William Pensyl: Journey to the Oceans of the World

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    Journey to the Oceans of the World


Creation Year:






Artist Statement:

    My work must meet two primary requirements: it must have a strong conceptual viewpoint and it must be visually aesthetic. It doesn’t matter whether the work is created for commercial, communication, or artistic and self-referential purposes. All art can be valued according to a set of criteria that is derived from its visual and formal elements. Conceptually driven work adds a layered set of criteria that can enhance the value of the work and the experience of the work by the viewer.

    The fact that we use technology to create, produce, or mediate the work and the experience of the work is really beside the point. All work must be able to transcend the technical. The value of the work must be found in the vision of the artist and the execution of that vision that integrates the work as a whole.

Technical Information:

    Journey to the Oceans of the World is a site-specific installation of a one-of-a kind animation and media project for the entry vestibule at The Aquariums at Moody Gardens, Galveston, Texas. Using computer-generated three-dimensional modeling and animation and the integration of live-action video, text, and graphics, we created a seamless 360-degree panoramic presentation that highlights and introduces each of the four habitats of the Aquarium. With IK, FK, and scripted animation techniques, the characters are animated to interact with each other and the environment. Using flocking and schooling scripts, we can have prey fish being chased by other larger more aggressive species.

    The environment is rendered using six cameras arranged to capture a full 360-degree panorama of the environment and all character animation. Each camera scene is rendered to a separate stream of images. Each image stream is post-processed and burned to DVD. Using six LCD projectors and a constructed 360-degree projection screen setup the animation is played back to create a full panorama that places the viewer in the center of the virtual environment.

    The piece was created in collaboration between digital art and animation students at the William Paterson University of New Jersey and professional animators as an educational experience in design and development of large-scale media projects.

Process Information:

    Each character in the animation is based on directed observation at the aquariums. Through the design process, we conceptualize and formulate the characters and their motion and interaction with other characters. The process begins with a sketch on paper, followed by rough day models and, eventually, modeling and rigging the characters. Materials and textures are created, and the environment is lighted, Finally, animation of the characters in the environment is achieved through IK, FK, path, and scripted schooling.

Affiliation Where Artwork Was Created:

    William Paterson University


    Ian Bizub, Brian Falotico, Eric Holden, Catherine Hsin, Steve Lewis, Tim McCarthy, Karen McKenna, Biaggio Pagliguro, Steve Rittler, Christopher Rogers, Colin Szygl, Chi Tai

    Alias | Wavefront Maya 4.0, Discreet 3ds max, After Effects, DPS Velocity running on Dell and Box Win2000Pro workstations.

Other Information:

    The images depict the process of going from sketch to rendered model.

Additional Images:

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