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)
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.
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
Four check-points for this project
will be at the beginning of each month, and will consist of the
All drawing and concept drawing for architecture and other design
assets to be modeled completed.
All modeling for architecture completed.
A first draft of the landscape with architectural elements placed
in (including background matte painting dome).
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.
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.
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?
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".