Posted in Unit 13 (Final Major Project)

Unit 13 – Illustration Chapter Two

Chapter 2 final.PNG

This piece of concept art is probably the most aesthetically pleasing to look at. I asked several people around my class if they enjoyed the look of this illustration, to which all said yes. What makes this illustration so striking amongst the other pieces is the map. The map is the focal point of the picture, as documented in the book when Gunnar points to it, following the trail from Denmark to France; an attack. How I got the map to look like that was very simple and did not require me to use a lot of tools. All I needed to do was change the opacity and the colour, making faux light spread across the map. What gave me the inspiration to do this sort of style (The map is drawn on cartridge paper) was the Skyrim map you get with your console game. On the outline of each island, they added a dark line – low opacity – and begin filling it in with a lighter colour, also low opacity. To me, it makes the map look old-fashioned, not boring as I was originally going to just do one colour; I am glad I had the Skyrim map on hand.

This illustration was the one that held the most detailed and looked great all across, without one part of it being detailed while the rest is very 2D and doesn’t hold that much character. What I will say that could use a bit more work is the hand. The shading I used on the hand to make it a bit more realistic only semi-worked. When I do skin shading it is mostly on the face, so I have a lot of experience with that; the hand is a completely different story. To make sure I have the most accurate version for this I could of replicated this image, holding my hand in a certain way and using limited lighting, similar to how it would be on the illustration.

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Unit 13 – Diary – 14/06/2017

S – Begin writing the first paragraph of my final evaluation, talking about why I decided to do this project and the research was needed to achieve it

M – This will be around 800 words as I want to get every bit of detail in, though it may be much longer as I intend to write a lot; when I start it becomes hard to stop

A – Final Evaluation are an opportunity for us, the pupils, to talk about what our projects are about, what helped us achieve them. I have done them for each project and have experience with what to write, but this is the largest one and will require me to write much more than the other times.

R – 800 words will not take a lot of time to complete as I am a quick typer, so it will not take me that long to achieve.

T – 22:50pm –  00:00am

The first paragraph was a very simple task, introducing the reader to what my project was and what research I did to get the information I needed. It was very detailed and explained everything that you needed, even talking about previous ideas I had before I picked the idea I used for unit 13. However, I intend to overwrite, maybe talking a bit longer than is necessary.

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Unit 13 – MISC – How am I feeling?

I feel like I am letting down the class if I am not in, but I can’t bring myself into college some days. As the deadline comes closer, my aniexty rises, making me become more on edge – more sleepless nights. My body just becomes so tired that I even sleep through an alarm…at 12pm. I have been getting help for my aniexty, the doctor recommending I meditate to calm my nerves, or listen to muisc; it has been helping, a little. Writing also helps calm my nerves, so when I take a day off from college and I can’t bring myself to sit through a day, I catch up on writing work I have missed.

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Unit 13 – Reflection – Failing To Meet Project Milestone #2

Due to the extended deadline, I have spent time making sure each task is completed before I begin making the presentation. However, that resulted in my action plan being messed up, along with my gannt chart. One of the milestones I failed to meet was completing my illustrations a couple of weeks ago.

Now, the deadline was a great opportunity for me to perfect my illustrations, but it also made me forget about other tasks that needed to be done. These illustrations were meant to be done in week 10, giving me the chance to check over my work and make small definitive changes before the deadline. Fortunately, the deadline changed, meaning I was able to focus on the digital painting and make it look aesthetically pleasing as possibly can – even within a few weeks.

This was also a bad decision to make. As I have only focused on my illustrations I forgot about making the front cover of my book, the main part of my presentation. It introduces the book, with the title and the blurb; I have to make a first impression. Because of me failing to meet the milestone, I had to make the cover of the book within a short space of time. I have to make it in two weeks, a short amount of space.

Posted in Unit 13 (Final Major Project)

Unit 13 – Reflection – Project Management

Throughout this project I have been trying to manage my project, hoping to meet project milestones while also effectively trying to complete additional tasks within the time frame. However, the more I look at my project I can see that my project management has been lacking – tasks which were meant to be completed within a week lasting almost a month; I do not have an excuse for this. When doing my projects’ I intend to do several tasks at once, causing me to stress at the process and push the targets off myself to do something else, something simpler.

Where this has been a big problem is the end of the project. I forgot about making the book, which was the main presentation and has forgotten about sorting of my books’ pages so they are in the right order, making the book run smoothly when reading. I should of done this task two weeks ago, along with the illustrations that still need to be completed. If I followed the gannt chart I made for the specific project, I would’ve been able to ask these tasks completed with relative ease, yet, I am still far behind.

But it has been all bad. At the start of the project the action plan and gannt chart were a great help with the different pieces of work I needed to complete to ensure my unit 13 project was smooth. As I stated in my previous paragraph, however, I ended up not using the gannt chart because of all the different tasks I was trying to complete at the same time. What helped a little with this problem was the S.M.A.R.T Targets which let me time how long I was going to do each task. It made me aware of how long I spent on each task and how I could change that – change the way I work on my work and complete tasks much quicker.

In the future, when I come to do a mass amount of work for a project like this for a future company, I will make sure to make a detailed action plan and use a gannt chart to follow my progress and see the tasks that need to be completed to get to an end goal.

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Unit 13 – Diary 12/06/2017

S – Begin making the front cover for the book

M – I will only do one variation to save time

A – I made a quick front cover of a book in my last year FMP, this will be a simple process

R – The time will not be that long as I have things to attend to, though I have to use illustration also

T – 10:40am – 12:00pm

I have added the background for my back cover, which is a royalty free leather swatch as I do not have enough time to make my own leather. The title of the book has been added to the book cover, though I still need to add some shading to the letters to make them look 3D and metallic amongst the red background. What I did not managed to do was get onto the illustrator side of things – I will go onto illustrator for my next target.

S – Change Gunnar’s form in chapter four, make his hair look more realistic

M – I will only do one variation, as I state every time I do a concept art piece, due to the deadline next week.

A – Throughout several projects I have painted hair, making it look semi-realistic and aesthetically pleasing. I do not need to worry about messing up as I am quite effcient when doing this task

R – Even though my style is quite cartoonish, making the hair is something I take great pride in. Hair, though can be a timely process, it is a very simple task to achieve

T – 13:00pm – 14:30pm

The hair was not as simple as I expected. I ended up making several mistakes when doing this task. When I chose the base colour of his hair I did not look as I imagined it, meaning I had to delete the opposing colour and spend time finding a brown that would match my image of him. Then I made the biggest mistake of when I began adding the the strands of hair, not realising the eraser tool was one. I began removing the brown and I was completely confused on why this was happening. After 10 minutes I only noticed this, but I did not have enough time to recolour, having to make do with the white strands. The last problem was the graphics tablet. It kept losing collaboration, the pen pressure not working effciently enough. Because of these problems I did not have enough time to finish his hair, I will have to do it another time.

Posted in Unit 13 (Final Major Project)

Unit 13 – Theoretical Problem Solving

Throughout this unit I have solved many practical/technical problems, along with theoretical problem-solving. I have already explained how I have solved the practical problems (On my Practical Problem post) but I have never talked about how I solved the theoretical.

I mentioned in my theoretical problem blog post about how historically accurate I can make my book and how I can move away from this idea and base it loosely on the Vikings. However, I stated several times throughout the course of my time in this unit that I want to make a book that moves peoples’ opinion away from this barbaric view the media has – though true, to an extent, the Vikings were very clever in how they carried out their tactics. But as I cannot get historically accurate information as the information that was gathered from the time is complete propaganda, I had to deal with it. The Prose Edda is definitely the most reliable source as that was a book created by Snorri Sturluson, an Icelandic historian from the 13th century. This saga talks about the range of different beliefs the Vikings had, even mentioning some Elves and Dwarves that were useful for when I was adding the fantasy aspect to my book. He went into extraordinary detail about the fantasy beings, me then being able to describe them as the Vikings believed; it was a nice touch adding Viking Mythology to my book to make people who are not aware of their culture get a brief understanding.

Now the other information I got was complete speculation – though accounts in which they talked about clothing was accurate as clothes from that time were still perfectly preserved. Another way I could have avoided this problem was going to the Jorvik Viking Centre in York, but as I mentioned in a previous post I simply did not have the funds to make the journey; I completely regret that decision.

The audience was quite easy to determine as I already had a brief understanding at the start of the project of who my audience was, but I needed to know more. What about if gender was somehow linked to my book? Will the sales of my book decline or would they rise? Women are more likely to read historical fiction, according to a poll, men who read 50% – 75% of historical fiction novels, only 29.15% do so, while women overtake with 38.44% doing so (A Writer Of History, 2014). Yet, the more you look at the poll and see the questions that are asked to men about their favourite time periods 42% said they enjoyed historical fiction books ranging from 3000 B.C – 1000 A.D, which the Vikings were very prominent. However, I would like to think gender has no alteration with how popular my book is, though it is typically men who enjoy books to do with war and our Viking ancestors.

Now the creation of the book was quite a tricky one to decide. Due to the ever evolving technology, it seems people would prefer to read an e-book as they can access any book they want with a click of a button. Yet, when I searched for polls to decide whether my initial idea was true, it seemed it was the complete opposite (Good Reads, 2017). More individuals prefer the comfort of a printed book than an electronic book. Maybe this is the case because printed books do not cause eye-strain, unlike their technological cousin. But I wanted to have more evidence. I decided to ask my friends and family on Facebook which they preferred out of printed books or e-book; the results were the exact same. More people, when reading, prefer the company of a book than an electronic device to hold their book – this is the same to me. It is a completely different experience when you are turning the page, almost adding to the immersion of the story, unlike its electronic counterpart that requires a swipe of a finger. These results determined the fate of how I will present my book.

Bibliography:

Snorri Sturluson (1220) The Prose Edda. Scandinavia: Unknown. p21-25.

A Writer Of History (2014) Reading Historical Fiction Varies Gender [Online] Available from: https://awriterofhistory.com/2014/11/20/reading-historical-fiction-varies-by-gender/ (Accessed: 28/05/2017)

Good Reads (2017) Which do you prefer – e-books or paper books? [Online] Available from: https://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/41218-which-do-you-prefer—e-books-or-paper-books?order=d&page=1 (Accessed: 29/03/2017)