Floating Rome: Arcadia Final Presentation

Today we finally presented our Floating City project, I was incredibly nervous because I’ve never had to say so many slides before but surprisingly I was still able to say what I needed too. The feedback that we had received was mainly on the fact that our presentation needed to be less messy, as soon as the presentations were over I immediately started fixing it up, I should have been more careful. John and I then talked to Conánn Fitzpatrick to see how we actually did in the project and he assured us that we did well.

Click here for the presentation.



Floating City: Data and Statistics

For the data visualisation poster I needed to do a lot of research into Rome to find out certain statistics and data for them like their crops, kitchen gardens, pasture and meadow, agrarian cultivations, as well as their happiness level, leisure, recreation and culture, food and drink and their overall quality of life.

These websites were most useful to me when finding out the data and statistics;

Nation Master


Rome Escape



I also had to do dreaded math for their lifestyle data and created an excel sheet to help me with this, I also asked for math genius Robert for his assistance because math is difficult. I took the information from this website and took all of the countries statistics so that I could get the exact percentage of Romes happiness level, leisure, recreation, food and drink and their quality of life percentage. I then took this information that I had gotten and made it into a pie chart. Before I started the pie chart I had to decide the look i wanted to go for, I had an idea of visually presenting my data to look like roman columns and found that it may be too busy for the poster. I then looked back at my research and found that simple circles would do as our Floating City is rounded and has different layer it would be cool to represent it this way. You can see this below;lifestylestats

The lovely Cassie also shared her statistics on the Floating Rome group page which was very useful for the agriculture part of the data;

stats cass

I then used this information to create a similar looking pie chart to my last one, except this time it has multiple rings due to the information that was involved.


You can see how I ended up applying these pie charts in a visual way as I wanted to create the visual appeal that David McCandless talked about in his video. I also used my data visualisation research when looking its what style I should give them and present them as. My main inspiration was from Sarah Colobong, Michael Anderson and Kevin Tong;


Overall I really like how they turned out in the end, it was a lot of fun putting them together. Although I do think I haven’t followed the basic rules of poster making with how the margins are and grids, its definitely something that I need to improve on.

Floating City: Priya Mistry

Conánn Fitzpatrick showed us an animation by Priya Mistry called STV Ramadan 2013, which has a gorgeous style. Priya had to create a series of idents for the festive season of Ramadan and Eid for the Saudi Television off air graphics. Priya Mistry was responsible for and created the style frames for both on air and off air graphics; as well as seeing the project from start to completion (story-boarding, illustration, 3D modelling, texturing, animation, compositing and grade).

Priya Mistry also illustrated and design a Facebook application game for the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, The game consisted of three levels featuring illustrations of tourist attractions and activities from all over Northern Ireland. On completion of each level, users were entered into a free prize draw every week with a chance to win a short break getaway. This has a really nice style that I loved, incorporating simplicity throughout giving a clean, professional yet cute feel to the game. I immediately messaged my Floating City team saying how we could use this simplistic style in our data visualisation.

You can see the game below;

This also gave me the idea to create posters for our data visualisation as we all would be able to contribute to this a make a series of posters showing parts of the Floating City and Romes data and information that we have gathered throughout.

Floating City: Taking over

Since I made sure to have my models done by the date that we set ourselves in Asana I ended up having to help Cliodhna because she was struggling with Maya, I offered her my help and she asked me to take the entertainment area off her hands which I didn’t mind. I went on to do some research on what the entertainment area should entail and continued from there. I looked at the likes of a very popular bar in Rome called the Stravinskij Bar

I went on trusty google maps and moved myself through Rome looking at all the buildings and what their bars looked like. This game me a good idea for what the bars, restaurants and cafes should look like in the entertainment layer of Arcadia should look like. I then added in a historical landmark of Rome called the Circus Maximus which was used for chariot racing and opera plays which was Romes source of regular entertainment.

This entailed a lot of duplicating because of its many seats. I then added in fountains that Hollie had made and Columns that john had made into the entertainment layer as well as creating some new ones too. I also added archways and columns to the exterior of the Circus.


The the likes of the restaurants and cafes in the area I also made little seating areas which was fun to do and I felt it added a nice touch to the entertainment layer. Then i went in with the texturing to give it a but of colour and then when in with the lighting as seen in the below image of the finished entertainment area;


John also needed a hand with the Historical layer and gave me the task of creating the Palace of Justice in Rome, I did have to go on google maps again to make sure that i got it accurate looking;


Floating City: Modeling

So I started with the over view of the floating city so that i could get it done and show exactly what the city looks like to my team and because the garden is at the top of the floating city this means that I can work on that at the same time too, killing two birds with one stone.

So I started with the main central area of Arcadia which contains the many social layers. I took a cylinder and extruded it to get my desired shape that i was looking for that was sketched up in the concepts. I then went it and added Leonardo Da Vinci’s aerial spiral that keeps the middle floating steadily. I did this by take a plane an using the curve tool to crate the spiral. You can see this in the image below;


I then went in and did the housing areas that are sectioned by north, south, east and west of Rome. These are inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci’s tank designs. The housing contains all of the people of Romes houses as well as a common area in the lower area of the housing tanks. I then added the aerial spirals to these as well and duplicated them into their positions. Our original plan for the housing area was that they would each have their own houses and then outside of their houses would be a massive painting of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa except its only the background of the painting that is used so that it gives the housing area an open feel to it.


Here is a birds eye view of the overview of ArcadiaBIRDSEYEOVERVIEWIP

I then went in and did the garden area and started by creating arches all around the outside of the Garden area. This become a staple for the rest of the team to use as they would then gain the proper size of the layers and therefore we wont have and sizing issues. I then went in and started planning out the area, placing basic shapes at for where the farms would be as well as the forest areas, lakes, bridges and middle statue. I then went on to the finer details and worked on a Rome styles farm building as well as following tutorials to help me making the fence, that i have reference in a post before. I also worked on trees and then the Rome Column to symbolise a new begging for Rome. I then worked on texturing the different things within the garden using different materials, but mainly lambert.


Here is the side profile of the final look of Arcadia, fully textured. I also added clouds to it to add to the effect of the floating city. I quite like how it has turned out. I feel like I definitely need to improve on my lighting though, hence the dark shadow on the side of the below image.


I then had to model the bath house, because I researched the pools from Tomorrowland I wanted to incorporate this into them into the rome styled bath houses. I followed the sketches I had in my sketchbook and tried to replicate it from there. I then needed to figure out how to do a spiral stair case in which I looked up a tutorial as I referenced in an earlier post and followed that tutorial to get the desired look to the bath house that I wanted.


I did try to add water to the bath house using BitFrost but this did not go successfully, it was probably because I did it on my laptop rather than my computer but after that it slowed my file way down for some reason but its still working luckily. It was fun to experiment with fluid in Maya and I would like to try and understand it in the future.bathhouseclose



Floating Rome: Modeling Tutorials

I used multiple tutorials throughout the process of creating our floating city. John and I both looked into modeling floating airships for the floating cities transport. I started by looking up basic boat model tutorials on youtube and found this one to help me in the beginning.

Because I needed to add rope to the airship for the attachment of the balloon I looked up a tutorial on creating a twisted rope in Maya.

For the farming area on the top of the floating city I needed to look into creating a wooden fence and found this great tutorial on that.

I also needed to look up how to do a spiral staircase for the bath housing area of the floating city and found this great tutorial. Since this tutorial taught me how to do curves I then was able to apply this to the housing area as they have curved propellers on them.


Floating City: Data Visualisation

Data Visualisation is also another important factor that is part of this task, so i went and did my research to understand and educate myself better in this area, I looked at different posters that I liked the look of and how they presented the data in each.

I also found this video by David McCandless about data visualisation that I shared with my team in hopes that they would also watch it too. David McCandless is a london-based author, data journalist and information designer, in the video he talks about the beauty of data visualisation and how it is a way of presenting data and information in a way that is easy to understand and appealing to the eye making it more interesting for the viewer. David talks about how he visualises data and information in a smart and understandable way.

I was also inspired by Sarah Colobong and how she visualises her data, especially through simplistic illustrations and pie charts, I also really like her use of typography. You can see this in the below image that she did for Hawaii;

Here is a list of other data visualisation artists, graphic designers and illustrators that I looked into and was inspired by due to their different styles and how the visually represented their data:

Data Visualisation: Concept art

After doing my research of concept are I began my attempt. When doing my concept art I found that I needed to look more into perspective as I don’t think I got it right at all. I would Have loved to create better concept art for this project, there was a lot of potential for it but time constraints had a definite part to play in this project.


To try and improve the concept art I looked into perspective and remembered this great article on Kotaku which was very useful as it went in depth about perspective, the artist who created it is called Thomas Romain;

Tips for Drawing Backgrounds

Tips for Drawing Backgrounds

Tips for Drawing Backgrounds

Tips for Drawing Backgrounds

Romain, Thomas. “Tips For Drawing Backgrounds”. Kotaku.com. N.p., 2016. Web.


Floating Rome: Finalising ideas and plans

So I got the team together as I felt that we needed to get a move on and start finalising ideas and start planning on what our next moves will be to meet the deadline and create something that we were going to be happy with.

We decided that our city was going to be a utopia based on the designs of Leonardo Da Vinci, we wanted it to be a vision of pastoralism and for it to be at harmony with nature. We wanted it to be self sufficient, yet also keeping the importance of Rome throughout by including its historical architecture and landmarks throughout, so that we could create a perfect place for the people of Rome to live happily.

We then talked about the finalised layout of the city, and I quickly drew up some finalised layouts of how it was to look so that my team to get a better picture into what we all wanted to include and how it should look when it came to modelling it. Therefore there would be no confusion and our idea would be more clear.


I then went on Asana to assign the new tasks and to plan ahead on what we wanted to get done and when we wanted them to be done for. Sadly not everyone in the team used Asana much but me and john where both persistent with using it and it helped us to try and keep the rest of the team on track with what needed to be done.

floating rome

We then came together and organised who wanted to model what for the floating city and here is what we decided on;

Gardens and farming area – Rebecca

Overview of the whole of Arcadia – Rebecca

Bath house – Rebecca

Housing area – Cliodhna

Living quarters – Cliodhna


City defenses- John

Historical area- John

Port area – Hollie

Entertainment area – Cliodhna

Airships and transport- John and Rebecca

When we were looking into transport I looked into airships and saw a live stream by Sam Peterson who was drawing sketches of different airships so I started sketching along with him and get a few ideas for them and wanted to make them look more roman like. Here are Sam Peterson‘s sketches of airships;

So that we could create Rome styled boats I looked back into their architecture and we also looked into actual roman boats which was also incredibly useful for the airship transport designs.

1. The merchant ship (navis onerarius)

Even before they built their navy the Romans had a good number of merchant ships. They were sailing ships and had no rowers. This was because they needed the greatest possible amount of space for their cargo. They were broad-beamed and had a large square sail, made of linen, papyrus, or byssus. This last was a very fine and valuable textile material, usually made of flax. The sail was usually white. The hull of these ships was made of pine or fir wood. The keel was constructed with great care, since it had to be solid and watertight. On the outside it was lined with tarred wool, and over that was put lead sheeting. With this protection, the water could not penetrate into the hold and the merchandise was kept safe and dry. On the stern was a kind of figure-head, shaped like a swan’s neck.

With these ships the Romans developed their trade, especially in the ports of the Tyrrhenian Sea, to the west of the Italian mainland. They transported oil, wine, fruit, grain, and cattle. When the Romans began to fight at sea, the merchant ships served to carry foodstuffs, troops, horses, and war-machines such as catapults and rams.

2. The three-banked galley (trireme)

This was the type of warship used most by the Romans. It was from 100 to 120 feet long and about 18 feet in beam – about the size of a river pleasure steamer today. It had a mast which supported a large rectangular sail. Embroidered on this in gold were the name of the ship and the insignia of her commander.

The soldiers were stationed in a superstructure at the forward end, which we would call the forecastle. In the ship’s waist were the mariners and rowers. In the stern, in the so-called high castle, were the captain, officers, and steersmen. The ship was steered by two very long oars.

The complete crew of the trireme was 250 men, divided into rowers, sailors, and soldiers. It was the soldiers who did the fighting, which consisted mostly of boarding enemy vessels. The trireme’s weight was nearly 50 tons when loaded, and it was capable of a speed of 5 knots. There were also ships with five banks of oars, called quinqueremes, but the Romans seldom used them. They were too difficult to maneuver and too slow.

“Roman Fleet”. Daviddarling.info. N.p., 2016. Web.

We also looked at the map of Rome an noticed that all streets eventually lead to the center of Rome, this was really interesting as we started thinking about how we could implement this with having our most important structure in the middle of each area of our floating city and having everything lead to the center.

Since we want our Floating City to be self sufficient we looked into renewable electricity and different ways the city could get it its power source. We looked into solar panels, as well as solar light bulbs that can last for 5 to 10 years. Nokero solar light bulbs charge by day and provide hours of light each night for about a year and a half before the battery must be replaced.

I also looked into bikes that can power your home, Manoj Bhargava, the founder of the Free Electric hybrid bike, shares in the video below, it is possible to generate electricity at home while simply doing a daily workout routine. This a great idea as you pedal for an hour and you power your house for 24 hours. Having access to clean, free energy will enable poverty-stricken communities to not only light their homes but to connect to the internet and get educated. Bhargava says the reason the majority of those who are poor stay poor is because they have no power. He aims to fix this with the free energy bicycle.

This is something that would be great to implement into our floating city as the people of Rome will keep the city running, causing no pollution as also staying fit. It is truly amazing. Why isn’t this every where by now?