Student Work

Blog 5: Skill Sets and Personal Aspirations

I have far too many interests that I have gathered over the years. That is certainly a pro regarding the Technology, Arts and Media program. The following images are just a taste of the different mediums that I have been able to dabble in as I find my ultimate interest in the field. The multitude of mediums also means that I am not really able to easily pick one craft to perfect over time. My skill sets are certainly in the art realm but I like to add a hint of engineering with a less functional purpose as the primary goal. I really just enjoy making things. All things. I learn a cool new way to make something new on a weekly basis. Here are a few forms of creation that I have worked with thus far that might help me in the final project.

Visual arts have been a huge part of my life. I have been self-taught throughout and I really enjoy the challenge of capturing someone’s thoughts in a drawing put to paper with a pencil or brush. I have tried every medium that I can get my hands on when it comes to the handmade visual arts world. I love the realism of colored pencil and sketchiness of graphite in the drafting stages.

I have dabbled in photography as well. This is an area that I have trouble sticking with. I certainly enjoy the moving image far more than the still. Creating a story through an artistic creation has always been a passion of mine. And I have a thing for faces. Almost every drawing, photograph, or video that I have created has a person in the foreground. It sometimes feels like I started with a particular subject area and have not been able to perfect it yet, so I continue to work with it without major consideration for other subjects. I have not decided if my aspiration is to perfect the human face in a recreation or to reach beyond this subject. WIP.

I have spent a majority of the last two years working in three dimensions on a computer. The images above are some of my rendered objects that I created with Rhino a little while ago. The objects are complete fantasy with enough realism to make someone question their eyes. In reality, the objects were created with an initial sketch and many hours of shaping and molding on a laptop screen. I spent a long time learning Rhino but have since adopted Blender and Maya. Blender and Maya are focused on the animation of these three dimensional objects. Some of cinema’s greatest special effects were created in Maya, a program that I have complete and free access to for the extent of my time as a student at CU. This is my most recent and relevant aspiration, creating animations similar to that of a Hollywood film. This is a big task but I am determined to figure out the trickier modeling and rigging techniques with time.

I also fell in love with bringing the three dimensional objects from the screen to life in the form of film props. I am most fascinated with film props because they are primarily based in aesthetic rather than function and that is where my head is at right now. I have added small motors and different sound/visual circuits to add small accents of functionality in a few projects.

My favorite project that I have worked on in the last year was my Star Wars R2-D2 film prop. I changed the color scheme to match that of CU but the idea was still there. This entire prop started with a sketch that led to a 3D model and then to a huge collection of multi-medium pieces that needed to be assembled. This was a huge task but it allowed me to progress my skills in every area of the TAM program. I learned and somewhat mastered the 3D printing process with these huge pieces of plastic that made up the head of the prop. I also got to test my shop skills with the interior wooden base that made up the body of the droid. This project did not live up to my initial hopes but I did take a lot away from it that I will be able to apply elsewhere.

I aspire to create something meaningful. This is certainly different from the typical engineer’s “meaningful”, as I really do not want it to do anything in particular. I just want it to look cool. Cool enough to mean something. People connect to art on a daily basis even if they do not notice it. Big Hollywood movies utilize hours of handcrafted three dimensional modeling to create the majority of action films nowadays. Minor props add to the atmosphere of a fantasy world but go unnoticed because they are that good. Some people forget that each iconic item that we imagine when we think about a film was created by a team of people with the goal to immerse the viewer. I aspire to do something similar to this. I have yet to figure out the exact field of interest or medium that I find most intriguing but we are working on it.

art, CAD, cinema, models, props, rhino, tam
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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Joseph Coulombe
    February 25, 2019 9:29 am

    Those film props look amazing! I am still thinking about ultimately what I want to do for this final project but this gives me some inspiration to draw from popular media.


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