heribert – this one’s for you. A painting-with-polys test in messiah. Not all the way there yet, but very promising.
Off teaching in southern Germany. Will be back with something on Wednesday.
This beautiful performance prose by Tim Minchin is fantastic. Wonderfully staged by DC Turner and set to a fantastic beat. Heaven for beat skeptics.
Here’s the near-final texturing (not shading) of Archeopteryx, as realized under the scientific direction of Scott Hartman. Lots of funky stuff in there, such as the jaw hinge and the first toe orientation. Will show that in upcoming close-ups.
I’m very happy with alot of things that are going on here, even if I’m not satisfied with the current realization thereof. The bones are starting to do what I want them to – communicate species-relevant characteristics – without looking like bones that’ve been excavated. But they need to be even more sculptural. More abstracted.
I’m thrilled with the idea of crediting Scott and all of his research and pursuing ways that might make the team aspect of this kind of work function financially as well. The “approved by” stamp is a consequent continuation of the Kentrosaurus and Plateosaurus I’ve started with Heinrich Mallison, so I look forward to returning to those with an “approved by Heinrich” stamp. It seems to me a first, visual step towards recognizing the long chain of interdependencies present in creating a piece of paleoart.
hello, fellow artist! Pricing your services? Have you calculated your worth? Have you researched the going rate? Good on ya! I sincerely hope that hasn’t revealed that your self-esteem is detached from reality, or that the entire market is. I hope, but I suspect otherwise. The Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook surveyed an average illustrator’s fees for a full-page technical illustration for an ad in a small circulation, specialist magazine (ie. Scientific American) at between $1,500-$2,700 USD.
That’s a 300 dpi, full-spread image with lots of research, feedback loops and likely a tight deadline. For you paleoartists out there, highlight the word “specialist” a few times, scratch the the word “ad” and face the fact that a typical contractor of paleoart is putting way more hours in for free than you are. Ads command a different price range, generally, and even there the likelihood of talented non-solidarity is not small:
I am a by the book kind of gal and often refer to the Graphic Artists Guild Pricing & Ethical Guidelines for “inspiration”. The other two illustrators in the bid quoted 50% less then me.
How’s your esteem holding up?
I feel that paleoartistry will have to recognize the fact that the branch is in no small part a philanthropic community. There are passion-driven fossil collectors who climb into the quarries every weekend and yes, there are ruthless goldminers among them. There are passion-driven researchers who work there way into the material via sweat equity and there are the artists.
There is money to be had. There are journals, institutions and museums… there are television documentaries. But the ecosystem does not even nearly approach the breadth necessary to sustain the extremely specialized paleoworkers.
Does this bother me?
Not in the least. I feel that a combination of technological advancements both in production and distribution is meeting a wave of passion unleashed by discussions of the subject matter via internet and will generate novel models of eeking out a living while doing things you find awesome. Or using the self-same skills to cash in on other ecosystems in need of similar abilities. More on this in the coming months, I just felt compelled to publish my optimism, either to counteract recent negative energies or to serve as hard fodder for those who wish to remind me of these words after I’ve gone belly-up with these ideas.
I’m working on numerous overlapping ideas at the same time, which is sometimes helpful, sometimes not. Here is a work in progress preview of a project I hope to unleash on you all in due time. Archie O. is the star of this character-driven educational animation – and here he is in both a fairly final skeletal form and an initial visual life reconstruction form. Despite the early phase of development, there’s already a lot of work in this.
First off, the model has been and will be further directed by a specialist. That person will be revealed soon, but his name has a reserved place of honor in the “stamp of approval” – assuring visual accreditation and making the decision-making processes more transparent.
Second, I’ve been playing with ideas about how skeletal reconstructions can be made more meaningful via 3D technologies. (Go to Scott Hartman’s triptych overview for a history of skeletal reconstructions in general.) One idea is a differentiation of soft tissues. Here, I’ve made the feather shapes transparent so as to not completely obscure the proposed outline of muscle and skin. This might be a useful way of distinguishing the animal’s base volume from fur volumes, feathers and spikes.
He’s also rotating. And in a static pose. I know, boring. I imagine various degrees of interactivity depending on medium, ie. a slider to progress from standing pose to walk to run. Or a navigable orbit mode to explore vantage points and zoom in on specific parts of the skeleton. Which brings us to my attempts to create geometry that works at these various levels of detail. Not easy.