because you can change the music in the cinema to be violins on high notes and dong short burst, this would make the cinema seem to be horror themed.

Unit 2 1.1:

I used mood boards to get an idea of the mood I wanted for each room, a mood board is secondary and primary research. I also looked in a gallery in Canterbury which is called the Binary museum and have been in cinemas, this would be primary research and I looked for textures and sounds for each room which would be secondary research.

Unit 2 2.1, 3.1:

I was able to get a better understanding of how galleries and cinemas are designed to look and feel which really help me understand what I wanted. I was able to plan what I wanted for each room from the mood boards, this helped me to get on with my work and not slow down or have to think for a what I wanted. I was also able to get all the resources I needed for textures and sound as I had already did research on what sounds and textures I wanted, this way I didn’t have to waste time in finding sounds and textures when I need them.

Unit 2 3.2:

I think I should have gone to more galleries than one, so I could get more ideas in galleries and I should also go to a cinema and pay more attention to what they use to create a mood. I should also get my textures and sounds downloaded and prepared to be used before beginning to work on the gallery, this would save a lot more time for me.

Here is a Link to a recorded guide throughout the virtual gallery I made: http://youtu.be/UdIv2dbobZg

My overall evaluation

My virtual gallery went very well, each room had all my work in it, placed in a well organised manner, each voice over for the introduction of each room was done very well along with the voice overs for each object. The improvements I could make on this gallery is finish adding the rest of the voice overs on each object and the texturing could have gone better if I took more time in it and I should have done more research into it.

Environment lighting and sound in Unreal engine

When we were being taught how to make a collection of rooms and hallways we were also taught how to make and use sound and lighting in the Unreal engine. We were taught this so we could use it in the upcoming project and other future projects that require us to use sound and lighting in the Unreal engine and also use it for future jobs.

We first set up the model rooms and hallways in the Unreal engine, once set up we were first taught how to put lighting into the model. There are two main types of lights, the normal light bulb and the spot light, once one of the lights were placed in we could edit it on the right hand side of the Unreal engine’s settings bar. In these settings, we were shown that we could change the intensity of the light, the colour of the light and how much the light would bounce. After we were shown the main settings we were then shown the difference in both the lights settings, the normal light bulb’s area radius in light can be changed so that the light reaches far, making it look bright or it doesn’t spread at all, making it look dim. The spot light’s focus area can be changed, such it can have a intense light on one spot or have a much bigger area radius where it focuses on, it can also change how far the light travels as well.

Inner labs lighting

Next we were taught how to use and control sound in Unreal, we first imported the sound we wanted, for this case it was a rain and thunderstorm sound file which would be ambient sound in this environment. We first dragged in the sound file and place it right in the middle of the environment we made, we were then sound that the sound file has two spheres on it. The inner sphere was where you could hear the sound clearly and the outer sphere was where it would fade as the player got further away from it. We made the radius of the spheres big enough so that it would cover the whole environment, that way it would not fade and stay at a constant level. We were then shown how to make the sound loop and how to adjust the pitch and volume, this way we could make it sound like its coming from outside.

After we did the natural ambient sound, we were shown how to make a specific sound, which is when the player walks into a specific area an ambient sound/music plays. We first placed a trigger box inside the room in the environment and the sound, we then scaled it to fit the room and the sound to cover the enviroment, that way if the player walks into the room the music would activate. We were then shown how to link a sound with the trigger box in the levels blueprints, we first typed in in the blue prints “On actor begin overlap” and placed it in blueprints, then we connected the sound file with the command.

The last sound technique we were taught was how to make an interactive sound, a sound that only plays if the player interacts with something, in this case a TV. We again create another trigger box, but this time it was one that covered a box which represents a TV, we made it big enough for the player to fit inside but not to big otherwise the player would be able to activate it at a distance. We then went into the blueprints and typed in “keyboard E”, “on actor begin overlap”, “on actor end overlap”, “play sound” and then “gate”.

We first connected “on actor begin overlap” to open on “gate” and then “on actor end overlap” to close on “gate”, after that we connected “keyboard E” to interact and the on the exit of “gate” was “play sound”. Now this would make the sound file play when the player interacted with the object by pressing E however the only problem is if the player kept pressing E the sound file would overlap itself. To fix this we deleted “play sound” and then placed a “flip flop” after the “keyboard E” and connected it to the “Gate”, I then placed another audio file in which was a click to represent it turning off. I connected that to “Flip flop A” and on the other side “Stop”, this make it so that if the player clicked again it would play another audio to signify it turning off, then it actually turning off.

programing for sound in inner lab

Evaluation 

I feel like I did pretty well when learning and using sound and lighting, the lighting was easier to set up than the sound however, as the programming was a little complicated. I did have a couple of difficulties setting up the lights with the enviroment, sometimes the light would make the whole room bright even with the intensity low. To fix this I lowered the bounce on the light and reduced the radius of the light and if that didn’t work then I would turn the light into a movable object, it worked but I do not know why.

Unit 1: Advanced texturing

For this, I learnt how to make advanced texturing on a plane a and place it in unreal and see how light effects it, we were taught this so we can use this information to make textures in the future more realistic and advanced for our virtual environments we make in the future.

We started by making a plane in 3Ds max that measured a 100 cm by 100 cm, I then picked a texture a liked from the website Textures.com. This is the texture i picked:

FloorHerringbone0074_1_S

I then opened Photoshop and made the canvas 512 by 512 pixels and put the texture into Photoshop, I then saved the image and called it a diffuse texture. Once I saved it, I then returned back to 3Ds max and applied it as a diffuse map texture on the plane, I then went back to Photoshop and started to work on the specular map. I first turned the texture black and white by desaturating the image, I the reversed black and white and the adjusted the level of how much black or white was on the image. Once I did that I save it as a specular map, this is the specular map:

specular map

Once save I placed it in the specular map for the 3D model and then changed the glossiness to 40, this gave the model some shine on it.  After that I started working on the bump map which we renamed as a normal map,  on Photoshop there is a plugin called xNormal. I changed the smoothness on it and then save it and applied it to the 3D model, this is the normal map:

normal map

Once I had all the maps for the texture applied and then started to export it so I could apply it to the Unreal engine, I cleared all the materials except the diffuse and specular maps, then export with smoothing on, triangulate and embedded media.

Texture floor fully complete

I then started up the unreal engine and imported my 3D model into it, I then opened up the material and put both the normal and specular into it, connecting specs and then scaled the model bigger. I then messed around with the unreal engine’s lighting to see if it works and it does.

Evaluation 

I believe it went very well when making the texture, it has just the right amount of roughness without it being too much and the shine is just right, not too much as it is only a concrete floor which nearly has no shine at all. I think I will be able to master advance texturing in the future and have a further understanding of it.

what techniques did the developers use to create mood and atmosphere in virtual environment

For this task, I had answer the question “what techniques did the developers use to create mood and atmosphere in virtual” and present it as a power point, I will answer this question by using three examples of different games using the techniques to create mood and atmosphere. We did this task so we could learn how the developers made mood and atmosphere with the environment, this is so we could use this in the future when making environments.

PowerPoint: what techniques did the developers use to create 

Full detail description:

1st example: Alien Isolation

Alien Isolation has many ways of creating an atmosphere and mood, the game does this in many ways, one of them is lighting. The lighting can be very dark, only lit by a couple of counsels, making the player feel very lonely and curious to explore but the darkness also makes the player feel terrified of what is lurking in the dark.

Another way it creates atmosphere and mood is through sound, specially Foley and music; the music has sharp short bursts when ether seeing the alien or being chased by it or another enemy, this way its strikes terror into the player. Foley is used constantly from creeks and rumbles from to actual aliens, this makes the player always on the edge and feel alone.

The game also uses very chunky old technology, this is because it is using same sort of style as the film alien, this gives the player a nostalgic feeling; this also has another effect, it makes the player feel like all the technology is slow and bulky, this way if the player is being chased, it makes the experience more terrifying as everything is slowing you down as the Alien approaches fast.

Alien Isolation uses textures in a very unique way, such as they blood they uses for victims to the alien or other enemies can show how recent the kill is, if the blood is dry and dark then the victim died a while ago, where as if it is glistening and bright red then they have recently been killed, which means the one who killed is still near by, making the player feel worried and on edge. They also use a glistering effect on the alien, to show it is disgusting and horrible, giving the player more reason to stay away from the alien.

The player will be able tell from all these techniques that this is a horror game, as the mix of creepy ambient music and foley sounds with dark lighting fits perfectly with the horror genre.

2nd example: Bioshock

Bioshock uses very unique techniques to create mood and atmosphere, one of it’s techniques is using textures. They make the textures for their game very decrepit and rusted, this makes the place seem a little creepy, keeping the player on edge but it also makes feel sad as they walk through a fallen utopia.

Colours are also a big part of the game, as it uses dim neon lights for its signs and machines such as the little vending machine shops. These neon lights make the player feel relief as ammo and health kits are hard to find and if the player is in a stich they can quickly buy whatever they need at the vending machine, making the vending machines lights seem like a beacon of light for the player, something they can trust. Colour is also used to show how dark this game is, with its dark blue sea and rotten brown colour to show decay, creating a dark atmosphere and making it seem abandoned, this makes the player feel alone.

The game also uses music to also scare the player but it also uses it for another purpose. The game uses old fashioned music which comes from old radios scattered across to show that rapture is very old and hasn’t had much contact to the outside, this because their music hasn’t changed and reminds the player of an older time, the music is also used to make the player a little more excited and happy, this is because the music is very bouncy. The game also has music that is ambient, this music is used to up the creepy and horror theme by using sharp instruments like the violin when a creepy scene or situation appears, like when the player is attacked by splicers.

Lighting is used to foreshadow that this is a dark place where many horrible things happen, the dark lighting also makes the player wonder what is lurking in the shadows, again keeping the player on edge. the lighting is also used to show that rapture is very far down in the sea, so not much light gets to it, this also could show that nothing good comes to rapture anymore. There are some bright lights in the game, such as the neon lit vending machines, which dispense ammo and health kits for the player, these things are hard to find down in rapture that’s why they are a beacon of light to the player as they are the only things that help you out is your in a bad situation.

The game also use ambient sounds as well, this is to both keep the player on edge and feel unsafe, one of the sounds the player hears a lot is the sound of clacking and crawling, these sounds usually mean that there are splicer/s around, this makes the player both feel on edge and unsafe. Another use of the ambient sound is the creaking of rapture, this shows the pressure of the sea on rapture, this makes the player feel unsafe as the place could bust at any moment.

From the techniques the game uses, the player again will be able to tell that it is a horror game, from the lighting and the music but will be able to tell that is more of a creepy horror that a jump scare horror. This is because the music is more rapid than the usual horror music.

3rd example: Halo 3

Halo uses a lot of different techniques to create different moods and atmospheres in its game. One of them is colour, in the first mission, it is very bright and vibrant, this is because it starts out in a jungle but the colours are made bright and vibrant to make the player enthusiastic about the game, the colours make the game less gore and violence to being more fun and friendly. The colours also make the first mission feel nostalgic as the first mission in Halo 2 was also bright and vibrant. At the end of the mission it slowly returns back to more harden colours like grey and metallic, showing that war is tough and hard.

The music Halo 3 uses is very action packed, this is because they use a cluster of instruments to make a specific scene very action packed, this makes the player feel excited and hyped as they play the game, this kind of music can also make moments very intense. Halo 3 also use music to show ether a sad moment or a calm moment, this done by having a piano solo slow and light, completely opposite to the action, making the player feel calm or sad.

Texture is used to make moods and atmospheres, such as the flood level mission, where you go into the center base of the flood. The texture they use is very shiny and glistening, with the disgusting orange as well, this level makes the player feel disgusted, making them rush through this level to get as far away from the flood as they can. This works to levels advantage as it is a bit of a maze, this makes the player feel terrified that they will never leave again.

The player will be able to tell that this games genre is a able sci-fi action game from the lighting, textures and music the game uses. This is because the lighting is very normal, however the lighting for some of the plasma weapons and explosive are very bright and neon coloured, this makes it seem very futuristic with bright colours flying through the the battle. The textures make it seem action packed because they are very hard and gritty textures, which makes it look like a war is going (which there is), this is because wars are very gritty and metal used a lot as it provides protection which is why a lot of the textures are hard and plane. The music makes it action packed as well because it uses again a cluster of instruments with a fast tempo, making it sound action packed. All these techniques insures that the player knows it’s a action packed sci-fi game.

My evaluation of my power point

When I presented my power point I would have my text on one page and a picture on a separate slide, this presented to problems as I was merely repeating myself when showing the example, that is why I have placed each example on the same slid as the description so I wouldn’t repeat myself.

Another improvement I made to the original is that I added a example of the flood level on the Halo 3 part, this would allow me to show evidence that the flood level did look like this and allow the audience to further understand what I was explaining.

The description was fine over all, explaining nearly every technique the developer used to create mood and atmosphere.

What I learnt 

I learnt what the different techniques the developers use to create mood and atmosphere such as using sharp instruments to create horror and how they use textures to create disgust. This will help me to create a mood and atmosphere in my 3D environment for the mini project that I am doing.

Source of images:

Alien Isolation: http://business.financialpost.com/fp-tech-desk/alien-isolation-review-perfect-atmosphere-imperfect-pacing?__lsa=bf25-089a

Bioshock: http://bioshock.wikia.com/wiki/Ryan_Amusements_(Level)

Halo: Image 1- http://www.gamespot.com/forums/system-wars-314159282/which-is-better-between-these-two-turnaround-maste-29451015/

Image 2- http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/halo/images/1/11/Flood_wall.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20070928203220