Another rendering of the Angel Manipulating Spheres piece:
Close-up rendering of the Angel's hand (from Angel Manipulating Spheres). Hands are difficult & time-consuming to sculpt, and this one came out quite well.
|Angel's hand, digital rendering from Blender|
Here is another view of the piece:
|Angel Manipulating Spheres, another view|
This was done in Blender using a winged head I sculpted a short while ago. I added a partial body & gave it a metallic gold texture, then lit it with an HDRI (high dynamic range image) as well as a sun light. By experimenting with the lighting, HDRI placement, composition, etc., I came up with the following images. The only difference between I & II is the rendering engine used (Eevee in the first, Cycles in the second). The results were suitably ethereal & heavenly, I think.
|Sun Angel II, Blender digital image (Cycles renderer)|
|Sun Angel I, Blender digital image (Eevee renderer)|
I recently did a sculpture workshop for students at ASU (where I teach Blender & XR artwork). I started this head in the Zoom workshop to demonstrate Blender's 3D sculpting capabilities, & finished it afterwards. It usually takes me several hours to sculpt a head, & the workshop was around 45 minutes.
Below are 3 versions: top; fully textured: middle; another variation against a cloudy sky: bottom; the sculpted heads in raw, untextured state.
Here is the cover of "Occimore" by Paul Rizk, a young French author. This book was published a few months ago & I should be receiving a copy soon, more details when I get it...
|Occimore by Paul Rizk, cover painting is "Judgment Day", 2019|
Thanks to Enzo Ciruolo in Italy for sending me a copy of his book "Sette Occhi" with my painting of "The Creature with Seven Eyes" on the cover. This is his first published novel, I believe, so congratulations to him. Also it was a prizewinning entry in a competition. As far as I can make out, via my lack of Italian, it's a noir mystery/thriller. From Google translate:
"Esdras is a young scholar of the Sacred University of San Policarpo. Because of the marks on his face, he has lived in solitude for as long as he can remember. Only Father Ure, a Consistorial considered by many a heretic, took pity on him and took him as a disciple. After years of intense study of the Masagida and sacred contemplation, the boy manages to be admitted to the prestigious university; however, the joy of reaching the goal is soon dissipated by a terrible event. Father Ure is brutally murdered and Esdras, realizing the similarities present in the dynamics of the murder with some events contained in the Sacred Texts, decides to investigate the identity of the executioner."
I'm wishing him much success with his book, and future career. He is also a very accomplished pianist.
Just published (embedded via QR code and marker) in Leonardo Journal 54:3. More info at: https://leonardo.info/new-world-city-about
|To view, scan the QR code & click "allow" & point the phone camera at the lower icon. For better results, click to make the image full screen.|
Here's the augmented reality project I've been working on recently. This is a new, "portable" version of New World City, originally conceived as a large-scale outdoor AR installation. This uses many of the elements of that piece in a small-scale marker-based piece using the A-Frame software framework. This means that you will go to a web page, be prompted to allow use of your camera (phone or computing device) & the 3D imagery will pop up when the marker is recognized. This is currently nearing completion & I'll put information here about the final piece when it's ready.
|New World City AR (portable web version)|
|The double helix building left of center was created by my daughter, Lizzie|
This is a new VR piece I've been working on in Blender (3D) & Unity (game engine/VR software). I've long been fascinated by Arnold Bocklin's iconic painting & have done several smallish pieces that have either been versions of it, inspired by it, or contain it as a minor element. Here, I've turned my interpretation/re-imagining of it into an explorable VR environment. For the moment, it exists only as a file on my computer, but I'm hoping to make it more widely available.
The sky is from a free skybox, via AllSky, by the way, I didn't make it.
|The Isle of the Dead by Daylight, 2021, VR piece|
This is a VR piece I've been working on recently in Unity (game engine/VR+AR program) & Blender (3D modeling). It ties together a number of themes & ideas inside a handy alien environment. I'd like to develop it further, making the portal teleport to various areas of the piece, adding sound/music & perhaps other features. I'll mention here if these events come to pass. You can also see a video walkthrough, recorded from inside the Oculus Quest headset here on Flickr.
The themes involved include, time, eternity, the beginning & end of civilizations, what it means to be human, what it means to exist in the universe, the idea that everything that has happened in our world may have happened elsewhere long ago (or again in the future)...and many others...
|The Lost Cities of Mars, VR piece, 2021|
Recently, I've been teaching an Intro to Blender (3D software suite), which has been helping me to integrate the software into my art practice (as well as helping the students learn the software, of course). Last night I was experimenting with volumetric lighting (light through fog, etc.) & found ways to make the rendered images more atmospheric. This was a missing part for me, & seems to be helping to create the worlds I want to make.
|Atmosphere, 2021, Blender image|
|The Shrine, 2021, Blender image|
|The Most Ancient One of All, 2021, Blender image|
I just did an Internet search & found that this piece, which had been in a private collection, sold at auction recently (November 2020). I hadn't realized that the owner had passed away. I pulled the image from the auction web page...it's a better photo than I had before.
From the listing: "depicting figures reaching out of a torso with the limbs of other
figures around and reaching towards it, all set before a cloudy, rocky
landscape; signed and dated 1993 lower right."
From the final days of 2020, I did a small number of ink drawings...here is the one I probably like the best, the title is a meditation on parallel worlds or alternate universes, or something like that...
|Worlds Without End, 2020, brush & ink on paper, 14" x 17"|