David

Oh David.

fxhash #7813

Inspiration

Oh David.

david_1

Need I introduce him?

The Biblical hero. The symbol of strength and youthful beauty. The size.

He was supposedly gazing at the direction of the Medici family. We gaze at him.

We measure him with laser scanners in the Digital Michelangelo Project. And as Guan Xiao sang in her David (2013) at Biennale di Venezia (2017), we study him, shoot him, sing for him, sculpture him, draw him, reproduce him.

His eyes. His gaze. His view point.

Does it give me power if I arrange him, rotate him, and color him?

Does it give me power to go inside his head and look outwards?

david_2

david_3

david_4

Technical Notes

I was blown away the other day by Florian Berger (@flockaroo)‘s Mountain View. Especially about the performance. I studied the code on evening while drinking wine and decided to finally get into meshes.

The computer graphics (cg) industry and research is about a million light years ahead of my current technical abilities. Gaming also. There is a very heated tech competition going on with who can build more realistic digital world.

Some related news include Unity buying Ziva Dynamics for lifelike real-time characters (humans and animals); Microsoft also acquired Activision Blizzard. The Ziva demo is mind blowing!

There is a fine line between “generative art” and gaming. The performance requirement of real-time gaming drives a ton of research, both in software and hardware. As generative art evolve, more and more interaction elements may be added. And voila. We are merging with the gaming technology.

So it seems like a good time to get a bit more into graphics and 3D. I picked a easy starting point, to import some existing 3D models. I looked into the Stanford’s Digital Michelangelo Project but it requires an academic license. So instead I went to sketchfab and found the asset:

“Head Of Michelangelo’s David, Optimised” (https://skfb.ly/o8AFK) by Thomas Flynn is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Then I loaded the .obj file (vertices) with the help of The Coding Train. And just rendered the mesh. The David head has 100k triangles and 50k vertices.

I played around with rendering material and different lighting and didn’t like the visuals I got. It feels less polished to give a solid material.

david_solid

Then in p5.js, I varied the number of davids and the orientation and positions. Then colored them.

Finally, I set the whole model to be rotating slightly and gave the users orbit control abilities to be able to view the work from different angles.

Because:

It is not hard to understand modern art. If it hangs on a wall it’s a painting, and if you can walk around it it’s a sculpture. - Tom Stoppard

Of you go, David!