Sunday, January 31, 2010

Major Brief?

Silly me forgot to drop down to the baseroom and check my pigeon hole when handing in my disertation
So just wondering what time are we in on mon for our brief?


Friday, January 29, 2010

Good Luck All 3rd Years!

Hey you lot - best of luck for the final push; completing a dissertation is a real achievement and something of which to be genuinely proud. A big thank you to Liam for playing mother hen re. Harvard Referencing etc. Be sure to buy the man with the big hair and floral shirt a drink! Well done 'Class of 2010' - now go hand it and celebrate with vigour! I'd like to see a celebratory photo or two on this blog sometime soon...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Anyone binding their dissertations tomorrow

STAPLES binds and prints, there is also a shop along the same road to staples called, 'The Printers' they also print and bind.

Staples opens from 8am so a hint to anyone who has not yet bound i would recommend going there and NOT to uni as its probably going to busy.

I got mine done today and she said that they had been busy but if your desperate and get there for 8am it should take only ten minutes or so...

GOOD LUCK everyone!
I cant wait to never have to look at it again :)

Plagiarism form and turn it in (Y3)

The dissertation needs a plagiarism form with it.
It can be downloaded as a ready to print PDF from myUCA, under the tab my course > my course and units (on the right) > dissertation (30 Credits) > Unit information > MM, CG ARTS, DBM ONLY - Dissertation (30 credits) > Plagiarism Disclaimer form.
Also if you havn't, it would be worth running your work through TurnItIn; just in case.

Cover page for dissertation

Ive finished it all but the cover page...

At the moment is the title of my dissertation, my name, course and date. I remember Chris saying something about other details that i need to have on it but i cant remember. Can anyone else?

Do i need to put our lecturers name on it i.e Chris Hunt, and a unit title and number? If so does anyone know our unit title and number?

I dont want to end up not having the first right sheet as its not a good start really!!

If anyone knows, please post, thank you :)

Formatting the dissertation

Seems to be a few questions about it, so I'll paraphrase what is on the UCA website (here)

The university wants Harvard referencing, which is where directly after the quotation, the surname of the author, the year of the publication, and the page number are written in brackets.
For example:

Dennis McNally is quoted as saying ‘Without him, there simply wouldn’t have been enough acid for the psychedelic scene of the Bay Area in the sixties to have ignited’. (Medeiros, 2005, 309)

If the author is mentioned directly before a quote, you may put the year and page number in brackets after his name:

Chris Grunenberg (2005a,7) describes psychedelic style as ‘the result of a highly productive interaction between art, technology, politics, drug culture, music and many other influences, creating an extraordinary aesthetic exemplifying the spirit of liberation and freedom.’

These are then reffered to the bibliography.

The bibliography should be formatted alphabetically. Click here for a full example.
If you translate for instance this example of a book:

Barry, Peter. (2009). Beginning Theory: An introduction to literary and cultural theory. 3rd edition. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

It is: Surname, First Name. (Year). Title Of Book. Edition, if applicable. Publisher.

Reference the version of the book you read; for example I have referenced De Quiney's Confessions Of An English Opium Eater as below:
De Quincey, Thomas. (2003). Confessions of an English Opium Eater. Penguin Classics; Revised edition.
The original was in 1821, but that version wouldn't be the one to quote from.

Hope that helps, everything you need is in the link at the top of the page.

and another XD

our references... have to be within the text? like on the link u gave us just now.

mine are below the bulk of the text... as footers. i just want to clarify im doin it right. gives me time to correct it.

oh yea and my question that didnt get answered, can i use the word 'Ibid' so i dont have to quote the same thing over and over, or isnt it the harvard way?

i guess if i have to put the references within the text it wont matter :D

rather bug you brainless, than end up getting myself into a muddle. a wrong failed muddle at that.

thank you

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ohhhh Phillllll, one more question :-]

It seems I am just shy of the word count (200 words).

Now, will this matter, will they count the words?

The way I see it is I could go through and just dribble on for 200 words which won't aid my essay in any way. Or I could leave it as is and hand in 200 short but a better essay for it.

Another quick question for PHIL :)

I have pondered what this particular little word meant in all my books, it can be found in the references section. 'Ibid' means basically that the current reference is from the same place as the one that came before it (correct me if im worng).

what i want to know is can we use this little word, or if we have several references used concessively, do we have to label them individually?

im probably blind and stupid, but our references, are they to go at the end of the WHOLE document, or at the end of each chapter, or somewhere entirely different (like on the moon :P)?

i ask these questions because im close to getting ready to finalized the layout for printing.

thanx :D

Essay binding... what?

What's this essay binding stuff? and is there a service at Uni that can do the binding?

To clarify, the essay needs ..

-Harvard rules of referencing
-Double spacing
-Ariel/Times New Roman
-Font Size 12
-Indenting of quotes

-2x printed copies - Bound
-1x CD with it on

... Seems like a lot of stuff to do. More work than the actual Minor Project! Crazy stuff. I hope there is a binding service at Uni, else I'm screwed.

Attention All First Years - The Time Machine

Dear All,

Starting on Thursday, Feb 4th - 'The Time Machine'

Please visit myUCA to download brief and timetable ahead of Thursday's lecture.

Can those following the group blog please pass on this information to those who are not (still!) - cheers!

To PHIL mostly

i no its late but i have been working like a dog to get finished on the dissertation. but i want to change the title. can i do that so late in the game, or do the titles get sent to the examiners before hand so they know roughly what we students are waffling about?


Monday, January 25, 2010

Attention All First Years!!!

Just to let you know that the unit 4 timetable and brief are now available in myUCA for download; remember, I won't be printing the timetable this time, so you have to source it online. You'll also see some other unit materials are now available; all students should download 'Shot by Shot' by Jeremy Vineyard - an exhaustive, visual guide to storyboarding 'grammar' - also, be sure to read the essay by Jane Barnwell, 'From Concept to Construct'.

See you all on Monday, L2 @ 11am for the briefing. Don't be late! :-)

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Quick Question regarding the dissertation, if anyone can help. When printing the final copies of the dissertation is it OK to print the pages back to back of the paper or is a page per piece of paper preferred?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Some help please

Hi my name is Nathan Jeferies I'm a second year currently researching my transcription project.

Can I have some help please with a bit of modeling as a bit of side project which I am working on while waiting for replies from some emails I sent.

I'm having trouble figuring out how I should model the scruff arround this guy's head, you can see this scruff in the image planes behind him.

EDIT: wiframe picture added with red circles around the scruff i want to model

Friday, January 22, 2010

Check this out!

Hey peeps, found this by accident on youtube. I was looking for something to wake me up and it became rather appropriate.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Something Amazing!

Okay - this has nothing to do with the course, but everything to do with amazing unseen worlds and incredible spaces: go here for an environment that has to be seen to be believed.


The Maya licence file has gone down so if you have set up renders and are currently away from the university you may need to come in to restart the renders when the licence is back online. Jame's pc managed to keep going even when the maya files had gone crazy but i dont know if this will be the same for everyone. Just a suggestion to anyone rendering that you may want to come in just to check....?

This is regarding Maya 2010

The licence file has gone down meaning that your renders may have stopped and you might need to come in tor restart them.

I will try to re post when the licence comes back online later today.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rigging Issue

Hi guys, I have been revisiting the rigging tutorials that we did way way back when, seeing as I avoided rigging like the plague I thought I had better brush up.

When we went through the tutorials with Alan we sometimes got one or more of the spinal joints snapping 90 degrees into another axis when setting up the controls for the rig.

I'll be damned if I can remember the remedy, I probably jotted it down somewhere, in a book, in a bag, now in the bin.

I'm sure some of the younger fresher minds amongst you can give the old noggin a kick start.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Dissertation

For anyone who has not checked the MyUCA page latley, there are updates about submission of the dissertation:

(from MyUCA)
Modelmaking/ CG Arts & Animation/Photography/Contemporary Photographic Practice
FRIDAY 29th Jan 2010 - 10am - 1pm (Faculty Admin office, Ground floor)
Please see 'unit information' for FULL details of hand in requirements.

(from the unit information)
Submission of Dissertation:

The dissertation will be submitted for assessment at the end of semester 5. Details of submission dates and times will be published. The submission date is January 29th 2010.

Two legible word processed copies of your dissertation should be submitted to the Admin Office with an electronic version of the study produced as a Word file on CD.

You must complete and sign the Dissertation Disclaimer form and attach this to the copy of the dissertation.

Failure to submit the dissertation by the given date and time without mitigation will result in a mark of 0% (fail).

File Sizes are to Big


While rendering out my project and putting together scenes in after effects, i've noticed that the file sizes are hugh for the length of the avi. videos, for example, a 50 second scene is 1.67GB, to me this seems to big. Without changing all my reselotion sizes is there a way to reduce the overal file sizes, otherwise I may have problems fitting my animation to disk.

Any ideas?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Feeling like a fool

My PC's been struggling all day rendering an ambient pass on my work wondering why it ws taking so long and in all honesty in terms of rendering and setting up renders I'm a novice and I stopped my render as I was just so fed up with it not doing anything. I then went through my render settings and I thought about lowering the quality of it in terms of picture resolution, but its just made me think I should have lowered the resolution instead of ripping the 2k maps off everything and now I really feel down as I feel like my works going to turn out so utter rubbish and be poor quality after all the work I've put into it. I'm concidering trying to re-render it, scrap all the ambient pass and shadow pass and just see how it goes with the 2k maps at a lower render resolution.
But in all honesty I just feel well lost with it all.
So i now feel like I've wasted my time as well as the processor power and use of the PC's at uni over the weekend as it's like I've wasted them.
I just feel so down about it all to be honest.

Friday, January 15, 2010

...another thing.

There are security issues with setting the Scratch disks on the college PC's with Premiere Pro CS4, namely you can't change them to anything other than the My Documents folder on your account, which if you're in the same position as me and have no space on the network this is a pretty big issue as you cannot render video previews and CS4 crashes without failure as a result.

Premier Pro CS4 issue

Why am getting black bars down the side of my video when importing my renders into CS4? When I do the exact same thing with the same settings in CS3 I do not get any black bars. I can make the video fit in CS4 but I have to change the pixel ratio and it stretches the video as a result (I do not want to make that compromise) Working in PAL and Widescreen at 1024x576.



Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Maya software render try...and fail

Rendering problem update #2

Maya Rendering issues!!!

The problem Heather has been experiencing while rendering has been posted here, it's not a freak error as many people have experienced the problem. I am using the temporary space (T drive) and am experiencing NO PROBLEMS batch rendering in Metal ray on multiple machines to the temp space (using my own login as well), so I do not think it's a problem with rendering to the temp space. Perhaps someone can understand something or find a solution from these posts.

*copy and paste links*

UCA Library Open on Saturdays

Hi Everyone - just got this message from the University Library:

Thought I would just draw your attention to special library opening arrangements on the following Saturdays:
16th January - Open 10.00 - 4.00
23rd January - Open 10.00 - 4.00
6th February - Open 10.00 - 4.00
This is partly because of Open Days/Applicant Days, but partly also because of students' expressed wishes for Saturday opening close to important deadlines. The numbers of students using the library on these days will be recorded, in order to assess real demand for regular Saturday opening and provide to help us review the need to extend opening hours...

Note the sentence in bold - Saturday opening is a great idea and students want it - but students also have to use it, so do yourselves a favour and be conspicuous and make the most of this opportunity - think of it as an investment!

Tracey Ashmore's Dissertation Helpline!

A quick reminder that Tracey Ashmore (your Study Advisor) apart from offering 1:1 tutorials in her office, she also offers email or telephone tutorials should anyone wish for advice/feedback on work carried out to dissertations.

Email Tracey at:     or call her on:  01634 888664

Monday, January 11, 2010

Why does the end always go wrong?

I am on the last render stage of my last camera and it wont render. Weel to see it wont render full stop finish is a bit of an exhageration but heres the problem, il start from the top.

1. all my cameras are set up exactly the same to render differnt parts of the church.
2. the occlusion layer is set up exactly the same for every camera.
3. 4 of 5 cameras have successfully rendered the occlusion layer but this last camera will not.
i have tried on all computers at home.
I attempted to render at uni. which worked (but extremely slowly compared to every other render i have done at home. (150 frames over 5 and half hours)) i got home to carry on with the render which began fine to have the same problem at home. all the setting i can find have been set the same way at home as at uni but still not working. I have even tried setting up a new camera to render these frames. this problem is just baffeling. Looks like il have to render on the uni comps if it wil work tomo, unless anyone has any suggestions ?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

3rd year PDF document

Whats is the PDF document that needs to accompany the final piece?
Can anyone tell me exactly what this consists of?
I was reading through my brief and i cant seem to find anything...

Thanks again

Rendering and the snow..

Im a little worried thinking about rendering and being able to get into uni - if the weather stays as it is and the uni is closed, will we get the days back we lose when uni is closed even if it is a day or two?

I also have a question about lighting. In my scene at the moment the shadows are becoming pixellated and blocky and no matter what settings ive altered nothing seems to be changing - any ideas how to sort that out anyone?

Im want to render using mental ray when we go back to uni (fingers crossed) but i can only set that up once we go back as my pc wont let me use mental ray :(

If anyone knows any answers that would be brilliant, thanks Heather

Friday, January 08, 2010

The Eagle Has Landed!

Hi All,

Okay - after much staring into space and slack-jawed drooling, I am back in Blighty after finally leaving Madrid (note mini bottle of champagne by way of celebration - and more satisfyingly, a nice cup of British Airways tea!). With my tan intact (!) and my mood improved, I shall be browsing blogs over the next few days and getting back in touch 'little and often'.

Outside, it's snowing very heavily, so I'm not sure what's going to happen next week - keep checking the UCA website for updates, and I'll post any relevant info here.

Oh yes - see bird's eye view of 'severe weather event' - it all looked rather beautiful from the plane! (less so from the M25).

Stuck in Madrid 2

My plane was cancelled without warning at 00.13 hours... cue another night in another corporate hotel - next best guest is that I´m on the re-scheduled 12.30 - so here I am again, blogging when I should be flying, wearing the same pair of socks I had on two days ago and a retro-Thundercats t-shirt that should probably boast a biohazard warning: I´ve drunk so much coffee, I´ve got that over-caffeinated aluminium taste in my mouth with which all CG Arts students are horribly familiar. My joy is boundless - (in common with my body odour).

I´m off to the departures board - keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Stuck in Madrid...

Dear All,

I´m writing this from Madrid airport, where I am currently languishing waiting for an outgoing flight to Heathrow (but not to Gatwick, where the car is parked, as Gatwick was a no-go yesterday and there were no available flights - which means we still have to get to Gatwick after we land, which could mean I end up freezing to death in a layby upon my return - at least my corpse will have a sun tan!). So far, the time given for the flight is 00.43, but it keeps changing all the time and my sense of humour failure is looming (unlike the plane).

Thanks for the sympathy, Tom - (not!).

Meanwhile, I genuinely hope all is going well with the CG Arts community - especially the 3rd years, who must be feeling the pressure now - likewise the 2nd year, who are finishing up their collaboration. I hope the first year are back in the thick of things and I´ll endeavour to peruse all blogs asap: be sure to title any posts ´Phil/Alan´if you have a particular question or query and we´ll try and be as incisive as possible.

Regarding the bad weather and campus closure - not sure what will happen next week, but can I suggest someone (Liam!) email Jackie Andrew directly at to ascertain what the UCA policy is regarding days lost on account of campus closure - and what this may or may not mean for submission deadlines. However, as term doesn´t begin until the 11th, the current closure is non-applicable, as you´re not officially ´back´yet. Please check the UCA website for updates on the status of the campus. I did read that more snow is expected on Sunday...

So - I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and a happy new year! I look forward to seeing all of you upon my (eventual) return and I wish you well with the final two weeks of project work. No doubt you are all as sick of your projects as I am of this departure lounge, but keep your creative focus sharp and keen, stay choosy, and take good care of yourselves. Good luck! Be Amazing! (and remember to eat/drink/sleep).

A couple of questions, Year 3 mainly.

Will the days when uni is shut mean our dissertation deadline is extended?
Also what is the format for the athens password? (DDMMYY?)

Phil Stuck!

Hi All,

Unfortunately due to the severe weather conditions Phil is currently stuck in Gran Canaria. He is attempting to fly home today but as the weather continues to get worse it could be longer. Please watch this post for further details.

Phil has also asked me to relay to you all that he is looking forward to reading all your new blog updates...keep them coming guys!


Sunday, January 03, 2010

Happy 2010!

Finally recovered from new year mess lol. Thank god we dont have to be in tomorrow, i wouldnt be able to make it, rele heavy snow here!

Any way, just like to say happy new year, and also happy birthday to tutor phill who is missing out on all the snow as he is in grand canaria, luck sod!

chow, happy 2010!!