Search form

The line beween technician and artist

8 posts / 0 new
Last post
The line beween technician and artist

Recently I have been coming up alot against the question "is this the work of a technician or an artist?"

I have been working on making a particle effect to simulate liquid splattering against a wall. Mostly this has involved scouring the internet for clues and altering an array of numerical fields named magnitude, rate, radius, friction and resilience (etc etc). I've even attempted copying and pasting lines of code into the equation.

Technician or artist.....the question I'm asking myself now is "what the hell am I doing? this isn't what I signed up for, how did it come to this?"

It's been a gradual creep since I moved over from traditional to computer animation. From having to fiddle with character set up, polygonal modelling, and uv mapping. More and more I've found myself typing numbers into boxes. Until I've come to the point where with these particles, the closest thing to art I've done is choose the colour.

Sure I keep telling myself that I have the picture in my head, that's what I'm working towards. It's my visualisation skills that set me apart from being a technician......but I'm not really convinced. When the medium for creation is umpteen numerical fields with abstract names tagged on them, it seems largely a job
of trial and error.

Of course knowing the right boxes to type numbers in, is highly valued knowledge. Most of my lead artists have had a very strong understanding of the technical side of cg art. Some of them could barely draw.

In the kingdom of cg art, it seems the coder artist is rapidly becoming king.

ezromation's picture

websiteEzromation blog/doodlesDeranged Scratchings

websiteEzromation blog/doodlesDeranged Scratchings

There's a technical aspect to animation no matter the medium, isn't there? Are inbetweeners "just" trying to get distances between key animators' lines right or tracing model sheets? Are stop-motion animators "just" shoving limbs of fantastic puppets others built around?
Personally, I believe as long as you have the visual result in mind as your ultimate goal, however small your contribution may be, it is a form of artistry. The question is, what could a computer do unless you were there to direct it with the right input? Nothing at all. Your contribution still lies at the very bottom of it all, doesn't it?

thats because your doing it as a special effect those are completely technical. if you do it without particle effects , you will have more control over it. but it may be more difficult depending on how you go about it. less automation equals more control.

as far as feeling like your doing too much technical work. I felt that way the very first time I made my first polygon model over 10 years ago. it was a complete turn off. I immediately looked for other ways to model that are more fluid. I can model with nurbs, patch, spline, even blobmesh. I only model with poly when I have to for very short times. with animation I use a system that lets me focus on the artistic and not be concerned with technical. without it animation would not be enjoyable

with 3d it comes down to the tool. if the tool lets you focus on the artistic. you can run as fast, and as far you want, with 3d. but if it doesnt, 3d is a technical mess

you could also do it the same way you would if it was 2d. make water hitting a wall and animate it. you could do it as a morph or keyframe several objects

coders create software and tools, artist create art from the sofware and tools. that the authors didnt think were possible

in reference to texturing and uv's you need a tool that automatically unwraps a model. bodypaint does it. the new version of zbrush does it 3.5 but you should learn how to unwrap a model with pelt mapping its pretty simple. while all 3d programs are technical. some are far more technical than others. you should find software that leans more in the artistic direction

this looks like a technical mess but its not. while the way Im using it isnt standard. its not doing anything it cant do right out the box

actual rigging

Every artistic pursuit requires some degree of technical knowledge - painters need to know color theory and how much of which colors to mix to get the desired result. Sculptors need to know the properties of their materials and how to compose and reinforce their work so it's in balance and can stand on its own without collapsing under its own weight. CG is no different; it just requires different technical knowledge.

Yes, the coder artist is king, but no more so than artists in other disciplines are best served by understanding the technical aspects of what they do.

Thanks for all the response.

Only one more liquid particle to do now and I can say byebye to the particle editor for the forseeable.

Thanks for the tips Tyree, yeah I like pelt mapping too, its good for organic stuff.

Yeah there is a technical element to art in general, Certainly in my working life the emergence of digital art has led to it having a larger and larger foothold in my career, and I guess this is true for alot of animators.

websiteEzromation blog/doodlesDeranged Scratchings

I sent you a pm with a link to software thats still in beta but its purely artistic there is nothing technical about it. dont forget you can still do things like you would if it was 2d. you could have sculpted some water hitting a wall in various stages and animated it

Thanks again Tyree
I will have a nose through when I've got my current project out the door.

websiteEzromation blog/doodlesDeranged Scratchings