Since last week, I have been trying to create a 3D model of my latest painted piece; it has been a fun nightmare.
My previous model was quite challenging as it required me to go take more than 400 photographs and required 3 different sources of light to get rid of most of the shadows, however, I only needed to use one side of it so everything worked at the end.
My new piece is quite different, in order to allow people to navigate it from inside, I have to create a 360 model of it, this sets a bigger challenge for proper lighting and placing on the space.
My first idea was to hang it so a could take photos from all the angles, that did not work because it is impossible to keep it still inside of the studio, apparently, a ghost breeze lives within the room.
Next, I did take lots of images placing the object in three different positions over a plinth, so far I was able to make good enough models from three chunks of the original piece, now I have to figure out how to stitch them.
I think that this “chunk” process might be the best way to go, although it is a bit annoying to put the pieces back together, this workflow might allow me to create bigger and complex pieces without worrying too much about RAM processing limits and might be a modular approach for model handling.
Last Wednesday I participated in the second session at the Tate Modern, It was a very good experience as I managed to present my work to several people and even engaged some interesting conversations, I also got some good feedback from people that do have a genuine interest towards painting.
Thanks to this experience I do know that my piece is not for everyone, while some people really spend time teleporting themselves and watching carefully, others are expecting to play a game and quit my piece after a short period of time. I am aware that this is partly because the audience of the Tate Exchange is quite broad and with a huge variety of expectations.
When reflecting on how the whole thing is displayed i.e. physical object, VR immersion, and flat screen real-time transmission, I feel that I should get rid of the teleporting feature and replace it for a continuous navegation, at the moment, my solution will be to create a path for the Camera Rig and ask the VR player to sit down and move his/her head to look around, I feel that in this way, I will get a smoother experience for both the VR player and the spectators, I will also gain control on how the piece is viewed, in the future I could find a way to allow the VR player to move smoothly around the piece and zoom in and out on specific parts of it.
I want to add that I was quite surprised to see that some really young kids really enjoyed the experience.
A week ago I saw the movie “A single man” by Tom Ford, it a was really interesting movie and I ended up thinking about three different scenes and one of them in particular has inspired me to do an experiment, that is why I’m going to publish this post in both my Influences and work sections.
The first and maybe the most relevant scene for me was the one in which George (Colin Firth) visits his friend Charlie (Juliane Moore), right when they meet on the front door, another scene fades in, it is a fragment from a previous scene where Charlie found out about the death of his lover. This this momentary overlapping made me thing about time compression not only in movies but also on images.
The second scene that captivated me was the one where George and his young student Kenny (Nicholas Hoult) where talking inside a bar, at one moment, the young guy replied: “we are born alone, we die alone, and while we are here we are absolutely, completely sealed in our own bodies”… “We can only experience the outside world through our own slanted perception of it. Who knows what youʼre really like. I just see what I think youʼre like.”
Finally, the third part of the movie that captured my attention was just before the end, when George experiences an epiphany and says: “A few times in my life I’ve had moments of absolute clarity when, for a few brief seconds, the silence drowns out the noise and I can feel rather than think and things seem so sharp and the world seems so fresh, it’s as though it had all just come into existence. I can never make these moments last. I cling to them, but like everything, they fade. I have lived my life on these moments. They pull me back to the present, and I realize that everything is exactly the way it was meant to be”.
When I saw this I felt something clicked in my head, I guess that we humans try to hold on to our most memorable moments just like a drunk guy clings to the railing while he awkwardly descends the staircase. They are like keyframes on a time line and on some rare moments, our immediate experience pulls them into the stage creating an ambiguous moment where past and present collide on to each other.
In recent times, I’ve been exploring the 3 dimensional representation of thoughts, I’m exploring the use of 3D objects as canvases, this has led me create a three stage process:
After defining an specific concept for the piece, I start by creating a narrative oriented shape. As I create this shape I try to focus on the different possibilities of the overall shape avoiding going into to much detail, in this stage I also avoid thinking about specific images I want to use.
I use this object´s faces to place images and color in order to compose a “three dimensional image”. Although I keep thinking on the concept I try to let it evolve by not focusing on an specific narrative but only on the formal value of the piece until I reach a point where I feel it is completed. So far, I always print the piece before starting this stage.
When I’m satisfied with the sketch I start to paint on the object, so far I’m trying to paint an accurate copy of the images I used for the sketch.
Reflection about Stage 1
Creating 3D shapes as a way to represent concepts is an exciting challenge for me, I can’t explain it but it just feels right, is like giving voice to a part of my brain that is able to do this without giving me a conscious and structured feedback. I’m definitely want to explore this further more.
Reflection about Stage 2
I think that in this stage is like a game in witch I present images to my mind in order for it to arrange them while mixing conscious and less conscious decisions, although I know I’m thinking, I’m not able to fix an specific outcome. Working with both Illustrator and Blender has created an unsuspected additional challenge for the visual composition; on one hand, working with the vector UV map forces me to arrange elements in an order that is dependent on the 3D model, so I have to change into blender in order to see the end result, this is not a direct process and this separation forces me also to work from memory. On the other hand, because of the properties of the 3D environment, my end result is an ever changing 3D image, so maybe my mind switching on and off from consciousness has to do with the fact that my brain recognizes the impossibility to find a fixed narrative, so then I have the opportunity to see the piece as an abstract representation.
Reflection about Stage 3
At the moment I’m trying to control the outcome by doing a faithful painted copy of the digital sketch, I guess this is my way to avoid getting lost or even destroying what I have accomplished in the other stages, and even though this seems logical, I have a feeling I can enrich the final outcome by letting physical expression take its part, for this I want to create bigger canvases to see if I am able to use paint strokes to blend the apparent edges between abstraction and representation.