"Learning to Speak Digitally"
For thousands of years, humankind has used artwork as a means of visual communication. From the earliest cave paintings to the Statue of Liberty, artwork has been used to record history, tell stories, speak for a cause, and express the innermost thoughts and feelings of cultures throughout the whole world. Even today, there are symbols that are universally accepted through a wealth of countries, the building blocks of a universal language that surpass all barriers of dialect.
In modern times, the digital age has given artists new freedom to express their work. No longer do artists need to mix or purchase their own paints, for the use of digital tablets and paint simulation programs gives them the ability to paint on their computer just as they normally would in real life. Through three-dimensional modeling programs, whole worlds can be made to explore, with as much or as little detail as anyone could want, and filled with everything from atmosphere to wildlife. These same programs save hundreds of thousands of dollars, every year, by letting architects, doctors, scientists, and designers of all types build their projects virtually, and thus prepare for any eventually they may encounter, before bringing them to fruition.
As more and more of these tools become available to the public, soon everyone will be able to design digitally in order to speak visually. Even now, schools are teaching budding young artists how to turn their sketches into virtual realities, preparing them for a future where any concept can be communicated visually. A wealth of information is required, as each industry seeks expertise with different tools, but the community is coalescing around a core set of skills each digital designer will need. As each generation passes, this knowledge will fall upon increasingly younger shoulders, until a time comes when even small children will find themselves able to express themselves with digital tools.
The future holds untold possibilities, but one thing is certain. Our cultures will continue to grow, to learn and understand one an other, and doors of opportunity will continue to open for us so long as we keep striving to speak visually, by designing digitally.
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As there appears to be a proliferation of concern in the 3D area as to whether the use of licensed resources falls under the heading of "stock," I have recorded some notes about the many elements used in the creation of this image:
- + Three-dimensional elements were created and rendered in Vue 6 Pro Studio.
- + Alpha maps used to control the dispersion of terrain elements were
- - - created by the artist.
- + The NVIDIA claw, used as an alpha map to alter the appearance of
- - - the terrain, is the property of NVIDIA and used only under the
- - - the guidelines of this contest.
- + Photograph of hand (colored elements under hand sketch) was taken
- - - by the artist; it is the artist's own hand.
- + Photograph of clouds (used to create brush for cloud effects) was
- - - taken by the artist; they were summer clouds over the artist's
- - - own home.
- + Sketch of hand was drawn by the artist, based on a photograph
- - - taken by the artist; it is the artist's own hand.
- + Sketch of a portion of the NVIDIA logo was drawn by the artist, based
- - - upon the terrain in the 3D rendering.
- + Painting of flock of birds was created by the artist; no reference
- - - was used, save for personal experience.
- + Waterfalls and additional background elements were created by the
- - - artist; no reference was used, save for personal experience.
- + Hot air balloon was created by the artist; a rough three-dimensional
- - - model created by the artist, in Vue 6 Pro Studio, was used as a
- - - reference for shape and perspective. No other reference was used.
This artwork is wholly the creative, original creation of the artist and the artist holds all rights to this picture, save for the NVIDIA claw, which is used only under the permission and guidelines of the "Speak Visual: Design Digital" contest held in January 2009.
This picture has been uploaded at a higher resolution of 2550 x 3300 pixels, which may be downloaded by clicking the "Download" link to the left of this deviation.
Note: Because this Work features prominent amounts of both 3D elements and painting, it has been entered into both the "3D Art" and "Painting and Airbrushing" categories.
Hardware Credits: Created using an NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI Motherboard and 256MBNVIDIA GeForce 8600 GTS graphics processor.
There are no less than four NVIDIA claws in this picture. Can you find them all?