goldkin: A goldkin squishie? By Jirlae? Here? Surely, you jest! (goldkin squishie awake)
When I am done with my current commission, I will be divesting of my time in 3D art and design. It's as simple as that. Its reasoning, less so.


For the longest time, I had wished for a future where graphical representations of self would reign supreme. By this, I mean the full monty, augmented reality, rawr-I'm-a-dragon sort or existence in which we'd blend ourselves with our technology and discover just how far the rabbit hole goes. I call this an embracing of "complex media": anything that primarily and actively requires user immersion to understand the message. Videogames fall into this category, for example.

In hindsight, I don't see that as anything approaching unrealistic, and certainly not by modern technology... but it's just not what was ultimately successful and practical as the primary mode of expression for ideas and the culture of the Internet. That view would learn to understand and embrace human laziness, and, slowly, I've come to respect that.

A large part of this is the pain of specification. The idea of defining a world exactly, right down to its dimensions, behaviors, and microscopic layers, is simply tedious to do in complex graphical form. Spoken and written language, and to a lesser extent image and video content, seem to be much faster methods of conveyance for a much larger audience of people. This is precisely because of the lossy and simulative qualities available to the human mind, which enables it to grasp concepts quickly and easily from asynchronous, targeted culture than something that's always on and just sort of running in the background.

What works for complex media, then, is repeatability. Complex media is much better at capturing a certain shared qualia of the setting, packaging it up, and repeat-broadcasting it memetically throughout society. This is why videogames and Pixar-like immersive animations are as popular as they are -- they're able to document large swathes of culture and share them quickly, effectively, and in elegant ways that text media, graphical slide shows, and YouTube poop can only offer glimpses of. They can be unabashedly and knowingly epic. That has value.

But, at the same time, they're difficult to prototype in and outright expensive to work with. While complex media makes polished, organic use of the brain's spatial cortex when presented, their creation and delivery is often ploddingly slow. And, almost bitingly ironically, it just seems that the written word and these small bits of culture strewn about are better at conveying abstract concepts and elements of expression than simulations and ARGs, which I'd originally tinkered with. Well enough, I suppose.

Over time, I've sort of migrated from the repeatability camp over to the prototyping one. I like new experiences. I like sharing my ideas quickly, then flitting off on a whim to new ones. And I find it more healthy for me to try believing in six impossible ideas before breakfast than focusing on just the one and getting it perfect.


So, I dropped the stale vision that complex media would rule our world. Interestingly, it marked the end of a longstanding ambition for me. That ambition began with a conversation I had in what was then Horizons: Empire of Istaria, with Narse (yes, that Narse) when he was just beginning to futz around with his earliest illustrations.

In that conversation, we hashed out our two separate paths. Argued about, really. His view was that he didn't really know what he'd be doing with his illustrations, but he enjoyed them and his then-abilities, so he continued making them. My position was that I believed these crazy videogames and all-embracing visions of self would slowly become our world, so I would make 3D in order to embrace them. Then, as we slowly fell out of touch with one another (we had many more conversations in the meantime), we went our separate ways.

I became a sensation in Second Life and, slowly, faded into obscurity. He, well... you probably know by now, if you're reading here. Suffice it that one of these things was more popular and more expressive, and I don't believe it was just the porn that did it.*


Rather, I believe it's a simple matter of expressiveness and prior expression. So, I'll be giving up the 3D to see where text and basic drawing take me for a while. As far as hobbies go, I hope it works out.

---
* And I still wish him well, especially in light of recent events, though we haven't talked in nearly 8 years now. I kind of wish I could get ahold of him again in a bizarre showing of camaraderie and friendship. Not because he's become such a spectacularly popular porn artist now, but because he was one of those interesting people I liked to talk to all those years ago.
goldkin: goldkin tsa whuh (tsa whuh)
In which there is a dragon being molested by the TSA )
goldkin: i has book (goldkin awesomeface)
Actually, just one, in the lower left:

(Click to see more awesome)


Done as the third commission in neondragon's "you provide the character, I provide the context" commissions. I'm quite happy with the results, and am glad I planned my entire Saturday around getting a slot.

PSA for those wondering what the mist breath is: I am, at least technically, an ice dragon.* More on that some other time.


As seen in my more recent posts, Jirlae was also kind enough to create two "squishie" icons for me:

EVOLVES INTO



They're horrifically cute, which is exactly why I asked for them!

--
* The Classical Elemental Breath Weapon is really only kept for artistic purposes, though. It's a long story for when I'm less sleepy.
goldkin: paradice avatar (paradice avatar)
While I have a moment to myself, here's something I've wanted to get out for the past week. I give you, the printed mini-[personal profile] kistaro:




This came into being as a late birthday gift, and a personal test of my 3D mettle. I drafted it in the 3D creation suite Blender, and happen to be quite happy with the results.

The original model looked something like this (before I added the stand, anyway!):





The technical bits:

This took me well over a month to get right for printing, adding a base and some volume to the wings in the process. I printed it through the 3D printing service Shapeways.


The model itself is about 3.4 inches on its longest side, is made of PA2200 (Nylon 12) thermoplastic, and is otherwise of good quality. It appears to have suffered from minor defects during upload and printing, which are basically my fault. :p

While this was originally designed as a testing model and belated birthday present, anyone that desperately wants their own mini-Kistaro can purchase one from Shapeways for $36.* That includes shipping, but not any additional costs (VAT, sales tax, etc.).


Unofficially, I'm still looking for test subjects patrons who'd want their likeness turned into a 3D model, then printed. I'm trying to make this something of a hobby, since (after leaving Second Life) I have this wonderful skill with 3D that I can't otherwise use!

Anyway, I should probably sleep now.

--
* Permission has already been granted for this, obviously. Though if you do get one, I imagine xie'd want to hear about it!
goldkin: goldkin tranquil (goldkin tranquil)
I present this:



Done by the terrific SuperBoll, who has a wonderful artistic career ahead of her.

Art!

Dec. 19th, 2009 05:21 am
goldkin: i has book (Default)

Originally published at AesTerra. You can comment here or there.

So after a few weeks of recovery from NaNoWriMo, I’m back to working on art. While this is all linked happily through my main blog, it’s probably not clear to the folks reading this on LJ that I have a deviantART site.

Pieces I’ve been working on this week (Click for larger image):
Reference Sheet: Shading Progression
Simple Sketch


There’s also a rumor of 3D things in the near future. Stay tuned! :)

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