Production diary: Week 10

Wood texture

This week I created a wood texture to make the dossier look like it is laying on a table; my team applied this texture behind every page that was showing the dossier and also applied it to the section selection page.

To create this I first opened Photoshop and selected the gradient tool, I changed the colour to brown and had reflection selected, I then dragged it across the screen and adjusted it the way I wanted it to be. I then opened gradient editor, choose noise and the colour I wanted it to be which was a darker brown; once I had that then dragged it over, squeezing it together. After that I added a colour overlay which was a dark red, bringing out more colour into the wood texture; the last thing I did was add little damages into the wood texture, I did this by placing a damaged wood texture into a new layer and having the layer as and overlay.

wood texture

Creating the section selection page

This Week I created the section selection page for the dossier, this page would take the view to each section of the dossier, these section would be the Napoleon’s section, Weapons, Science and The Grand Army.

To create this, I first opened the wood texture in Photoshop to make it the main background, I then brought in one of the png dossier pictures, copied the image and spread them out like if they were scatted on a table, this is what we will use to select each section. I then  used the drop shadow effect to add a small shadow under each dossier, making them seem more 3D, instead of being 2D

Section selection satges 1

I then when it 3Ds max and took another render image of the audio device I made, I rendered it from the top perspective so it would match the angle of the dossiers I put in. I then put the PNG image of the model, an angled it so it would be poking out in the top left hand corner. Once I finished angling it, I added a drop shadow effect to it as well, but increased the distance of the shadow as the audio device has a bigger height than the dossiers, meaning it blocks more light. The last feature I added was text on each dossier, this would label what button (dossier) would lead to which section, that way the audience will know where each folder would taken.

Section selection satges 2

Evaluation of the week

As it was the last week, I didn’t really have much to do as everything I needed done was completed last week, which means I could easily put out any other extra work for the dossier in good quality which turned out to be the section selection page and the wood texture.

Reflecting on the section selection page; I believe that it was very well done, this is because I was able to put a lot of detail into the section selection page, adding shadows to each object on the table and keeping in mind how the length of the shadow is effected by the height and length of the object. Along with that I was able to focus more time in the layout of the dossiers and the audio device, making sure they were placed in the style I wanted (which was messy) and taking in the account of the selection box that would go around each dossier, so no selection boxes overlapped in InDesign.

Reflecting on the wood texture I created; I think was able to create a pretty realistic texture that actually looks like a table, this is because the texture looks like it has damage as well as it looks like it is a very well polished table because of how it reflects light. However I believe I could have improved it further if I would have spent more time on creating it, such as improving the placement of the damage on the wood, this can be done by not having the big damage spots so clustered and having a couple more higher up on the texture.


Production skills: Week 9

Photoshop pattern

This week, when creating the map for my section of the dossier, I was taught how to use the patterns tool on photoshop. I applied this skill to create a map of the countries that the French and the risetence are located, instead of using plane colours, I used a pattern for the French to make the map more visually pleasing.

A creative problem I faced was, when trying to use the risetence’s flag, it had a symbol which means that the flag would multiply over a multiple countries which was not the kind of effect I was aiming for. However I was able to solve this by just using the colour the flag instead of the symbol to show what countries are taken over. What I would have done differently was, I should have only selected the main countrie they reside in which is America and only applie the flag to it, then for the other countries use the main colour of the flag, this way the flag wouldn’t repeat over the other countries.

Production diary: Week 9

World map 

This week I created a world map of what countries Napoleon has taken over and where the risetence is located. This will be implemented into the Plan page for my section; to create it I got an image of a world map and then used the colour replacement tool to turn its colour into a light brown to make it more paper like. I then used another team’s map to map out how much Napoleon has taken over, along with where the risetence are located; I used Joel’s map so we can keep it consistent between the groups.

After mapping out everything, I used the magic wand to select the parts that Napoleon has taken over and used the pattern tool to have a French flag on all the parts Napoleon has. I then asked for the risetence’s flag from the team working that fraction and did the same however it did not work as well as the french flag so I used the flags colour instead of the flag. I then placed a key so the viewer would understand the map better and then implemented it into the dossier.

Finishing textures

The last thing I did with the textures was improve the metal texture for the audio devices case; to improve the texture I used what I learnt from improving the aluminium rolls metal texture with the specular map.

What did was used noise to create lots of dotes, then used …….. which made the noise blur in a vertical direction, making it look metallic because it looks like brushed metal. I then saved the texture in a different save file and then placed in the specular map for the case texture which then improve the texture to look more metal like.

Implementing audio device 

Once I had finished texturing the audio device I started implementing into the dossier; to do this I first positioned the perspective window on 3Ds Max to get a good angle of 3D model. I then pressed F9 to bring up a rendered image of the perspective I had on the 3D model, I then saved the image as a PNG so there was no background when put into the dossier. I then lowered the button, keeping the perspective the same and then rendered a image of that; this will allow me to have a little animation of the button being pressed in the dossier, again I saved it as a PNG.

Once I had both images ready, I created a frame just under the written content and place the PNG image of the audio device, then I used fit content to frame to place the image in the middle of the frame. After adding the first image, I created another frame that was the same size as the last and placed the PNG image of the audio device with the button pressed.

After implementing the images, I began to work on making the button press when clicked on and be able to play the voice log when pressed, however I did not know what technique I should use to do this. I first started by having a simple rollover, when the image is being hovered over by the mouse the button would press but I later decided to have the audio device have a play and pause button. This caused some problems as when you hover over the image, the button would press but when you hover over the button it would go back to being not pressed.

After many attempts of making the button press when clicked on or hovered over, using multiple button, states and hidden until triggered, I decided to just have the one image, allowing the viewer more control over the audio log.

Editing voice log 

This week I worked on editing the voice log I recorded; what I did was first take out all the errors I made in the recording, I then equalized it twice and then used level to it, that way it sounded like it was coming from an old speaker device and was recorded with and old fashion mic. I then added a brownian noise to amplify how new the technology is and how they haven’t been able to prefect it.

After that, I began adding all the sound effects, such as the noises that the audio recording device made and the sounds that came from Napoleon’s apparatus on his back keeping him alive. I equalized all the sound effects so they all sound like they are coming from the same recording and then reduced the noise on some of the sounds like the clicking sound for the audio recording device.

One sound effect I had a little difficulty with is the pump sound, when recording the sound, I had the pumps nozzle pointed towards the mic which causes a very loud wind noise to be blown into the mic. I was able to sort this by adjusting the equalization so it would cut most of the air gushing noise and be able to hear the pump much more clearly. I also cut out some of the squeaking noise the pump made from each pump, making it sound less like a toy and more of an actual air pump.

I decided to remove one sound effect for Napoleon’s device as I thought that if I were to include it, the voice log would have to many sounds and would become harder to listen too. Once I had finished all the sound effects, I used the repeat tool to make the sound continues till the end of the voice log.

Implementing health records

Over last weekend I filled in the health record templates I made and created a sketch of the apparatus that is keeping napoleon alive; once I returned back into college I scanned in the templates and drawings so I could implement them into the dossier, in the health record section. Once I had implemented all the pictures I lined them up and turned them in a little slide show using states to change the pictures.

Evaluation of the week

This week was productive however a lot of time was wasted from either my lack of knowledge and just using trial & error to figure out how to create certain thing, along with not having access to computers with the updated version of InDesign. However I was able to get a lot done and it could be said that I have finished my section but I would like to improve a one things before I hand over my section to my teammates. The “thing” is the audio device in the voice log section, I would like it if the button would press on the audio device when they press the button to play the voice log. The only problem is I do not know how to do this, next week I will ask my tutor if he knows how, if not I will research it and if that fails then I’ll have to leave it how it is.

Reflecting on the world map I created; it was well done, it used the flags of each fraction to show where they are located on the world map and use a simple key to allow the viewer to be able to read the map properly. However it can be improved by using the risetence’s flag on the main country they reside in and for the other countries they are in have the main colour of the flag. This would give the map a more visual pleasing effect.

Reflecting on improving the 3D model’s texture; I believe it went very well, this is because I was able to achieve the metal look I wanted for the case of the audio device. It was able to look like it was metal brushed and had a shine to it like most metals.

Reflecting on implementing the audio device into the dossier; I believe it went well but not as much as I wanted it to. This is because I wanted the button to more than just a still picture, I wanted it to have a little bit of animation so the audio device would be more visually pleasing to the audience. But because my lack of knowledge of InDesign I was not able to achieve that from last week; what I should have done to achieve this is to do research into this matter on the web and ask my tutor whether it is possible.

Reflecting on editing the voice log; I believe it went pretty well, I was able to create a convincing voice log by Napoleon with only technology they have just discovered and have not perfected yet. I was able to use the sounds correctly and was able to tell when to stop with the sound effects otherwise it would sound very clustered and noise, making it harder to understand Napoleon. Along with that I was also able to make it so the listener could hear the apparatus that was keeping Napoleon alive and was able to make the audio device sound very clankey and mechanical.

Reflecting on implementing the health records; I am pretty pleased with how I did it, allowing the viewer to see all the pictures without any problems. However one feature that could use some improving is the drawings for the apparatus, the colour is a little light which could be improved if it was darken a little in either photoshop or just drawn over again to make it darker then scan it in again.

Production skills: Week 8


This week I continued to create and improve textures, however the skills I learnt was from improving the metal texture for the aluminium roll. The skills I learnt were how to add a metal brush to the metal texture, making it look more metallic and shiny; I applied these skills to the aluminium roll that was for the audio device that would go into the dossier. A creative problem I had was that I didn’t know how to do this, however this was solved by asking the teacher on to create a better metal texture. The one thing I should have done differently is when the teacher was teaching me on how to create, I should have taken notes so that way I could repeat the process correctly with out having to remember and make mistakes on the way to creating it.

Hidden buttons on InDesign

This week I was able to learn how to create buttons that once you highlight over would change its look, I applied this to the dossier to make the buttons for the icons on the bottom left and right. A creative problem I faced was when trying to figure out how to make the button activate when hovered over or trigged by the mouse, I was able to solve this by trial and error. I did research into how to create it but what was in the instructions was wrong as it says your suppose to have the “do not appear until trigged” ticked, however this was what was causing the main problem of it not triggering. I would have liked to be more quicker in figuring out how to create the button type quicker but there was nothing I could do, I researched it and I asked the teacher for help but only trial and error was able to solve this solution.

Production diary: Week 8

Starting dossier on InDesign 

The start of this week, I went straight to work on the layout of the dossier in InDesign; first I placed each background for each page, I could not use the master pages because on each page’s background would change. The change will be on the tabs on the dossier background, this would indicate what page the user is on. After that I started placing frames and titles into each page, mapping out what each individual page is and the layout it has; once I had my layouts done, I started to implement the content I created last week.

The first thing I tried to implement was the cartoon icons I did last week, placing a pair of happy and angry icons which I will turn into buttons later on. I then started to implement the titles into each tab as images; how I did this was I went into publisher and created a textbox, I then used the font I wanted and typed in the title, I highlighted the text and then saved it as a image. I later on turn these images into buttons that would allow the user to jump to pages they want in an instant.

Continuing texturing 

I again continued to texture the 3D model that I have been working on. This week I was able to texture the buttons on the audio device, by using some simple techniques, I was also able to texture the motor that turned the aluminium rolls which I might improve later on and I was able to texture the aluminium rolls, which I have improved.

To improve the aluminium roll, I created a new save to the texture and renamed it, I then merged all the layer and created a new layer. I then added noise to the layer and then used …. to redirect the noise to go in a vertical pattern. I then saved and applied this texture to the … in the textures maps, this way the texture looks a lot like metal as it has metal brush marks on it.

Written content

This week I wrote up the written content for my section of the dossier this contained a biography, medical research, an audio log introduction and a description of Napoleon’s plan for the world. For the medical research for the health record page, I talked to Steven who is handling the science section for the dossier. This because I needed to know how far the timelines science has gone as this would effect how far they have come with medical practices and medicine.

After understanding how far their research has taken them I wrote up the health records content and let Steven go through it, so that the science and the health record were on the same level of scientific research and if there were any mistakes I made in the paragraphs.

When implementing the written content, I first discussed with my team of what font we will all use for the written content, that way we could keep consistent through the sections of the dossier. After showing each other a couple of different examples we went with Viner Hand. I was able to it all the written content into each section at a reasonable size except for the written content in the health record section. So to sort this with out making the text smaller, I made separate text boxes for each paragraph, then placed them over each other and select them all. I then opened the state window and made them all into separate states and created to buttons to move through the states, this way the user can go through all the written content in order and the text doesn’t need to be made smaller.

Improving cartoon icons 

This week I chose to improve the happy cartoon icon’s head to be the same shape as the angry cartoon icon’s head, this is because when the angry and happy icons are placed over each other the angry icon is bigger making them not able to be over lapped. This be a problem as when I try to create a button that would stay invisible until activated when they click where the happy icon is they would still see the happy icon under. To fix this I got the happy icons face and copied it over the angry icons head, I then arranged it to fit and then exported it as a PNG to implement into the dossier.

Self reflection of the week 

This week went very well, I made a lot of progress on my section in InDesign, I was able to implement the all the buttons and a couple others and I was able to implement the written content as well. I was also able to solve a creative problem that came up very well, this was when I was trying to implement the written content into the health record section. Using the knowledge I have learnt for InDesign to use states to show all the written content without having to change its font size.

Refelcting on the texturing I did this week; I was able to apply a couple textures to the model, but these were very basic textures, except for one texture. This was the motor for the aluminium roll, so it would spin the roll; I feel like I might need to improve a couple textures as they are a bit plane, like how I improved he aluminium roll to look more like metal. So this week I feel like I have done alright but I could have done better, so next I will be improving a couple of textures and using the techniques I have learnt from last week to achieve this.

Reflecting on the written content I did; I believe I have done very well with it, this is because I did some research into Napoleon before hand and talked to the others so the written content matched up with the other parts of the dossier. I was also able to get one of the team members to proof read it before hand, however I should have got them to proof read all of the written content to make sure there were no mistakes, I will do this next week.

Reflecting on the improvements I made on the cartoon icon; I was able to improve the icon to fit under the other icon very well and was able to do this in a small period of time. This is great as it leaves me more time to work on the dossier and other assets I need, meaning this was a very successful improvement to the icon.


Production skills: Week 7


This week the skills I learnt were how to use illustrator tools to create icons and thumbnails, these tools include the pen tool, the shape tool and how to use the layers properly. I applied these skills to digitize the thumbnail icons I want in the dossier for the project; these skills can help me for future projects or if I need to create more digital versions of the thumbnails for this project. It also allows me to create more icons because of the skills I learnt using the pen tool as that is the main tool to use to create icons.

A creative problem I found was that I didn’t know how to properly use the pen tool, such as how set a anchor on the same line so you have more freedom when drawing it. I solved this by asking a fellow student (Josh) on a couple of key things I need to know when using the pen tool. What I would do differently is that I should have asked Josh before I started using the pen tool for the first thumbnail I did, that way there wouldn’t be as many mistakes and I would have finished the first thumbnail a lot quicker.

Production diary: Week 7

At the beginning of the week, we came together to convene and discuss on what we have done so far, what we need to do and assigning each other work that needs to be done. Today, set myself to finalising wire-frames, digitizing the thumbnails of the navigation icons and writing up the content and script.

Finalising wire-frames for my section

After the group decided to have four pages for each section, I decided to finalise the wire-frames by using the old wire-frame and applying it’s style and it’s content across the four pages. From the previous layout I decided on the content of each page which was the biography of Napoleon, a health document summary of Napoleon, an audio log by Napoleon and Napoleon’s plans for the world.

I believe that the layouts I have done fit very well with the kind of dossier we are making, this is because I have accounted for where each icon would go, where images would be placed and the right size of the images, having big frames for images with important and interesting content and placing the text content in the right places so they would correspond to the images.

Digitizing the thumbnails 

This week, I decided to digitize my thumbnails that in drew for the interactive icons which will be used to change the pages left to right, corresponding to the tabs above. To digitize them, I placed a picture of both of them into illustrator and traced along the outline of the drawings with the pen tool, once finished I took each one separately out and put them into photoshop and gave the thumbnails colour and shading.

angry cartoon napoleon  colour new happy cartoon napoleon  colour

3D modelling for the audio device

I decided this week with the others that would create a 3D model of an audio device that we can use for the voice logs that will be in the dossier, this would make the dossier’s audio feature have a little more sense instead of audio coming from a button. I started by drawing some thumbnail ideas for the audio device, I began with working out the size and shape of the audio device which was a slightly rounded rectangle. Once I had a base for the model, I discussed on what the media was made out of which we decided on tin foil rolls.

I then started work on how it would work, I first decided to have two tin foil rolls connect to each other and a needle sticking over the middle of the connection. Once the first thumbnail was finished, I thought that the design was a little to fragile and could easily be broken, so I choose to have the tin foil go through the machine and have the needle inside, that way the needle wouldn’t break as easily.

Once I had a design, I started work right away; for the tin foil rolls I used a normal cylinder but added more segments to it so it looked more rounded and smooth when rendered. To create the foil coming of the roll, I placed a segment with quick loop tool, very closely with another segment in the right place and extruded the small polygon section and placed it in the general area I wanted it to be.

For the base of the audio device, I created a box and then bevelled the top slightly; I then used a couple of boxes to place imprints into the main base of the audio device, I then deleted the insides of the imprints so it left a hole in the base, this where the tin foil media would enter and exit out of the model. After that I added a shell to the model so that way when you look at it at a angle the case won’t look completely flat; I then used the imprint tool to add some holes for the speaker of the device, this way I could create holes again. However this caused some problems as when I deleted the imprints, the shell walls around the imprints deleted, this meant that you could see in between the shells walls. This was solved by using the border tool and selecting the border of the top and the shell then capping it; the problem wouldn’t have arise if I did the imprints first then add a shell.

For the holders for the tin foil rolls, I used a cylinder and stretched the bottom by selecting the bottom of cylinder with the polygon tool and used the move tool to stretch; I then used the scale tool to widen the bottom and flatten it. I used the same technique with the motor attached to one of the holds but used it at the end of the process; to create that I again used a normal cylinder but used bevel and the extrude tool to shape it to look more like a motor then used the same technique I used for the holders. Last of all I placed a plane under holes for the speaker, that way I could apply a texture to so it looks like the model has insides, instead of being empty.

script writing 

The last thing I did for this week was improved my script that I made in the post-production, so it would be a lot better and wouldn’t be restricted as much by a time frame as previously the script was restricted to being 30 seconds long. To started I copied everything from the last script and place into a new script file on cletx, that way I could keep the original and use the old script as a base to create much more improved script. This time in the script I included what I had originally planned for the first script but couldn’t because of the time restriction; What I wanted was to have a messenger enter Napoleons chambers and tell that the scientist has finish the secret weapon and would like for him to attend a test fire.

Self-reflection of the week

This week has been quiet productive, I have been mainly working on the assets for my section of the dossier, however I did not do any of the text content for my section which I am hoping to work on next week but this is okay as the work I have done this week, I can not do back home until next week.

Reflecting on my wire frames I finalised this week; I was able to produce good quality wireframes under a small amount of time, which helps as it gave me more time to work on the assets that day. They had clear annotations which explained what each piece of the layout would be and how it would be used for the dossier, a couple of annotations may have needed a little bit more improvement on its explanation but because I have a clear vision of what I want, they only serve as a reminder and so they don’t need more explanation for me.

Reflecting on digitizing my thumbnails I did this week; I was able to produce the digital versions of the thumbnails at a good pace but was a little slow at the start as was using illustrator for the first time and only knew a couple of tools from the other similar programs. Now comparing both thumbnails, the second thumbnail I digitized was more well done than the first, this is because I was able to learn all the mistakes I learnt from the first one. These mistakes include how to properly use the pen tool and how use layers on illustrator; I have thought about redoing the first thumbnail but it is an okay thumbnail, along it is not the most important thing I need to work on, so I shall leave it for now.

Reflecting on my work on the 3D model of the audio device; I have finished on model the actual model but I was not able to finish all the textures this week, so my work speed on 3d modelling might need some improvements as I was expecting have at least finished one texture finished and be working on another texture. However the model is quiet complicated so that may be the reason why it took so long. The model overall is well done, taking into account the type of media it would use, how it would work and what would be the best and capable design for it.

Reflecting on my work on the script; I believe that the improvements I made to the script are a little small as I only added a little bit of content at the end of script and haven’t changed anything else from the previous script. Later on this week, I shall work on the script back at home and further improve it by adding more and changing the content from the previous script.