2D Game Walk Cycle

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Maya Column Tutorial

For our second Maya task, we were asked to create a column. I began by making the base of the column, I made a cube polygon and set the ‘y’ scale to 0.15. I then moved the pivot to the bottom of the vertex in the middle of the shape, this allowed me to move the shape up to the surface with accuracy by using the ‘snap to grid’ feature.02-mayalt-interface-overview-12Once the base was created and in the right position I made the pillar itself, for this I needed to use the cylinder shape, I then applied the following settings to the shape in the channel box:

Radius = 0.4
Height = 8
Subdivision axis = 32
Subdivision height = 1
Subdivision caps = 1

I once the pillar was created I had to put it in place, for this I used the same method as the base, starting by moving the pivot point to the bottom of the shape and then moving the shape upwards.

 

Screen Shot 2016-09-18 at 20_25_30I then finished the column shape by adding a ‘Torus’ shape to the top of the pillar. This gives the authentic greek column look to the shape.screen-shot-2016-09-18-at-20-28-55.png

Logo Design

Logos are an essential part of a companies branding, a logo is something that a company uses to represent themselves, logo’s have to be catchy and memorable in order to attract an audience and create a recognisable brand image. In more recent times logos have become more simplified with minimalistic features, this gives a more memorable and professional look.

In current times there are logos everywhere, a good logo has to draw the viewers eye to compete with other brands and companies. Most logos you see today will include bright colours and abstract curves, these features often stand out especially when viewed digitally. The five principals of effective logo design are; Simplicity, Memorable, Timeless, Versatile, Appropriate. The first of these principals is very important as it can effect how memorable or versatile the logo is, if the logo is too cluttered or complex then it can be easily forgotten and may not fit into different environments (such as banners or products).

Memorability is something you need to think about when designing a logo because if people cant remember what the logo looks like then they will not be able to identify your business. A logo design being ‘Timeless’ means that it must not look too dated and still be effective in 10 years time, many companies have updated their logos recently to fit into the digital world. However if a logo is updated multiple times then it may no longer become recognisable, if a company is going to do this then they must make sure they keep some of the core elements from the original logo. A logo must also be ‘Versatile’ this means it needs to fit into multiple environments such as; A poster, a banner, a website, a thumbnail etc. The final Design principle is ‘Appropriate’, a logo must be appropriate to the company otherwise it is pointless. Smart logo designs will involve a product or service in their logo, this gets the viewer thinking about the product/service straight away.

Here are some examples of good logo design:

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This logo is appropriate to the service they provide, the viewer can identify immediately that this is a moving company that helps people move houses.
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This logo is easily identified as the ‘Nike’ tick. It links with their motto ‘Just do It’. Their whole brand is based around motivation and progression in the sports industry, making them one of the biggest brands to date.

 

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This logo is one that I find most memorable, I use the internet every day of my life and google chrome is one of the primary tools for browsing the web. This logo is distinctive for its colour scheme and unique style, circular logos are the most versatile and can be used in many different places.

 

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This logo is extremely vibrant (especially when paired with the drink itself). This helps it stand out from other drinks in the store. The sharp edges and contrasting colours make this logo abstract. Many other soft drink logos have bubbly, curvy designs, mountain dew have decided to embrace the vibrant colour of their drink and make a logo that reflects their decision.

Maya Lighting: Arnold Robot

In Maya this week we learned the basics of lighting in a 3d space, our activity involved lighting up a model robot that was provided for us on this website:

https://support.solidangle.com/display/AFMUG/Introduction+to+Arnold+for+Maya

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To light the robot we used the ‘Three-Point Lighting Technique’: The three-point lighting technique is a standard method used in visual media such as video, film, still photography and computer-generated imagery.

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To start lighting you open the ‘Arnold’ tab on the toolbar, once you have this open you can add light to the scene. The robot model and backdrop are already in place so for this activity we needed to move the lights and make sure they are pointing in the right direction.

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I Positioned the lights to create the ‘Three-point lighting’ effect

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is the finished render of the Arnold robot

 

 

Project Setup, Asset Management and Topology.

How to set up a project in Maya:

To start off you need to select File > Project Window, once in the project window click ‘New’. The project window will display all of the default project locations and names, you can clear all of these by selecting Edit > Clear Settings.

Enter the name for your current project in the ‘Current project text box’. Then select a location for your project file by clicking the browse icon to the right of location. Click ‘Accept’ to save your changes and close the project window, project directories and sub-directories will be created if they don’t exist.

Asset Management in Maya:

Asset management is a key skill to use in any industry, it saves time and increases the workflow. If you have proper asset management you will be able to locate all of your assets and understand what they do, when working in a 3D environment this is important because it can get confusing trying to find certain objects or figure out what one of your assets does.

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The importance of Topology:

Topology in 3D is the layout of the model, how the vertices and edges form together to create a mesh. Having good topology is important because it can affect the frames per second of your project and also the rendering times, certain problems will arise when rendering if you have poor topology.

Shapes Animation

Before I started animating I have to set the FPS (Frames per second), to do this I went to Window > Settings > Preferences and then set the frames per second to 24. After this, I made three shapes (a cube, a cone and a sphere) and positioned them on one side of the grid, spaced apart. The goal of the animation is to have all three shapes reach the other side of the grid at different times, the cube after 1 second, the sphere after 2 seconds and the cone after 3. shapes

To start off with I added the keyframes that mark the starting and ending position of each object. To make the starting keyframe you have to click on the timeline at the bottom at frame 0, you then click object you would like to animate and go to the channel box in the top right. Once you see the details for the object simply right click ‘Translate X’ (Because the object will travel on the x-axis) And then click ‘Key Selected.zTo make the finishing keyframe you select 24 on the timeline (1 Second of animation) and then input a number into the ‘Translate X’, in my case I put -10 because that is where the Cube would end up, and then you simply click ‘Key Selected like you did before.

I then repeated this process for the other two shapes, the starting keyframe would stay the same as the cube as all the shapes start in the same place. However, the ending keyframes are put on frame 48 for the sphere and 72 for the cone, this is done so that each object finishes moving a second after the last.

Maya Spaceship

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Today we learned the basics of Maya and used these skills to create a simple spaceship design, my spaceship started off as a simple cube which I manipulated with the ‘Extrude’ tool under the components section of the ‘modeling toolkit’.

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To start the design I simply moved the cube into the air and widened it by selecting two opposite sides and extruding outwards. From this I now had multiple faces that I could extrude in any direction, I decided to make the spaceship quite linear so I extruded the front of the cube lengthways and started to add sloping extrusions that give the spaceship a more realistic shape. I then wanted to add depth to the ship so I extruded several faces outwards again and added more details and slopesCapture3

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I noticed that the bottom of the ship was a bit chunky so I decided to add more depth and detail by creating a new line with the ‘Multi-cut’ tool. This allowed me to extrude halfway through the spaceship. I then used this to create further detail and depth.Capture4

The finished design came out quite nicely, I would like to add more detail in the future as I learn more in Maya.Capture6

 

Maya Basics

These are some shortcut keys that we have learned in Maya to help speed up our workflow:
Q: General selection
W: Move tool
E: Rotate
R: Scale
D: Allows you to change the Pivot point
Magnet Tools (Snap tools) are used to move objects by snapping them into place such as ‘Snap to grid’
‘Snap to grid’
The ‘outliner box is a helpful window that allows you to find objects and cameras.
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Channel Box:

Using the channel box you can apply settings to keyframes and objects you have made.

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Topology:

Here are some keywords that are important to learn for future reference.

Polygonal:
-Vertices/Vertex
-Edges (two vertices joined together)
-Face
N.U.R.B.S:
Non-uniform rational basis spline

Joints:

  • Root joint
  • Parent joint
  • Sibling joint
  • Child joint
  • Current joint.

how to rig pic skeleton

Maya uses a ‘Cartesian’ grid system
Maya can be used in many different environments;
  • Gaming
  • Film and tv
  • Art
  • Military

App Design Research:Well Design Vs Poor Design

Well Designed Apps

1.Steam:

Steam Is program on the pc that acts as a store to purchase games as well as a social platform for gamers to interact with their friends, there is a menu that displays all of your friends and which of them are currently online/in a game. It also shows the user which of your friends owns a game that you play, this is a great way of getting people together to have fun and play games, this is also good for business because, for example, one person in a group of friends might see that everyone else plays a game and decide that they want to join in and purchase the game themselves.

unnamedThe Steam app for your phone contains many of the core features that the computer program has, such as; Viewing the store/purchasing an item, viewing who is online and in-game, talking to friends, and also managing downloads on your pc. If you purchase a game whilst in the app you can set the game to install on your computer while you are on the go.

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The design layout of the steam app is very pleasing to the eye, it has a mellow dark blue background (much like the computer program) and a dark theme throughout. The dark theme can be a nice design element because it highlights the white text on the screen and any pictures that you may see. The store section of the app has a slightly brighter background but it does not stand out, what stands out is the colourful pictures and the bright logos of the games available to buy, users can also view the recommendations for the games and see comments etc in a pleasant, readable format.

2. Instagram:

Instagram is a social media app that enables users to upload photographs and short videos to their profile, people who follow that profile will see these images in their feed when they press the home button. The app is all about Images and so it has to have a layout that compliments the images without making it too complex/crowded. When users scroll through their feed they will notice that on either side of the screen are two white columns that frame the images, this creates negative space and helps the user to focus on the image in the middle of the screen. Above the image is the username of the person who uploaded the image, this shows the users straight away who has uploaded this image. Below the image there is space for a brief description and a comments section, the comments are usually hidden unless you press to revival them, this ensures that the feed will not get too clustered and users can scroll through to the next image with ease.

When users scroll through their feed they will notice that on either side of the screen are two white columns that frame the images, this creates negative space and helps the user to focus on the image in the middle of the screen. Above the image is the username of the person who uploaded the image, this shows the users straight away who has uploaded this image. Below the image there is space for a brief description and a comments section, the comments are usually hidden unless you press to revival them, this ensures that the feed will not get too clustered and users can scroll through to the next image with ease. At the top of the home screen you will notice several circles with images in them, these are the people you follow who have posted images to their story (Original concept by snapchat) Although it is an obvious copy of another well-known app; the principal of design is there. There are gaps between the circles and a row of blank space above and below it, this entices users to click on them or add to their own story. Finally, you will notice the buttons on the app are aesthetically pleasing yet simple, the buttons (Home screen, search bar etc) have to be simple otherwise it takes away from the images, they are five all spaced evenly along the bottom of the screen evenly.   hero.0.1498855501

3. Gmail:

Gmail is an email service that aims to simplify how we use email, you are presented with 3 tabs that represent: ‘Primary’ ‘Social’ and ‘Promotional’. The promotional tab is simply a tab exclusively for emails sent by your service provider, these emails contain promotional content by Google/Samsung etc. Another tab ‘Social’ sorts all of the emails sent by social media and stores them all in one place so that your email is no longer messy,  this tab has the same slick style of the other ones.

There is the main space you will find below these three tabs that display each email by date if the title and email address are in bold, this means you have not seen the email before and entices you to click on it. With all the negative space, simple font and smart folders; Gmail is very easy to use and understand what you are looking at.unnamed (1)

 

Badly designed apps

  1. Snapchat:

    The layout is unclear, a lot of the buttons you need to use the app are not shown and are found on the pull-down/pull out menu bars. This may confuse a lot of people resulting in the app not being used properly. There is not a lot of negative space within the design which causes it to look quite messy.