Monday, October 8, 2018

Additive Machine Rendering

We explore machine-rendering as a new painting medium that bridges between traditional painting and digital arts. Our first-in-kind oil-based painting robot deposits pigments on canvas with pixel precision and 2.5D layering. The mechanical and chemical processes emphasize their affinity with traditional painting mediums. They facilitate a carefully controlled chaos and fuzziness on the canvas, blending machine precision and painterly marks.

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Digital rendering technique has long been a quintessential facade of new media art. The ability to generate alternative or imaginative rendition of the universe becomes a powerful extension to an artist’s brush. The expression possible through the new means surpasses the the simple rasterization of the reality, leaving much to desire in the final art in contrast to traditional printing processes.

The oil-based painting robot, that we call a programmable brush, brings two formerly separate worlds together: the computational precision that machines bring, and the chaotic yet beautiful interaction of painting materials. Digital images are put onto the canvas, where the machine introduces a variety mechanical modulation of the pigment movement on each print strokes – that is combined with painting substrates and human artists' pre- and post- treatments on the strokes.

Through the introduction of oil-based pigments in combination with the use of true color achieved via layering as opposed to conventional dithering techniques, the process attempts to glue the human endeavors and creativity with machine precision. The process not only brings efficiency to art production, but also allows human artistry to seep into an exponentially larger volume of work. Furthermore, tuning and programmatic modulation of the mechanical control allow for a physical "shader," realizing alternative "renderings" of the same original.

Artmatr introduces this additive machine painting process that allows for a tightly interwoven human-made marks, mechanized paint extrusion, and chaotic material interaction between paint, substrate, and canvas. The paint system will be deployed in academic institutions and collaborations with artists and foundations to establish new dialogues among artists, engineers, and all other forms of creators. We identify and solve problems of bridging together the domains of art and engineering that have long remained siloed, with very few common reference points or shared lexicon.

*Systems in progress for deployment at MIT and Fischl Foundation

*Works generated from a workshop at MIT