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Kennth Huff

artist statement | technical statement | process



process

In general terms, the final images of my work are created entirely using digital tools. The images are high-resolution, three-dimensional renderings, typically 6,000 by 6,000 pixels. All of the three-dimensional modeling, texturing, lighting and rendering is done using Alias/Wavefront Maya running on SGI and Apple Macintosh computers.

There is no photography involved in my process nor are physical objects or source materials used in the pieces. They are entirely virtual constructions.

The patterns of color and texture on the surfaces within my work are developed almost exclusively using procedural, three-dimensional textures that simulate solid materials. These textures produce unique values over the entire surface while maintaining an overall consistency. By modifying the attributes of these materials or having the attribute values determined by other materials, I build up the complex patterns of color and texture.

The final renderings are always raytraced. While the rendering may be broken into sections for efficiency, all renderings are completed in a single pass. The only compositing I do involves assembling the sections.

I use MEL, Maya’s integrated programming language, extensively to automate repetitive tasks. An example of this would be an image that contains numerous objects, all of which are similar, but each of which is unique in its structural and textural details. I would use MEL to create a tool which could produce the multitude of objects while including the variations which make each object unique. Those variations are often based on random values within a specified range.

For the images included in the art gallery, I created a tool called "surfacePlater" which, given a three-dimensional surface, will create a number of objects which conform to the contours of the surface. The general characteristics of the objects, such as the width, thickness and density, are controlled by setting ranges or desired values in a graphical user interface. The exact placement of the objects on the surface is random and done in such a way that the objects do not overlap.

Sketching on paper is a critical first step in my creative process. The sketches may include technical notes and comments on material, color, texture and lighting. While some sketches are more fully-formed and include the general composition of an image, others contain only elements which may be combined with elements from earlier sketches.

Final prints of my images are produced on a Cymbolic Sciences LightJet 5000. The LightJet directly exposes the emulsion of a color photographic print paper using a combination of red, green and blue laser light. Once exposed, the paper is developed in chemistry just as a photograph would be.