Thursday, February 1, 2018

Star Gazer: February update_1

Here's an actual update on the 3D models. So far I have buildings (A) and (E) done, with just a few modifications to be done when they are textured, which should consist of simple planes for the doors and windows for easier and more precise application of textures.

Building (A) shown below, and below that, a few progress shots for building (E)

Building (A)


Star Gazer: January update

It has been a productive and fascinating month. Relearning 3D modeling, and using Maya for the first time as a serious agent of creation has been frustrating, but I have found a new love and solace in the program, and creating things in digital 3D. It has bring me back to why I am an artist in the first place.

Here are the the orthographic references I am using to model the building assets for my scene.

Also included is a relatively quick proof-of-concept painting for the main attraction of the scene, and what helped me figure out the theme and identity of this place and time.

Here is the first glimpse into the world of my future novel Star Gazer, and one of the "communication farms" that populate it.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Digital Multimedia II Project Proposal

 DIGITAL MULTIMEDIA II Course Project Proposal

     This semester-long project with be modeling an enclosed environment for demo and portfolio purposes. It serve as a visual sample of a “Communication Farm”, a town turned into a giant surveillance and communication hub to an off world colony. Aesthetically it will show off a combination of original science fiction designs with existing design languages of mountainous Eastern-European architecture and natural landscape.

     The mood will be solace-serine, late winter/early spring. Lighting conditions will be close to optimal to really show off the assets modeled for the demo. The style will be as close to realism as I can achieve from a beginner level, while using a mixture of medium and high polygon modeling techniques with fully textured and bump-mapped surfaces to increase this attempt at a realistic, immersive slice of this world I am creating for my story “Star Gazer”.

     Four check-points for this project will be at the beginning of each month, and will consist of the following:

      1. February 1st: All drawing and concept drawing for architecture and other design assets to be modeled completed.
      2. March 1st: All modeling for architecture completed.
      3. April 1st: A first draft of the landscape with architectural elements placed in (including background matte painting dome).
      4. May 1st: All elements and placements finalized, with textures and bump maps laid in. Lighting and renders finalized.
        BONUS: Render through Unity for a walk-through presentation.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Week 1 Update

Here are the first ideas of the environment I will be modeling. I'm thinking of a mountain-town pass of buildings and hills and mountains. Using my love of high-technology and rural landscape combos to fuel me through this semester love project. I will attempt the closest level of photo realism that I can achieve at this stage of my experience and education in 3D, while using whimsical and awesome designs to make it more than just a replication of the world. This is a full-circle and at the same time brand new area of work for me, and nothing brings inspiration like equal parts excitement and fear.

"The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" Reading Response

 Replication is the driving force of our world. It changed how we view and attain goods, and has created great debate in the idea of “authenticity”. As an artist between the traditional digital fields, the idea of “the original” has been an issue when creating, and often decides it's worth as art and importance to the long long of creation before it. Reading Walter Benjamin's “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” has stirred a lot of internal debate of what replication actually means to art, and especially, in film.

The issue of art reproduction can be broken down into two areas of worth: monetary, and the “aura”. It's interesting to have these polar opposites side by side, because it's sometimes hard to label art with both a grounded and spiritual sense on the same ticket. When discussing the “original” of an art, it is known that almost all art of substantial worth has enough fame to be copied and wanted beyond it's original self. This makes the original worth more because it is cult totem of this massive want. The other aspect, which gets trickier to analyze, is it's “aura”. This is that subjective beauty and flaws that creates connection to the viewer. Walter Benjamin evolves his point from 2D works to the work of actors to discuss his points, and this is where it gets tricky to lump these together. Yes, both have a soul to them because they are both human expressions through modes of art. But replicating a painting is replication for reproduction. Replicating an actor's performance through a camera for later viewing is an evolution of the acting craft. Both give aura, with little difference if art's definition and upgrade from were visual aesthetic is this intangible “life” that we have given it. Much can be said about this area along, but I won't take up much your time.
My understanding of this subject is admittedly low, so I will let my mind stream down, and hopefully a river will come. It seams to me the basin of this essay comes from defining originality. Immediately I asked: is purpose another form of originality? Because art is either the purpose of cult, of ritual, or for replication of something tangible (or intangible), then originality can be purpose. If art can be art for the sake of art, then can art that can live fullest only in original form be it's only purpose? Or even art? With tools of replication creating new additions to the world, it isn't fair to eliminate these new procedures and purpose from art that was created in a world where originality was the only purpose of art. It was how you documented the world and thoughts. So tools like the camera, a new world is created by these very tools. Not the old world, but a new one. New world by the act commonly called “remixing”. It's evolution in double time, and by new definition. Nothing is original with the argument that evolution is a gradient chain of necessity.

 I know it's easy for the youngin' with such clear hindsight be making such bold claims, and I say, why? I learn from those before me, and I can smell fear doused with self-justice perfume. So call me a pompous ass, but aren't most claims of what's right and wrong with any field of creation to early to call when the beast isn't done evolving yet?

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Hello World: New Beginnings

The path of the artist is a bitch. Bitch, in the English language, is a female dog. They are mothers to new pups and ideas that they protect and craft to add to the world. So yes, my journey and craft is the hardest, but best bitch around. I have found many purposes to give my passion and tenacity over my academic career, and so far not many have stuck.

I feel back at ground zero, where I know destruction and creation meet. That's my ground zero. So with destruction and failure have breed many liters in the past year, I think I can say I found opportunity in my runt. I pushed aside many avenues of digital art in favor of traditional and analog mediums, to only feel a little empty and missing of foundation. Thomas Asmuth, a long time ago, gave me opportunity and spirit to pursue the digital realm. I didn't totally take it. It wasn't time then, but now it is. 

Oat's Studios has shown me the power and necessity of 3D, and just how fulfilling it is to create worlds in beautiful cyberspace. I think I needed calm conquest of 2D and it's children before I could come back to fulfill this missing fundamental of me. Neill Blomkamp and company's shorts have inspired me of a conquest that I want to be a part of, that gives me security of a path and community that I would love to be a part of. My biggest fear is to be without skills vital to my career and passion, so here we go. At ground zero, with plenty of tools to get my bitch back up stronger than ever.

To paraphrase the legendary Stan Winston, "We as artist must evolve and change with the times, and this evolution is exciting".