Monday, November 12, 2012

Art on the Marquee

Studio Artist user Dennis Miller's artwork has been recently featured at the Boston Con­ven­tion & Exhi­bi­tion Center as part of a public media art exhibit titled “Art on the Mar­quee.” Pre­sented by Boston Cyber­arts and the Mass­a­chu­setts Con­ven­tion Center Authority, the exhibit features video art that is viewed by some 10,000 vis­i­tors each day.

“Art on the Marquee” offers artists more than 3,000 square feet of digital display on seven screens, providing full-motion video and a viewership of more than 100,000 pedestrians and motorists. The marquee is visible for a half a mile in many directions.

You can check out 2 videos of Dennis's Studio Artist generated moving artwork here and here.

Dennis had this to say about the exhibit. "The Boston Cyberarts Festival, the major umbrella organization for digital media in New England, put out a call for work to be screened on an 80-feet screen outside the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in downtown Boston. This screen had been previously used to promote events at the convention center, but then the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority came up with the idea to commission new work from area artists for this very public space. Apparently 10,000 people pass by the screen every day. 

There have been four commissioning rounds, and I have been in each one of them. All of the presented marquee art work was created entirely in Studio Artist. Given the very unusual configuration of the screen, which actually consists of seven separate panels, I felt Studio Artist would be the very best tool to use to create the work.  Some of the guidelines requested work suitable for night viewing, soft and muted, while other day viewing rounds wanted bright looking artwork to compete with the daylight.

All of the works were created with the individual panels in mind at full 1920 x 1080 size. Then once the imagery was rendered, I used the provided After Effects template to align the work on the proper screen panels. The template gave me a 3D preview of the entire display, which is what I used to determine the placement of the various animation segments."

Dennis is a professor at Northeastern University in the College of Arts, Media, and Design. Dennis  was also the primary force behind the Visual Music festival. More information on Dennis's artwork, animations and music is available here.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Image Transfer Printing

Studio Artist user Mark Gould has been recently exploring image transfer printmaking based on his Studio Artist generated digital artwork. The photo above is one example of a finished transfer print. Mark was kind enough to share some of the technical details behind his artistic process below.

"The archival image transfer process is fun and pretty simple. It involves using an alcohol based substance to manually transfer the ink from a high quality pigment inkjet print (originally printed on a transparency film) to thick printmaking paper. The resulting transfer print takes a digital image and renders it with visual attributes associated with a hand printed image. From there the print can also be additionally overpainted with acrylics, watercolor, or inks if desired.

When I say pigment inks that is what will get optimum results and what the higher end HP and Epson printers use, but any inkjet printer will work. Color laser printers will also work, although I haven't worked with them, and they require a different set of transparencies, papers and materials but get equally fine results. As for the transparencies, you can see below that one of the manufacturers I've used with success is Apollo, who makes them for inkets, lasers, and copiers. Their phone is 1-888-296-8676, and you can find them on Amazon at this link.
There have also been books and DVD's made about inkjet transfers, and Apollo certainly isn't the only transparency company out there. People can search either on Amazon or Google. There's also a company that's specifically in the image transfer business called Digital Art Studio Seminars. They sell the transparency film at a range of sizes including up to 42" x 75" rolls for those large format printers. They, and other companies, also have videos and are now putting on seminars that explain how to do the inkjet to printmaking paper process. They also have seminars in transferring to acrylic media for those who want to pursue painting on the image in either acrylics or oil paint.

So, what I can tell you specifically about is the process I've worked with so far to go along with the images below:

1. I first print out to the transparency, making sure in Photoshop that in the print settings "Mirror Image" is clicked on. That's because when you lay the print down later, the emulsion side will be facing down.

2. For the most part you want smooth, heavy, or "hot press," printmaking paper. I use 140lb or 300g or higher, although that's a personal call. But because you're wetting down the paper with alcohol and perhaps later with paint if that's your intent, you want a thick paper that will stand up to all this. You will want to have printed out your Studio Artist generated image to transparency first well in advance before proceeding.
3. It seems different people have different concoctions but this is what works best for me. For the most part the substance is mostly 91% isopropyl alcohol, mixed with, believe it or not, alcohol based hand purifier to give it a little density. I wet a sponge with the mixture and wipe the paper down, in circular directions, to make sure I'm getting good coverage.
4. Then I lay down the transparency carefully on top of the alcohol wetted paper, and begin rolling over the top of the transparency sitting on the wetted down paper with a roller or brayer, a plastic card, a credit card or even a spoon. 
Quite often the analogy has been made between this process and polaroid transfer art that you may have seen and I think it's a good analogy. You're not necessarily looking for a perfect image, especially if you intend on using collage or paint at some point, it doesn't have to be perfect. And the imperfections of the transfer process give the resulting print an organic hand made feel. As others have said, if you want a perfect image there are better ways to get the image than this!

5. When I first started I found that I would try this or that and that the transparency would stick in places to the paper. The recommendation was that you peel up the transparency very slowly and carefully in a corner or two. 
Then, using alcohol in a Holbein mist sprayer that you can find at many art supply stores or similar, spray the area carefully, lay the area transparency back down, and keep rubbing. 
Depending on on how much substance you've used the more "watery" the image becomes, but again, that might or might not be a good thing that becomes part of the overall process. I've found so many times that, this is one of those trial and error processes, so if you don't possess patience going in you will probably learn it, or you won't stay with this kind of process.
But I found over time that for me, it was a matter of using more alcohol, wetting down the paper more and more, until at one point after making sure the ink was rolled onto the paper, the film almost lifted right off the paper. 

I've done some great watercolor overpainting work, and I'm experimenting with overpainting acrylic which is proving to be a bit tougher since acrylic is so opaque you only have so far you can work with it before the original image disappears. I'm learning how to work with mixing the paint with different acrylic gel media, which have different degrees of translucency. I can safely say the acrylic work will be reserved for the more abstract work :)"

Marks portfolio web site is located here. He also has a San Francisco aesthetic site which makes me a little homesick here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Explorations in Visual Music

Studio Artist user Wilfried Jentzsch has been actively presenting visual music pieces at international festivals over the past few years. The image above is from the piece Widerschein des Lichtes (Ashen Light), which was commissioned by the festival Synthèse Bourges. It is based on electronic music derived from granular cross synthesis of Tibetan gong and male singing voices visualized with abstract images generated in Studio Artist.
Electro Nuit , Espace Senghor, March 23, 2011, Bruxelles
EMUfest Rome, October 9, 2011, Conservatorio S. Cecilia
Festival Soundtrack_Cologne_8.0, Kölnischer Kunstverein, November 5, 2011

Windspiel (The wind´s play), was presented at the Punto y Raya festival, November 6, 2011 Madrid, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. It is based on continual changes in a procedural visual structure realized using the Studio Artist MSG Evolution Editor.

Tamblingan was inspired by a walk in Bali. The synthesized images and the synthesized sounds work together to produce an evolving poetic world.
Festival Musicacoustica Beijing, October 25, 2010

Wilfried and Hiromi Ishii have been invited to give workshops at the International Academy of Arts in Heimbach Germany next year. They hope to incorporate Studio Artist into their visual arts workshop. Students will bring their own laptops to the workshop.

Their recent visual music works generated with Studio Artist can be seen on vimeo.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Scott Smith's Explorations in Creative Printing

Studio Artist user Scott Smith has recently been exploring printing his Studio Artist artwork onto alternative display surfaces like treated aluminum. Scott uses a Canon Pixima Pro9000 printer, which has a front flat feed that makes it ideal for printing on alternative surfaces. I asked Scott to describe his recent working techniques, and he had this to say.

"Printing digital art is another important step in creativity I feel. Once I finish an art image, I like to try different print ideas. Printing on surfaces other than traditional inkjet paper is one way I’ve been able to expand my own creativity. Any material I’m able to pass through my printer can become a printing surface. I have tried different types of fabrics, plastics, and sheet metals. Sheet aluminum is one of my favorite materials; you get a great iridescent glow to the image that adds a lot of interest to the art. Standard size 5”x7” aluminum sheets used for roof flashing and sold in packs of 100 are available at most “big box” hardware stores—they also are relatively inexpensive. However, to have ink adhere to the metal it is necessary to treat the metal with an inkjet pre-coat product. “Golden” and “Inkaid” are two makers that I know of that sell inkjet pre-coats.

The image above is a piece i completed that was printed on aluminum. The matte and frame add a lot to the final appearance I feel. Many artists today are using alternative surfaces for printmaking. Bonnie Lhotka is one of these artists. Bonnie’s book, Digital Alchemy, is loaded with information and ideas for printing on alternative surfaces. The book is a great source to learn more about these types of printing techniques.

I have been able to expand my artistic creativity hugely since I started using Studio Artist software. And, although I consider myself an amateur user, I have been able to get some great results in a very short time period. I’m sure my work will improve as I become more proficient using the software, but this is a learning curve that is an enjoyable one."

You can check out more of Scott's work at his web site.

You can read more about alternative printing techniques here, here and here.

Studio Artist user Ellen Horovitz has also published a book on alternative artistic printing techniques.

Monday, May 14, 2012

John Anderson in Silvershotz

Studio Artist user John Anderson's artwork is featured in the latest issue of Silvershotz, The International Journal of Contemporary Photography, Volume 8, Edition 3. Including the cover artwork shown above.

John resonates with statements such as: “abstraction is the purest expression of art”, “the internal truth which only art can divine”, “I offer a transformative vision that makes the inner truths and beauty of human imagination visible in the external world”. His images are devoid of any representational or figurative characteristics as he concentrates on colour, tone, texture, rhythm and movement, rather than subject matter.

John has recently been inspired by some of the new presets available in Studio Artist 4. Rather than focusing on reproducing a painterly rendition of a photograph, John uses Studio Artist presets to pull out pixels from the photograph and then uses them like a painter uses paint. John progresses through various stages of exploring an image, often creating several layers which he will then flatten down into one at the completion of the artistic process.
The majority of John’s artworks tend to be very large installations printed on brushed aluminum.

John's web site is at You can check out the full article (which contains a large number of examples of John's artwork) in this issue of Silvershotz here, or at your local magazine shop.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

China, My China

Studio Artist user Victor Ingrassia recently completed a music video called "China, My China" for the group "The Diving Bell". "The Diving Bell" is out of Seattle, and the song and associated video were released on FIN Records.

Victor had this to say about the new music video. "I've been working on it since last November. I was able to work in 1080p using SA4, FCPX & Motion5. 95% of the content was created in Studio Artist 4. I used Motion 5 for some graphic elements as well as to make the blossom snow. Final Cut Pro X was where I composited and edited it. The speed of the new iMac, along with how sweet Studio Artist runs on the Intel processor, combined with FCPX's background rendering allowed me to work experimentally and intuitively… often tossing material back and forth between Studio Artist, Final Cut & Motion. I was able to explore dangerous paths that would have wasted time I didn't have, were I still using my old G5 tower. I worked mostly from found and stock footage using a combination of auto rotoscope and hand drawing. I had a great time making this and stretching my Studio Artist skill set."

I really like that the Fin Records label was inspired by Black Sparrow Press, Charles Bukowski's publisher. Fin Records and the group are premiering the new music video this weekend at SXSW.

Victor is a master at manipulating Studio Artist video processing effects, and has a ton of great Studio Artist processed video examples on both his web site and his vimeo site.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Pinar Du Pre's New Mixed Media Show

Studio Artist user Pinar Du Pre has a new mixed media exhibition currently at the Gallery Linart in Instanbul. The exhibition features artwork that combines digital painting along with additional natural media hand painted treatments.

Pinar describes her artistic process as follows.

"First, I design an illustration or a photo montage of what i would like to represent. I then import that image as a Studio Artist source image. I primarily use the Vectorizer, playing around with the various controls until I like the way it looks. I may manipulate the generation of bezier paths to generate backgrounds with less detail and a simplified look, while preferring more detail in the foreground of the figures. I then export the fine tuned Vectorizer output as an EPS file and merge the paths in Illustrator or render them directly into Photoshop.

This way the image has lots of partitions. Which I then start rendering with additional digital treatments. At some parts I will hand paint effects with Studio Artist, or overlay additional patterns or picture elements within individual partitions. I then print the final digital results on canvas.

At that point, I start hand painting with real paint on top of the digitally printed canvas. I use dimensional acrylic paint to add a kind of 3D quality to the artwork. I then finish everythign up with a high shine layer of epoxy. The finished paintings have a glassy art deco air about them, while still being ultra modern."

More information on Pinar's current exhibition, including a slide show of the artwork shown in the exhibition, as well as a description of her artistic philosophy, can be found here.

More information on the Gallery Linart can be found here.

Pinar's main web site is at

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Anthony Bouttell's Wind Surfing Imagery

Wintertime in Hawaii is the season of big wave surfing and strong trade winds that also fuel a very active wind surfing and kite surfing scene. Studio Artist user Anthony Bouttell has an online gallery of Studio Artist generated wind surfing images that give a feel for the wind surfing action happening in Kailua Bay on the windward side of Oahu.

Anthony describes his work as "photo-graphics. "With photography, the mere act of taking a picture has altered the image. Choosing the camera format, the film speed, aperture, type of lens, and a host of other parameters have all contributed to a unique vision of the subject. The darkroom now exists inside of the computer, which simply extends this creative process into the digital realm".

Anthony's web site is at

Monday, February 20, 2012

Artificial Afrika - A Tale of Lost Cities

Studio Artist user Vernon Reid is premiering 'Artificial Afrika - A Tale of Lost Cities' at Dixon Place in New York City every weekend this month. This multi-discipline piece explores the Dark Continent merging world music, hip hop, film, and visual art. Artificial Afrika examines the idea of Africa, not only a continent with a multiplicity of cultures, languages, and peoples, but also Afrika, a country of the mind.

Grammy award winning Reid is joined in collaboration with Akim Funk Buddha and DJ Leon Lamont. Studio Artist was used heavily to create the multi-media imagery in this critically acclaimed show. The next 2 shows are February 24, 25 at 7:30pm, Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie Street, NY, NY. The Lounge opens at 6pm.

For more information on the show at Dixon Place check out this link.