Sunday, June 1, 2008

11.11 Encourage...

If anyone is reading this, I would like to give you a word of encouragement:

YES, there are people like you, who think the way you do, who want to see the same changes in the world as you do.

YES, there are people who can still hold a conversation outside facebook

YES, you CAN do what you love, and what you are good at, and still make a difference. Treasure your talent.

May you all 'find' your 'purpose'... and have a great day!

10. Work

That old chestnut!


Magazine Article (published IFX Issue 30)

9. New Thumbnailing Method

Here I have copied my two posts from Gorilla Artfare that speak about a new method of pre-vis I have been using.

I was messing around in photoshop today, trying to combine tools I don't normally use to get interesting effects - and I came up with a new method for thumbnailing that I'm finding really enjoyable! I don't know how readable these are to others, but as far as generating ideas for my own end they are working perfectly - just depends whether they need to be shown to the client i guess!

Id say i could get through a sheet of maybe 30-40 of these in an hour, although i was going a bit slower today because I was experimenting. Not a bad way to knock over the initial stage of a job - and a big improvement in my own job workflow.

Please click for the bigger version, as these probably wont read very well with aliasing!

Post #2 : So, more of the same method this morning - slowly refining it... heres a small tute for those who asked how im making them!

First, I quickly grab a bunch of photos from my ref folder. Almost anything will do, i just try to avoid big familiar shapes like faces or cars. I drag them all in and resize em in one document to thumbnail size, merge, and desaturate the lot.

Then, starting anywhere i feel like, I grab the PATCH tool and make a ragged, random selection over one of the photos, and drag it to another:

The result is a nice mixture of the two, as you see in the two cases:

After this, the process is just repeated, working with all of the photos at the same time, finding interesting shapes to drag around. I timed again, and each thumbnail takes about 2 minutes - so between 20-40 in an hour (because sometimes you will hit a comp you reall like and you want to spend time noodling it out or developing it).

Here are this morning's products: The ones with the pine trees I did first, the second set I did specifically for a contract I'm on at the moment. I found that when i had a preconvieved requirement (in this case, Cargo Bay), the thumbnails took a bit longer (3-5 mins ea) because i had to reign in some of the ideas that lost their relevance to the topic.

Cargo Bay:

So what I know about the method thus far:


* The patch tool has a unique way of blending, and its faults turn into happy accidents for us painterly bastards. When two values are too polarised, the tool will try to blend them with a soft edge. This creates lots of nice edge variation for us, suggesting light sources and plane changes.

* Unlike a method of just layering photos and hoping for something to pop out, this process becomes creative as soon as you make the first patch. Because it previews the patch destination as you move it around, you can line up areas of value, shapes, lines etc and actually construct your image with intent. The initial patch generally gives you an idea or shape to develop, and after that it is the perfect blend of randomity and intention.

* Achieves a high level of IMPLIED detail very quickly. Very loose, and at any time if you need to strengthen an idea you can just paint directly onto the thumbnail (for instance, in the first set of finals, the barn-like shape top right was all painted).


* Because of the photographic elements, there are a number of perspective errors that need to be cleaned up when you up-res

* Generally will have to scrap a thumbnail or two before sending to clients, as the repeated elements can sometimes be obvious

* Makes it very easy to see a cool new idea not related to the job, and get a bit sidetracked ;)

I know its a very simple technique, but I hope it gives some ideas for anyone who hasn't used the patch tool in this way before!!


8. Impermanence

When we talk about impermanence, fear is a common reaction - we jump to visions of death and disability, loss and tragedy.

But impermanence has no innate negative connotations - it is more like a principal of physics or engineering. Impermanence is what allows the world to function. Most of our global society is based on a fear - a fear of the world we live in brought about by its inherant perfections. So much of our social heirarchy is based on trying to bring permanence to a reality that is impermanent by nature. Consider the investment in banking and personal security for instance - so much effort, driven by fear, to attempt to create a feeling of unshakable certainty.

If only we could accept impermanence (truly), we would understand that it is the mechanic behind everything that is beautiful. Consider the simple act of applying moisturiser to your skin. The fact that we are impermanent is WHY we are able to perform these small and beautiful acts. If we were permanent, unchanging beings, why would we bother applying the cream in the first place? Without impermanence, how can we go from one state to another - happy to sad, and back again?

Impermanence is not to be loathed or feared, but to be understood fully, as a part of the beautiful imperfection of everything.

As Leonard Cohen sings: "Theres a crack, in everything. That's how, the light, gets in."

7. Some artmaking

It has been another big few months for me (I derive a lot of pleasure from living life at a dangerous pace). I have ploughed through a few different jobs, fallen deeply in love and deeply out of it, met many new people, shared laughs, swapped cultural memes and in general have been having a blast.

Artistically, I have found new purchase in several techniques and I feel more energised than ever. I think a big part of it has been finding a vital balance between traditional and digital work - enough traditional to keep me sane and inspired, and enough digital to assure myself that I can produce with speed and efficiency.

Below are a few digital speed paintings, all half an hour each, with simple topics as idea-starters.

Here's to inspiration and love - those things which remove us from the spiral and remind us of the truth, if only temporal, of our existance ;)

6. Wabi-sabi

Wabi-sabi (in Kanji: 侘寂) represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience. The phrase comes from the two words wabi and sabi. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete" (according to Leonard Koren in his book Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers). It is a concept derived from the Buddhist assertion of the Three marks of existence — Anicca, or in Japanese, 三法印 (sanbōin)), Impermanence. Note also that the Japanese word for rust, is also pronounced sabi (the borrowed Chinese character is different, but the word itself is of assumed common etymology), and there is an obvious semantic connection between these concepts. Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, asperity, simplicity, modesty, intimacy, and suggest a natural process.