Thursday, February 8, 2007

Colour and quality

The computer graphics community has gone through periods of artistic revolution when it comes to both motion and form. It is widely known that if you want to be able to model on a screen you should first go through a lot of time with pen or clay. For the animators the 2d cartoons with Disney's "wise men" in the front has worked as an authority. While this kind of influence has imensly sped up the evolution for the pioneering practicians there is still genres in the cg proffesion who doesn't have any clear paths to follow and therefor still handles the new tools rather clumsy. An example of this is my own area, visual effects. In my short experience, the people in it clearly percepts it as a form of art or craftsmanship and not science. This is very important as the opposite would be a hopeless ground for art to grow. However, we may be the first group of people that looks for beuty in explosions, plasma or other phenomenons and we have no maps over this new terrain. In short perspective this gives us a great deal of freedom but if you look a bit further it also works as a great handicap. Look back a few year and see what effects still holds quality? Obviously we don't create much results that is worth remembering longer then until the DVD release. We don't need perfection to create something effectfull and therefor we don't need to give the work much care. We simply don't have to go all the way. I see the most obvious of this in the missuse of colour. I offen feel that if we would be colourblind we could create pretty much the same stuff. If it wouldn't be for the grain filters, many of the effects that appears on the screen would completely consist of the blending between two extreme colours. Yesterday I wanted to draw up an abstract colourful background, I got inspiration from the sky here in Umeå and as I do not have the eyes to copy this into the screen I felt that it was time for a shortcut. I came across some images of Turner and Monet and they really confirmed my feelings. The quality in these colours can not be compared in anything I've seen made in feature films. Fade the saturation out and you loose a dimension, that's why you need the word colour depth. So good are they that I can't even (ab)use them in my work because it creates such a contrast with my flat colorless objects that they simply stand out to much. I've been saying for some time now that I should draw landscapes instead of people and now I said it again. I admited the superiority in these paintings and moved on to a more shallow source - reality. Googled this. I messed around with the colours to create something abstract which still captured the scene event, the birth of the "fruit". I wanted it to end in a daylight feeling which would enhance the look that the fruit was heading towards a bright future, a mood I want to break down later on. Also a good example of how the metaphore is keeping consistency in my artistic decissions. Here's the result. I now simply have to match the colorisation against this as I move on. Next step is to set up the final scene, a couple of fruits will grow out and fall of the tree and I need some environmental objects and effects against the background to enhance the depth.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Feeling what's "free" in "free art". Working without deadline or target groups is like standing up after a long car ride.

As the board is set I am now playing out the pieces against each other. The curves for the chaossphere in movement is shown here. What you see is curves being drawn from points flowing around on a animated object. As if a dozen pencils ran around on it and drew a line in thin air. I like the way the object's shape gets more definied when it's resting and then turns undefined and flowing when it starts to move. (Like the dude in "Riddick", but better;). The idea is now that I will use the lSystem I previosly done and animate this along it's developing branches and then form a shape in the end of a tip of a branch. This shape then be the "seed"/chaossphere/blimp. Test of the flowing here. This test confirmed what progress should do, state more questions. I need to think about timing, this mostly comes down to music. I also need to think about colors. As music is determined by external factors I take the color issue first and get around to that tomorrow.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Trains must be the best cubicles ever, and no fancy london office can beat that view.

Got the hang of the shell to the chaossphere. Only got this short and generall test. The setup gives some interesting looks when you alter the directions and noise in the movement which
gives me exactly what I need- a design which can be reacurrent without become boring. So I need to make a longer test where I go through some of it styles.

Found this old curve test, I liked the rythm in it's movement so I post it here as a note to self.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Designing chaos and fragmentation

Did some schematic sketches on how those "chaospheres" can be constructed. Some kind of complex animatable shape in the center will be generated from a single surface or curve. This will then be covered by a turbulent shell of wires. Like a mechanical crystal ball. Obviously I need to explain this through some images ASAP.

Before going deeper in the design issues I wanted to test the connection between complex lines in closeup and full framed. Check the result here. I feel that the complexity disappears when zooming out so if one want to feel the turbulence in such design you would have to put some extreme closeups to it. When looking from further away it should probably be more turbulent to hide the structure thus making it more mysterious.

In larger contexts I thought of making my work shorter but more intensive. Close to the style in a commercial then a short film. As I've previously said in the post "The lie about Metaphors" I do not pretend this is about any deeper expressions then the simple visual language itself. Moving on from this I now have to think about how that should be expressed. "Perfection is achieved, not when there's nothing more to add, but when there's nothing left to take away". -Antoine de Saint Exupery (even though I found it through Civilisation IV). Or as my well respected teacher, Peter "Something", repeated "Don't get stuck in the fork". In this situation, "adding" or the "fork" would be the connection between the single events and the animation as a whole. This place me in a position when I have nothing to gain in the linearity of time, the elements should be chosen after the composition- not after where we are going, no explanatorials and so on. But on the other hand- I don't wish for chaos, I wish for the non existence of these elements but their absence will also be disturbing for the viewer. In other way, I need to use them as little as possible but not so it's noticeable. I need to implement this in the "story", make a storyboard and move on.

Another loose thought. Forward motion can be mixed up with moving in wide circles. Braking out of the "hamster wheel" will just bring you to a wider circle. The purpose in the long term perspective is as illusionary as the flatness of the world. Maby it is actually flat, but you don't know if you don't try. Now I'm off to Umeå's circles for a while.