When Technology moulds Art
Author – Aravind Ram K
We all have been mesmerized by seeing the robots in Terminator, the weird creatures in Avatar, the awful journey of Pi and the tiger, the romance in Titanic and many more. Could that be possible if technology never came into existence? Well, my answer is NO. Ever since engineering moulded up the world, it has been inspiring every aspect of human life. And art, art is the application of human creative skill and imagination. Times passed, but the purpose of art remained the same. Art was the weapon they used for the Renaissance, and now art is a part of every protest around the globe. Throughout history, technology has provided artists with new tools for expression. Technology, helped art to take its new forms. From painting to photographs, from sculptures to digitally created 3D models, from graffiti to Instagram stories and so on. Technology made art easy, and more complex. It reflected the artists intention more clearly. Movies came into existence, and they became extensively socialised. And then more technology came. People knew about other people, their situations, their lifestyles and many more. Long story short, movies became popular. Movies became the new reality. People started to believe in it. They made their creativity to overflow through these reels. Again, technology evolved. Animations came, they picturized everything. In the past decade, digital technology has become inherently involved in almost every artistic creation. Artists use computers at various stages of creation, employing them for diverse tasks. And here, we specifically discuss VFX/CGI. Every time a new technology appears, people try to use it in an old fashioned way and to describe it with existing terminology. Visual effects domain is based on new technologies. VFX involves the integration of live-action footage and generated imagery (digital or optical effects) to create environments, inanimate objects, animals or creatures which look realistic but would be dangerous, expensive, impractical, time-consuming or impossible to capture on film. They very often offer a new way of telling an old story. Technology provided a common platform which facilitated the process of spreading specialist software used in one artistic field into other activities. Various software techniques were employed in different fields of art. But, interestingly, VFX was not a new thing. The history of special effects started from the beginning of the movie era itself. In 1857, Oscar Rejlander created the world’s first “special effects” image by combining different sections of 32 negatives into a single image, making a montaged combination print. And there are many similar techniques used in movies, just to make things real. Special Effects, Motion Capturing, Matte painting, Animation, Rigging, Rotoscoping, Compositing etcetera…And why? Just to make it real. To make us believe that the things we see are real. Keeping the artistic side apart, and talking about the new innovations in technology, like AI, Motion censored, Deep fakes and many other techniques, are becoming a part of the future. With artificial intelligence becoming incorporated into more aspects of our daily lives, from writing to driving, it’s only natural that artists would also start to experiment with it. Augmented reality, which gives an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory and olfactory. So technology is basically everywhere. Storytelling and triggering emotions play a crucial role in filmmaking, but many CGI-enhanced films leave little to the imagination. This drawback is caused by the repeatability of frequently chosen approaches, by lack of ingenuity or by mismatching the means of expression. If visual effects are successful, they may add to the cinematic experience some charm of a magic show. But, just like in magic shows, the audience gets used to the tricks of magicians. Contemporary technologies allow developing unique solutions. They might become a source of inspiration for the whole team. Virtual reality can be treated as a final medium of distribution or as a tool for solving production problems. It can be employed for exploring distant, less accessible locations, or it can be used to create new, imaginary ones. Being able to see simplified three-dimensional models of location can bring additional inspiration or help to plan a spatial solution for the scene. This feature is particularly useful during the development of the environment which does not exist in reality and is called virtual production or on-set post-production. Technology can be also used for the creation of a new visual language. So, if used wisely, technology can bring a new dimension to art.
Aravind Ram K
Rajiv Gandhi Institute Of Technology