Mat Van Den Art's Blog


Posted in Uncategorized by matvandenart on January 11, 2010

Following blog post will help you to successfully navigate through the content of this blog.

Entire content of this blog was created during first term of my Master course. There is a lot of personal research into various fields of digital design/art technologies referenced in the individual categories.  To simplify the marking process I entered “M” in front of categories meant to be marked.

“M” – in front of each category means – the category’s content is to be Marked.

You can either use links at the right category option list to see contents of particular category or links below will redirect you to the appropriate categories as well.

Marking Cathegories:

1) Master Seminars

2) Master Collective Project

3) Master Individual Project

Master Project Ideation

Master Artwork Development

Master Tools & Techniques



In the order to see full content of this blog it is important not to overlook navigational features which will enable you to see further content of the blog.

Examples are shown below:



Art – in Mathematics

Posted in "M" Master Artwork Development by matvandenart on January 11, 2010

Being a digital designer, it is often necessary in my practice to reproduce various forms of nature or natural behaviour in digital world. This past experience allows me to conceive the nature in the different view as most of other people see it. My previous practice enabled me to study nature and its forces and laws in mathematical terms. Understanding of these rules and subsequent mathematical representation enabled me successfully communicate with the computer scripting environment using the language of applied mathematics. Fractals, attractors and theory of chaos gives scientists, mathematicians, botanists and digital artists/designers an opportunity for intimate observation of the mechanisms behind the natural processes.

<Courtesy of Matej Pavlicek>

——–please read more——— (more…)

3D Background Environment – Concept

Posted in "M" Master Artwork Development by matvandenart on January 11, 2010

In this 3D concept of a industrial cathedral I tried to follow the research process from the previous post. Choice of materials, weak iron pillars in the state of degradation should signify he weak basis of the current economic concept which has been driving the world for too long. Empty containers should signify he intellectual and spiritual emptiness of the system embodying the legacy of capitalism.

Following set of images shows various vies of the environment concept:

3D Background Environment – Research

Posted in "M" Master Artwork Development by matvandenart on January 11, 2010

In my Artwork I would like to place the character in visually pleasing environment which embodies the legacy of capitalism.  Environment should embody the vanity of current economical model and our preoccupation with materialism. Modern built spaces representing the power and the wealth of the system under which governance one sixth of he world population suffers from malnutrition.

Following set of images depicts my mind-map in the field of environment research:

3D Subject – Sculpting – First Concept – Facial Expressions Study

Posted in "M" Master Artwork Development by matvandenart on January 11, 2010

Introducing the concept of emotions and their facial representation it is possible to capture the character or a sculpture.

In following series of facial expressions I tired to capture main human expressions of (normal state, surprise, anger and fear)

The benefit of 3D media is the ability to save individual facial expressions so artist can create full gallery of human facial expressions. Each of them can be then assigned to a character or even facial animation between individual expressions can be created giving the sculpted head man-like visual facial behaviour.

Series of extreme visual expressions can be seen an the picture below: performed by an actor. Actor’s ability to embody different emotions either extreme or non extreme give his acting benefit of reliability. I would like to apply these simple principles on the final sculpt as well to make it embody the real character of a human being.

Bigger picture of facial expressions can be seen if you click next> (more…)

3D Subject – Sculpting – First Concept – Side Views

Posted in "M" Master Artwork Development by matvandenart on January 11, 2010

To establish the sense of tree dimensional existence of sculpted character I attached the key views from the 3D space.

Option to work in 3D space allows me to fully take advantage of sculpting tools offered by ZBrush. Instant interactivity of 3D sculpting environment helps me to give a character the “CHARACTER”.

To see bigger picture please click next (more…)

3D Subject – Sculpting – First Concept

Posted in "M" Master Artwork Development by matvandenart on January 11, 2010

Using ZBrush sculpting tools I was able to create my first concept character. Using truly free mind while sculpting I was able to capture first in the series of concept characters one of which will be used to embody the subject character for my critical artwork.

3D Subject – Development

Posted in "M" Master Artwork Development by matvandenart on January 11, 2010

In this project I would like to make use of previous experience from my design practice:

Following sequence of images shows 3D animated Crusader character I previously created for purposes of a computer game.

I am planning to rig and animate the subject of the 3d scene where it engages communication with the audience.

Another example of 3D character I created was a Photo-realistic visualization of a model where all the measurements were taken from prior to the modelling phase in the order to capture the photorealistic representation of the model in digital environment.

In my Master project I would like to take benefit from my past experience an create truly photo realistic animated character embodying the critique of the contemporary state of capitalism on international scene.

To see character animations please click next> (more…)

3D Subject – Reference

Posted in "M" Master Artwork Development by matvandenart on January 11, 2010

3D technology allows digital artist to benefit from it’s limitless visualization  characteristics.

I would like to introduce series of 3d artworks with various subjects which I will use as the reference in the terms of technique, mastery and visualization method.

3D Subject – Visual metaphors – critique of capitalism in globalized society

Posted in "M" Master Artwork Development by matvandenart on January 11, 2010

To visualize my research into creative ways how to visualize critique of capitalism system I used following galleries:

The problem with capitalism is the citizens are forced to sell their work to satisfy their natural needs. The benefit for few results in hard work for many. Many people work to satisfy extended needs of few. This approach makes rich people richer and poor people poorer. Capitalistic model of society also forces people work regardless their personal attitude towards particular issues surrounding their work ethics.

This mechanism makes workers vulnerable to hierarchical intervention making them prisoners in the cage of organization internal policy.


The other characteristic attribute of capitalistic system mainly in globalized society  is the easement of individual responsibility by breaking the  individual tasks among individual people/workers making often unacceptable company policy internally acceptable by workforce – due to the fact the tail of the snake does not know what the head eats because it only cares about its own function. Every one of us workers/buyers looks at their work/product we buy within the framework of the price rather than the context of its implication to other people lives, environment costs or other issues. We all use mask of ignorance. Following gallery shows my visual mind-map research into the visualization of this particular characteristic attribute of capitalism.


Medium – Research

Posted in "M" Master Artwork Development by matvandenart on January 11, 2010

The concept of other worldliness is essential for successful execution of the project. The characters/elements on the other side of the wall will try to engage communication with the audience as viewer passes along the artwork. Three dimensional elements will become alive.

It is absolutely essential to find the best representation of the medium/portal/gate between now and here and there and then.

Gallery above shows various types of mediums as water, reflection, cloth, spirit…. to name just few elements from my mind map.

3D Scene – RabbitHoles – Composition Proposal

Posted in "M" Master Artwork Development by matvandenart on January 11, 2010

Artwork Layout Proposal:

The frames on this proposal represent the gate/portal between two worlds. One world is ours. The other is our mirror – distorted – showing us the results of our everyday actions. The intention of use of so called ‘rabbitholes’ technology for advanced 3d visualization is to enable the artwork to establish stronger bond with the audience. The composition consisting of number of individual should be understood as a visual metaphor complexity of the communicated issue. The inspiration for this method of visualization is the window artwork which can be seen at most of the churches.

Scene Animation:

Visualization Technology Example:

3D Reference – Oliver Ponnsonet

Posted in "M" Master Artwork Development by matvandenart on January 11, 2010

Following 3D character is example of Olliver’s outstanding work as character artist.

In my work I would like to use Oliver’s approaches to creation digital characters. The emphasis should be paid on the believability of the final sculpt. The use of 3ds max particle effects and flash/afterEffects particle plugins will be added to make common use of chaos theory within the rigidly organized order of 3d scene.

3D Sculpting Screen Capture

Posted in "M" Master Artwork Development by matvandenart on January 11, 2010

Zbrush enables artists to sculpt with digital tools as efficiently as they would with real clay materials. The use of specialized sculpting brushes makes the process even more efficient than in realworld. Present-day availability of 3D print makes this approach even more advantageous to use of classical sculpting materials.

Final 3D object once fully sculpted will be animated and positioned inside real3D space and visualized with the use of rabbit holes – referenced earlier

3D Technology – Creation Environment + Examples

Posted in "M" Master Artwork Development by matvandenart on January 11, 2010

ZBrush is a digital sculpting and painting program that has revolutionized the 3D industry with its powerful features and intuitive workflows. Built within an elegant interface, ZBrush offers the world’s most advanced tools for today’s digital artists. With an arsenal of features that have been developed with usability in mind, ZBrush creates a user experience that feels incredibly natural while simultaneously inspiring the artist within. With the ability to sculpt up to a billion polygons, ZBrush allows you to create limited only by your imagination.

3D TOTAL community developed an ebook featuring the proper use of Zbrush’s modeling tools to create various versions of human head.

The similar approach is available at the gnomonology web site featuring 4 chapter tutorial from Rick Baker creating the sculpture of an African Woman. This demonstration is a four hour timelapse of the entire making of the African Woman by Rick Baker. There is no audio. Rick begins with a simple humanoid torso basemesh from which he sculpts the woman. The final result consists of several subtools that originate from mesh extractions.

This digital sculpture of Jonas Thornqvist’s troll model contains the body, eyes, teeth and clothes. It also includes all the displacement maps needed to render it in MAX, Maya, XSI. The Troll model was modeled using 3ds max and further enhanced in Zbrush. The displacement texture was exported from Zbrush and reimported into the 3ds max which is the chosen software for rendering.

Artwork Visualization Medium

Posted in "M" Master Artwork Development by matvandenart on January 11, 2010

An entirely new print medium, RabbitHoles 3D Motion Holograms portray 3D action on 2D surfaces and no stereoscopic glasses are required to see them. This patented technology is aptly named for its immersive and awe-inspiring ability, for its experiential and story-telling nature, for generating and triggering wonder. RabbitHoles are truly a tool for image-makers and marketeers that is exponentially more effective than 2D print at attracting and retaining viewer attention.

RabbitHoles are technically speaking the new technological/evolutional step from classic painting on canvas. 3D artists were not able to properly present their designs using classic presentation media unless using video format. This has now changed by the evolution of 3D motion holograms.

It will be interesting to follow the development of the media and its potential influence of the world of film.

Artwork Essences

Posted in "M" Master Artwork Development by matvandenart on January 11, 2010

The main artwork should consist of four elements

  • main subject subject
  • supportive motives
  • background environment
  • sense of intangibility

I would like to deploy use of 3D technologies as well as mathematics in my Master project. I choose 3D media due to its limitless possibilities for visualization of particular problem. I do like to make changes during the designing process. 3D medium is for this approach the most modular. The use of 3D technologies will allow me to better communicate the context of the artwork especially when audience will be confronted with interactivity functionality of this medium.

Project Inspiration – Critique of Capitalism in Economically Globalized Society

Posted in "M" Master Project Ideation by matvandenart on January 10, 2010

Che Guevara wrote:

The laws of capitalism, which are blind and are invisible to ordinary people, act upon the individual without he or she being aware of it. One sees only the vastness of a seemingly infinite horizon ahead. That is how it is painted by capitalist propagandists who purport to draw a lesson from the example of Rockefeller — whether or not it is true — about the possibilities of individual success. The amount of poverty and suffering required for a Rockefeller to emerge, and the amount of depravity entailed in the accumulation of a fortune of such magnitude, are left out of the picture, and it is not always possible for the popular forces to expose this clearly … It is a contest among wolves. One can win only at the cost of the failure of others.

I would like to base my Master year project around the critique of Capitalism in Globalized society. Over the course of human evolution there was number of societal systems none of which was able to resolve 100% successfully pressing societal needs of particular era. Even now most of states is divided into main three streams of thinking Right Wing/Left Wing/Centrists. Practitioners of each of these streams of advocate their own thoughts within the present economic and social framework. We can see constant governmental pursuit for better managed and more just social and economic system. Small issues are constantly in the centre of the heated disputes while nobody tries to look at the bigger picture how the global society and international relations are managed. Capitalism as the economically centred system has many advantages which helped human society to overcome its national borders and helped it become globalized. Globalization in the terms of knowledge sharing, cultural enlightenment, social help, travel and other similar issues in capitalistic framework is harmless. When however, free movement of capital and uncontrolled trade is introduced into the globalized society without the common set of laws and principles the problem becomes evident. Pursuit for economical benefits become one of the main driving forces of societies in capitalistic systems. Money become the centre of our lives around which everything else revolves.

We as human beings living in our own social context performing the everyday roles of citizens, travellers, buyers or workers have to understand our participatory roles in evolutionary processes forming future of social, ecological and economic landscape. As well as the past decisions on local or national level have been forming the everyday experience of our social landscape, our decisions will form the social context of life for the consecutive generations. Decision-making with the regard to responsibility to current social, economic and ecological politics and a sense of responsibility and respect to the future is expected to be in the forefront of interests of the leaders on all levels of decision-making process regardless the position their advocate. This process has been struggle from the time the ownership was introduced into human societies followed by invention of currency as a trade exchange medium. These were the times when the evolution of globalization as we know it today initiated.

Concept of local trading is considered to be harmless as all participants in the goods or services exchange process are directly affected by their own social, economic and ecological activities and are able directly by their decisions filter all damaging factors. The same concept can sometimes be applied on regional level but often fails on the national and is fully functionless in globalized society. Swiss cantons (shires) are one of the examples where the concept of place as well as the concept of the homeland is considered to be the priority of government, economic union as well as individual citizens. Investment into the purity of Swiss nature, appreciation and protection of local distinctiveness is considered to be the investment and evolutionary step into the future. Only people aware of the context of their own place can make proper decisions for themselves an others affected by their actions.

South Africa, Australia, Jamaica, New Zealand are just few from the list of places where the capitalism in form of political and economical globalization took opposite turn while under control of British imperialism. Concept of place and appreciation of localness were not far to often taken into consideration. Ignorance to the local distinctiveness and natural wildlife based on momentary short term economic interests caused the irreversible losses of fauna and flora as well to local intellectual knowledge and culture. Damage to the forests, landscape, soil, animals and local human beings hidden in the mist of ignorance or lack of knowledge of all participants involved to the trading process and overlooked by the wider society home in United Kingdom could only happen because people were unable to see the end of the chain reaction caused by their domestic, social and economic habits.

Limitless pursuit for economic benefits/money as the prime motivation for the companies operating within the capitalistic framework can be tolerated by general public. The economic growth is seen as the prime principle of any company existence. Local, national, social or even environmental issues come into consideration later. Human societies are forced to tolerate decisions made by global profit-hungry companies on their behalf, directly affecting their quality of life, environment and other local or national issues.

Critics of capitalism argue that capitalism undermines true economic freedoms due to an unfair and inefficient distribution of wealth and power; a tendency toward monopoly or oligopoly; imperialism, various forms of economic exploitation; and phenomena such as social alienation, inequality, unemployment, and economic instability.

In the Master project I will try to communicate some of the following issues, using the sets of innovative visualization techniques:

  • Democracy and economic freedom
  • Exploitation
  • Imperialism and political oppression
  • Inefficiency and waste
  • Inequality
  • Market failure
  • Market instability – in the time of crisis only socialistic practices will help to re-establish economic growth
  • Property
  • Sustainability
  • Unemployment

In the United States, the shares of earnings and wealth of the households in the top 1 percent of the corresponding distributions are 15 percent and 30 percent, respectively. Critics claim that an untamed capitalist system has inherent biases favouring those who already possess greater resources. They say rich people can give their children a better education and inherited wealth, and that this can create or increase large differences in wealth between people who do not differ in ability or effort. One study showed that in the U.S., 43.35% of the people in the Forbes magazine “400 richest individuals” list were already rich enough at birth to qualify.Another study indicated that in the US, wealth, race, and schooling are important to the inheritance of economic status, but that IQ is not a major contributor, and the genetic transmission of IQ is even less important.

Market failure is a term used by economists to describe the condition where the allocation of goods and services by a market is not efficient. Keynesian economist Paul Krugman views this scenario in which individuals’ pursuit of self-interest leads to bad results for society as a whole. From this, some critics of capitalism prefer economic intervention by government into free markets. Some believe that the lack of perfect information and perfect competition in a free market is grounds for government intervention. Others perceive certain unique problems with a free market including: monopolies, monopsonies, insider trading, and price gouging.

Wages determined by a free market mechanism are also commonly seen as a problem by those who claim that some wages are unjustifiably low or unjustifiably high. Another perceived failure is that free markets usually fail to deal with the problem of externalities, where an action by an outside agent positively or negatively affects another agent without any compensation. An example of an externality is pollution. More generally, free market allocation of resources in areas such as health care, unemployment, wealth inequality, and education are considered market failures by some.

Poor distribution of goods has also been identified as a market failure. One critic noted that 200 million Indians went hungry in 1995, while the Indian economy was exporting $625 million worth of wheat and $1.3 billion worth of rice that same year.

Additional remarks:

  • context of place – think locally act globally
  • inequality – world bank/international monetary fundamental
  • market instability – operation with number rather than seeing the results of the actions
  • exploitation – capitalism gives space for exploitation mainly in the poorer parts of the world
  • economic right to make money but with the limits of global wealth and ecological sustainability
  • in the centre of the interest is profit everything else stands behind it
  • companies grew too big – groups of stakeholders act only for their own benefit. The company is a cow and they want a milk and a meat without caring about what are the consequences.
  • Globally friendly actions are only taken when necessary for the marketing purposes. Goodwill – marketing is not about the true belief in certain principles but about the understanding of marketing benefits of goodwill actions.

  • Critique of capitalism in Avatar
  • Environment only well managed by states – capitalism has no mechanism for environmentally beneficial management
  • globalization – as a result of capitalism, free market policy – erasing of the social and historical habits in certain parts of the world

9./10. Artist’s writing – Alexandra M. Kokoli

Posted in "M" Master Seminars by matvandenart on January 10, 2010

The works of art resist definition and outclass all descriptions, living its own life, provoking our scrutiny, and inviting our participation in its mysteries. The defiance is ever present in the work of art; yet often its initial strangeness of form, style or theme provokes negative responses or viewer’s indifference.


8. Art and Forestry/Anthropoly and Art – Jenny Clarke

Posted in "M" Master Seminars by matvandenart on January 10, 2010

Being a digital designer, it is often necessary in my practice to reproduce various forms of nature in digital world. This past experience allows me to conceive the nature in the different view as most of other people see it. My previous practice enabled me to study nature and its forces and laws in mathematical terms. (more…)

7. Active, Medial, Passive – Giving form to process – Ann Douglas

Posted in "M" Master Seminars by matvandenart on January 10, 2010

Professor Ann Douglas initiated in my mind obvious question; “what is the art, the process or the result?” This question reminds me an artwork located at a German city’s square. The name of the artwork was ‘incognito monument’. There were various protest text written on the bottom side of all pebbles in the middle of the classic period city square. Incognito monument played hide and folly game with the artist himself where the artist was an observer as well as participant. (more…)

6. Asking better questions about quality – Francois Matarasso

Posted in "M" Master Seminars by matvandenart on January 10, 2010

As a reaction to François Matarasso’s seminar based around the quesitions of “asking better questions about quality”, I decided to search for my own understanding of quality. (more…)

5. Examining Art Spaces – Iain Irving

Posted in "M" Master Seminars by matvandenart on January 10, 2010

Gallery or whitespace gives anonymity to the surroundings, drawing us from our external world into the universal, anonymous and partially homogenous environment where the viewer is supposed to have the same experience wherever in the world is confronted with the artwork. Necessity to remove the context of the particular place or surroundings in relation to the exposed work of art is essential for enabling successful emotional communication between the author and the audience. (more…)