Thursday, June 18, 2009
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
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:http://www.crymod.com/thread.php?threadid=44080.
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
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
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
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
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
Thursday, May 21, 2009
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
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
- 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
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.
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
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, <http://www.automatedbuildings.com/news/dec07/articles/aconex/071129023808aconex.htm>
- 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
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.
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
Thursday, April 30, 2009
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
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
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
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
Friday, April 3, 2009
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
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
2:00pm: We broke of into our groups and started discussing plans for our first assignment submission which is the draft.
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
(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, <http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa5426/is_200810/ai_n30992309>.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
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
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:
- If design of form and complex structures can be created within crysis.
- Test if structures can be placed in the water and to also hold it out.
- If we can import models from 3dsmax into crysis and test if model collisions works within sandbox2.
- Test the scale size of creating islands in Crysis and the structure.
- Test what materials would look authentic within an underwater environment
- Test if sealife is creatable.
- To test if models can me imported from sketchup.
- The tech tasks were divided up into 2 per person with the following people doing these tasks.
Allan- 2, 6
Stephen- 3, 8
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
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.
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.
Creating the land masses first was pretty straight forward as crysis can randomly generate terrain for you which you can then edit later.