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Monday, November 22, 2010

Storage of Image Assets

The place where you are storing files is important if you have many differant files in differant file formats. Messiness can lead to disorganisation.

To make it simpler, formal and more organised there should be a folder for the main image that you are creating. Within that folder, should be two differant sections; Drafts and Final. The files in the folders should be clearly named i.e. image_ORIGINAL_450.psd. "ORIGINAL" means that you shouldn't edit the original and should make the copy to lessen the risk of losing your work. "450" stands for the dpi (Dots per Inch) in the image. "Psd" stands for the type of the file format.


Optimization

Optimisation is used to get the best quality out of your image for the purpose it is needed e.g. using an image file thats 1GB for a large A2 poster, then reducing the size of the file for different purposes. Images on the web would have to be saved in a lossless file format like a PNG file. The resolution would also have to change to about 72 dpi.

Depending on the purpose needed of the image, you could change:
The size of the image
Quality of the image
Dpi of the image
File type of the image
Number of colours in the image

Textures

Textures are 2D images that are wrapped around an 3D object. This can be used for: buildings, characters, objects and landscapes. Tetures can be easily used from the internet but big companies games developers like Nintendo or Sony create their own by taking photographs or by using imaging software i.e. Adobe.

An example of some landscapes:


















Images taken from CG Textures.com

File Types

A Jpeg file is a Raster/Bitmap file format and is best not to be used, as after saving the image, it can not be edited at all.

Advantages:
Has a variety of compressionable sizes
Good for small filed photos/images
Dis-advantages:
Lossless compression
Loss of quality when using the zoom in feature
Doesn't support layers

A Gif file is a Raster/Bitmap file format that is mostly used for online images as not alot of memory is required. It is also used for animated images aswell.

Advantages:
Good for small filed photos/images
Transparency can be used
Dis-advantages:
Lossless compression
Not good detail for photos/images

A Psd file is a Raster/Bitmap file format that is great for editing photos or for creative graphical work. It is commonly used on Adobe Photoshop.

Advantages:
Good quality images
Large amount of colours can be used
Layers is supported
Dis-advantages:
Very large file sizes
Lossless compression

A Tif file is a Raster/Bitmap file format and is regullarly used, besides Psd's, for large and colourful images.

Advantages:
Great for image editing
Large amount of colours can be used
Dis-advantages:
Loss of quality when using the zoom in feature
Very large file sizes

A Bmp file is a Raster/Bitmap file format and is used mostly on the programme, Microsoft Paint.

Advantages:
Good quality images
Lossless compression
Dis-advantages:
Very large file sizes

A Ai file is a Vector file format which is good for offices and businesses as they're logo could be blown up to billboard size and yet still be used as a small logo on a card or letter.

Advantages:
Image can be used for multiple advertising purposes
Good quality images
Dis-advantages:
Only basic colour information

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lossy and Lossless compressions

Lossy compression is when, for example, a picture is taken of a field and that photo is then converted into a Jpeg file so that it can be easily compressed down to be a smaller file and can be transferred and shared online, quickly. The file however, when converted and making itself smaller, lost some colour, though to the naked eye remains looking the same although thousands of colours have been lost in the transfer and cannot be recovered. Converting a file to Jpeg isn't a very professional way of converting a file due to the loss of some information in the file.

Lossless compression is when the photo you took (like a field) can be reconstructed from the compressed file, meaning you didn't loose any colour or information from the picture, it is lossless. Lossless files are used to make posters or large scale pictures containing the original information in the picture and are commonly contained in the ZIP files. PNG and GIF files only use lossless compression.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Graphics Tablets

A Graphics tablet is a device that is often used by professional artists or those in areas where a touch-up on pictures is required e.g magazine editors, games editors.

There are several differant types of graphics tablets, the best of which is argued to be made by, Wacom. They make graphics tablets that can be used as a tablet connected to a monitor and as a tablet with the monitor that is already integrated into the tablets system, a tablet that has this is the CintiQ.


The CintiQ is roughly about £1000. One of their newer models, the Bamboo is roughly going to be about £220. The prices of these differ as the CintiQ has an integrated screen whereas the Bamboo will not.

Some things to look for are the sizes of the tablets, is the tablet A6, which is the smallest a tablet can be, or is it A2, which is the largest a tablet can be. Also, how sensitive is the tablet? e.g when you press down hardly on the tablet, does the draw line become thicker? When you gently draw with the pen, is the draw line thin? The sensitivity of the tablet is important for whatever the usage is going to be; what you are using it for.

The bigger the tablet however, the better quality your getting for the money you spend.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pixels and Resolution

Pixels are a single point in a raster image. It is the smallest part of the picture that can be controlled. Pixels are tiny, individual squares that can be controlled by the user and placed to make a picture e.g the colour and pattern of the squares can make a picture of a computer. Pictures are made up of these pixels which are mostly used in two-dimensional images.


Resolution means how good the quality of the picture will be, how much detail the image will hold, for instance, if the picture has a high resolution then the picture will be smooth and not jagged, whereas if the picture has a low resolution then the picture will be un-focussed and have jagged edges. Resolution is measured in DPi and PPi ( dots per inch and pixels per inch) for example, if you wanted an image to show 8 inches on screen, you would need a resolution of 800 x 800.


A Vector file is a file that is made up with mathematical co-ordinates. The image is made up of points, curves, lines and shapes. As Vectors are made using mathematical co-ordinates the images presented using Vector can be stretched to be as large as you want and not lose quality say, if the image were small, which is good for advertising purposes.

A Bitmap file is an image created by using Pixels i.e. images, photos, snapshots that have high amounts of colour in them. This type of file is not very proffesional and not that good, as when the image is stretched like a Vector, it loses quality and becomes pixelated. This renders it useless unless you intend to leave it the same size and have no need of stretching the image.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Concept Art

Concept art is a piece of art that has been created for games, either to go in the game or be used mearly as a game poster.


Concept artists create their artistic views on characters, weapons or vehicles that they are either given or are told to do by the directors of the game. They also create settings/scenes for games based on designs, real scenes or sci-fi designs that others or themselves have created. Concept artists are a vital essence in the game making process; they create the main characters, the ones that are shown alot, and if the main characters dont look any good then some gamers can be put off buying the game.


3D modellers use the concept art to create the designs made by the concept artists and the 3D modellers can also change/ alter how the concept artist has made that design. Big companies tend to hire experianced concept artists and 3D modellers. Concept art is also used in the making of the games packaging. The cover of the packaging is made using imaging software as it is best for getting the best colours and the best tools to edit and create the cover i.e. uses the concept artists design to make the cover for the game using Adobe photoshop.


2D sprites are commonly used in handheld games systems. They use pixels to be created and are placed into a game when they are finished and have enough pixels to make a recognisable abstract image. A popular game that uses this is Pokemon. 3D sprites are made the same way as 2D sprites, yet before they are placed into a game, the characters and scenery are distorted at an angle to give them a 3D viewpoint. A recent game that uses this is Square Enix's, Dragon quest IX.

2-D + 3-D

Two- dimensional gaming, is a fixated viewpoint on one spot unlike the now, regularly used, Three-dimensional viewpoint.

Two- dimension gaming was the first in gaming history and one of gaming's most classic games is pac-man.

Two- dimensional gaming, such as; Sonic the Hedgehog and Zelda: A Link to the Past, which are played in Two- dimensions, were comonly played on the; Megadrive and SNES. To know it's Two- dimensional, in the comon viewpoint of the game, it has a height and a width yet no depth at all, so you can't move around in the game and look behind objects nor can objects come out at you on the screen.

Three- dimensional gaming has vastly become the most popular gaming design that is now in usage i.e. the Nintendo 64s original, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.


Three- dimensional gaming's viewpoint however, contains the height and the width plus the depth that some games now most commonly use. The viewpoint in 3-D can be moved as you move into the game also allowing things to come out on you giving you a Three- dimensional perspective. Every console, pretty much uses the 3-D perspective now, though have also combined the three-dimensional perspective with a two-dimensional perspective i.e: Rooms, New super mario bros. Wii, etc.

Graphics Styles

The differant graphics of a videogame can shortly depend on the style the directors of the game want to have the game look like and be known for. The style of any video game is very important and based on what graphics would best suit that story.


Photo Realism in gaming are those few games that try to reach out to look like its actually there, that the game is real, that a photo has just been taken. One game for the wii that is photo realistic is, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. This game commonly has human characteristics and facial structures, plus the surrounding areas of this wii game contain a realistic emphasis on things such as the; mountains, lakes, forests and towns. Some more photo realistic games include; Heavy Rain for the PS3, Gran Turismo 4 for the PS2, Monster Hunter Tri for the wii and Resident Evil for most consoles.


Cel-Shaded games often try to give the graphics a sense of realism or understanding whilst also capturing that cartoony, colourful agenda to the game. Cel-shaded games tend to use the colour range that you would find in pastels; bright, flat colours. As with, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, they've gone for the Cel-shaded element, were the colours are very blocky. Some other games that use Cel-shading are; The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, Okami, Viewtiful Joe and Dragon Quest IX. Some differant graphic styles can make Cel-shaded or Exageration games, just that much better.

Exagerated Games are often found in Japanese games, One that appeals to many is the puzzle/ story like series of, Proffesor Layton. Many characters in the Proffesor Layton series will commonly have a larger nose or larger eyes, or even an exegerated size and shape of their heads. Other games that appear exagerated are; The Final Fantasy series, Tales of symphonia and The Dragon Quest Series. Nearly every exaggerated game has everyone with big eyes.


Cartoony games often look to realism, with the addition of bright colours and exagerated shapes to make characters into a cartoony, sort of story world, almost like a story book. Super Mario Galaxy, is a game that use the cartoony sought of look and style, in actual fact, wherever Mario is dipicted, he always looks like a cartoony style of character, as this style just suits the Mario games alot more than any realism would do. Some other games that have a cartoony touch to them would be; Avatar the Last Airbender ds series, the Sonic series and even Wind Waker has that cartoony feel to it. Cartoony games are always good for adventuring games or games that simply dont need any realism because they're story is just that much so gripping, that graphics dont matter.