Pixel Art Project (Evaluation of sorts)

Here are some examples of the processes I used to design my sculpture

This was done in a modded version of minecraft. There is a shaders mod which gives the game rather beautiful lighting effects, HDR and depth of field (minecraft is a pretty ugly game by default). Another mod allows you to build with small cubes which are 1/8th the scale of the regular blocks which allows for more detailed smaller sculpture design.Image

I found a browser based program which let me work on a simpler version as the above form was too difficult to make in the amount of time we had.

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This includes the new colour for the outside surface as there was no white available in the University shop and there wasn’t enough time to order from elsewhere. I think the aquatic looking blue-green works rather nicely with the red.

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Here are some photos of my sketchbook. I was trying to work out the best way to build the sculpture, and typically went for the most awkward and potentially disastrous option. At first I was going to bevel the edges of the glass to 45 degrees so they would fit together at nice, perfect right angles and use the UV glue, which is very strong, to build the piece from flat panes of glass. Unfortunately none of the machines in the glass workshop are able to do that and the best I was able to get was a roughly 60 degree angle. Gluing it together without the beveled edges would leave a glaring seam line, which I wasn’t really happy with.

Pros: I think it could have looked fantastic.

Cons: Just a catastrophe waiting to happen, although may work very well with simpler forms quite well. I may still use it in the future.

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The next thing I thought of was using panes of glass but making it so only the corner edges were touching and applying some super strength gluing silicone stuff to fill in the corner space, and making it a feature. It made the process a lot more difficult and unpredictable and I really shouldn’t have tried it this way. It does actually look really nice as a feature when it is done well. They had various colours to choose from but I thought white would work best.

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The next idea I came up with was laser cutting horizontal slices of the piece and constructing it layer by layer using some kind of wood glue if I cut it from wood or solvent weld if I was going to use some kind of sheet plastic. The model would have needed redesigning slightly to accommodate for this construction method but I think it would have been quite hard to make a mess of once I had all the pieces drawn out to scale in Adobe Illustrator. Also the scale would have to be quite small. If I wanted it bigger I would have to make some of the slices hollow which would end up taking an impossible amount of time for the laser cutter to finish cutting them out.

The most important thing about this method is the fact that it’s much easier to make complicated forms. I did want to make four sculptures based on my mipmap drawings (The images of the four shapes drawn at different resolutions).

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I made a huge error in working out the number of pieces I needed for the inside part of the sculpture meaning I ran out of red glass and had to end up using a dark purple for some of the inside.

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working out how to build the outside part. This way of drawing out was a bit too complicated and hard to really see what was going on in the drawing.

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This ended up being the easiest way to figure out, with diagrams of what cubes needed to be on what layer and then drawings over the top to indicate what’s in the above and below layers so I know what I’ve got to try and accommodate for as I construct it.

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The construction ended up being very haphazard:

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A mock up of how it might look with surface textures sandblasted into each “cubes” face.

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Sandblaster pattern mockups

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My slightly iffy approach to sandblaster stencilling.

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There are advantages to having a pig sty of an art space. My sculpture collapsed the day before the exhibition and I had to spend all day trying to put it together and the various cans and pots on my desk proved useful supports. I’d also run out of sticky silicone stuff but managed to borrow some off another student although it wasn’t actually glue like the other stuff and the sculpture collapsed again the next morning and I had to spend all day fixing it and trying to clean it up then too.

 

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I ended up having to resort to good old fashioned duct tape, which I tried to cut up carefully and make into a feautre of the sculpture. The humidity in the exhibition space made it all come off after a few hours and took a really long time.

This is the finished piece.

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I’ve learned a lot from this project. I think I’ve found something I can run with within craft that is conceptually relevant to 2014 and that can lead to some interesting and unique pieces. Video games and the craft world don’t really cross very much, and the stuff that does exist is way more towards literal representation of video game personalities rather than relating to video games as a medium and I think there is a lot I can do to explore this with my work. I think the psychology of video games, in the way they are constructed, and the way the player enjoys them, or doesn’t and also how they relate to various aspects of the media.

I think for Trelissick gardens I need to start to make and test much earlier in the project. It’s hard to start making when the object already exists in drawing form and I know what it looks like. Making always seems a little bit pointless at the end.

 

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