Monday, February 27, 2012

Caloundra City Private School - Virtual Vegetation

As part of Treeline 2012 I'm working with a selected group of students from Caloundra City Private School over four workshop sessions. Together we are going to create textures for virtual plants that will be the basis for a machinima that will be shown as part of the Treeline exhibition at Caloundra Regional Gallery in May/June.

It's a big learning curve for anyone to get their head around the intricacies of virtual reality, so the first day was both exhausting and exciting. Each student now has a standalone simulator installed on their laptop, courtesy of the school's IT guru Mr Steven Rattey. For the students, their first taste of a virtual world showed them just how much fun it could be, and just how frustrating it could be when your avatar got stuck. In the picture to the right I'm introducing the students to my avatar Juanita Deharo and the world of virtual artworks.

It was a steep learning curve but lots of fun. The students at this school are well supported in their understanding and exploration of technology, and there's a philosophy that encourages enrichment through new experiences. For me as an artist it's a dream school to work with and I'm looking forward to what we can produce together as a collaborative work.

I'm already doing a collaborative project with artist Vic Keegan from the UK who is making textures on his ipad for me to use in creating a fantasy garden. The image above shows the students looking at some of this work. We also looked at the inspirational work of Soror Nishi and hope we can talk via live stream with her at one of our later sessions.
The last part of the day was used to begin creating some drawings that can be used as plant textures.
I've already started playing around with some of these, although it's in the early stages. Here are some very crude beginnings.

These are some plants I made from a drawing by Alex. I played around with the drawing in Photoshop and applied it to 3D object. The texture on the tree leaves is also made from Alex's drawing.

This one also includes Alex's images but also some of the plants and the foliage on the tree are made with an image drawn by Bronte.

Thank you to the students and teachers of Caloundra City School who have made me so welcome. I will be posting more pictures here as I continue to experiment with the students' drawings.
The next session is in a few weeks.

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