To effectively achieve this practice-based aim, and to facilitate the continued sharing of practice between undergraduate/postgraduate level students, this project also sets a creative/thematic provocation which shapes and drives this content.
Finally, the process of exploring the central concepts behind The Arcane Welder and the subsequent creation of the various outputs will be documented in some form to facilitate the sharing of new practice, workflows and processes
The Arcane Welder is a media project that proposes a moribund future; a science fiction that imagines a future that is already dead.
The project aims to create outputs that align the mundane and the recognisable with the futuristic and “arcane”.
It is hoped that by creating a juxtaposition between present and imagined signifiers we can imagine a cancelled, moribund future, and by doing so accelerate to a point where we can begin to question and explore how we want the future to actually look like.
‘Welders’ are chiefly engineers and fabricators who traverse various terrains to map, find and reclaim commissioned machines.
These utilitarian structures and mechanical objects are remnants of a failed global experiment of the 2050’s, where a brave new world of technilogical advancement was championed and then forgotton; whose grand, mechanical remains now litter the landscape.
As the various outputs emerge from this project they will be detailed in the sections that follow.
Each output will exhibit a response to the core themes and exposition of The Arcane Welder project and present them in a chosen Digital Media medium. This could be all or none of the following: VFX, Games, Sound Design, Music, VR/AR, etc.
Importantly, each response should also be accompanied by practice-based evidence of the research and development process. This is to not only illustrate and expose the formal properties of that response, but also share new or different ways of approaching that chosen practice area, so others can utilise that knowledge in their future work.
By Jon Holmes
Thematically, this image has sort to align the everyday images of British landscapes found on Flickr – chiefly The Isle of Skye – with CG shapes and iconography that could signify the remnants of a moribund future. Chiefly, there is a series of binary oppositions: aspiration vs iteration; organic vs mechanical; present vs future.
This CG composite has used both Blender 3D and Substance Painter to model, texture paint and Composite. Fundamentally, a great deal has been learnt about the power Blender affords an artist, not only when procedurally modelling, but also when rendering, lighting and compositing for an effective VFX pipeline.
Not only is Blender 3D free to use for all users, but also it is highly receptive to a Substance-based workflow. Textures from Susbstance Painter integrate easily into the Cycles Raytrace render engine inside Blender. Something which is to be celebrated in the context of all Substance programmes now being free for all students and academics.
Thematically, this image continues to explore the idea of a ‘cancelled future’ via the alignment of the everyday images of The Isle of Skye with CG architectural structures and machines .
Again, I have used both Blender 3D and Substance Painter to model, texture paint and Composite the scene, further ratifying its flexibility as a VFX pipeline tool.
Due to its close proximity to the camera in this scene, the tent has been fully modelled and textured this time. Where as the previous image used 2D painting technques inside Photoshop, a full cloth simulation alongside some simple modelling techniques was used to fashion the tent, which was then textured inside Substance Painter.
The direct light from the painted fire, was also rendered inside Blender using a warm point light. Due to the way in which Blender can flexibly allocate and isolate render passes and light paths, it was possibile to render the reception of the light and its shadows without the light source itself appearing in the frame.
By Jon Holmes
September 7th, 2018 Chiefly, once the lighting is set up correctly using the Linear EXR data as an environment map, and by setting the colour management to 'Filmic' - the colour management system written and developed by Troy Sobotka - much of the heavy lifting is...
August 30th, 2018 Continuing on from my modelling process, I moved on to the texture painting process in Substance Painter. I not only chose this programme for its procedural, non-destructive, scalable workflow, but also so that I could try a separate Normal/Height...
August 24th, 2018 Following my successful shoot in The Peak District, I began the modelling process. Chiefly, I used my research from previous projects in The Arcane Welder project to combine both mesh-based and Boolean-based deformation with procedural kit bashing...
August 6th, 2018Following my research into suitable locations that would have the correct grandeur and scale for a Science Fiction landscape, whilst also exhibiting the signifiers needed in their ancient landscape to act in binary opposition to the high technology,...
August 1st, 2018Based on all of my prior research in to both the perceived and visible contrast ratios of both D-Log and D-Cienmalike gamma within the DJI OSMO, I have confirmed that venthough D-Log is better for grading, its display transform is not truly logarithmic...
July 17th, 2018 It seems the hot weather this summer is not only mitigating my thematic drives - gloomy pessimistic skies - and my need for cloud cover to create soft, diffuse lighting; but also, it is proving to be a destructive one for some of my proposed locations...
July 15th, 2018 In an effort to 'Linearize' the 8bit REC709 video delivered by the DJI OSMO - as is the case with all 8bit REC709/sRGB video files - it must be mapped to a 1 - 0 scale. To this end, the exposure data you capture from the camera when trying to create a...
July 12th, 2018 Importantly, not only do I have to fully control the mode of recording in terms of formatt, camera, colour space and exposure, but I also need a location that serves a thematic as well as logistical function. Similar to the research I conducted at the...
July 10th, 2018 Following the previous post(s) regarding colour management, the ACES pipeline and the Sobotka's 'Filmic' colour management in Blender, information around live action acquisition formats, colour space and dynamic range is very important. This is...
July 5th, 2018 One of the core defining factors of professional workflows is colour management. As a professional colourist this is something that I am all too aware of when managing various colour spaces and scaling them accordingly to relevant display referred...
If you would like to take part in the project; create some Digital Media practice in any form you see fit, using the themes at the heart of The Arcane Welder; and, share your practice, workflows and development with others, then please send me a message using the form below.