Category: Unit 1: Research


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Gateway Build FINISHED!

I arrived at Wilson Road on Tuesday 21st June. It was empty as the BAs weren’t using it (which was unbelievably lucky for this project). Had I not had that week, I worry that it wouldn’t have been achieved to an acceptable standard. Luckily, Ed was very well prepared with the lights, and as the elements came together, I was happy with the outcome.

Its been a fantastic process. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, even, on reflection, the hairy moments I’ve had throughout! Watching the different parts of the installation fall into place has slowly lifted the weight from my shoulders. I’ve written about this before. Site specific sculpture / installations…. to a deadline! is thrilling. There really is an element of danger of failure. (especially the way I was using power tools.) Although the risks have to be considered, in any time-pressing situation I have a deep confidence. I enjoy the rush of it, and also believe that when given a deadline, I work better working up to the moment of that deadline. Its something I’ve always done, and not always from being disorganised. The more time the better.

Anyway, the piece is finished and below are a few photos of me looking busy, but most of the finished piece.

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Photo – 3D process

I began the course looking at translating 2d pencil drawings to 3dimensional objects in software such as Blender. I take a lot of photos in my free time and realises that there were assets amongst my photos that I wasn’t utilising. Using the same process, I made simplistic line drawings of photographs. These photographs are of passers-by in train stations, on beaches, in the street, in galleries, pubs, anywhere really.

In the animation there are a number of 3Dimensional figures made from these photographs. It goes back to one of the first things I did on the course at our laser cutter induction in the old wood workshop (may it rest in peace).


Here are some images trying to give more of an insight into the process surrounding the figures in my VR animation.

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VR Texturing


Below are the UV maps of the pillars. These include a Specularity, Occlusion, Displacement, Normals and Diffuse ( Colour ) Map. Each of these have different effects on the overall texture of the mesh.


Vaults UV:


When I first started with Blender in Dec 2014 / Jan 2015 I couldn’t go anywhere near these. UV mapping was utterly alien, but after a long period of forced learning I began to see the benefits. As soon as the benefits of a new skill become necessary to achieve what you want to achieve, I find its easy to learn it, (as long as you have an outcome that you wish the perform). Learning something from scratch without a reason to use it is lengthy and broad. Of course, you can utterly master the skill, but with computer technology, the software moves at an astounding rate. I find it more interesting to keep flowing through software.

Minimalist Architecture – Tadao Ando

I’ve been interested in the aesthetics of architecture and its potential in virtual reality environments. The simple ability to create full sized buildings virtually is to me an exciting prospect. We could only imagine what Gaudi or Alberti would have made with this technology.

After looking at Franco Bertoni’s book on Minimalism in Architecture I came across Tadao Ando’s church:



The way in which Ando has used simple structure and natural light to perceive the crucifix in the church defines the beauty of minimalist architecture. Its beauty and meaning thrive from its simplicity.

Beyond Belief: Social Media.

BBC Blurb:

In the virtual world of social media, religious communities are now global. But is this at the expense of local relationships? Does lively discussion on social media translate into to social action? And does social media genuinely have the power to reform religious institutions, challenge extreme views or change someone’s personal religious experience? 

Ernie Rea discusses the relationship between religion and social media with Michael O’Loughlin, journalist and author of “The Tweetable Pope”; Dr Bex Lewis, a Christian and Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University; and Shelina Janmohammed, a Muslim writer and blogger. 

Producer: Dan Tierney
Series producer: Amanda Hancox.

Albert Einstein: Living Philosophies.

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead —his eyes are closed. The insight into the mystery of life, coupled though it be with fear, has also given rise to religion. To know what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms—this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.”