Art vs Technology_______________________________ Pankaj Sharma
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music by Shankar Barua ~ reprocessed and reproduced from The IDEA #1

Having digital character stars in Disney animation movies was never generally expected 12 years ago, as insisted by one of its senior executives at that time. But today, entire movies are produced with digital cast. Not just characters, but also digital planes, ships, smoke, forest, innovative alien forms, etc, are crafted in computers. Disney's work in creating digital sophisticated characters and forms has given this industry an entirely new direction. Besides its bizarre message to future entertainment industry, it carries a different meaning in our day to day lives.

Today we look both ways as we cross into this exciting future of computer graphics and digital world. For those of us interested in 3D character and 3d digital arts, the patterns are becoming clearer, and a series of development stages past, present, and future is emerging sanguinely. The idea of digital characters with expressions of their own is mind boggling to some people. However, relating themselves to these not so human forms and animated characters lends one more dimension to digital artist, giving them a freedom to think beyond those flat electronic images.

On the other hand, a very slightly different media involves bringing your imagination into "reality", with the help of CAD (computer aided design) and 3D modeling as a tool. Having an engineering background and something of a knack for appreciating the beauty of proportions in commercial products, it is almost impossible for me not to be interested in everything of this digital-world. Getting carried away by these issues in background, I have been very much fascinated with the variety of computer graphics experiences, which are available today. Looking beyond these electronic images, we will now be able to virtually feel everything the way they look in the real world, giving us freedom to explore beyond our visible coordinates and boost our visualization at the broader level of creative thinking.

This next generation technology is ready to change the face of our present world. Today one can sculpt, carve, mould, and play with any material one wants to, with almost nothing in hand. Using force-sensitive 3d sensing equipment, a virtual clay modeling application extends my imagination beyond expectations. And end results are computer generated 3d model files, ready to "print"! No doubt the development of these digital tools to create physical objects from a CAD (computer aided design) file make sculptures closer to language and image, and thoughts and reality.

Fusing the reality of ones imagination artificially into computers and then bringing that into the material world makes one think sometimes about the differences between real and artificial. Real being not really so real as before, with virtual becoming dominant as the real coordinates of our world.

And today, using the computer-generated code called an STL file allows creating physical objects from the earlier stage of being virtual only in computers. Technology has also now overcome input limitations to a degree where it takes just seconds to scan physical objects into digital 3D models in computers. 3D digitizing machines and motion sensors are just overpowering this planet to redefine the matrix of our real world. And it's not just limited to objects we use. In fact, converting things as large and complex as an industrial plant or even an entire city to actual size virtual 3D models in computer has been going on for years.

Development of these tools of imagination is accelerating at tremendous speed. Today, virtual sculptures are generated with lasers that harden the object into existence within a vat of liquid photopolymer ~ a process called Rapid Prototyping. When creating sculptures via CAD modeling and 3D printing (Rapid Prototyping), we are on not so easy systems in relationship to one another. CAD modeling and other new tools are giving us extraordinary implements to explore the relationships of image, object and words. Today, an Indian sculptor with a computer and CAD has many of the same systems at the end of his fingertips as any engineer or scientist anywhere in the world ~ including intentional access to all the linguistic presence or meaning embedded in those objects.

Devouring this deep foray in computer technology to bring a sanguine representation of expression of this cosmos as a reality. Artificially coding the theory of chaos into physical lines. Making reality evolve gradually as a fusion of linguistic expressions and virtual community.

A fine arts background and extensive experience with CAD has given Michael Reevs the power to focus more clearly upon his artificial sculptures and digital art forms in 3D. According to him, the way a thing is made today is less relevant than the intention of the maker. The skill-based delineation of labor is in some sense dead. Rapid Prototyping and CAD allow him to load objects with historical, technical, theoretical, aesthetic, emotional, anatomical content to the nth degree to load them until they crack and break.

I have been involved with extensively grilling this technology to make sculptures, organic forms of undocumented geometry like human implants and bones, artificial organisms with realistic expressions, ergonomically efficient consumer products, and high precision engineering objects for the automotive and aerospace industry. This untapped glamour of virtual modeling is fascinating to every body, but on the other side it is also not so easy to bring the desired thing you are looking for into being. Skills no doubt matter, but intuitive thinking is equally if not more required to exploit these wonderful tools.

... because digital art and experimental creativity are now continuously exploring and travelling in new directions which will eventually carry us even beyond the visible matrix of our universe and existence today.

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Pankaj Sharma Engineer - Industrial Design 3D Solution India Delhi 110048 (India) tel: (91-11) 628 0123, 628 0050, 623 7701 Email www.threedindia.com