Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 2&3 Reflections - Yi Lin

1. I choose this project because I think it would be fun to learn about digital painting and how to use the photoshop application. I can also use the skills I've learnt in the future if I want to edit any other photos.

2. My role in the group: A member

3. I have encountered some challenges while working on this project like which tools to use, which layer to work on etc. I overcome these by clarifying with people sitting beside me and also paying more attention while the professor is explaining.

4. Through this project, I have discovered that editing pictures is not as easy as I have thought. It requires a lot of work to finish editing one picture.

5. As an individual, I have learnt how to use a new application and I can apply the skills for other future uses.

6. My aspiration is to be able to master how to use photoshop as what I have learnt is only one part of it.

Day 1 Reflections - Yi Lin

Plenary Session 1  - Importance of water - Dirty and Clean
From this talk, I have learnt that there is actually an increasing need to protect the water resources as economies develop. I have also learnt in this world, that about 1.1 billion have no drinking water resources, about 2.4 billion have no proper sanitation facility, about 3.4 million died from water based diseases and about 2 billion are facing the risk of having water based diseases. This emphasizes the importance of having clean water around the world.

Plenary Session 2 - Revolution of Microelectronics Technology
I have learnt that in 1947, transistors were invented and in 195, integrated circuits were invented, thus we have our slim handphones and ipod now. The "9Os" or the "BRAINWAVE": Bio, Radio, Auto, Info, Nano, Water = Hydro = H20, Audio, Video and Energy = m.c2. I have also learnt that the electronics are scaling down to nanoscale while biology and scaling up to nanoscale and this becomes the "bionanoelectronics". 

Plenary Session 3 - Innovative breakthroughs in Nano-Science and Nano-Technology 
Through this talk, I have learnt that 'smaller size for a fixed volume = larger surface area'. I also learnt that there are materials with ten times the strength of steel yet only a small fraction of the weight. One new term I've learnt are 'electrostatic'.

Plenary Session 4 - IT for Animation
I have learnt that animations uses geometry, linear algebra, calculus and physics. Several maths formulas are applied.

Plenary Session 5 - Disappearing glaciers, rising sea levels, and why gravity is even more important than you think
The speaker introduced herself as a geodesist who measures the shape and size of the Earth, the gravity field and how it changes over time. One important thing I've learnt is that the sea level rise will not be same all around the world.

The plenary session that leaves the deepest impression on me is the talk 'IT for Animation'. What I like about it is that there are many videos during the talk and it does not bore me. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Reflections for Day 2 and 3 - Tan Jian Hui

  1. I chose this project because… 
I have explored Photoshop before and not fully understand all its basic essential functions. Besides, I am also interested in what is digital painting? How is it different from conventional painting? 
  1. My role in the group… 
  1. Challenges I encounter when working on this project in the last 2 days and how I overcome these challenges… 
Occasionally the Prof Martin uses keyboard shortcuts too quickly and I could not get a glimpse of what the functions are. This is however understandable as he has been using Photoshop for very long and is well-versed in its programme. So as he is much more familiar with it than us, he knows how to tweak the small little details that could significantly increase efficiency when making the digital painting. 
  1. Through this project, I discovered… 
The many faces of Photoshop and how it is such a popular programme. Other than editing photographs, it can be used for web designing and graphics designing. Basic functions, such as the brush, layers and masking are just some of the many learning points I this project. Of course, our products were not the best of the best, and I can certainly say that what we did was barely scratching the surface of the potential of Photoshop. After taking a look at Prof Martin’s work, it was incredible that just a normal digital painting could take up to two weeks just to refine the details. It really looked like a scene from a game and I was totally awed by it. I borrowed a few books from the library to read up and get a glimpse for myself before the project and it goes way more than what we did. It called for sketches and editing and painting to a great amount. It looked similar to Prof Martin’s work. Therefore there are still a lot more things to master before we truly know what is digital painting. It was also gripping to see how images were doctored and the many “secrets” of digital painting scenes. For example, Prof told us that in post-apocalyptic films, scenes that feature dilapidated and destroyed buildings were just normal digital paintings. As well as a “noise”, which can be in a swaying tree, rippling water or a flock of birds flying by. 
  1. As an individual, how I have benefited from this programme… 
This programme has provided me with an awareness of image editing and the similar yet different painting. The skills I have learnt here will be a great asset as digital media is rising rapidly. Some of these quick tips and tweaking can allow me to make some minor adjustments that could prove to be crucial in design. And the vital learning point is that digital painting could do much more than conventional painting, with its editable layers and fast navigation, unlike conventional painting. However I still believe that these two types of paintings are on par with each other. 
  1. My Aspirations… 
My aspiration is to further explore Photoshop and grasp the digital painting techniques, the true graphics in a game or film. It could all come from random pictures, but with editing, it could be altered to a totally new product. Resources are therefore very important. 

Reflections for Day 1-Tan Jian Hui

Key learning points from each session: 
1. Importance of Water - Dirty and Clean
There are a lot of global water problems that many are not aware of. This calls for a lot of actions in order to sustain our current quality of water in developed countries and improve the drinking resources in developing countries. When Prof Ng showed us some statistical data about water, it is baffling to realise that the most basic human requirements are lacking in some parts of the world. In addition, the quality of water plays a humongous impact on both the environment and people. Some harbour deadly diseases which cause for more than 3 million fatalities. Others do not have proper sanitation. And the unimaginable fact that we humans taint this precious resource ourselves. We get carried away when technology is improving in such an inconceivable way that we forget about the destruction left behind as a by-product. Much has to be done for the survival of our human race. Much like Prof Ng, he has been researching on sewage treatment and studying ways to  engineer better technologies to help these people in need. This is where engineering is used to improve lives and even save them. 
  1. Revolution of Microelectronics Technology
As Prof Yeo advanced with a slight introduction of chips and the development of programming computers as well as a little history, I became aware that Singapore is actually the centre of a fast-growing industry. Especially integrated circuits and BRAINWAVE, an acronym. As the name of the presentation suggests, how can electronics be micro-sized? Through the integration of electronics and biology, nano-scaled technology will emerge. Programmable blood, electronic contact lens and brain implants are just some of the possible breakthroughs in the near future. Thus, all these technologies, that improvises our daily lives, are powered by engineering. As Prof Yeo presented, the twenty-first Century holds many engineering challenges for the ever-growing population of the world. And a quote I have taken away from the presentation, “Engineering is not about making a difference in others’ lives, you are improving yours as well.”
  1. Innovative breakthroughs in Nano-Science and Nanotechnology
As derived from the heading, this talk was based around the revolutionary application of nano-technology of the products made today, in the fields of Nano-technology, Biotechnology and Defense Technology. Nano-technology base around a fact, that a smaller size for a fixed volume will result in a larger surface area. Prof Ma also explained nano-materials, some of which are natural or man-made. Shark’s teeth, for example, are natural nano-material coating. Nano-structures, classified as 0D, 1D and 2D, are particles, wires and films respectively. Some innovative products that apply nanotechnology are carbon nano-tubes, quantum dots and nano-particles. Additionally, with the development of nanotechnology, armour can literally stop bullets of a particular range of diameter. New and enhanced armour can boost a greater camouflage. Therefore these advancements will significantly improve our future. 
  1. IT for Animation
Animation making is really tedious, therefore animations are difficult to produce. It involves a lot of processes in order to make a good animation, such as storyboarding and drawing countless frames. We had a little of this experience from our Secondary 1 ADMT project, however, to really make a digital animation, there is still digital painting and composition and shooting. Furthermore, it demands a lot of physics and mathematical concepts applied. Geometric modelling like vector paces, Calculus including functions and integrals and the complex formulas for the different types of lighting in an animation. Not to mention that 2D animations are way tougher to create than 3D animations, which was quite surprising, as it is costly and labour intensive. Hence we should respect their work by not taking it for granted and appreciating them. 
  1. Disappearing glaciers, rising sea levels, and why gravity is even more important than you think 
I learnt that the phenomenon, that ice glaciers increase the sea level around it, is something new that I learnt. This process is called “self-attraction and loading” Sea level rise will not be the same everywhere. And therefore sea level rise will be highest farthest away from the glaciers. As ice glaciers melt, the pressure of the crust is slowly released so water flows away from the glaciers. It was a highly captivating presentation, with its many diagrams to better help us understand. Especially the work of Prof Emma Hill, it is really fascinating and intrigues me. A point to note, the title of the presentation is ingeniously crafted in my opinion. It is definitely different from other titles and sounds more appealing and interesting.
Deepest impression: 
The first plenary session left a deeper impression on me than others. It was certainly a good starter for a great eye-opener into NTU. Moreover, the professor is also likeable and it left a good impression on me. On top of that, what I really like about all the plenary sessions, is that all of them are related to engineering. Many fields, of which I never thought were associated with engineering, were in fact another sub-group of engineering. It is not necessarily just electronics and machines like its name imply. There are just so many opportunities out there in the discipline of engineering. Plus, we can improve the lives of others, make a difference and most importantly give back to the society. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 1 reflections- Niloy Faiyaz

Key learning points from each session….
  • Importance of water
  • From this session, I had learnt that cholera, typhoid fever, dysentery are such sickness caused from drinking contaminated water and around 3.4 billion people die from it and 2 billion people are at risk.
  • Smell, Infectious disease, chronic health risk, environmental effects, economic effects happen during the existence of water pollution.
  • 1.1 billion people do not have access to fresh water
  • The irony of societal & economic effects- key enablers- water+ energy
  • Irony= economic development can compromise water resource.

  • Revolution of Microelectronics Technology
  • I had learnt that electronics make a difference in human interaction and communication through the integrated circuits that consist the BRAINWAVE (Bio, Radio, Auto, Info, Nano, Water(Hydro, H2O), Audio, Video, Energy).
  • Electronics and Biology are converging at the nano scale which results to Bio Nano Technology.
  • Epiretinal implant device is one such example of an integrated circuit in nanoscale which enables the blind to see.
  • The semi-conductor industry adds value by discovering, designing and manufacturing.

  • Biomedical Engineering and Technology
  • This session had thought me how many things can a small nano chip do such as cleaning water, change the colors of contact lens, etc.
  • IT for Animation
  • Animation uses much mathematical ideas such as calculus and the laws of physics. The cost of making 2D animations are higher compared to making 3D animations as 2D animations work on a frame by frame drawing and needs skilled artists to do so. 
  • There are 3 different types of lighting to make 2D look like 3D. They are the ambient lighting, diffuse lighting and specular lighting.
  • Ambient lighting is adding color to the object
  • Diffuse lighting is applying shadows to the objects
  • Specular lighting is highlighting the objects in order to make it realistic.

  • Disappearing glaciers, rising sea levels, and why gravity is even more important than you think
  • From this session, I have learnt that sea-level rises are different all over in the world. This is largely due to the weight of the glaciers on the land as the mass actually weighs the land down, resulting in water being attracted towards the land which means that the water level will decrease. 
The plenary session that leaves the deepest impression on me is “Disappearing glaciers, rising sea levels, and why gravity is even more important than you think”.
What I like about it is that this is the lecture had a lot of information that I do not know. The professor made the topic seem simple and explained thoroughly.

Day 3 reflections - Naveena

I chose this project because it sounded fun and interesting. I had never used photoshop before this, but i have heard a lot about it. It was an opportunity to try something new and was also an opportunity to explore an area of interest and so I thought it would be a good experience trying it out.

Some challenges I encountered were using photoshop as well as the tablet. I’ve never used photoshop nor a tablet before so it was a completely new experience for me and so it had sometimes been difficult to achieve the effect i wanted to achieve with the pictures because of the limited knowledge i had of both photoshop and using the tablet. The phrase "practice makes perfect" fits very well with this situation as the more times you work with photoshop, the more experience and knowledge you have and the more familiar you become with the software.

Through this project, I discovered that photoshopping images is not as easy as the professor makes it look but instead takes patience and skill. I have also discovered how useful photoshop can be for example, it can be used to make really nice designs and patterns and can also turn someone into a completely different person. But this also has its drawbacks as such edited pictures can be used to fool others.

As an individual, I have benefitted from this project as I have learnt how to use photoshop to an extent from someone with a lot of experience using it. I have also had the chance to use a tablet to design and draw, a really enjoyable experience.

I aspire to someday own a copy of adobe photoshop as well as a tablet so that I can practice and become better at drawing/ designing. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Days 2 & 3 Reflections - Norul

I chose this project because among the other projects available, it seemed the most interesting and allowed most room for creativity. In this project, Photoshop is used as a platform for digital painting, and I've always wanted to try the software. I also liked the freedom of editing and compositing our own photos into whatever we wanted.

Some of the challenges I encountered working on the project is getting used to the tools in Photoshop and keyboard shortcuts. There were many times where I accidentally pressed the wrong key or tool, and it affected my photo composite. I overcame this by memorizing the most important shortcut of all: Option+command+Z, the step backward shortcut. Command+z only enabled me to undo the most recent edit. Another challenge was mixing up the layers. Sometimes I would mix up and draw on the wrong layers. I overcame this by checking every few seconds that I'm editing the right layer.

Through this project, I discovered the many possible uses of Photoshop. These uses can be used for good, but also for bad intentions. Some people might edit someone's face onto someone's body, and create gossip about the person. If posted online, people can be easily deceived and believe what they see. After all, it is common for people to believe what is captured on camera, or so they thought. Photoshop can also be used to distort faces, making them look extremely pretty or super duper ugly. There are many other things Photoshop can do, and although before this I did know not to trust everything on the internet, now I am more alert.

As an individual, I benefitted from this program as I learnt how to use Photoshop from a professional digital painter. I think if I wanted to learn how to use Photoshop outside of this program from a pro, it would be costly.

I aspire to own a copy of Adobe Photoshop and a tablet someday so I am able to explore the possibilities of digital painting on my own.