Thursday, June 18, 2009

Contributions to Collaboration 18/07/09

At the beginning of this semester when we learnt of our new team groups, I sort of became the project manager of the group and felt that it was my responsibility to make sure that the team would progress and achieve the desired goals. Throughout the project my contributions to collaboration include pretty much all things water hence my specialisation being advanced water. As we were doing an underwater hotel I took on this role because I wanted to make sure that it would all work out. My other contributions include helping team members with designing the interior of the shell and minor texturing. Most of the texturing that I was responsible for was the underwater environment, making sure that it looked as realistic as possible. I also contributed to the team blog as well as the videos. I feel that the last two videos which are the trailers for the Hydropolis are some of the best videos that my team have created and really capture the essence of the Hydropolis.
To conclude I just wanna say that learning to design and build a project with newer group members has really helped broaden my knowledge in collaborating with others. Also learning how to cope with other group members and project issues has also taught me a few things; such as issues that could of been handled differently and better between team members and the project itself.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Final Map 17/06/09

Well, team Atlar has finally finished the Hydropolis Map. I feel we have acheived our desired goals and have stuck to the proposed schedule. Although we had some problems down the line with the project such as layers being overwritten and work lost, everything got sorted out in the end. Id like to thank my team for the support and helped that we have all given each other to get our project to a completed stage.

Working on this project and using Cryteks engine for creating a real-time environment has inspired the way I approach architecture and visualisations. Thinking about using 3dsmax to create visualisations seems to be the medium of choice in this industry. But with emerging real time environment engines getting better and better, we might see this taking over the traditional non real time rendering programs. At the moment Crysis is setting the benchmark for realistic and good looking graphics and it is only going to get better.

Through research of the project I have also stumbled upon some apps on crymod that dramatically improve the visuals of Crysis. These files are config files that you only need to download and insert into the crysis directory. Using these configs improve visuals in almost every aspect from better shadows, water, reflections, vegetation etc. Upon using this I also came across a custom time of day file that was created by Hawkeyepuppy from the crymod community called Real Lifesis. Looking at some of the screenshots posted by hawkeye using this ToD file I was really impressed with how light can improve visuals. Here is a link from hawkeye's forum that contains come really nice pics using his ToD file that I recommend looking at:

After reasearching about these configs and ToD files I added it to the Hydropolis File and was quite amazed to see the difference although it really took a hit on the frame rate. At some stages becoming almost unplayable with a choppy framerate. But using this config file really starts to improve visuals into an almost lifelike state. I believe that this tool here together with the Crysis engine could really be the future in real time architectural visualisation.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hydropolis Update 16/06/09

Well today is the last day to work on the Hydropolis. At the moment we are nearing completion. Ran into a few problems last night with layers. We tried bringing in layers of stuff from a previously saved file but it overwrote one of the furniture layers hence we lost all of the underwater room furnishings. We managed to re-create the furniture in a few rooms but could not copy the room to the other underwater structures as they became unselectable. We are still not suer why this is, if it is a crysis glitch or what not. The game itself is becoming nearly unplayable in the lab 2 computers because of a 1-3fps rate when shadows are turned on. Will try to resolve this before the presentation on Thursday.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hydropolis Update 14/06/09

Group met up at uni today to work on last tasks for the Hydropolis. Although we havent finished yet, we are quite close. We have worked out most of the problems that consisted in the previous assignment and are quite happy with it now. I added sound areas to the Hydropolis map which have really enhanced the ambience such as waves crashing, sea breeze and air-con noises for the interiors. We are now working on bringing together all group members specialisations into the one map as well as adding others from our class. The tutorials that our classmates have used have become very useful in helping us complete our map.

Friday, June 12, 2009

12/06/09 - Hydropolis Update

12/06/09 - Created clouds for Hydropolis map which really made the map lagg; so will have to reduce the number of cloud entities in the sky. Also textured some solids that were left as default since assignment 2. Added the cafe that Philip exported through 3dsmax, and created an area for it inside the shell.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

11/06/09 Hydropolis Map Update

08/06/09 - Finally got all my other subjects out of the way for this semester so I can finally concentrate on Studio. Spent the last couple of days with Stephen in the labs fixing up everything. We are still having issues with importing models from 3dsmax to crysis and it seems we have reached a dead end. Although it worked in Team Omegas map, Kennith helped us but was unable to get it to work. So we have decided to texture everything in Crysis. With the help of Harold, Phil was able to edit the pictures that we wanted to add to our presentation room into .dds format which crysis would read. We were then able to add pictures to objects in-game which was really good. Also Thanks to Michael for letting us to know to switch off source control, otherwise all materials would reset to default.
Fixed up the underground train station; It was having alot of graphical glitches because of the visareas and portals. I remade them and aligned them up and they seem to be working quite nicely now.

10/06/09 - Added a wharf to the Hydropolis that will enable another type of transportation route to the island via the mainland. I will also model another wharf on the mainland. We are hoping to add some AI so that they will get in a boat and drive it to the Hydropolis and dock it.
Finally fixed up the elevators and with the help of Wing was able to make the elevators stop at individual levels. However although this method works, the switches that you press to make the elevator move are left hanging in the air, "left behind". We can fix this but in order for the lelevator to move to different levels we need to create two individual switches for each level; one to go up and one to go down. So for example of we have a 4 level structure, we would need 8 switches and then an extra two at the top and bottom of the structure to call the elevator to your current level.

11/06/09 - Today I worked on fixing up the doors. As most of Hydropolis's doors were sliding, they needed flowgraphs. Since our last assignment the some of the doors stopped sliding and this got really annoying. I finally figured out that some of the flowgraphs that Phil and I had orginally done were missing from the proximity entity's, which basically links the sliding doors together and gives it a sensor allowing it to know whe someone walks towards it. I re-created these and it all seems to work now.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Medium-Advanced Level Specialisation Tutorial 03/06/09

Today I created my Medium-Advanced Level Specialisation Tutorial for creating Particles and a waterfall. Originally I wanted to create a standalone particles tutorial and a waterfall tutorial but thought that since particles are a main requirement for creating a waterfall; I would merge the two together.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Studio - 28/05/09

1:00pm - Today for studio we met outside the iCinima room. After we went inside the complex we were shown pictures and real time renderings from a panorama scope. This room also situated 12 channel surround sound and it was quite amazing seeing the effects of iCinema. What made it even more special was how Matthew McGinity utilized 3D glassess to give a 3D effect. I really see potential in this sort of application in terms of real time architectural visualisations. The potential to show a 3d real time building to a client would be phenomenal.
3:00pm - After visiting the iCinima complex we went back to studio and were briefed by the tutors on our specializations and our upcoming fabrication that's due in the next 2 weeks.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Beginner level specialisation tutorial

Today I created my beginner specialisation tutorial for creating a fish tank. After looking around in crymod for help or tutorials I noticed know one had actually posted anything relating to modelling or creating a fishtank. So for this tutorial I created it through basic trial and error and using my experiance I had gained from creating underwater structures and playing around with water elements within Crysis I managed to create a simple looking fish tank with live fish that looked quite realistic.
Here is a link to the pdf of the tutorial:

Below is an image capture of the fish tank.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Studio - 21/05/09

1:00pm - Today in studio we had a guest presenter Andrew Wallace talk to us about the firm he works for and what kind of projects he has been involved in. Andrew managed to involve real-time environments with his projects and it was interesting to hear how his clients seemed to be quite happy to walk around in there models which opened up there mind visually so that they could see a finished representation of the design.
3:00pm - After the guest presentation we went into our groups and my team drew up a proposed time table of what we had to finish and complete for our final polished fabrication which is on the team journal.
4:00pm - We also discussed our specilaizations with the tutors and what we needed to have complete by next week.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Projected outcomes for specialization 20/05/09

My specialisation will pretty much be advanced water within Crysis. As I have spent allot of time experimenting with underwater structures and getting them to work, this category seems to fit me nicely.To further my knowledge with water elements within Crysis I will look at experimenting in these areas.

  • Fixing up graphical and viewing glitches/problems within an underwater structure; this will include looking at alternative methods of adjusting and fixing portals to work nicely in conjunction with visareas.
  • Create a fish tank with swimming fish by using skills that I have already gained in creating underwater structures.

More advanced elements within Crysis that I will be experimenting with are:

  • Particle effects with water such as splashes and ripples
  • Waterfalls
  • Rivers incorporating realistic water movement and particles
  • Incorporate AI interactivity with water elements

Depending on how successful I am with these goals, I intend to then write up an easy to follow tutorial that will allow basic setting up of an underwater structure that is as glitch and graphical free as it can be. Included in this tutorial will be my experiences of what can go wrong and how to fix these issues if they happen. I will also include the limits of creating a structure underwater in Crysis. I will also incorporate a fish tank tutorial which can also hopefully be exported as a group object file that will allow anyone to download and import into their crysis environment.
And with the more advanced elements I will create them as individual tutorials. Once a user has gone through all of the tutorials they should then be able to use all these skills and merge them into a nice crysis environment that shows off realistic underwater environments complimented with advanced water visuals.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Studio 14/05/09

1:00pm - Today in Studio we had a guest lecturer Shilo Mclean come in and talk to us about digital storeytelling. It was quite an insightful talk about how computer generated images were being used in films to replicate real looking stuff. It also gave ideas on how us as architectural visualisers can use these skills out in the real world.

2:00pm - After Shilo gave her talk we were breifed on our tasks for the upcoming final fabrication and what improvements we could do to make our desingns even more better and realistic.

3:00pm - We were also each given a specialisation within crysis that we would all research and find out about. Graham convinced me in the end to specialise with the water elements within Crysis as I have already been playing around with it. We also decided that I would try further research ways to make underwater structures within Crysis more refined and realistic. Other elements such as creating a fish tank above water will be an interesting concept that I will look into as well as creating breaking shore lines and waves.

Feedback on Team Fabrications 13/05/09

Team - Digilism

Strengths: There first strength was choosing a very symbolic location where the world trade centers used to be. And also choosing a unique building style that is different from the traditional skyscraper makes this fabrication stand out.

Weaknesses: The internal structure seemed like an empty space. More entourage elements such as people would of given the map a sense of scale. An interactive element such as elevators would make the design better since it is a skyscraper.

Team - Orange

Strengths: The Ren building looks awesome in its environment. The lighting really enhances the volume and spaces within and around the building. Entourage helps give the fabrication a sense of scale and gives realism.

Weaknesses: The overall landscape and map would look better and more realistic if a google earth image of the site was scaled and used.

Team - Evolve

Strengths: Uses architecture that is in a different site context. The landscape really looks like a desert environment with a realistic looking oasis where the structure is. Good use of cinematic in the presentation give you the impersonation that you are stranded and lost then find an oasis.

Weaknesses: The pool at the bottom of the structure doesn't show much depth and can be made to look more realistic. The other structural element which is the reservoir fulled with water should be modelled and Incorporated into the final map.

Team - Urbans

Strengths: Moving the model from Hyde Park to a smaller map really helps emphasize the size since you can now compare it to buildings in the distance. Using google earth imaging has helped create a scaled environment that shows allot of realism. Space inside the cenotaph should incorporate people with AI to help showcase what you can do when you visit this structure.

Weaknesses: The site map had elements which seemed out of place such as the main river where the bridge and entry is to the cenotaph. The river seemed quite big and deep when in real life it is quite shallow. Bird elements show a sense of scale but walking people with AI would look so much better. Interactive elements should be Incorporated such as doors, maybe a lift structure to take you to the dome of the Cenotaph.

Team - Omega

Strengths: Carrying on from there successful draft fabrication, there design is really looking good. Adding underground areas to the cultural center are really making the design more realistic to the intended architectural designs. The conference room in particular looks good with its textures and modelling.

Weaknesses: More people and A.I. especially in the conference room will help make this map more realistic. More interactive components such as control panels to control lighting or movable screens in the conference room will give users something to do in the design. And interiors of rooms can be improved upon with more modelling to help fill it out.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Collaboration Definitions: Round 2 & 3, 13/05/09


Coordination Theory and Collaboration Technology

Workshops have also been sponsored by various outfits to study issues of technology and cooperative work. One of these workshops was organised by Jolene Gallagher at the University of Arizona. “These workshops focused on the behavioural science aspects of coordination and collaboration relating to the individuals, small groups and formal organizations and on computer based systems and software design for collaboration”.(Olson 2001)

(Olson 2001) asks a question about coordination theory in his book “How will the widespread use of information technology change the ways people work together?” Currently there is software out there that allows people to work continuously together. Such software has been referred to as groupware and computer supported co-operative work. Since the generation of computers and IT has boomed in the last 15 years, we now see large numbers of people who have acquired direct access to computers, primarily for individual tasks such as using spreadsheets and word processing. And this has given lots of opportunities for users to get together and use communication and computing capabilities to help co-ordinate their work.

(Olson 2001) quotes “specialized new software has been developed to support multiple authors working together on the same document, help people display and manipulate information more effectively in face to face meetings and help people intelligently route and process electronic messages. Other benefits that can occur from collaborative measures using technology refer to the future. New capabilities can allow for faster communication between users, less expensively and more selectively. Which in the long run for example can mean lowering costs of coordination between firms that may encourage more market transactions, more buying (Olson)


Collaborative Communication in interfirm relationships

Communication in firms and between firms is quite crucial in today’s competitive business world. (Jacky 1996) quotes “the most important element to successful interfirm exchange is communication; the most carefully designed relationship will crumble without goods, frequent communication. Described as the glue that holds together a channel of distribution” This shows communication as a vital on-going management of relationships.

“Collaborative communication relies on the development of cooperative attitudes and processes to guide and administer the relationship” (Jacky 1996) which creates an atmosphere of mutual support and respect. So by showcasing common goals and likeminded thinking, collaborative communication can create deliberate agreement between partners. Collaborative communication inside firms can also lead to different outcomes such as maintaining a positive relationship. This will make workers feel like they are a fundamental part of the team. Showing positive commitment to fellow workers can also strengthen trust bonds and give incentive for people to work harder producing improved coordination, satisfaction and commitment.

Below is an example of how parties within the construction industry would collaborate traditionally. Adding new technologies such as web-based collaboration will dramatically ease how information between parties’s can be accessed and saved. An example of what a web based system does: “The system manages information including drawings, documents and correspondence online. This enables all authorized parties, internal and external, to view, distribute and track their files electronically through one central system. (Aconex 2007)


An article called “Does measuring Intent Change Behaviour” had some interesting points attributed to the way we assess Intent. (Johnson 1993) quotes “Situational Influences and normative constraints are just two of the possible detours that prevent stated intentions from becoming reality”. Intent can be looked at in quite a few different ways. For example from a behaviour point of view, Influences can play a big role in determining the intentions of a person. However these influences can then be further affected by normative constraints such as rules or the law which in turn will affect the intent of a person. One person could be thinking, such as having an intention to do something but there behaviour can change because of these other influences or constraints. When assessing behavioural change when measuring intent this article mentions that answering a question can have two effects. (Johnson 1993) quotes "First, answering an attitude question from someone can make the attitudes much more accessible and make resulting behaviour more consistent with the underlying attitude. Second, answering an intention question not only increases attitude accessibility but can cause the respondant to engage in substantial cognitive work that may produce a subsequent change in attitudes and intentions". Basically what this means is that answering an intent question from someone could change your behaviour by making your attitude more accessible and by changing the attitude itself.


The word "Context" is also used very repetitively and has quite a universal sort of meaning when you put it into content. One article called (International Journal of Ad Hoc and Ubiquitous Computing) talks about context-aware systems. In this area of the article the word context is referred to quite profoundly. "Context-aware systems offer entirely new opportunities for application developers and for end users by gathering context data", "Based on these design principles, we introduce various existing context-aware systems focusing on context-aware middleware and frameworks, which ease the development of context-aware applications"(Baldauf 2007, p.263). Basically they are referring to context as a term that implies that there system looks into many multitudes of different areas and can focus on them in more detail. So Context can be defined as a collaborative specific word that can entail terms such as arrangements, groups and teams.


  • Olson, G 2001, Coordination theory and collaboration technology, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
  • Jacky, J 2001, Collaborative Communication in Interfirm Relationships, Journal of Marketing, vol 60, pp. 103-115
  • Aconex 2007, Sydney Opera House: Information Control for the full asset lifecycle, solution web-based collaboration, accessed 13 May 2009, <>
  • Baldauf, M 2007, International Journal of Ad Hoc and Ubiquitous Computing, Volume 2, pp. 263 - 277, accessed 22 April 2009 from Inderscience Publishers Online
  • Johnson E, 1993, ''Does measuring Intent Change Behaviour”, Vol. 20, pp. 46, accessed 22 April 2009 from JSTOR Archives

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Studio - 07/05/09

1:00pm - Today in studio we had another guest presenter who shared his thoughts on sustainability, and was quite an interesting talk.

2:30pm - We then started the team presentations where everyone pitched forward there final fabrications and gave us reasons to pick them. Every group did very well and there seemed to be alot of hard work put into each design. We also did a peer review and everyone of us wrote down strengths and weaknesses for the other teams.

5:00pm - My team presented last but I feel we got great feedback about our fabrication. Our tutors then decided to instead join our class into two main groups for two fabrciations, but to instead keep us in the same groups so we could further develop each single project into an even better design.

Progress - 07/05/09

Well.... Most of my team stayed up all night doing the finishing touches for our final fabrication and presentation. Quite a few teams were working with us in the labs in the red center all doing there projects. It was quite funny seeing everyone stress including me. But in the end of the night I saw great progress from the teams that were staying up doing there fabrication and we ended up passing advice and tips on how to do certain things to help improve our designs. My team and another lost a couple of hours of work because of restarting computers in the labs which was quite fustrating but in the end we got it done and was an interesting night.

Phil and I finally figured out how to make the underground train work by using the same technique we used for the elevators but to change the axis so the train would move horizontally instead of vertically. Eva and I ran into quite alot fo problems with importing the layer of interior walls, furnishings and textures. Some of it was imported but was missing alot of stuff. It was also quite hard to select the objects such as the furniture as they seemed to be locked but werent. Still havent figured out what happened there but I guess the share complexity of the projects is starting to fail on the computers. One note that I will also mention is that since copying the file and sending it from person to person to work on, I have found that each time I receive the file there are things missing, elements that have been moved and scripts that basically stopped moving such as elevators and sliding doors which is real annoying. Stephen did a great job with the AI and one thing that will aspire for further improvements for the Hydropolis if it gets chosen is more interactivy with A.I.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Progress Check 05/05/09

11:00am - We had a group meeting today at uni to discuss the final work that needed to be done to finish our final fabrication. Eva had finished doing the interior of the rooms and we started importing that into the final copy. Our next step was working on interactive components such as working lifts and sliding doors that would make our design work. We ran into some trouble with getting these interactive elements working but found out later that crysis had to be restarted each time. Stephen worked on the lighting for Hydropolis and that has really started o look good and bring out the underwater environment in the darker areas of the sea bed. Phil created a nice looking water feature and I applied water area volumes to it to make it look real. A.I and entourage is the next step that we are going to work on before we apply some finishing touches.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Studio 30/04/09

1:00pm- Today we had a guest presenter come in called Jack Barton to give us a talk about what he does and his UrbanIT project.
3:00pm- After the presentation we got back into our groups and I briefed my team members on what tasks we still needed to do and set before the deadline for next Thursday. After sorting that out we got a marks back for our first experiment. My group got a distinction and I was pleased with the work that we had done. Our final fabrication is getting closer to being finished with just final detailing needed which would be lighting, entourage such as A.I - people walking around the Hydropolis and general texturing and furnishing. My team will start working on the presentation By next Tuesday and Wednesday in which we are hoping the final will also be completed by then. Below are some more progress shots for the Hydropolis.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Studio 23/04/09

1:00pm- Today in studio we had a guest speaker come in an talk to us about social phsycology. It was quite an interesting topic and related quite well to our team collaboration. It was a shame that the presentation was quite short as he only had 1 hour of his time to spend. After studio our class tutors had a discussion with us about our class wiki and our team work.

3:00pm- We went back into our groups and discussed what we could do to help improve our goals that were set for the final task. After discussing with our group tutors in our team progression we sorted out what each of our group memebers would be doing till our next group meeting on the following wednesday

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Team Meeting 21/04/09

We had a team meeting today after the easter break. We discussed what tasks we had completed and sorted out areas that we would continue working on for the group fabrication. After looking at our draft I decided to re-create the underwater structure and try fix the portals and visarea and add new areas as well as an access point so that people could get to the rooms from the surface. The portals work much better now but after creating underwater hallways to link the rooms there are still problems that I cant fix. When walking inside the hallways there are still graphical glitches where things disappear for a second then reappear, but I think it works well enough. Also Changed the underwater environment to go with the new underwater structures. Created an underwater area for scuba diving or snorkling where users can access the outside underwater environment.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Studio 09/04/09

1:00pm - Today in studio we had a guest Niel Brown come in and talk to us about world domination and global linux development. It was quite an interesting talk about about how he collaborates with collegues from all across the world using a source code called GIT and email. He also talked about the community that he is invloved with and the qork that they are doing.

3:00pm- After the presentation we went back into our groups and discussed what our team plan would be for the next following weeks leading up to our final collaborated fabrication. My team set some goals and benchmarks that we would try and acheive. We also worked on our team wiki on wetpaint. The class tutors gave our teams our new topics for collaboration.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Week 4 Studio Task 09/04/09

I Added my sources for Culture and Management to the class wiki on wetpaint. Michael Bao and I worked out a referencing system for the class wiki on wetpaint and added the pages. We think this system will work well as long as everyone follows the format that we have set. I have also added the strength and weaknesses task for our unbuilt architectures and will be updated by my fellow team members.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Studio Class - 02/04/09

1:00pm: Today in studio we had a guest speaker called Michael Brand come in and talk to us about conflict resolution. It was quite an interesting presentation which gave me a different insight into the construction industry.

2:00pm: After Michael's talk we then had our team draft presentations. My team Atlar was first and I felt we did quite well and gathered some great feedback from Jeremy, Graham and the class. It was quite interesting to see the other team's collaborated work and how they developed there architectures.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Week 3 Studio Task 26/03/09

My category is Synchronous Messaging; e.g. Skype, Team Speak, MSN

My team could use several different instant messaging applications to communicate with. One such application is google mail which has an inbuilt instant messenger By using this instant messenger, anytime a user is online and I am using gmail I can instantly send them messages. On the net there are many online chat rooms where users can join and socialise. There are also forums where users can register and log on. Once logged on they can create new topics where multiple discussions can occur in realtime. There can also be moderators who can overlook the topics and make sure things are in line. Moderators have the power to remove and ban users from forums. Other Synchronous messaging applications that can be used are programs such as ICQ and MSN. These messenger apps can be used by our team members so that instant messaging of conversation can take place. These applications also have the ability to send pictures, videos and hyperlinks to websites. When users are online they can all be added into a single group chats so that everyone can receive and say the same messages.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Week 3 Studio - 26/03/09

1:00pm: Today in studio My team ATLAR presented our team journal to the class and proposed our design intent. We also brought forward our tech tests. The other teams presented their projects and it was interesting to see the suc a diverse range of ideas.

2:00pm: We broke of into our groups and started discussing plans for our first assignment submission which is the draft.

Collaboration Topics Round 1


I found a book by Edgar H Schein called Organizational Culture and Leadership. This book basically outlines a few key points about how there are different cultural groups within organizations and how the concepts of culture show its relationship to leadership. To summarise this E.Schein (2004 p. 3) does a case study about how he helped a management group to improve its communications, interpersonal relationships and decision making. He found the group had high levels of interuption, confrontation, debate and found that all group members wanted to win all the time. So E.Schein (2004 p. 4) introduced suggestions such as better listening, less interrupting, more orderly processes of the agenda and reducing frustration levels. The group members found the suggestions helpful and changed certain aspects of there procedures. The group members even scheduled more time into there meetings but the basic pattern did not change. So with this in mind, all of E.Scheins interventions still couldnt change the basic style of the group.

However E.Schein continued to work with the group and during a meeting that had much debate and conflict suggested to one of the group members to restate their point instead of punishing the interruptor. The group then focused on the items on the chart and found that this helped there communication and descision process. E.Schein (2004 p. 6) then quotes "I had finally understood and entered into an essential element of their culture instead of imposing my own".
So culture as a concept can have multiple meanings. But in this case study it can show how the right kind of culture can influence how effective an organization can be.

Schein, E 2002, Organizational Culture and Leadership, John Wiley and Sons


I found an article on Time management and the small business operator (Ingrisano 2008) Within this article Ingrisano talks about planning out your business day to try avoid working seven days as a business owner. But even by having a plan, things do happen that can disrupt this but it allows you to have a sort of control. (Ingrisano 2008) quotes that you need to "Compartmentalize your work. Do this by blocking out the things you will and must get done this day. Then estimate the time required and do not quit until they are done". I would also like to add that if you are doing a task and you see yourself getting stuck or into trouble with it down the line then ask you team members if you can split the work up or allocate more group time towards it. The earlier you can work out these kinks then the less problems you and your team will have come submission time.
(Ingrisano 2008) also talks about allocating time away from a busy schedule to relax, rest, hobbies, friends and family etc. (Ingrisano 2008 quotes) "Most of all, make a conscious effort to manage your time, your work, your life. Do not let others dump favors-that-need-doing in your lap or take on projects and jobs that do nothing for either your business or yourself". So learning to prioritize what comes first or what is more important to you will help in your decision making and time management.

Time management and the small business operator 2008, BNET Australia, accessed 25 March 2009, <>.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tech Tests

My first tech test was to find out if buildings could be created underwater and also to see if they could hold out the water. I found a great tutorial on the internet which helped me to accomplish this. Here is the link: Add Image

Creating the structure underwater was simple enough but creating the visarea and portals was quite difficult as the portals had to be placed precisely inside the walls so you could actually see through it, which is described in the tutorial.

Here is the main building that has been constructed under the water.

This is a screenshot of the solids being edited and where the visareas and portals will be placed

This is looking at the finished building from the outside

And this is an inside perspective

For my second tech test I wanted to find out if sea life was createable and if it was possible to make some relistic sea evironments. Sandbox 2 already has some pre-loaded sea life that u can simply add to your maps. You simply create an entity and label it e.g fish. You can then place it in your map and adjust certain attributes such as how many you want there to be, what model of fish, size etc. There is also underwater vegetation that can help to create relistic environments.
Creating an entity for crabs

Adjusted entity values to create more fish
After adding vegetation and sealife to create an underwater environment

Add Image

Week 2 Studio - 22/03/09

1:00 pm: In todays studio we started off by having a group discussion about collaboration where we all defined certain topics.

2:00 pm: After our group disscusions we broke off into our own teams. Once we were off into our teams everyone in our group started presenting there 2 unbuilt architectures to the other team members. After discussing the unbuilt architectures amongst ourselves and then with the tutors we were left with 2 designs. One was the Dubai Opera house and the other was the Hydropolis in Dubai. In the end we decided to choose the Hydropolis as it was an underwater hotel that would look good, espeically with the water visuals within crysis. The dubai opera house had a very nice design aspect to it but trying to recreate this in crysis looked quite difficult. And by looking at our given space we decided to go for the Hydropolis. With the hydropolis we hope to create exciting underwater architecture in realtime using the crysis engine. One big element that my team wants to focus on is creating a realistic water environment complete with sealife that will further enhance the ambience of the Hydopolis.

4:00 pm: After deciding on the Hydropolis we then wrote up 8 areas of inquirey that would have to be researched and tested to find out if it was possible within crysis.

The 8 areas of inquiry are:
  1. If design of form and complex structures can be created within crysis.
  2. Test if structures can be placed in the water and to also hold it out.
  3. If we can import models from 3dsmax into crysis and test if model collisions works within sandbox2.
  4. Test the scale size of creating islands in Crysis and the structure.
  5. Test what materials would look authentic within an underwater environment
  6. Test if sealife is creatable.
  7. To test if models can me imported from sketchup.
  8. The tech tasks were divided up into 2 per person with the following people doing these tasks.

Allan- 2, 6
Philip- 1,4
Stephen- 3, 8

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Task-Research 2 unbuilt architectures

Design Proposal 1

For one of my unbuilt architectures I want to bring forward the "Hydropolis" which is an underwater hotel under construction In Dubai. The reason why I'm choosing this is because currently there is no underwater architecture that exists besides a few underwater aquariums and condo's.

Below is an actual underwater condo that was built next to a Coral reef.

After looking at the graphics in the game crysis, I can see the visual effects of the underwater Hydropolis hotel looking really good. Because Crysis is a game as well it will enable us to explore in realtime the construction of an underwater building, if it as at all possible within cryengine 2.

Below is a illustration of the proposed final outcome of the Hydropolis.

I think that this building should be our team collaborative fabrication because it outlines a new theme in architecture that has not been fully established yet. I think that a underwater hotel would look fantastic next to a reef where marine life would be just outside your window acting like a giant aquarium. And using the cryengine2 it all seems possible.

Design Proposal 2

For the other unbuilt architecture I have been researching information about another proposed structure in Dubai. It is called the Dubai deathstar by Rem Koolhaas pictured below.

Although the actual purpose of the design is undefined it looks to me like it can serve as a stadium, like a modern version of the Colosseum. From the pictures that have been posted on this website "", it does look like this structure can be a nature reserve or park as well as being a stadium.

I think that my team could use this as our collaborative fabrication as this structure would be interesting to make using the cryengine 2 as it is quite a large complex. By looking at some of the cryisis environments, a large scale project like the Dubai deathstar seems possible. The structural elements and landscaping would be quite challenging to do but I think it would be worth it in the end.

Week 1 Studio and Crysis tutorial

In week 1 studio we were organised into groups. My group consists of Philip, Eva and Stephen. After reading through our project briefs and course outlines we decided on coming up with a team name. We eventually decided to call our team ATLAR. After talking briefly about possible designs for our first assignment we started on the crysis tutorial.

Creating the land masses first was pretty straight forward as crysis can randomly generate terrain for you which you can then edit later.

The next part of the tutorial consisted of adding materials and vegetation to the terrain to make it look relistic.

This is the end of the tutorial which showed me how to create cliffs and caves. It also showed me how to place objects and animate AI.