Pedro Conti is a Brazilian 3D computer graphics artist, with one of his recent and most interesting project being a 3D graphics artist on Disney’s Moana movie in 2016. He utilized 3D computer graphics to create many backgrounds, landscapes and characters in the movie. Specifically looking at the Kakamora barges he helped to create in one of the scenes of the movie, the project is so impressive due to the shear number of objects that cover the structure and how many shots (140) were needed for the sequence.
The artist utilized the program XGen, which is a geometry instancer, to populate the boat with all of the objects on it. While the artist had to follow the artistic direction of the movie, the artist’s vision is manifested in how and where different items are placed on the boat.
For this looking outward, I chose this project titled Back to School, drawn by Vivien Bertin and modeled by Patrick Evrard in 2015. I chose this project because I have a good amount of experience with 3D modeling using Autodesk Maya, and I know how hard it can be. I was really impressed with the lighting and the detail achieved in this model, including how dynamic the hair is, how there are even little drops of saliva coming out of her mouth, and the texture of the sweater. I thought it was really great how they managed to bring her to life even though she is a static image–she has a lot of personality. I would’ve loved to see a wireframe of this model to see how it was made. I also would’ve loved to know what software they used to make this, and see more pictures of the process itself.
Michael Theodore’s robotic scratchboard drawings was a project done in collaboration with engineers at the Boulder Engineering Studio. The artists created and programmed a robotic arm via code to etch unique line and pattern formations of black ink into white clay. I really admire how Theodore was able to emulate the gestural and whimsical quality of hand drawing, without having mechanically generated drawings appear as too stiff, and even taking the potential of 3D drawing further than the human hand could produce via texture, pattern and rhythm. I think that Theodore was able to effectively use technology to push the boundaries of his own thematic interests (the human perceptual experience), by harnessing the capabilities of robotics to depict sensitivities and intricacies. Further, the artist’s sensibilities are evident based on the density and thickness of strokes, which create dynamism and movement within the composition.
The advancement in technology has made 3D graphic easier to be produced and popular as a new type of art. With the increasingly appearing 3D graphic arts, both the viewers and artists are given a innovative way of thinking art that is beyond the 2D constrain. 3D graphics usually creates a feeling of future and represents surrealism. This new way of creating art inspires a Vienna-based artist, Bianka Oravecz, to generate 3D arts including globular-looking masses, crystalline, geological, and abstract forms. She just transitioned to three-dimensional art this year, after eight years of working with two-dimensional graphic design.
Working with three-dimensional art, Oravecz mainly focuses on issues including technology, female identity, and biology. She also explores micro and macro worlds, virtual fields, and landscapes. For her, playing with forms and shapes in 3D graphic can convey the “falling apart of meanings”. She wants to create innovative, never-before-seen imagery, and explore the mixture of physical and virtual.
The Incredibles returned on screen over the summer, but not everything from the original movie returned for the sequel. The new film utilized Pixar’s newest rendering technology RenderMan. RenderMan enabled animators to better render textures onto environments, clothing, skin, and hair (the hair in the movie now moves like real hair instead of moving like a blob!) and forcefields! RenderMan is not a technology that is exclusively used in Pixar films, but is now a popular rendering technology used in many Hollywood films. One example of this is their success with the photorealistic rendering of Rachael in Blade Runner 2049. Animators were able to photorealistically render Rachael’s face from the original film onto an actress that looked nothing like Sean Young, the original actress. RenderMan is an effective rendering tool like can render photorealistically but can also create an animated feeling. It is no surprise that Pixar’s RenderMan is now the predominant rendering technology in the film industry today.
This is a project designed by Alexey Zakharov. This project showcases a macro vision world full of spiders, caterpillars, dragonflies, and ladybugs surrounded by dew drops that are lively, but animated for that effervescent effect. In my opinion, what makes this project so successful is the way that Zakharov plays with light and how he makes it reflects off of the water droplets and onto the plants and insects/bugs. His attention to that detail is exquisite and thus, makes the scene vibrant and real. For the algorithm that he used, I believed that each droplet is made from a surface subdivided into smaller surfaces. And that allows him to make them so detailed. He also uses a lot of repetition in quantity to make the object/thing more full/rich to look at.
I chose to look at the snow in the movie Frozen. I have always admired how the creators were able to brave the task of creating a realistic looking snow. In high school, my teacher was involved with this project and since watching the movie it became apparent how real the snow looked and acted compared to the snow animations in other movies. The animators explain that they used a method where they created very small particles of snow and assign them a random volume and size. After factoring velocities as well as collision variables for each of those particles, the grain of snow is then able to move. Another amazing spect that was taken into consideration was the different consistences of snow in different situations and temperatures. With the snow they were able to use it as a narrative cue within the movie—much of Elsa’s emotions are manifested through the snows’s velocity and color.
Elastic is a company that produces advertisements, main titles for TV shows and movies, animations, broadcasts, and other video production. I really like this video, which is the main title they produced for the first season of HBO’s Westworld. (They also produced the main title for the second season as well. It’s on their website!) A team of CG artists, motion graphic artists, and designers, under creative director Patrick Clair, painstakingly built sets and models digitally. The programs they used include ZBrush, Cinema 4D, Maya, AfterEffects, and Octane. Through this, Elastic rendered and modelled 3-D assets that reflected the wild west, distorted human robotic symbiosis. Watching this in isolation always gives me the chills, especially with the music composed by Ramin Djawadi. The music and the scenes tie together to create an eery feeling, and I find the detail in the rendering to hit close to the uncanny valley (a point where realisim in androids makes a very unsettling affect).
Jonathan Zawada is a motion graphics artist who has done work at very corporate and independent levels. Much of his work, similar to other artists featured as “Looking Outwards” suggestions, is based around organic form in the natural world. What sets Zawada’s work apart from others for me though is that the blurring of organic and artificial is very visually apparent. In other works when I’ve referred to this relationship, it has been as organic objects being portrayed through digital coding.
Although I am unfamiliar with the field of 3-D motion graphics, it is evident that there are multiple layers to what is being displayed. In the embedded music video, there were quick cuts between simulations of metallic stem growth and chain link interactions, oftentimes with the two of them physically overlapping in a layer-like nature. From this, I would assume that there were different sequences of code for each of the elements in the video, which are triggered in response to drastic changes in pitch, tempo, or bass.