All posts by DDS

Student nominations for BAFTA NewTalent Awards

Congratulations to DDS Grad Kevin Murray (MDes Sound for Moving Image, 2015) who has been nominated for a BAFTA Scotland NewTalent award for his short film “Paperclips” – created as part of his work for the MDes.

You can watch the film online here:
https://vimeo.com/138628940

And congratulations also to Tommy Reilly (2014) who is nominated in the Composer category for his work “The Beholder”.

You can see the full list of nominees here.

In the Valley of Guns and Roses

David McAulay, currently on the MDes Sound for Moving Image programme at the DDS, was sound mixer, editor and composer for the just-released documentary In the Valley of Guns and Roses. The documentary follows the struggles of Irina, a single mother working in a weapons factory in Bulgaria’s Rose Valley.

In addition to mixing and editing the sound for the production, David also wrote the score, and had this to say about his work:
“The director Simon and I have often talked about the sensitivity required when imposing music upon a character. This is particularly important in documentary film. Even the slightest shift in tone can damage the integrity of the story. This has led me towards finding a way of using the character’s speech patterns and gestures as the basic building blocks for my compositions.

Irina is deeply connected to the folk music of Bulgaria through both her singing and her relationship with her late Grandfather. Simon captured some great performances demonstrating this connection. I worked with fragments of these old folk songs, using the melodic contours as building blocks for new material. Her very constitution is embedded within the score.

While studying Irina’s speech melody, I developed an intimacy with her that had a profound impact on the resulting music. By isolating and repeating phrases from her interviews I could transform her speech into melody and continue building the score around that. The Czech composer Leoš Janáček was one of the first to use speech melody in his operas and said – ‘if speech melody is the flower of the water lily, it nevertheless buds and blossoms and drinks from the roots, which wander in the waters of the mind’.”

In the Valley of Guns and Roses is showing all this week on Al Jazeera, and is available online here.

More information on the MDes Sound for Moving Image here.

Explorathon 2015

Back in October, Stuart Jeffrey, (Research Fellow in Heritage), Laura Hundersmarck (International Heritage Visualisation intern), and Mhairi Maxwell (Research Developer for International Heritage Visualization) took part in the Explorathon event at the National Museum of Scotland.

3D printer in tow, they joined astronomers, chemists, physicists and fellow archaeologists to showcase some of the most cutting-edge discoveries and technologies available today, and presented work from the ACCORD project: an endeavour to co-create 3D-models of archaeological sites and monuments that has been travelling across Scotland to work with local communities.

They outlined their work by video here, and details about Explorathon, and the other fantastic projects presented there, can be found here.

Tech Meetups and Events in Glasgow

I was putting together a list of lists of tech meetups and events in Glasgow for DDS students… and thought I’d share it here instead.

There are a wide range of meetup and events occurring in and around Glasgow on a wide range of topics – many of which are relevant to topics studied at the DDS.

General Event Listings

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/d/united-kingdom–glasgow/events/
http://www.meetup.com/

Arts and Culture Event Listings

The List is Glasgow’s (and Edinburgh’s) original arts and culture magazine. Their listings are here:
https://www.list.co.uk/events/what:Glasgow/

Also see:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/d/united-kingdom–glasgow/film-and-media–events/
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/d/united-kingdom–glasgow/music–events/
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/d/united-kingdom–glasgow/arts–events/

Tech Events and Listings

Techmeetup is a regular meetup event. Most events have a web dev focus – http://techmeetup.co.uk/
http://www.meetup.com/Glasgow-Digital-Media-Meetup/
http://www.meetup.com/Health-2-0-Edinburgh-Scotland/

And general listings:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/d/united-kingdom–glasgow/science-and-tech–events/
The OpenTech Calendar listings tend to favour open source meetups and related – https://opentechcalendar.co.uk/area/65-glasgow/

Digital & Board Games Events and Listings

BertWednesdays is an informal pub meetup for people in (or interested in) game development – http://bertwednesdays.com/

The International Game Developers Association has an active Scottish chapter, which meets most months, rotating through Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow – https://igdascotland.org/

A group for people interested in creating board games – https://www.facebook.com/groups/GlasgowGameLab/

A group for people interested in playing board games – http://unpluggedgames.co.uk/unplugged-games-club/

A group that organises digital game pub nights and events – https://www.facebook.com/glesgames

Writing

General – http://www.meetup.com/GlasgowWriters/
Science Fiction – https://gsfwc.wordpress.com/

Filmmaking

http://scottishscreenwriters.ning.com/

Stories from the Game Jam

The last post reported on the DDS experience at this year’s Global Game Jam. Today we have stories from two of the students who took part…

Sophie’s Story

Sophie is a student enrolled on the MSc Medical Visualisation & Human Anatomy

For me this was the first global game jam I’ve been to, so I completely had no expectations –it was even the first time I’ve heard of it And because I wanted to feel really nerdy for 48 hours, I talked to some of my student colleagues and four of us decided to participate. And although we had mixed feelings when we received the time schedule, we persuaded ourselves to show up on Friday

It turned out to be a lot of fun! We had quite a big group  which meant: a lot of ideas, a lot of brainstorming, and a lot of jokes in between which freshened up our minds. But lots of people also meant a need for good management. Fortunately one of us, Daniel, kept it organized and called us to regular meetings inside our „Thinking Pad“ which basically was a green Little hut where all the inspirational discussion-magic happened 😀

Besides living the nerdy dream, I wanted to strengthen my coding skills, which I was able to do, because we had a programmer, Victor, on board who answered all of my annoying questions And since game does not just consist of coding, but as well of other very important tasks, I was able to watch all the team members contributing to our game with their special skill. So by watching and talking I got insight into the various areas such as game design, where Sandy was our group pioneer, and graphics, where our great designer Jen showed us some tricks in Illustrator. So these sleepless nights actually broadened my gaming horizon quite a lot!

Oh, one bad thing: the Internet was not working well at all on our side of the hall, but there was a good thing about this: People actually TALKED to each other And also in the middle of the night, when I wanted to lie down on the couch, someone else was lying there and we actually started TALKING. So the game jam is not only about sitting in front of a screen. No, people in our group actually got to know each other, and there were lots of possiblities to talk to people from other groups and I have to say, the community was really chilled and  humble and nice.

When I came back home to my flatshare, the first thing I told my flatmates was: „I like nerds “ ..and they said: „Ok cool, Sophie, but how was the coding? „

Haha so yes, it is a lot about the project, but it is also about getting to know the people and the community and enjoying a weekend full of nerdiness and trying to get the most out of it.

I loved it! #greatexperience

Alim’s Story

Alim is enrolled on the MSc in Serious Games and Virtual Reality. His team’s game won ‘Best Gameplay’ from the Scottish Game Jam participants, plus public votes for best game at IGDA Scotland play parties in Edinburgh and Glasgow following the jam! More here.

Participating in the Global Game Jam for the first time, my main reason to participate in the Jam was to build up game making experience and push it to the limit. In the first day, Alex, Calum and me agreed to keep the team small, only three of us, and see if three Masters students of GSA’s Serious Games and Virtual Reality can take the challenge.

I was happy enough that our game was finally finished on Saturday night and readily playable, it turns out that the game surprised me more by making it to be awarded as Best Game Play.

Having said that, the best moment for me during the Jam was when Daniel’s daughter playtested our game by repeatedly playing level 1 of Curvish over and over again and she seemed to really enjoy it. Afterwards, I asked her about “how do you like the game so far?”, she replied “this is the most awesome game ever!” with sincere wide smile in her face. That moment made me feel good as the game at least gave one player a very joyful time.

After all, a game is just a box of happiness packed in many forms and being able to bring the happiness to player is a tremendous achievement.

Winning Gameplay – DDS at the Global Game Jam

A bunch of DDS staff and students took part in the recent Global Game Jam – an international weekend of mayhem as developers around the world get together to try to make a game in under 48 hours.

The local game jam was hosted by Glasgow Caledonian University, under the leadership of our good friend Brian MacDonald. DDS staff and students formed two teams and produced two games over the weekend – Curvish by Serious Games & VR students Alex, Alim & Calum, and Cherry Bakewell’s House of Delight by staff (Daniel, Sandy, Victor) and students Jen, Sophie, Rebecca, Roxie – plus Alison who snuck in to help out, and Victoria from UWS. Great fun was had, cake was eaten, and two playable games were made.

Cake was eaten
Cake was eaten

Both games were inspired by the Game Jam theme of ‘Ritual’ – in Curvish this is manifested through the need to collect items in a specific predetermined order in a rotating platformer game.

For Cherry Bakewell, the group started with two different ideas of ritual – obsessive cleaning and Satanic rituals – and smashed these ideas together to create a game where the player is the new housekeeper for Cherry Bakewell. Cherry is the nation’s favourite baker, a household perfectionist and secret Satanist. Somewhat over-designed, this idea was based around a series of minigames that start out with cleaning Cherry’s bathroom, and which gradually take on darker themes.

Alex and Alim from Curvish
Alex and Alim working hard

Congratulations are in order to the Curvish team – who through playtesting at the event won the game jammers vote for game with best gameplay. This was followed up with being picked as best game at the follow on IGDA Play Parties in both Edinburgh and Glasgow – well done guys!

Open Evening: February 2016

Open Evening at Digital Design Studio, Wednesday 17 February 2016

An opportunity to visit the Digital Design Studio here at Pacific Quay, Glasgow and chat with the lecturers involved with our Masters programmes:

  • MSc in Medical Visualisation and Human Anatomy
  • M.Des in Sound for the Moving Image
  • MSc in Visualisation (International Heritage)
  • MSc in Visualisation (Serious Games and Virtual Reality)

Academic Staff will be available from 1730hrs to 1930hrs that evening to meet with students interested in these programmes.  Additionally we will include a short demonstration of our 3D capability in our purpose-built laboratory early in the evening.

More information here.

Merry Christmas!

Seasons Greetings from the DDS. This year’s Christmas card from The Glasgow School of Art is a video piece by DDS alumni Laurence Chan. Enjoy, and seasons best!

Merry Glitchmas
Merry Glitchmas – Seasons Greetings from The Glasgow School of Art – Click to launch video

Finally a Reality: Real Problems, Virtual Solutions

In this TEDx talk, Dr. Paul Chapman, Deputy Director of the DDS, takes us on a journey describing how immersive systems, virtual reality, and computer graphics have progressed over the years. Paul also describes a ground-breaking international 3D scanning project and the creation of an immersive Battle of Bannockburn experience. This work is in collaboration with our colleagues at Historic Scotland.

Paul Chapman at TEDx Heriott Watt University