Sunday, May 11, 2014

settling into a groove

Being an art dabbler is not the way to go if you want to get something done. You have to spend time in a medium, in my case make the mouse sweat. I try many things and I've settled into a groove of sorts. I like Trimble's SketchUP, it handles 3d like an engineer. Blender 3d is great but too many nuances for me to get a grip on it. The other 3d program I like is Sweet Home 3d. It is pretty cool and even allows you to stretch the rules a little.

Here's a shot of a work in progress. This is imaging my garage as a studio.
The built in rendering package allows you to account for the time of day, 4PM in this pic. The skylight is actually a glass coffee table scaled up. You can select the interior lights to be on or off, shadows and reflection are figured for you. If you are a picky perfectionist Photoshop or GIMP will tweak it more. As far as photo realism goes, this is pretty good but not the top shelf. Sweet Home 3d has 4 render settings, this was the third. Rendering takes time, the higher the setting the longer the process. I have to remind myself this is a representation not a photo of the actual. Perfectionist will go nuts trying to get better results. You'll have to use a bigger gun like Blender 3d.

Sweet Home 3d lets you import a floor plan drawing, scale it, then let you trace the walls over the drawing. Then you can add in doors, windows and furnishings. Folks have figured how to add roofs and 2nd floors. BUT the coolest feature is this: the aerial 3d view and the camera level walk through.

Now my previous post had a tif with the 3d people included with this program, the Caucasians are life like and the Africans are stiff caricatures. Intended or not, it is not fair representation. Better to just darken the skin tone of a white guy and slap on an Afro than clown around. At least it will look like a real human.
Relax, I've had the same experience in a life drawing class in which I was the model. It took the mostly white class 3 tries before they drew what they actually saw. People still don't believe race is subjective, an inner image problem. Mileage may very but for some, still needs work.

I have to add the clutter to make the scene more real. The only thing missing in the catalog of models is crumpled scrap paper. Sweet Home 3d is Java so it will on your PC with Java installed. Oh yeah, it is free, open source cool!

Friday, May 02, 2014

visuallize this, no black angels

I have a rant and maybe it's because I'm looking in the wrong place and I am cheap er broke. Us image makers especially we who use clip-art of people to populate a scene have a shortage of African-American, Black, African, etc; figures to put in these drawings. As I am not skilled in these things it is customary to use public domain or purchase (modest price) these figures.

I use Sweet Home 3d, the Caucasian character types are natural looking but there are one male and one female Afro-American characters. They are caricatures. The male is a morgue figure (stiff lifeless) and the female got huge boobs and looks like a dead hussy.

Clip-art of Afri-American people is scarce and so is 3d models of figures of the same hues. What a beef to have! BUT, suppose you were doing a project for your neighborhood that happens to be heavily populated with black people and other ethnic hues and you want to convey the real. It wouldn't be a hard sell to populate the picture with white folks but it does put a damper on expectations. Images means a lot subjectively.

So, there are a lot of Black artist who are into 3d games, making characters of monsters and super heros, villains, and aliens. Why don't you service an under served and under represented market. How in the heck can you project your images into the future if your likeness isn't in the plans that builds it, humm?

I use SketchUp for 3d work, it has a people populating scheme using 2d images that face front. It is easy to take a picture, cut it out and apply it. I even found a library of Afri-American images to use. I can't tell you how cool to design a spacey home and put black people in there. Man, got to do some full body shot of yours truly..............

Looking at the character market, there are game characters of every hue and description. What I'm talking about is the type used in 3d architectural models. These are usually pre-posed, standing, walking, sitting, etc; you can just pop them in for the effect and you're done. There are packages of Caucasian people, I haven't seen any with African people, business or casual. I'm just saying there are few images of black peoples for design purposes. Don't look at me funny, there are no black angels either, have you seen a black angel? This is deeper than you know.

PS. How deep? There were two European Renaissances, one that dealt with written languages, thus a war in words. Then the arts where the image also became a weapon of that same war. It is too bad words and images were/are used against us black folk but that is the truth. So yeah, we black artist can draw/paint black faces but the need is in the engineering pictorial arts, the clip-art realms not just games and sci-fi. There, I've said it and I'm glad!