Monday, 8 June 2009

Personal and Proffessional Portfolio (2007-2009)

Personal and Professional Portfolio (2007-2009)

This course, the last two years have been the best ones of my life. I have made many friends which I deeply respect and admire. I have also gained in confidence and skills, particularly in Macromedia Flash. Two years ago I found Flash to be confusing and difficult, now I can make full length animations and buttons and have produced many funny and interesting pieces for projects.

The way I studied and my working method was also very different back then. I was always relying on teachers to help me make decisions. Even when I followed a brief and wanted my work to be different I could never get a wow from the tutors there was always something wrong with my work. This is probably the reason why I was always wanting class mates or tutors approval with things so I don’t go off the track and get it all completely wrong. I am learning to think more independently with projects and take risks with my work. The future will be full of risks and potential opportunities, I just have to keep my eyes open for any and keep my fingers crossed.

I have also begun to take research more seriously. I can look at a company’s idea, take it and make something from it whether it be a new product inspired by it or an improved form of the product. I have found a new form of inspiration by looking at different technologies and seeing what is good/bad and my own opinions on it or how I can develop it into something better.
Looking back at the last two years, I’ve realized how much I have changed not only as a person but also in the amount and quality of my work. I have learnt to think more positively and many of you will be glad to know that because of it I am enjoying life and feel a better sense of personal satisfaction. I’m really going to miss it all, the friends I’ve made, the experiences and skills I have learnt. I hope to stay friends with many of them in the future. Many, in fact all of the projects I have produced I would use to promote myself when looking for jobs or starting my own company. Some of my personal favourites include the caveman advert I did for a company called New Media Blueprints, My made up media advert which was one of my first Flash animations and one of my best. I am also pleased with a title sequence I did for a Sci-Fi movie which worked brilliantly and The stop-motion presentation I produced on various technologies and how useful they are. That project was for me the most gruelling but the most rewarding project and one I feel was the turning point in my progression as a student, the point where I thought “I know I can do this!”. This is probably due to the fact that it was something I did completely independently over the course of a week which was fantastic in quality and which interested the audience watching.

As for the future, I was never really concerned about the future to begin with. I was more concerned on the present, on the now. However this has changed. I know now that I need to at this stage, look to the future and my future job and carrier. If you don’t think about it and plan ahead then sooner or later it creeps up on you and you have to do something about it. You can’t ignore it forever. I have always been a last minute sort of person when it comes to decisions like these. The last year however I have been trying to overcome this, I don’t want to be stuck with nowhere to go to. I need to learn and develop knew and current skills in order to progress further and get the job and carrier I’m after. I would like to develop my video editing skills, particularly in Adobe After Effects. This will help If I ever end up in advertising which is option B. For option A which is a job in comic book design/illustration or computer games character design/illustration I will certainly need to improve my Flash skills. They have gotten me so far but they need to be much better professionally. It would also be a good idea over the summer to produce designs for characters or design a new comic book which could be useful for my portfolio.

I also have many other targets which I would like to achieve within the next few years. Like all students I would like a well paid job in the creative design world. I would very much like to make a name for myself in the world and be appreciated for my unique style. If possible I would like to be a professional games illustrator or comic book artist as they have given be great inspiration throughout my life and I would like to inspire others in the same way. Like most students I would like an apartment or flat to call my own. This is a big step but one that will eventually need to be taken to progress in life. On a more personal level I want to be driving in the next year and a half as everyone I know drives or are learning to drive, I don’t want to be left behind and it will be very useful in getting to my workplace on time. Another personal target and goal is to go abroad either by myself or with close friends, hopefully to China. I feel I need to go there as it is a land of inspiration and awe, and it has intrigued me for many years. The list will continue to grow as I get older and progress further, that’s the trouble with lists. These one’s in particular I feel I need to accomplish as they will give me valuable life experience and will make me better as a person.

When I have effectively finished my education and have my degree, I would like to first try to find jobs at various graphics, games and illustration companies. This is a comfortable path to take however and would not open many doors, if I want to achieve my targets I will need to make a name for myself and allow my work to go public. In my spare time I would produce pieces of work which reflect my life and which best represent my skills and strengths. An online portfolio would be a nice idea as it would allow my work to be shown to the world, then it is just a matter of being patient and keeping my fingers crossed.

Due to the economic crisis, I may need to change my original plan and opt for my own company. During the course I produced a 15 minute presentation of a potential business plan in the comics industry, producing comics which are read on the iphone and allow the readers to change certain aspects of the comic such as characters, lands and events. I really believe that this idea could work if thought about properly. I would need people possibly friends to help run the company and work on projects. Perhaps with some luck and a lot of hard work we could keep it together and become one of the main sources of comic ideas in Britain. These are just ideas of how I could and would go about finding a job whether or not they will work is yet to be seen.

As with all new and up-coming designers, illustrators web designers etc, they need to promote themselves and show the world and say “here’s something different!” This is what excites me about getting out there. I want people to see my work and instantly say “WOW that’s cool!” I need a correct method of doing this however. An online portfolio which I mentioned above is a great way to promote yourself. It gets straight out there and if it’s presented in a new and interesting way, really gives a boost to your work and impresses the companies. I wouldn’t rely only on that though, I would also turn up to various design fairs and presentations. Here I could meet the company heads face to face so they know my personality as well as get a sample of my work. You have to make sacrifices and take risks if you want to make it big.

I’ve made some dumb decisions in my life but joining this course has been one of the good ones. It has really made a difference to me not only in my work and skills but also as a person. I have more confidence in myself than I have ever had and don’t regret a thing. It was certainly worth it and I have enjoyed every second of it. I was reluctant at first but now I know what I can achieve and although I am nervous about the future I am also excited. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of my tutors and friends who without their support I would never have grown as a person. Now I can look to the future with new found determination.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Presentation

Her's my presentation which I presented today, in case anyone wanted to watch it again. You have no idea how long this took me and my brother to do, it was hell! I only want to do this again if I have plenty of time, or if it's crutially important. Anyways I hope you enjoy it, again!

P.S Let me know if I should do more.



video

Monday, 2 February 2009

Mobile Phones

Why mobile Phones ?

Mobile phones are a crutial part of social communication and interaction because they allow us to communicate with each other from great distances and transfer messages via text messaging. But mobile phones did not begin like this, they were once no more useful than a normal phone, except they were portable and if you were on the move you had a means of communicating with others on the go.

The first portable phone used, like any other phone was an enormously useful tool, as there was no wire to connect, just an ariel which connected to the main phone line wirelessly.

Why are they good for Social Communication ?

Whenever you think of social communication the first thing that comes into your head (or my head at least) is either mobile phones or the internet. We all use mobiles to get in touch with each other whether over the phone or by texting (which i should'nt need to explain as i'm assuming that your'e a smart person and that your aware of what day it is. If you don't know what a mobile phone is then welcome to 2009 and we drive automobiles now called cars!). And since mobiles now have the internet capabilities and bluetooth, it has now become the universal source of social communication. They are particularly useful for business people to organise themselves (the new blackberry phones are the most useful if you need a phone to organise your life) but also children as young as 8 (gasp!) now know how to use one and in some cases own one themselves. They have become a huge chunk of our social lives.

How have they Developed, Changed and Improved ?

This is where mobile phones have hypnotised and warped the minds of kids today by changing to better suit their entertaining needs. What I mean is that as mobiles have adapted, so has the people who use them. And not just kids but adults as well, were all turning into texting machines, who pump out dozens of letters a second. Aside from that as mobiles have been changing to keep up to date with technology they have also improved the way we explore and access our information. I mean with the first portable phone being well.....a brick or paperweight, they have changed the way they display information, access it and have even changed the size of the phone itself to give us an easier, quicker and more enjoyable experience (unless the mobile display never gets old and your'e constantly mesmorised by it).

We were provided with mobile phones that could take photographs and record video to show to our mates. We were then given the opertunity to even send these items via Bluetooth. When Mp3 players came along mobile companies decided to slap one on their new range of mobile phones adding yet another feature for us to drool over.

This is all well and good but while these new ideas are spreading and growing, what do we do with our old ones? Most of us give them to our kids like my parents did, of course i could never keep up with the other kids phones. Maybe you handed it into a charity box to go to others less fortunate with no means of communication? Or perhaps you still have it collecting dust on your shelf as a spare in case the first one breaks, or maybe you can't find a use for it now and just leave it there? I'm not trying to get at the fact that we don't know what to do with our old phones, I'm trying to explain that for most of us a mobile phone is like a car. We all use one at some point in our lives, we all take it around everywhere with us and we all rely on it to keep us going. We also need to get a new one every few years or so that has new features that make getting from A to B more comfortable and entertaining. Whenever a new mobile phone comes out with better features or a better looking design or display we cancel out the old one. Even if we've only had the old one for a few months, we want the new one really badly so we get rid of the old one when really we could use it for at least another year or so. Most of us don't care about the main function of a mobile phone anymore we don't want to communicate to each other, we just want the latest new phone with better bells and whistles.

The newest form of phone is now capable of touch screen technology. The most popular model being the iPhone. This is a fine example of what I explained above. Although we still use it to communicate we really only get the iPhone because of all the extras that come with it, such as games, music and the never dull scrolling menu for music.

What is the future ?

If there is to be a future for the mobile phone I would like to see only where it is appreciated for what it is, a communicating device rather than a device with games, music and video and the phon option available. They sould be used to their full operating life, not just thrown away when a newer phone comes out. But I can't really see it changing, it will stay this way for many years until someone finds a better way of social communication or improves the communicating system on the phone to attract the people who want to use a phone as a phone not a gadget. Some mobile phones today have voice activated technology, only for simple commands such as finding contact information, but I would like to see this explored a bit more. Perhaps giving the mobiles AI technology making them not only a form of communication but a best friend (which can already be seen today by how popular it has been).

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

The answer to the big question!!!

Here's a video I found while looking for other forms of social communication which i think all of us will find useful:



It's titled: Communication Technologies and New Forms of Social Interaction

She first explains that it is split up into 3 areas:
Connectiveness
Ambiguity
Identity

As the presentation progresses she explains how big of an impact it has made on us as a community, how it has changed the way we live, play and access information. That it is a part of us and that it has evolved into a personal thing. She continues to review examples of this such as mobile phones and says that most of human relationships are now mediated by some form of technology.

If your having trouble gathering your research for the assignment then watch this presentation. If you still don't know what to research, at least it will explain it in plain english.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Web Cameras

What is a Web Camera?

Web Cameras are PC and Mac tools that improve our communication abilities by allowing us to see each other from great distances. Nearly everyone that owns a laptop has one including myself. Instead of communicating through words on either MSN messenger or Facebook, users can communicate to each other physically (well as close to physically as you can without meeting them in person).

Some web cams are better than others such as, some allow you to speak to each other while less advanced cameras still need you to communicate through MSN and type what you saying however you can still see each other. Picture quality varies depending on what laptop or portable web cam you have purchased but they're all good in some way. The one I have is only 1.3 mega pixels but it is enough to make my conversation experience better. One webcam that i would recommend is the Logitech Quickcam Zoom webcam. Its around £30-£40 and offers you 640-480 pixel visuals and a built it microfone. This is really for those who don't have a laptop and want a portable plug-in one, if your after a good long lasting webcam with basic skills but a reasonable price i would gofor this one, plus it looks good. For more information and a full review on the Logitech webcam visit this website: http://www.ciao.co.uk/Logitech_QuickCam_Zoom__5330773#productdetail
Webcams have even been developed for high definition consoles such as the Xbox 360, which can offer better quality visuals and less lagging.

How is it Changing and is there a Future?

People use webcams on a daily basis for communicating with business partners or coligues, or just chatting with friends. Because of this companies are always trying to best one another and improve their products to give consumers more entertainment and better quality images. One company in particular has shot ahead from the others to produce a new and interesting way of veiwing each other and communicate at quicker speeds.

Teliris has taken the normal webcam design, thrown it away and have upgraded it for company and business use. The Teliris Virtualive Telepresence is a new form of webcam in that you still communicate live but in much much greater detail and a lot less lag. The picture is smooth without skips or jumps like on some webcams (including mine), making it feel much more live and in person. You forget there just video on a wall and think there actually there. They use huge screens instead of a single lens so you can see on a wider scale, these can then be linked up to show an entire room rather than the persons head and shoulders. These are mainly used for things like board meetings and seminars like the images below:



As for the future of webcams Cisco has developed Teliris concept and design and produced a new and interesting way of communication. When i first saw it i thought it was fake and obviously acted out, so I looked into it and realised it was actually in the process of being made. This new form of physical webcam which at the moment is called Virtual Telepresence will completly change the way we communicate with each other and send information. They have developed a webcam that projects the live person from hundreds of miles away (or any distence) onto a stage or room as if they were actually there. Just imagine if you have two places to be at once, say a board meeting and your office to catch up one work. Instead of only having to choose one place to be you can simply go to your office and then project yourself into the confrence room via a camera and projector. Here's one good example from Cisco:



I personally think that webcams will eventually all be like Cisco's, as the man said we'll be communicating like Star Trek. Although this methos is currently in development and look to only be used by businesses, I think Cisco or another company will develop it for families worldwide so then everyone can communicate with each other live and 'in person'. I think that in the years to come this new form of communication will be the main form of communication. This could also be incorporated into portable devices such as mobile phones. Imagine recieving a phone call from a friend on a mobile and then when you answer a holographic projection of your friend is displayed live to interact with in a more personal way.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

What would life be like without the internet, how would our lives change?

I suppose i would certainly not be as lazy as i am now, i blame the Internet for making me like this. If the Internet was not there to distract me i would be more passionate about what i want to do as my profession. I would still enjoy drawing cartoons but it would be more of a hobby than a passion, i would most likely be pursuing my music hobby as a profession. Basically my life would be the opposite of what it is now. I know that for one thing my sense of humour would not be as good as it is today (which is pretty rubbish to be honest) as I spend some time viewing comedians and comics on YouTube.

But without the Internet researching would take much longer and could be more boring than it is now. I mean just look at how quickly we can find information for an assignment or project. The Internet is much more comfortable and entertaining when looking for research and info. But on a brighter note because of the lack of resources, gathering research would be easy as pie, your teacher would never ask you to look at multiple sources for research you could just go to the library for it.

On a sadder note however i would not have the friends i have today. Most of my friends i have met were in school or college classes that were crucially linked to the Internet in some way. I don't trust people easily since an incident involving the Internet. If the Internet doesn't exist, then the incident never happened, which means that i would trust too easily and get walked over by people all of my life (Although it would help me psychologically). We would all have to buy our music from shops instead of downloading it :( .

Another very important matter is that without the Internet, banks would not be able to organise their accounts easily and would be forced to do it manually. There would be not credit crunch and we could all live our lives much happier. Woolworths and Zavvi would still exist and we would'nt always have to go to HMV for music and DVD's, we would have options, choices and variety :).

Thursday, 15 January 2009

My perfect room

While looking through youtube i found lots of interactive items that i would love to have in a single room (if i ever had the money or if they ever were mass produced). The first of the items would be the floor, i had this in mind:



The next would be a table this one made my day, i love this. It would be nice if it interacted with any music but this is a nice start:



Next would be furniture, this one really made me laugh although you would'nt want too many of these moving around:



i'll continue to post more ideas in the future but for now my room is looking pretty cool, if you have any other items i would want to place in my room then let me know.