Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"Mutually Exclusive Realms of Experience"

"We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves. The martyrs go hand in hand into the arena; they are crucified alone. Embraced, the lovers desperately try to fuse their insulated ecstasies into a single self-transcendence; in vain. By its very nature every embodied spirit is doomed to suffer and enjoy in solitude. Sensations, feelings, insights, fancies - all these are private and, except through symbols and at second hand, incommunicable. We can pool information about experiences, but never the experiences themselves. From family to nation, every human group is a society of island universes. Most island universes are sufficiently like one another to Permit of inferential understanding or even of mutual empathy or "feeling into." Thus, remembering our own bereavements and humiliations, we can condole with others in analogous circumstances, can put ourselves (always, of course, in a slightly Pickwickian sense) in their places. But in certain cases communication between universes is incomplete or even nonexistent. The mind is its own place, and the Places inhabited by the insane and the exceptionally gifted are so different from the places where ordinary men and women live, that there is little or no common ground of memory to serve as a basis for understanding or fellow feeling. Words are uttered, but fail to enlighten. The things and events to which the symbols refer belong to mutually exclusive realms of experience. " -Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception

Glean from this what you may, I just wanted to share this excerpt because it has affected the way I look at crafting experiences, or attempting to at least, within the realm of game design. I think it's important to look at what we do as creating new experiences for each player to perceive in their own way, rather than trying to create specific past experiences and force our associated feelings onto them. I feel like a lot of the time the reason we have trouble communicating our ideas is because we make things too personal. That being said, I also believe that its good to draw from past experiences to create new ones. I feel like maybe someone brought a similar idea to my attention before but I can't remember.

As important as crafting experiences is to me I've decided to embrace a new obsession...anyone who has talked to me in the past month can probably guess what that is. So camera at the ready I have decided to begin consciously exploring and studying the world around me though the lens of visual effects. I find myself doing this already, I feel like I've always noticed and appreciated these things, but I think it would be more helpful to me to document my findings rather than just sending them to the dark closet in my mind where so many other things end up. It gets cluttered in there. So, I may have gotten a bit sidetracked, but the actual reason I was reading The Doors of Perception is because I'm really interested in trying to create hallucinogenic effects and I was hoping it would lead me to greater understanding on the subject.

For now however, some Holiday themed gems from around my parents house, or as I like to call them: XmasFX

These ugly lights in the windows were the first thing I noticed when I got home, I give them props for flickering, but they aren't fooling anyone, not sure if they're trying to though.. Its funny because I made a candle particle for both of my big projects this year. In the real world if something looks fake, people accept it as such, in a game word, that doesn't really fly. Unless its very obvious that its supposed to be fake people will just think you did it wrong.

This is more something you can only see through a lens, but for me I see it through my glasses so I accept it as a valid phenomenon. There are a lot of cool things you can do with light refraction. I have these glasses that make all the lights on the tree look like snowflakes. So cool.

Distorted reflections are always fun...I've spent many a time doing this when I was little...and last summer.

Eye bugging fabric...this one was kind of hard to pick up on film.

other stuff:

I'm sure I'll find more interesting things whenever I actually leave the house. In this cold blustery weather I've noticed a lot of great things happening with smoke that I can hopefully document as well.

Cheers for winter break...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Fantastic Environment

Another 7 week group project. This one still needs a good deal of work until I'll be pleased with it. It was my first try at primarily concentrating on visual effects so I want to really polish things up for my portfolio. I've really found something I love in taking this track however, and it would seem I'm pretty good at it considering I got the bonus points for vfx on both of our projects this semester.

Our concept is pretty self explanatory. It is a surrealist desert of  time, that is actually inside of an hour glass.

Image claims
-sand blowing over the dunes particle
-heat distortion material
-pendulum blur
-sun particle
-glass material
-gold material
-really just all materials
-pouring wine material
-as well as various models/textures

There is a lot of movement involved in these things so its easier to read in movie form. I just have to make myself a new camera move and I'll post it up here. There is a night scene (the bottom of the hour glass) too that will be in the camera move. My main focus for this project was actually an event that triggers in which this shrine crumbles and you fall to the bottom through the center of the hourglass that is more like the inside of a clock, and that of course will be showcased in the camera move as well. Hopefully that update will be soon, winter break is upon me so work resources will be scarce for a few weeks while I go home

I'm working on a character concept as well right now, that also needs a lot of polish over break. Not really what I want to do but its kinda fun.

Her name is Belle. If you know the game she is inspired by, you're awesome. If not she's basically a Victorian female gunslinger, half vampire, undead-hunter. Awesome, no? We'll be modeling, rigging and doing some light animation on these next semester.