Sunday, August 3, 2014

Watercoloring the Perspective - Directing Light Toward the Horizon & Into the Foreground

Handmade Watercolor Textures, Normals and Windlights
 The slab of board indicates where the focal point will be laid down for the build
Beginnings of Lake Isle Region

Because this build is about poet's and poet's visions, I thought it only fitting to write the storybuild with watercolors, but watercolors are hard to find and difficult to manipulate in 3D virtual worlds.  

Watercolor worlds for rendered game worlds are more common. Some 3D artists might argue that building in lateral perspective worlds is redundant.   One of the pleasures of walking through an open world is perspective caused by a region's size and windlights, but I am altogether happy with only the perspective that a large land mass afforded me.   I wanted my characters to realize a dream state from everywhere they looked with a realistic draw and high (but not a full out quality performance threshold).   I wanted to use a multi-purpose terrain with the same look and feel of a *skybox built world, where the artist has so much more control over the environment.   

Some builders resort to and invent lovely off sim backdrops.   Backdrops and off sim terrain, like rock formations and waterfalls do a good job of adding in perspective.   Setting a dock or a house into the distance that cannot be reached also adds perspective and extends immersion, because the avatar is not able to reach it.   Their view is nice"obstructed" by the bounding box line of the sim space.   

Still I wanted go a bit farther with this experiment.  I wanted the world to resemble a water color work, and I wanted to add in even more depth that can be achieved by current viewers and draw distance.  In fact, I've been wanting to try this technique for a long while.   My depthfinders quest confirms it; not only to find depth in altitude, but depth in meaning, and horizon depth that comes about during the painting process.   Finding that point on the horizon and building a path into it, will surely be a challenge.
*Also working on a skybox with 2 or more rows of backdrops (theatrical staging) to affect the depth of view.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Note from the Storybuilder "Getting it Started My Way"

Storybuilds and/'or lessons are
empty, confusing and daunting at the outset
but the world and the lesson have a way
of filling in when this or that gets added,

For a few years I taught this series of poems, because I loved the poems, and I respected the students who studied them.  The students close read the poems, annotated the poems, drew pictures about the poems that grew into posters, and even charted or graphed parts of the poems. The last two days of the two week lesson on Garden Poems, the students wrote their own poems about owls in the backyard, and what their worlds so much depended on.

 It was my dream to someday find the time to storybuild the poems, so they could walk through my interpretations of these poems.  Not to spoil the close reading test of course.  We couldn't have that could we?  But to let children know that poets really do compare and contrast our worlds for us.   The time poets spend on words that describe this place we've never been or only tried to find is important in the midst of whether we got the main idea, author's purpose or how we spell simile.

So now I am ready to start the school year with everyone else, revising a lesson that I knew how to teach by heart and from the heart's core  The only difference this time -- I get to do it my way. And maybe just maybe the young poets will find one retired teacher's place where the sidewalk ends all on their own.