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Making Velocities Visible

Oil Pastel Test 01 - Render 03 Capture

Below is a 60 second render from the data set captured from this drawing.

Aesthetically, this is completely off the mark from what I’ve got in my mind’s eye. But in doing each of these exercises, I’m getting more familiar with C++ programming and openFrameworks and the various add-ons that exist out there.

And I’m also refining my general goals for the first set of “pieces” I want to create with this Flow system:

  1. Show the energy and motion of each stroke. This needs to be visible even in a static render.
  2. Avoid random as much as possible. The work needs to exhibit clear intention.
  3. Create something dimensional, structural.
  4. Work within “moments” of the data set, not its entirety.

I’m going to try to make sure whatever it is I come up with adheres to these main goals for now.

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Bridget in Conté

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By the end of this session, I was mentally finished with this drawing. Conté’s tricky because it’s very difficult to erase, and things get muddy if you layer too much. So I had to let go of the mismeasured stuff and just focus on coming out of there with a rendered drawing that was good enough to stand as a “technical study.”

I did a few drawings like this in college, so this was really a chance for me to compare where I am now with where I was then. To be honest, not much has changed in terms of skill level / observation.

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This is so stupid.

But it’s like a black triangle for me. It represents the following:

  • I’ve somehow actually retained all I learned about C++. In fact, I see the language even clearer now, bizarrely.
  • I can now make pointers to pointers to pointers of things and still get to the most deeply-nested data in that relationship (something I absolutely could not wrap my head around a couple months ago).
  • I successfully started using memo’s MSAPhysics library for openFrameworks, which isn’t so different from toxi’s Verlet physics engine in his library.
  • I can make stuff look like sperm.

But seriously, this sperm thing is moving based on the data captured in the drawing from a few nights ago.

So, I’ve got the data. I’ve got the basic framework for traversing and manipulating the data. And I’ve got an idea of what I want to focus on (finally). And no, I’m not focusing on making stuff that looks like this.

But tonight was a good start in a solid direction.

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Exploring the Data

This is a representation of the 180,000+ points of data that were captured during the processing of making my last drawing. They’re quick sketches done with Processing and the toxiclibs Processing library (specifically for the Verlet physics engine).

The first step here was to create something cumulative, just so I could see the data over time. The end goal (originally) was to create a data renderer that created a static piece (or pieces) that could stand side-by-side with the original drawing, like a diptych. But embedded in that goal is an attempt to bring forth the energy and motion that went into the original drawing. That’s why I created this whole system in the first place.

I’m not there yet, but I think you need to swim in the data for a little bit before you can get a sense of what it really is.

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Flow – First Real Drawing Captured

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I’ve been waffling for the last couple of weeks on what I want the subject matter to be for my Flow project. There are so many possible themes, and I feel interested in all of them. But I don’t know what I want the “seed” to be — the subject matter of the hand-drawn images themselves.

But I’m sick of procrastinating. It’s not getting me anywhere. I do know this: I’ll be using oil pastels for this project. I really want color, but don’t want to invest in a lot of paints and additional supplies. I’ve had these oil pastels sitting around for over a year, threatening to use them for this project. Finally it’s starting to happen.

I’ve got about 11MB of data captured with this drawing, which took about 3 hours to make in its entirety. Tonight I’m going to see what sorts of things I can do to turn the data into something interesting.

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Bridget (WIP)

Bridget (WIP)

Today’s drawing from the BACAA open studios life drawing session. This is about 2.5 hours worth of work. It’s white, black, and sanguine conté on grey textured Canson paper.

Next week I’m going to finish out the form and get some of the environment in there.

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+ View the piece on Flickr.

18″ x 24″
Charcoal on paper

Haven’t posted much as of late, but it’s not because I haven’t been making stuff. I’m finding myself using Flickr more and more since I’m doing so much still work lately. Posting to this blog is more of a chore than anything else.

That’s not to say I don’t want to continue to keep doing it. It’s more a matter of creating a new workflow so that posting here is faster and easier. Automated image resizing, thumbnail creation, etc. I hate publishing into the WordPress form. I’d love to just upload files, tell WordPress to update, and be done with it.

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