Mark is an artist, sculptor, photographer, author, songwriter and musician with a lifelong creative streak. Though the majority of his creativity was channeled into programming and technical pursuits over the course of his career, his goal now is to bring the 3D Graphic art he's created to life on gallery walls and the walls of your home or office. We hope you'll find reward categories that offer real value and tangible rewards.
Patrons of the arts are a time honored tradition. Kickstarter has introduced a unique twist to the old patron paradigm and now, everyone can play. This is Mark's first venture into "crowd sourcing" and we're hopeful it will help take his art to the next level. YOU can play a major role in laying a foundation to expand Mark's work in several avenues and we're pleased that your collaboration here will deliver Mark's artwork to your walls.
The Artist's Tool Set In Mark's upstairs office, he built a state of the art (stud-hoss) graphics workstation. In addition to serving as a Digital Audio Workstation, it's loaded with a number of graphics apps, including Photoshop, Illustrator C6 and XenoDream.
XenoDream is an incredible 3D Graphics Application. It's the primary tool used to bring these 3D images to life. Technically adept artists can fine tune every little detail through a series of menu screens where they twiddle with hundreds of parameters. The learning curve is steep, but the results are amazing.
Complex 3D graphics require modeling thousands of points (pixels) and setting the color, texture, reflections and relative position in the viewing plane for each. Mark develops each image at a small scale. Then, he 'renders' it to LARGE scale over the course of several days. Rendering produces incredible detail (at over 230 printed dots per inch, or DPI) and gallery sized images with dimensions of 14,000 pixels width by 14,000 pixels height for a 5'x5' image, Once the rendering process starts, the workstation churns for several days to a week to create a monster image file suitable for printing.
This project will create 2D (traditional art prints) of the images which exist in a 3D space inside the computer. However, since these are truly 3D models, we'd love to send Cat's Eyes to a 3D printer and hold it in our hands... maybe that's a future project. ☺
The Rewards In our experience, it's sometimes hard to compare the
reward categories, so the following table summarizes them for easy
reference. Prints for categories 3 - 8 will be made on archival quality, acid free,
bright white paper.
As an added bonus, we've decided to print giclee on canvas for categories 9 & 10. The canvas prints will be sized for 'gallery wrap', sealed with a high gloss protective finish and delivered rolled in a tube.
The Images Following are the 10 images in this first series. If you like what you see here, Mark would be happy to work with you to deliver more custom artwork. He posts new work at MarkWBallard.Tumblr.com, where you can also find contact info.
As you can see below, shadows and
lighting enhance the sense of 3D depth. Inside the computer, Mark can rotate the 3D images to any conceivable angle, change the shading and
lighting, as well as colors and textures. In the first "Cat's Eyes" image, he sliced
the viewing plane through the front of the image revealing interior
"Cat's Eyes" is a favorite, but as you'll see,
each image is unique with it's own personality.
Thanks again for your interest - We'd love to deliver a "Portrait from the Dream" in the new year!
Risks and challenges
For much of Mark's career in the real world, he was a Project Manager, tasked to analyze risk and develop solutions. "Unknowns" are typically the most prone to risk.
In this case, the Xenodream software is proven robust and capable to generate extremely high resolution graphics.
Likewise, Kickstarter has proven itself a viable vehicle to take projects from beginning to end, protecting both the artist and the patron.
Austin has a selection of local print shops proven to deliver quality art prints in a variety of sizes and media.
Mark and his workstation are the final cogs in the chain and they've been through the process from end to end without a hitch, already generating the hi-res graphic files for several portraits. We'll be ready for delivery when project fulfillment time comes around.
We're confident that by the end of March, your patronage will have been rewarded - and we're hopeful that Mark will be set to take his artwork to the next level! Who knows, maybe we can collaborate on bigger things ahead...