Adobe Photoshop

•March 11, 2013 • Leave a Comment

So after doing a few projects over the past year and being introduced to Photoshop 2 years ago, I still felt that I wasn’t so confident in my skills with the software. Therefore I thought I would do something about it and give a few things a go so I started to follow some tutorials. 

As my current project is about a tap I thought running water would be a useful thing to be able to represent and so I followed this tutorial:

http://photoshop-tutorials.wonderhowto.com/how-to/create-flowing-water-and-splash-effect-photoshop-248360/

It was great and easy to follow, simple step by step instructions as well as the demonstrator doing it with you so it was a good find. The number of other tutorials shown on this website made me bookmark it straight away as I’ll be doing them sometime too and try to improve my own skills. 

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This was my final outcome to the tutorial, it looks slightly different to the demonstrator’s but not so much and I was pleased with the outcome. It certainly taught me something that will come in handy for future work and projects, and I enjoyed doing it too.

Delving into Develop3D

•March 2, 2013 • Leave a Comment

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So the other day I received my latest edition of the free magazine Develop 3D through the post. From looking at the front page for approximately 3 and a half seconds I instantly knew this would be a good issue. It has so many interesting articles and the majority of them are hugely relevant to the course I am doing at uni.

Firstly the KeyShot 4.0 review. Between our course we have all been introducing each other to this software called KeyShot and it has improved all of our projects. The review is so in depth and it also gives a lot of tips to us amateurs of the program. 

There is also and Ansys 14.5 review, which I recognise using a few months back. I was not the biggest of fans and couldn’t properly understand this software however it was an enjoyable read to see the possibilities and opportunities which was be accessed if I did progress my capabilities  in the software.

The biggest article in this edition in my opinion is the Develop 3D Live. I read it and was immediately excited about the prospect of going to it. I was straight on the phone asking if my course mate wanted to go and within 3 minutes I was registered to go. Its a free exhibit and some of the biggest protagonists in Product Design and Technology will be there giving talks, presentations and demonstrations. The likes of the President and CEO of Autodesk, the founder of Solidworks plus the current vice-President to mention a few. We use their software extensively throughout my uni course and people use them in industry, so I cant think of anything less than an interesting day and event for this!

Got no plans for April 16th?…well get yourself here!

Apply for your free subscription to Develop3D here:

http://develop3d.com/

Register to the Develop3D Live 2013 here:

http://www.develop3dlive.com/

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

•February 21, 2013 • Leave a Comment

So after my 21st birthday back in December I had a large sum of cash which I wanted to spend but was struggling to decide upon what. I was toying with keeping it and saving it for travels and holidays, but that just seemed boring at the time, even though I would have an awesome time when it came to it.  I’m not the type of person to usually want or need anything in particular, however I had decided to spend it on a Tablet computer and bought it the other week.

Now as you can imagine the vast array of tablet pc’s out there is quite daunting but I chose my price range and did some research. Decided it was between the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, Samsung Galaxy Note or the iPad 4 with Retina Display. After a quick 20 second chat with one person in a Carphone Warehouse I immediately dismissed the Tab 2 because it just wasn’t in the same league as the other two, although its price tag was relatively appealing at £260!

So it was between the later 2 devices.

Samsung note

“Create, work and play – the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 gives you the power to be more productive wherever you are. Boasting a 1.4GHz quad core processor and 2GB of RAM – the Note 10.1 has enough muscle to handle anything from photo-editing to multi-screen multitasking. Android 4.0 opens up a whole world of apps and widgets, while Samsung’s unique S Pen stylus gives you more control over them than you ever thought possible on a tablet.” – John Lewis

 

iPad 4

“iPad features a stunning Retina display, FaceTime HD and iSight cameras, the all-new A6X chip and ultra-fast wireless. And with access to over 275,000 apps on the App Store, you can do more than ever.” – John Lewis

 

I read various reviews on the internet and how these two devices cannot be compared because they are totally different products, but  as a consumer I chose these two as the top 2 Tablets and so I had to make a comparison myself. I chose to go with the Samsung Note 10.1 as the Tablet choice for me. I weighed up so many pros and cons of both devices because being a student, its a hell of a lot of money to be splashing out so I wanted to get the correct one. Firstly the iPad, yes it has the best processor out in the market and works the fastest in comparison with any other tablet, and it has the best display on the market too with twice as many pixels as the Samsung so for viewing any type of media the iPad wins hands-down.

However, there is the ongoing argument similar to that of Marmite, you either love Apple or you don’t and I’m afraid I am not their biggest fan. Possibly because of its massive market share or the fact that they price everything twice as much (like their laptops) just because it has an Apple logo on it when in fact I reckon you can get the same or even better spec laptops for the same/lower price.

The aspects which swayed my decision was the uniqueness of the Samsung and its capabilities. I must admit though that I only found the majority of them out after buying the Tablet and playing on it for the first weekend. Firstly the free already downloaded Adobe Photoshop Touch (usually £6.99 on iPad) was a nice surprise to see on my screen as I booted it up for the first time. Its a very simple and easy to use app and being a design student at Uni, was a perfect little present from Samsung. Not to mention the built-in stylus with its high responsiveness and accurate pen-tip makes drawing and editing easy and fun. I also downloaded the app Sketchbook Pro which is a must have for designers as drawings and sketches can be quickly created on the go, wherever you are. It’s exactly like using the Bamboo graphics tablet, but directly onto the screen!

The other nice surprise which I didn’t know prior purchase was the fact that the Samsung comes with Polaris Office, inside of which is Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel  Perfect for a student like me who needs to get some work done but can’t use their laptop or left it at home.

Another nice aspect is the external micro SD slot on the top, unlike the iPad the memory on the Samsung can be extended by simply buying any size micro SD and inserting it in, which then can be put into another Laptop or Computer and transfers whatever files you want. You can pick up a 64GB one for £35-40 so it doesn’t even matter what size tablet you buy, it can be made larger so simply.

Without trying to biased, I could go on and on about how good the Samsung Note is but I don’t want to bore you (if I haven’t already)! All I will say is, if you’re a big Apple fan but want something different for a change, get the Samsung Note without hesitation. All my friends will say its “all they see me doing nowadays is playing around on it and I always have it with me wherever I go”, I just wish I didn’t wait so long to decide to buy it!

p.s If you decide to buy one, get it from John Lewis! Best price around, and if the price lowers within 28 days of purchase, take your receipt back in and ask for them to give you the money difference back. I went in yesterday and got £20 back because it went down £20.

http://www.johnlewis.com/samsung-galaxy-note-10-1-tablet-16gb-wi-fi-1-4ghz-quad-core-gps-10-1-inch-display-grey/p231779721

Not Just Any Birthday Gift

•February 20, 2013 • 1 Comment

So my brothers 13th birthday was 2 weeks ago now, and I was struggling as what to get him for it. I didn’t get him anything for Christmas cause I was skint, so thought I would spend a bit more than usual on his Birthday present.

He’s a usual teenage boy, plays his Xbox and PS3 religiously. Has everything imaginable at his age, probably too much if you ask me; however that will no doubt be because I’m jealous! I didn’t want to get him ‘another’ game for any of his consoles as he sits in front of them enough already, I used to be that guy so I’m not gonna be all ‘anti-gaming’.

While searching for present ideas, my girlfriend saw the Red Bull Soapbox Race advertised and said I should enter it as it would be good for my course. Upon researching this, i found thousands of people apply to the event and only 50 Soapboxes race and so the chances of this being me would be minimal. So I searched locally and found in actual fact there are loads of events all over the country and in particular, there are many in and around York.

So once I decided which one I liked, I entered me and my little brother into it. I chose the Windmill Hill Soapbox Derby (http://skid-marks.co.uk)

ImageI thought this was one of my most creative and innovative Birthday ideas yet. It will be a good laugh, and be something for my brother to concentrate on and enjoy, but also be good for my own design portfolio. It’s not an ordinary thing in England, its more of an American tradition, it will be a whole weekend event with Saturday practice and Time Trials with the race happening on the Sunday, so basically its Formula 1 without the engines, only Gravity to power us along.

I will post videos and photos on here when it comes to building the Soapbox so progress can be seen. If you’re struggling for Birthday ideas, get yourself in on this. Cost £40 to enter the both of us and you can make a really good project out of it in the end. Never know, could start off a life long family tradition or hobby!

ImageThis is the Lotus Type 119c Soapbox which is to be believed to be the fastest Soapbox ever made capable of 200mph (this is with no engine at all bearing in mind) on a 45 degree slope, so it still can be an extreme sport if you want it to be, your decision!

British Sport 2012

•December 24, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I was recently just browsing the SkySports website and this story caught my eye.

http://www1.skysports.com/other-sports/news/12040/8342608/The-Greatest-Year

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This was an exciting read, and was very clear, concise and heart warming. Every sport and achievement mentioned was a massive highlight in the in the year just gone. I remember watching nearly all of them mentioned and got excited for sports which I usually don’t watch or follow.

Being mainly a Football fan I remember clearly the end of the season day. Me and my friends all had the beers ready, had multiple screens on at the same time with skysportsnews and some of the games on at the same time. It was the perfect set up for the moment i will always remember. Every English Premier League fan and follower of football will be very familiar with this image.Aguero

This was the moment the ball connected perfectly with Sergio’s right boot, the moment all Manchester United fan hates to relive. But from a neutral (or a Chelsea fan as I am who wanted to see the title go to someone other than the Red’s) it was the perfect representation of the Premier League, arguably one of the top 3 best league in the world. This moment epitomizes the league which went right to the last second – Literally! The title was heading to Manchester one way or another, but it was still undecided which side. With City trailing 2-1 to QPR with only injury time to go, as he has done on many occasions, Dzeko grabs an important goal to equalise but with United Winning their game, City needed another to bring the title home. Up step Sergio Aguero. I could go on, but the rest is history now, and a memorable moment in my life which I don’t think will ever be repeated with such excitement and drama! To make it even more exciting was having the game plus skysportsnews on and Paul Merson’s reaction just made it even more exciting.

Drogba

Being a Chelsea fan the other footballing moment this year was the victory in the Champions League against Byern Munich. This was an epic moment for all English football fans I feel, as much as people have a rivalry against us, they wanted the English team to become victorious. I remember the moment so perfectly as Didier walked up to the spot, and slotted in the last penalty, it was unpredicted by many, but like the previous round against Barcelona, we were huge underdogs but came out on top. Our £50 million talisman Fernando came out on top after being gifted a one-on-one and this time rounded Valdez and scored to secure our place in the final. The whole tournament path was remarkable, we were expected to be knocked out at the semi’s, so all credit to Roberto Di Matteo! He will always be a legend to us fans.

Not only was Football a British success. The golfing Ryder Cup victory will undoubtedly goes down ‘in the pantheon of great sporting comebacks.’ Being 10-6 down with the final day and coming back to win 14.5 – 13.5 is something that will be remembered as one of the greatest moments.

As explained in the article as well is all the Olympic achievements. There was so many I am not going to bore you by talking about them, you most likely watched them all live as it’s not really something you could miss!

This article gave me goose bumps to read, it brought back memories from throughout the year. I forget that all this happened in this one calendar year, it feels like this much success should be spread across many years. However it shows how much of a force Britain is in an array of sports, and I am guessing the success by others will encourage the younger generations to get involved and keep all this success going.

We were lucky to witness all the moments and victories this year, some of the feats achieved may not be repeated in such a fashion but at least we are able to hold those memories and can tell people about this year in the future! – unless we have an even more successful year sometime, which would be hard to top this present one.

On another note, we’re still waiting for England to bring home a major trophy in the Football world….Brazil 2014???

Mobile Phone Symbiosis

•December 15, 2012 • Leave a Comment

So we had another group project to finish this semester off and it was an interesting one. It was all about focusing on producing an add-on to a mobile phone which can complete a function which a mobile phone cannot usually do.

The brief can be found here: http://bsalem.info/Teaching/TDP_mps.html

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As previously, we met up as a group and came up with the persona as shown above, and then we produced a storyboard to show the difficulties and problems our persona faces.

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Then we all went away to design our own concepts around the problems outlined. These were a couple of my ideas.

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We all came together after we produced our designs and presented them to each other. After showing each other our designs it was clear we all had the same ideas and concepts, as some of them were identical to each others. This wasn’t a bad thing however as it showed we were all on the same path and aiming towards the same product.

We then chose 3 main ideas which we liked and could develop and then produced some more ideas as a group this time, rather than individually.

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Doing it this way meant that we could take parts we liked from previous designs and combine them to produce a nicer looking, and more functional product. Once we had finalised the product design, we could produce the CAD model. We had a very competent user of the software Solidworks and he was able top produce a really accurate and aesthetically pleasing CAD render as shown.

Once these were produced, it made the rest of the visual ideas easy as it was a simple to just import the renders and design around them. We needed to produce visuals like the 2 below to present to our peers at the end of the project and we needed to make sure they were self explanatory but also simple as well, so we chose minimal writing and a simple one angle picture on each visual.

 Cad Render 1Cad Render 2

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We also needed to produce the logo for our app. The brief stated that we needed to produce something that cannot be done using an app. However, we need an app for our product to work and so we designed the app logo which would appear on the phone screen of the user. David Forster produced the logo designs and we all chose which one we preferred. Luckily with no persuasion, we all chose the same one (the bottom right design) and so no convincing was needed.

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We also needed to produce some screen shots of what the app would look like. I produced the sketches shown below as David replicated a couple of them on Photoshop. I was very impressed with the Photoshop outcomes, they look professional and I can imagine them on a phone and being a real life app.

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I was the one in the group responsible for the model. I decided to produce it from cardboard board I immediately realised the problem of managing to get the curves on the sides of the design. However I was under the impression that the model was just to get the concept across and how it works, and to give a scaled size of the concept which is what I achieved. Although if I was to produce it again i would maybe chose a different material to make it out of, possibly modelling foam or modelling clay so I could represent the product in a more accurate light.

A produce justification was needed for our final presentation. If you are unable to justify your product or design, then there is no reason for the product being made, and it will not be a success. We had a clear reason for our product because we had our persona and problems outlined early on so there was a purpose for the product, and it would not become a dormant design.

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This was the advert/poster produced by Dan Terry. He said himself, that he was tempted to use a simple design and background like the visuals previously, however he decided to make it a bit more exciting and I can see where he was coming from, because an advert needs to be eye catching and that is exactly what this poster does. Walking down the street it will definitely catch your eye and you will stop and look at it, and hopefully it will stick in your mind.

The last part of the Project was to produce a video. We chose to do and animation and myself and David sat down to produce a script. Personally I think the video was brilliant, very professional, informative and straight to the point. It sells the product and shows exactly how it works. A lot of credit of that is due to David’s ability and work ethic.

The video can be found on YouTube here:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7k1YmkjZDKE 

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Group Members

David Forster – http://www.behance.net/daveforster

Bobby Lamb – http://www.bobbylamb.wordpress.com

Dan Terry – http://www.behance.net/DanJTerry

Jack Cadzow – http://www.behance.net/jack-cadzow

Jordan Dapaah –

DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING DESIGNS ARE CONCEPTUAL AND FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.  NONE OF THE FOLLOWING IS ENDORSED OR AFFILIATED WITH LG TECHNOLOGIES OR THE NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE.

LG Health

•December 15, 2012 • Leave a Comment

This is the video we produced for our group project – Mobile Phone Symbiosis.

 
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