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The future of virtual reality

Inition, a London company, has been investigating the potential of real-time 3D-graphics in immersive visualization for the last twelve years. The technology allows you to look around and walk through computer-simulated environments and has long been used in medical and military applications – training surgeons and treating troops with post-traumatic stress disorder. But the prohibitive price of headsets (around £50,000) always prevented it from reaching a mass audience.
That will change with a new headset aimed at the gaming market, which will have a price of about £150–250 when it's released next year. Inition have received one of the development models, and they are very excited. "It's going to be amazing," says Jo Tims, who works at Inition. "Not only for gaming, but for other applications like architectural simulation. It completely transforms how you look at the world."
Inition have also been making leaps in the world of augmented reality, which allows interactive graphics to be overlaid on real-time views, on the screens of smartphones and tablets.
"So far it's only really been used as a marketing gimmick," says Tims, "to make things pop out of a tin of beans, or fly in front of cereal boxes." Much of Inition's work has come out of marketing commissions – from full-scale virtual cars for Jaguar, to interactive models of luxury riverside appartments – but they have recently been working with architects and engineers to push forward the functional potentials of the technology.
Tims holds an iPad in front of a 3D-printed model of Zaha Hadid's new art gallery in Michigan. With a swipe of the screen, the static model comes to life: the sun comes out, showing where shadows will be cast across the site; trees sprout from the pavement and moving cars show how the building will be accessed. Another swipe and wind flow-lines pulsate across the roof. Swipe again, and a network of hidden pipes is exposed, revealing the building's servicing strategy. Move the iPad closer and you even start to hear the sounds of the surrounding streets.
"Architects hate sitting around a screen in front of clients," says Tims. "This way they can show the project in a much more intuitive way, and everyone can really understand it in three dimensions. Having all these digital layers also allows changes to be made quickly, without remaking the entire model each time."

Say if the following are True (A) or False (B).
A: Inition is a new company.
B: Inition designed learning tools for surgeons and soldiers.
C: 3D headsets are becoming cheaper.
D: Most new technology applications are designed for smartphones.
E: Immersive visualization has many applications.
F: The virtual Jaguar was made for scientific research.
G: Zaha Hadid is an enthusiastic user of augmented reality.
H: Augmented reality includes sound as well as vision.
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Chromacon artists talk about their lives
Interview 1 Elena Price


How long have you been illustrating?
A: A. Since I could pick up a pen and pencil.
B: B. Not really until very recently. I was living in Venice Beach in California for a while and it wasn't until I saw all this art around me that I realised this could be a legitimate thing. It's very different here in New Zealand.
C: C. New Zealand. I would never move away.
D: D. I studied graphic design, but what I'm doing now is definitely on a different path to that.
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Chromacon artists talk about their lives
Interview 1 Elena Price


Did you study to be an artist or is it something that started when you were younger?
A: A. Since I could pick up a pen and pencil.
B: B. Not really until very recently. I was living in Venice Beach in California for a while and it wasn't until I saw all this art around me that I realised this could be a legitimate thing. It's very different here in New Zealand.
C: C. New Zealand. I would never move away.
D: D. I studied graphic design, but what I'm doing now is definitely on a different path to that.
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Chromacon artists talk about their lives
Interview 1 Elena Price


Did you ever think illustrating could pay the bills?
A: A. Since I could pick up a pen and pencil.
B: B. Not really until very recently. I was living in Venice Beach in California for a while and it wasn't until I saw all this art around me that I realised this could be a legitimate thing. It's very different here in New Zealand.
C: C. New Zealand. I would never move away.
D: D. I studied graphic design, but what I'm doing now is definitely on a different path to that.
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Chromacon artists talk about their lives

Interview 2 Alfred B. Lightfoot

Do you often get people coming up to you with your illustrations tattooed onto their bodies?
A: A. I was working at a music store, so this is a big change. I studied graphics and design at school though.
B: B. My tutors helped me a lot, especially to find my own style.
C: C. A few years ago I toured Europe with my band and made a lot of great contacts doing that.
D: D. Yeah, more often than you'd think...  I think it's awesome to see my work on people. It's usually that they're a fan of one of the bands whose covers I've illustrated, but it's still a big buzz.
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Chromacon artists talk about their lives

Interview 2 Alfred B. Lightfoot

What were you doing before becoming an illustrator?
A: A. I was working at a music store, so this is a big change. I studied graphics and design at school though.
B: B. My tutors helped me a lot, especially to find my own style.
C: C. A few years ago I toured Europe with my band and made a lot of great contacts doing that.
D: D. Yeah, more often than you'd think...  I think it's awesome to see my work on people. It's usually that they're a fan of one of the bands whose covers I've illustrated, but it's still a big buzz.
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Chromacon artists talk about their lives

Interview 2 Alfred B. Lightfoot

What's helped you most getting your illustrations and designs out there?
A: A. I was working at a music store, so this is a big change. I studied graphics and design at school though.
B: B. My tutors helped me a lot, especially to find my own style.
C: C. A few years ago I toured Europe with my band and made a lot of great contacts doing that.
D: D. Yeah, more often than you'd think...  I think it's awesome to see my work on people. It's usually that they're a fan of one of the bands whose covers I've illustrated, but it's still a big buzz.
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Chromacon artists talk about their lives

Interview 3 Hattie Heartbreak

What styles or artists do you think influenced your style?
A: A. That was great. It was amazing to see my work going so far.
B: B. I grew up on rock operas and love that style. I think of myself as a pop culture enthusiast and you can see that in a lot of my work.
C: C. I have always wanted to be an illustrator.
D: D. A lot of the artists here today are my heroes, so I've been going around like a fan girl.
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Chromacon artists talk about their lives

Interview 3 Hattie Heartbreak

Your work was featured last year as a part of a major promotion in New York last year. How was that experience?
A: A. That was great. It was amazing to see my work going so far.
B: B. I grew up on rock operas and love that style. I think of myself as a pop culture enthusiast and you can see that in a lot of my work.
C: C. I have always wanted to be an illustrator.
D: D. A lot of the artists here today are my heroes, so I've been going around like a fan girl.
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Interview 3 Hattie Heartbreak

What's it like being in a convention full artists and creators?
A: A. That was great. It was amazing to see my work going so far.
B: B. I grew up on rock operas and love that style. I think of myself as a pop culture enthusiast and you can see that in a lot of my work.
C: C. I have always wanted to be an illustrator.
D: D. A lot of the artists here today are my heroes, so I've been going around like a fan girl.
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Interview 4 Aki Fukuoka

What has influenced your style the most?
A: A. I've worked on a lot of children's books, doing illustrations. I have over 75 books published which I'm really proud of.
B: B. No, I've never seen a convention as fantastic as this one!
C: C. I like to think of it as a Japanese/ Eastern meets West style – a lot like myself.
D: D. Yes, I never knew when I was younger I could do this full time. It's amazing.
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Interview 4 Aki Fukuoka

Are you a full time illustrator?
A: A. I've worked on a lot of children's books, doing illustrations. I have over 75 books published which I'm really proud of.
B: B. No, I've never seen a convention as fantastic as this one!
C: C. I like to think of it as a Japanese/ Eastern meets West style – a lot like myself.
D: D. Yes, I never knew when I was younger I could do this full time. It's amazing.
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Interview 4 Aki Fukuoka

What's been your proudest moment working as an illustrator?
A: A. I've worked on a lot of children's books, doing illustrations. I have over 75 books published which I'm really proud of.
B: B. No, I've never seen a convention as fantastic as this one!
C: C. I like to think of it as a Japanese/ Eastern meets West style – a lot like myself.
D: D. Yes, I never knew when I was younger I could do this full time. It's amazing.
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Interview 5 Jeff Nelson

How long have you been illustrating?
A: A. I never knew when I was younger I could do this full time. It's amazing.
B: B. People tell me a lot of my work has a similar feeling to that of Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki. I think that's a pretty great compliment.
C: C. For about five years now, at least how I'm doing it now. I've been drawing since before that.
D: D. I've never seen a convention as fantastic as this one!
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Interview 5 Jeff Nelson

Do you have any artists that you've been inspired by?
A: A. I never knew when I was younger I could do this full time. It's amazing.
B: B. People tell me a lot of my work has a similar feeling to that of Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki. I think that's a pretty great compliment.
C: C. For about five years now, at least how I'm doing it now. I've been drawing since before that.
D: D. I've never seen a convention as fantastic as this one!
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A mood board is a type of  collage consisting 1. ________ images, text, or samples of objects in a composition of the choice of the mood board creator. Designers 2.________ others  use mood boards to develop their design concepts and 3.________ communicate to other members of the design team. They are often used 4. ________  graphic designers to enable a person to illustrate visually the direction of style 5.________ they are pursuing. However, mood boards can 6.________ be used to visually explain a certain style of writing, or 7. ________ imaginary setting for a storyline. They are not limited to visual subjects, but serve 8. ________ a visual tool to quickly inform others of the overall 'feel' or 'flow' that a designer is trying to achieve. Creating mood boards 9.________ a digital form may be easier and quicker, but physical objects often tend to have a higher impact.
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