Archive for the ‘Thesis research’ Category

Reading Materials

Posted: January 11, 2012 in References& Resources

Over the winter break, I had checked out several books, video tapes and DVDs from the local library from thesis research. Most of them are from the same author, his name is David Macaulay. He is a children book writer and artist as well. He illustrates many drawings in his books. The book I used for inspirations are:

Build to Last, Cathedral- The story of it construction, Castle, Building the Book Cathedral, City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction.

I use all these books for my Gothic architecture ideas and some of them can be applied to thesis work. I used some of the reference from the book “Cathedral” for 3D modeling ideas alone with surrounding environment set. Even these are children books, I find many medieval time building and life style are very illustrated. I am able to apple some of the ideas and make revisions to current cathedral environment. Interesting enough, prof.Cookson suggests the same books while we are discussing about making this game level.
I just help make want to check out these books again for even a deeper look. All these books and DVDs are great reference to enrich my thesis research.



I watch some online video clips about Chartres Cathedral and they lead me to locate a few more documentary DVDs that are relevant to my thesis research. “Engineering the Impossible: Disc 2” is actually about the history of Chartres Cathedral, some CGI per-visualizations are quite interesting. It help me understand better how the general cathedral structure is build. Washington National Cathedral may not be directory related to Chartres Cathedral but it the look I can learn from. I still have “500 Years of St. Peter’s” to watch, even though St. Peter cathedral belongs Baroque age but its St. Peter square still leave me plenty of reference for my in game environment. I am looking to finish it and add some touch in my ring city.

I have just finished watching 2 documentary DVDs from Netflix. One is Chartres Cathedral: A Sacred Geometry . The other one is Modern Marvels: Gothic Cathedrals produced by History Channel.

Both documentary DVDs are interested to watch. I find the Chartres Cathedral: A Sacred Geometry has more materials that I apply to my thesis. I will have to watch it again as feel a bit sleepy while watching. I only had 4.5 hours sleep today after delivered my final cathedral process book to professor Fu. This documentary covers directly to the same Gothic Cathedral I will be referencing from. It sure will be a great supplemental materials for my thesis papers and project production.

Originally I plan on buying these DVDs. Luckily I a few more related subjects from Netflix DVD selections. There is extra fees but it’s well worth it.

Chartres Cathedral: A Sacred Geometry

I come cross with this show from PBS’s official site while I am searching for Gothic cathedral information. It is a pleasant surprise that I can even stream this show online. This 53 minutes episode end up taking me about 2 hours to watch because I am doing screen grabs, taking notes through the entire show.  It is well worth it! I find this show is very informative and I can apply a lot of materials to enrich my thesis papers. Now I know Gothic cathedrals is God’s home on earth. After watching this show, I am thinking about naming the tile of my thesis paper “Heaven on earth”, sub-line “Revealing level of details in video game environments as peeling off onion skins.”

If you would are interested to find out more, please click on the link below:

I watched this show on September 20th, hopefully the link is still valid when you check on it.

After battling with my computer hardware issues for several days, I am able to turn around this UK church and have the initial build.

I pick this church because of its simplicity look yet still maintains the cross symbol from the top. Although the appearance may not be as stunning as the true Gothic cathedral due to its design and scale, it provides an important learning experience when it time to build my hero architectures and cathedral. I don’t mind this initial model will be scrapped  but it establishes a solid ground for me to build similar architectures.

The stand alone process book is attached in a PDF Initial church build, I hope you like the new progress I have made.

Thank you,



Hi everyone ,  the link below  is

Migo’s Thesis Project X (working title) Milestones for Fall Quarter 2011

Thank you !


I’ve refined my Thesis Statement and Abstract and added up a completed collection of thesis reference including books and links. The range is covered from  Arts history, architectures and game arts. I also attached some of my initial concept sketches as part of Thesis Visual Component.  I will continue working on more sketches. Eventually they will be collected and organized in my process book. Please take a look!

Thesis Statement (Revised)

A successful story can be told by peeling away the level of details through aesthetic architectural styles in the game environment. The onion-skin approach is a natural way to create visually compelling, recognizable level design.

Abstract  (Revised)
Most video games share some core components  including styles, surface treatments, colors, and lighting. All these elements contribute to in-game environments, giving them recognizable and believable visual appearances. In this thesis study, building styles and surface treatments will be approached as longitudes, colors and lighting will be established as latitudes, weaving together to create aesthetic architectures that come with atmosphere ambient in game environments. Each layer in game is not revealed all at once but layer by layer, very much like peeling off onion skins.

From first person perspective, several of architectural styles will be populated in a distinguished environment and terrains. Beginning from a lower elevation, players will explore and discover many aesthetic levels of details throughout paths all the way to the top of the hill. In each turn of the corner, various visual experiences in terms of forms, lighting types, colors and texture materials will be engaged with viewers. Players will immerse in this articulated game environment and gain personal gameplay experience ultimately.

Research Reference:



Pause & Effect: The Art of Interactive Narrative

By Mark Stephen Meadows

Digital Cinematography & Directing

By Dan Ablan

Castle in the Sky

By Hayao Miyazaki

Fine Arts& Techniques:

Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter

By James Gurney

How to Draw and Paint Fantasy Architecture: From Ancient Citadels and Gothic Castles to Subterranean Palaces and Floating Fortresses

By Rob Alexander

Gothic: Architecture, Sculpture, Paiting

By Rolf Toman


Cathedrals of the World

By Graziella Leyla Ciaga


Fine Arts:

General fine art search :

Web Gallery of Art

Grove Art Online

Rouen Cathedral (Monet)


Landscape Paintings

Claude Lorrain

Jacob Van Ruysdael

Meindert Hobbema

John Constable

Caspar David Friedrich

Thomas Cole

Frederick Edwin Church

Albert Bierstadt

Alexei Savrasov

Eugene von Guérard

Game Reference Links:

God of Wars series,

Fables series, PDF (Thesis Research Narrative game environments in Fable Series)

Assassin’s Creek series.

Epic Citadel