Hello! lately I’ve been absent, due to a few overlapping projects as a freelancer… sorry about that. I couldn’t complete any new work, but I want to update you on what’s going on and throw some ideas around 😉

The freelancing projects I’m working on are (partially) related to graphics and the like, I’m speaking of 2D animation, 3D animation and some electronics (related to transmitting and recording video wirelessly).

BUT I’m also working on an art-related project with Paolo.  We’re creating a pair of “video” installations, one similar to a projeciton mapping on a real icosahedron:

(DISCLAIMER: the following pics and video aren’t nice, they’re purely for documentation purposes; also, you’ll find some light technical babble reading on)

MatericLook: DoPe Projection Icosahedron #0

A standard projector will cover half the icosahedron’s  shape. It will be placed in a room corner at a friend’s exhibition in November. I’ll use the faces and shape to create some interesting transitions and animations. Some of our previous animations, (mainly from the Spheres series) will be used as elements, as well as new things.

But the second, less defined part  is what I have more updates about: Paolo got an old film projector (Super Almo is its name). It was hand-operated and the light came from an old lamp…

We decided to restore and modify it, you can see some pictures here, showing the parts and the modifications. I wanted all changes to be reversible, so I mostly removed and substituted parts. The only “hard” change was done to the manual advancement handle…. you’ll see later why:

MatericLook: DoPe Projectior #0

MatericLook: DoPe Projectior #0

MatericLook: DoPe Projectior #0

MatericLook: DoPe Projectior #0

So the changes have been made to the lamp, replaced by a crude high intensity LED array. I added along the light path a “reflection cone” to optimize the light flux and reduce dispersion.

The back reflective dish wasn’t useful anymore because the LED are nicely directional, compared to a traditional lamp.

The projector also became A LOT lighter by removing an electric transformer, plus some switches and plugs. Now everything is powered by a refurbished PC power supply.

To the film advancement mechanism then…

Paolo had the idea of “motorizing” it and to somehow paint and draw on a transparent film to show our content… He sourced a (less)old cordless screwdriver, so I worked on a small, simple circuit piloted by a microcontroller (Arduino), constantly moving back and forth the film… enjoy!:

As you can see, “traditional” film isn’t making any sense because of the continuous lighting and speed.

Next we’ll experiment two different things, first to create some ad-hoc content (the painting/drawing I was speaking of, these will evolve along the length of the film roll, to take advantage of the optical effect).

Then I want to use the microcontroller to control the LED lights as a shutter. By turning them on and off pretty fast they should show a sequence of  full frames only. This approach will also require (probably) a finer circuit to control the motor (thus film speed).


I will keep you updated on this and other projects, let me know what do you think on the comments! Thank you!

PS one more thing: if you received and answered the survey you should get the small free print, if you haven’t already! Let me know when you get it and what do you think!




Update – ongoing project(s) #1 – projections and projectors


A shapeless metal creature that saw us. It’s experimenting, changing, taking on a form, something more similar to us. This serves a sole purpose: it’s trying to communicate… but for now the message it’s still far, far away…

But first,  to all my subscribers and patrons that participated to the survey: the “thank you” prints are on their way, your help is very important to me!

Initially I created the 3d figure only. I was thinking about shapes and sculpting, a form similar to what you see… So I illustrated it through digital sculpting. There’s a contrast between planes and curves, smooth joints and angles. I tried to give some harmony to the object, but I didn’t followed a true “rhythm”. During the process I “anthropomorphized” it a bit though, widening the top part and giving it the “Eye” (or “Mouth”).

I liked the work, so I decided to go on and show it. A worn metal look seemed to me the most appropriate, a nice contrast to the shape. In a way a kind of unexpected material.
I worked on it for a bit, because I had a pretty precise idea in mind about that… so I elaborated some pictures to reach the results I was willing to show, in terms of scratches and color. I used them to setup the shader, a technical term for the elements controlling the final “material” displayed by the rendered object.
That’s also the material I would like to use if I’ll ever have the possibility to realize the work in the physical space -that is, by casting it! I was thinking of having it 50cm (20″) tall or more (ideally a 75cm-25″ “home version” and a 2,5m-8′ “outdoor version”).

Finally I rendered an animation with realistic lighting and setup to show the shape and, more important, from a certain point of view, to present the viewer with a pleasant and interesting transformation of shapes, reflections and shadows.

3D Graphics, animation, Digital Art

Digital Sculpture – Mimic 00