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I thought I’d post a blog with a bit of a breakdown on how some of the images for A Lovely Tale were made – particularly the CG ones! I’ve also had a few questions about what computer-generated imagery/rendering is, so I am happily here to enlighten you!

To stick with the theme of the house I grew up in that is the backdrop of the series, considering I’m currently in Belfast, I couldn’t physically photograph it myself. The lovely thing about computer-generated imagery is that it not only allows you to recreate things photo-realistically, but also to put an imaginative spin on it. For the house itself, I started with a handful of photos, the architect’s plans, and years of memories.

All those squashed together helped create the digital model, literally recreating the house as I remember it. It’s essentially like sculpting something digitally – using clay or Legos (or whatever other childhood toy you prefer to imagine), then applying textures and adding lights. The rather meticulous process looked something like this:

  

Rendering itself involves the computer software compiling the information from the digital ‘sculpture’, the textures, and the lights, and outputting it as an image. Once rendered, I took the final image into Photoshop to give it the look and feel I imagined, and this resulted in the final composite, below:

There you have it, a short and sweet look at how the process works! If you haven’t already, check out the Kickstarter project, I’d love it if you became a backer – there’s just over a week left!

Here’s a bit of background behind the story of ‘A Lovely Tale‘ and where the idea and inspiration sort of came from.

When I was little we lived in a beautiful Victorian house, it was basically like a giant dollhouse. I suppose it is every little girl’s dream to grow up in an overgrown pink abode with blue shutters and an endless forest, and we briefly lived that fantasy out.

Though, I remember a few days before we were slated to move clear across the country, it suddenly occurred to me that I didn’t have any photos of the house. When you’re eight, the urgency of this seems massively impressive, like once we moved the house would cease to exist entirely – be sucked into some abyss of nothingness.

I was not okay with this.

My reaction at the time, not having access to a camera of my own, was to break out some pencils and paper and camp out on the driveway while feverishly attempting to draw the house in all its glory. You see, it wasn’t even about the house; it was about the memories and the essence of being there. And I felt the need to create some form of imagery in order to remember and preserve it ‘properly’.

Fade to black and fast-forward a bit over a decade, and there I am again, trying to explain this house that we lived in. I felt like my words couldn’t do it justice, so I once again found the nearest pen and scrap of paper and recreated it the only way I knew how. It’s funny how in that moment of recreation, the details weren’t important, but the story and feeling was.

We may remember with certain detail but we retell with imagination. Slowly, that imagination becomes our reality. What if we had photographs to reflect this imaginative reality?

A Lovely Tale is built on this premise and the story inspired from growing up with the backdrop of the aforementioned house.

Stay tuned for a post about the technical side of the process and how these memories are becoming photographic reality!

I thought a bit of classic alliteration would be an appropriate way to announce the fact that I’ve just launched my Kickstarter project for ‘A Lovely Tale’! Woo!

I’m pretty excited about this project and I really want to share it with you. So I’m inviting you to join in: watch as the story comes together, grab some original art, and help me print the project in a beautifully tangible book form. (Plus, as it’s the final project for my Masters Degree, you’ll be helping me graduate with something super awesome to take to future collaborators and employers!)

I’ve also completed the first render for the computer generated component of the story; I’ll be writing about the story and process behind it (along with other images) in the next few weeks! Check out the initial render:

And for those of you who aren’t familiar with the wonderful Kickstarter and how it works, it’s essentially a platform (and community) to help fund creative endeavors by connecting people with awesome ideas to people who want to help make those ideas happen. In return for helping a project reach its predetermined monetary goal, backers (that’s you!) get varying levels of sweet original art in return as a reward. As a twist, your pledge is only taken if the overall fund raising goal is met (teamwork, ya’ll!). Check out more about how Kickstarter works here.

So there you have it – care to help me reach my goal in the next 29 days? Let’s do this!

http://www.alovelytale.com

I’m excited to finally announce the project I’m currently working on!

 

It’s called ‘A Lovely Tale’ and it’s a story about imagination and the adventures of childhood and memories of growing up. (The photos above are of the two main characters that are a part of the visual narrative.)

Every time we recall a memory, we’re recreating it in our minds from scratch. And each time we recreate it, it is slightly altered. It’s farther from the ‘truth’ and yet closer to the way we remember it. The essence and imagination of something becomes its reality, to some degree.

Simply put, this project is an exploration of that: an attempt to create photographs from memories, combining the reality of photography with the imagination of the digital to blur the boundaries between real and imagined. I suppose it’s a story about remembering childhood as if it were now. What would we see differently?

Over the next few weeks I’ll post the progress, break down the process, and talk about the story behind it. So, stay tuned for more images, words, and how you can get involved!

Technology has become a bit of a game changer in the field of photography.

From basic post-processing in Photoshop to the elaborately artful planning and addition of computer generated elements in shots, the key is to use these tools well. For photographers willing to dive in and tackle the oft complex modeling techniques and overwhelming abundance of icons, this kind of CG/photography (CGography?) collaboration can create extraordinary outcomes. So, what if the process were simpler and more accessible?

Interestingly, these smart folks have recently developed a method that allows you to simply and seamlessly add 3D elements into photographs, where it intuitively accounts for the lighting, shading, etc. All of this without having any scene model or lighting information from the original shot. Genius, right?

See for yourself/Prepare to be blown away:

Will CG be the new Photoshop?

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