Making Tubes

Tubes Test Render+ View large on Flickr.

Now that I’m unpacked and settled in my new apartment — and since I have a 50 minute presentation coming up at FITC in just over a month — it was time to gain some momentum and get back on top of this stuff for Flow.

I’ll be the first to say that these definitely bear a strong resemblance to Evan Roth‘s latest Graffiti Analysis video called “Graffiti Analysis: 3D” — because they do. And because I was definitely inspired by it (just like I was inspired by the original project when I first saw it back in 2005 at FITC).

But this is just one layer of what I’ve finally settled on for my first real “pieces” to come out of this Flow project. I’m focusing on isolation of a few strokes, creating a strong composition, and building something structural — almost architectural — out of these energetic moments of frozen time.

The hurdle today was learning to draw a tube in space…this took the better part of the day. I would’ve used the GLE Tubing and Extrusion library, but unfortunately, that has dependencies on GLUT, which Cinder does not use. And I didn’t think that I’d be able to vary the thickness of the tube over its length, so I decided to try it from scratch. And we’ve got [decent] success. I do want to implement proper per-vertex normals to smooth the sucker out some more. I think I’ll be able to rip the per-vertex normals code from the old Noise Tube experiments, since it’s ultimately the same mesh structure.

And yeah, this is all OpenGL still. Once I get the other structural elements in place, I’ll be writing some sort of Cinder Block for creating a Sunflow scene / scene file and rendering this stuff out in Sunflow. The final aim is to create some prints from this thing. I’m giving myself till the end of the week to wrap up this visual direction, so I can focus on refactoring and documenting all the behind-the-scenes Flow applications for open source release around mid-August.

You can see the full set of this first bunch of renders in this Flickr set.

Tubes Test Render+ View large on Flickr.

Tubes Test Render+ View large on Flickr.