Thursday, December 8, 2011

Apocalypse Cow

Studio Artist user Victor Ingrassia recently completed the visuals for a video made for Fin Records called "Apocalypse Cow". The video is associated with composer David Hahn's recent limited edition colored vinyl record release on Fin Records.

Victor had this to say about the project. "I used Studio Artist for all the animation. I captured the original source video in a wide range of resolutions; much of it small low quality web video. I liberally upscaled and enhanced these captures in Studio Artist in preparation for animation at 720p HD.

My toolset consisted of a mixture of preset and custom image operations, vectorizer and paint synthesizer patches. The finished animation includes a mixture of auto rotoscoping and hand auto drawing. I animated in a range of frame rates (from 6-30fps) to optimize the look and feel of different sections. I explored alpha for the first time in Studio Artist to create elements for compositing in Final Cut Pro. 

It was an interesting challenge to create video for such a short piece. Great care was taken to not waste a frame and moving forward with confidence was critical."

This project lead to Victor being commissioned for a Fin Records music video, with an anticipated release date in Match 2012. Victor's demo reels showcase a wide variety of Studio Artist auto-rotoscope and paint animation styles, and are available for viewing on his web site. Victor also has a number of awesome Studio Artist generated video examples on his vimeo page.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Occupy Online Collection - A Study in Controlled Randomization

Studio Artist user Tucker Stilley has put together an online gallery of his most recent experiments in controlled random generative art creation. The finished art gallery images are derived from working with collections of images randomly web spidered from online articles about the Occupy Wall Street movement.  Tucker worked in tandem with his cybernetic collaborator Nguyn-9000 (aka Studio Artist) to put together this series of art prints.

Tucker uses Studio Artist's Gallery Show features to help him explore the possibilities of working with controlled generative randomization as a creative process. He generates a large number of art images using automated Gallery Show runs that process his web harvested topical imagery, and then culls through the results looking for keeper images. Tucker's end goal was a series of detailed giant prints, so the actual finished processed images are 60" wide.
Tucker has this to say about his recent experiments. "I have been using Studio Artist for almost a decade now and every day I am surprised, I haven't even scratched the depth of possibilities. I got very interested in Studio Artist's generative and random qualities when I became paralyzed. In this case, I became interested in the effect of custom presets applied to vast folders of images spidered off the web. The resulting composites were dreamy and freakish and called out for action.

If you've ever "tried" to make something random - but controlled, you'll know what I mean - it's hard work! "

Tucker talks more about this and other projects on his blog.

For more information on Gallery Show check out these Studio Artist tips.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Charis Tsevis in the News

Studio Artist user Charis Tsevis's work was quite prominent online this fall in the aftermath of Steve Job's passing. Tevis's stunning Studio Artist generated photo mosaic imagery was featured in many Steve Jobs tribute articles.

The Greek Reporter featured Charis in an interview article that discussed his approach and techniques used to generate his artwork. Charis talks about his use of Studio Artist to build photo mosaic imagery and other visual effects, as well as his thoughts on being a digital artist in modern Greece.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

History is the Art of Forgetting

Studio Artist user Michael Wright is a special guest at the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica on November 30th. The final evening in a series of presentations that take a look at high profile artists who broke boundaries and created new forms of art media. The discussion will center on EZTV's CyberSpace Gallery, one of the world's first galleries dedicated to computer art.

The evening also features the debut of a new video art piece by Esther Kiss, as well as the rarely seen Outside Looking In - One Last Visit With Timothy Leary. The 18th Street Arts Center is at 1639 18th Street, Santa Monica, CA. The presentation begins at 8 pm on Wed, Nov 30.

Here's a link for more information on the presentation.

Here's a link to Michael's daily portrait virus project. Michael uses Studio Artist to create his daily self portraits.  Here's a link to a previous Studio Artist news article that discusses a stack filtering project based on Michael's portrait virus images.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Deconstructed Faerie

Studio Artist user Tucker Stilley (aka NewJack Rasputin) has recently completed an ipad picture book called 'Deconstructed Faerie'. All of the book's imagery was created using Studio Artist 4.

Haunting imagery mashed together with eerie original music make 'Deconstructed Faerie' a must have experience for the ipad. It was the official Winner of Best New Media at the Secret International Outdoor Arts and Film Festival, 2011.
For more information on 'Deconstructed Faerie', check out this site. Or you can purchase 'Deconstructed Faerie' here on the iTunes app store.

You can check out Tucker's main web site here.  Tucker is also a member of the Studio Artist User Forum.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

OSX 10.7 Lion Requires Studio Artist 4

Apple Computer recently released it's new OSX 10.7 Lion operating system. Studio Artist customers running older versions of Studio Artist prior to version 4 need to upgrade to version 4 in order to run Studio Artist on Apple computers running OSX 10.7 Lion.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Digital Image Transfer : Creating Art With Your Photography

Studio Artist user Ellen Horovitz has recently completed a new book titled 'Digital Image Transfer : Creating Art With Your Photography'.  It is a guide to transferring digital images into alternative and mixed media art. The cover photo shown above was created using Studio Artist, which Ellen calls 'her favorite software program'.

The book expands on traditional photo transfer, taking it to an entirely new level using digital software techniques and a wide array of innovative materials and methods, including cocoa powder, Citrasolve, copper, and packing tape. Starting with traditional photos, digital files, and instant photo emulsions, Horovitz fashions 2D and 3D art pieces, showing readers how to use conventional processes and new exploratory techniques-even left-over materials-in the creation of meaningful photo art. Ellen discusses Studio Artist as well as other digital art programs in her book.

Ellen has a blog at Pixiq, and is a professor and director of graduate art therapy at Nazareth College of Rochester. More information on her new book is available here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Matteland and "The Door to Tomorrow"

Studio Artist user Skylar Skybase is currently working on building digital matte painting elements for an upcoming animated short film called "The Door to Tomorrow". The film is the story of a friendship between 2 shapes, and is a mixture of fantasy, a bit of comedy, and drama.

The final film will feature a large number of matte backgrounds digitally painted using Studio Artist. The matte paintings are then processed in Maya and turned into 3D environments for the animated characters to move around in. A short animation test called Matteland is available here that shows off several different Studio Artist generated multi-layer matte paintings that are used to build a series of 3D environments. The camera pan movements in Matteland work with the 3D mapped matte paintings to create the amazing sensation of moving through a painted 3D environment.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

John Anderson's Aluminum Art Print Installation

Studio Artist user John Anderson just recently completed a project using Studio Artist for an international corporate headquarters art installation located in Charleston, South Carolina. The finished prints are 65.7" x 48", and are printed on aluminum as opposed to paper or canvas.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Exposed : The Art Project

Studio Artist user and composer/filmmaker Neal Fox is a partner in the multimedia collaboration, EXPOSED the Art Project, with painters Barry Gross and Viktor Safonkin, and photographers Adela Holmes and Presscott McDonald. Neil has been working with Studio Artist generated imagery for several different projects released by Exposed the Art Project.

The goal of EXPOSED is to bring awareness to various social issues and motivate people to get involved. With that in mind, the partners chose four themes for their first year’s work: Spirituality, Time and Chance, Metamorphosis and Social Commentary. Fox’s first video for EXPOSED, "The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America," was deemed so important that the partners elected to post it on YouTube prior to any exhibit. As of today (4/5/11) that video has received over 105,000 views.

And in December 2010, his digitally enhanced work, "Life Sucks" (also created for the social commentary theme) won First Prize for Photography in "Through the Eyes of Love," an exhibit honoring World AIDS Day.

For more information on Exposed the Art project, check out this link. For more information on Neal, you can check out his web site here. One of Neals' recent Studio Artist generated films called Metamorphosis-Angel is available for viewing here.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Presenting Problems

Studio Artist user Garrick Duckler has just released a series of Studio Artist generated films on Caversham Productions called "Presenting Problems." Garrick is a psychotherapist, and his films are directed at ways of thinking about, discussing, and understanding various problems presented in and as a result of therapy.

Studio Artist was used in the process of three of the short films in the compilation "Presenting Problems." In "The Eskimo," Studio Artist was used in creating the arctic landscape by shooting a live actor who was then rotoscoped and (with the help of particular types of eraser tools) given a frozen tundra atmosphere to inhabit. In "At the Movies," old movie stills were doctored using image processing in order create a various registers of flatness and depth put together in a manic-paced collage. In "The Grudge," hand-drawn characters were rendered using image processing and then placed against Victorian and Edwardian interiors using paint and texture synthesizers, giving the movie a Gothic setting but one which is populated by a host of monstrously neurotic characters.

The movies have been widely popular and have used as discussion pieces for training psychotherapists as well as enjoyed by people who just enjoy thinking about psychological questions. To find out more, please visit:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

World Premiere of Chaconne + Studio Artist Visits Belgium

Studio Artist animator Jean Detheux will have the world premiere of his new Studio Artist generated animated film"Chaconne" at the Rendez-vous du Cinéma Québécois on February 20th.

Jean had this to say about his new film. "The film is an exploration of a different way to relate to film (and music) time and therefore, a different way to make that experience visible (to "share" it). In it, "events" come in a way that often precedes (and "continues") the actual moment in the music.

The exploration of the poetic space that can exist between images and music is at the heart of this piece. Between being a mere human metronome and almost ignoring the music, there is a sensitive space, requiring a difficult and dynamic balance in order to find/create a potential dialogue that begs to be made visible.

More information on the film showing is available here. A short web version can be seen here.

Studio Artist in Belgium

In March (14 to 18), Jean will be in Belgium for a very intensive week of teaching (40 hours in 5 days) at the "Conservatoire royal de musique de Mons" where he will work in tandem with his friend pianist/composer Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven (he teaches chamber music, and improvisation, at that school).

They will conduct classes of improvisation image-music, with a group of selected students from the music school as well as from the visual arts school "École supérieure des arts plastiques et visuels". Jean will feature Studio Artist as a part of his week long workshop.

Jean will also present a lecture opened to the public, likely on the origin of abstraction in ordinary perception, and the whole week will culminate, on Friday the 18th, in a two-part concert, first with the students and second, with Jean-Philippe.

Jean explains his week long workshop as follows. "This is, I believe, a first, having both music and visual arts students work together on the exploration of the relationship between images and music, I am really looking forward to it."

Quatuor Bozzini

No one can accuse Jean of being lazy, his recent schedule has been extremely busy. He also just finished a live concert with the Quatuor Bozzini playing to his "Daydream Mechanics V Sketch 3" piece. You can check out the rehearsal of this recent live concert here. Here's a second link to the actual live concert.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Year of the Fish DVD Now on NetFlix and Amazon

Today marks the official release for the 'Year of the Fish' DVD. 'Year of the Fish' is a feature length documentary created by writer and director David Kaplan. The film was completely animated using Studio Artist, and allowed David to make a feature length animated film with a fraction of the budget required for traditional manual rotoscoping techniques that require manual drawing by a large team of professional animators over an extensive period of time (like the movies produced by filmmaker Richard Linklater).

In the DVD audio commentary, filmmaker Kaplan offers a brief history of rotoscoping in the movies and explains why he chose to adapt the ancient Chinese version of "Cinderella" to modern-day Chinatown. He says that rotoscoping allowed him to "Situate the film halfway between the gritty underbelly of reality ... and this fairy tale of a story where magical things happen." Using a small crew and hand-held digital cameras, Kaplan and his cinematographer Adam Silver were able to shoot extensively and quickly on the actual streets of Chinatown.

David mentioned to me that the DVD also includes some extras, including an early animation test that he thinks 'kinda looks better than the finished film in retrospect'. David has mentioned several times to me that in hindsight he wishes he would have made the visual look of the film much more loose and painterly, pushing boundaries and taking better advantage of Studio Artist's ability to abstract visual imagery in an infinite variety of different styles.

The DVD also includes a series of before and after (original video vs rotoscoped video) example shots. I find these examples very interesting, because you can see that David was very adept at using Studio Artist to colorize the original video footage, giving it an visual glow and emotional impact that is completely not there in the original raw DV footage.

One trick that David made extensive use of to achieve this was using Studio Artist's Color Palette Map image operation effect to artificially colorize his original footage. David started with impressionist paintings that he liked the visual look and coloring of. He then used Studio Artist's ability to automatically generate a color palette from an image to build specific color palettes derived from the paintings he like the look of. He was then able to use those automatically generated color palettes along with the Color Palette Map ip op effect to recolorize the original footage as a part of his video processing Paint Action Sequences.

The great thing about the film in my opinion is that David was always able to make the animation work to help convey the storyline and emotion impact he was trying to achieve as a director. The animation always enhances the film, as opposed to some movies where extensive visual effects are a distraction from the story line (or serve to cover up a lack of story line). It was amazing to watch the film on a big screen in a large theatre when i was able to see it for the first time in Honolulu, the visual impact of the film on a large screen was stunning. But the cool thing about the DVD is all of the extras you get with it, including the additional footage and director's commentary.

You can now find Year of the Fish on Netflix here.

If you want to purchase a copy of the DVD, it is available on Amazon here.

For more information on the making of Year of the Fish, check out this earlier blog post.

Here's a link to the film's trailer on David's web site.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Starry Messenger

Studio Artist user Jean Hauptman used Studio Artist to create the promotional artwork for the world premier of 'Starry Messenger', which is a play premiering at the Theatre of the New City in NYC January 27 through Febuary 13. More information on the play along with performance show times is available here.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Getting Physical with your Digital Prints

Studio Artist user Mark Gorden recently turned me on to a number of approaches he's been investigating that mix digital art imagery created in Studio Artist with more traditional hand work to create and manipulate the final physical art print.

Mark starts by creating a finished piece of digital art in Studio Artist. He then makes an inkjet print of the artwork, with the goal of using the actual inkjet print as a transfer sheet. So the color on the inkjet print is transferred to another media, like arches watercolor paper. Mark actually uses Purell hand sanitizer to facilitate the image transfer.

Mark has also investigated encaustic painting. So he starts by laying a giclee print of a Studio Artist generated artwork on a board. The board is then hand worked with pastels, and texture on the physical piece of artwork is built up by adding encaustic. Encaustic is painting with a mix of beeswax and damar resin, heated as you paint. This is apparently how Jasper Johns did his target prints.

Mark has a lot of experience in traditional etching and lithography, but doesn't currently have access to a print workshop and wanted to work from home. His research to build these unique approaches to generating physical prints at home derived from digital imagery generated in Studio Artist involved a lot of trail and error, and in my opinion are a great success and should be an inspiration to others. You can see more of Mark's Studio Artist generated imagery on his website.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Studio Artist in MacLife Magazine

David Biedny recently presented a really nice review of Studio Artist 4 in Mac Life magazine. We'd like to thank David for recognizing that Studio Artist is 'a new kind of artistic software that brings something truly unique and innovative to the table'.

David also loves Particle pen brushes and the amazing possibilities of the built-in-vectorizer. As well as 'an entire programmable set of Photoshop-style image-processing filters that far supersede those found in Photoshop'.

The real strength of Studio Artist is that it's an entire full featured environment for creating an unlimited range of different visual effects. Both for still artistic imagery as well as video animation and video effects. So it was refreshing to see David pick up on the synergistic power of Studio Artist's different range of visual effect and digital paint tools and how they can work together to create amazing organic looking results that are really very unique and innovative.

Mac Life magazine has always been a great resource for Mac computer users over the many years they have been in existence, and we're grateful they found the time to help support us with a nice review of Studio Artist 4.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Year of the Fish Headed for DVD and NetFlix Release

The 'Year of the Fish' DVD will be officially released on February 8th. The DVD contains a director's commentary, an early Studio Artist animation test, and a series of before/after rotoscoping shots in addition to the film itself.

'Year of the Fish' is a full length Studio Artist animated feature film created by Studio Artist user and writer/director David Kaplan, which was first released at Sundance a few years ago and has won many awards and critical acclaim. We featured an interview with David that focused on the making of 'Year of the Fish' last year on the anniversary of it's Sundance Film Festival premiere.

As i mentioned then, what i really love about 'Year of the Fish' is that its a beautiful example of what a single individual can achieve working with Studio Artist and it's automatic rotoscoping and paint animation capabilities. David used earlier versions of Studio Artist running on older Mac PPC machines in the making of his feature length animated film, so with all of the new advanced features in Studio Artist 4 today there's even more artistic possibilities for budding filmmakers looking to visually differentiate themselves.

What is so outstanding about 'Year of the Fish' is that the visual animation is artistically used to advance the mood of the film and never gets in the way of the storyline itself. It's a brilliant example of using artistic visual processing to enhance the experience of viewing a film, as opposed to many effects driven films of today where the storyline is an afterthought to mindless big budget effects presentation.

Here's a link to the film trailer on David's web site.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Visual Abstract Live in Houston

Studio Artist user Jean Detheux's new 3 movement animation piece "Visual Abstract" will be presented tonight in Houston with live musicians. The piece is a part of the Musiqa and Aurora Picture Show, which explores the boundary between reality and fantasy with an innovative mixture of live music and film. The show is from 7:30-10 pm at Zilkha Hall, the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, in Houston Texas.

Jean is also busy preparing for another concert with the Bozzini Quartet, which will be the first presentation of "Daydream Mechanics V Sketch 3" with live music. The concert will be presented in Montreal at the "Chapelle Historique du Bon-Pasteur," on February 9. For more information check out this link.