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.