Client: Westminster Schools, Atlanta, Georgia
Location: Atlanta, GA, United States
Completion date: 2022
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Fusion CI Studios
Fusion CI Studios
Inspired by the notion of art gallery paintings springing to life, creating a magical space with morphing & shape-shifting & transitioning from one painting to the next, paint flowing & growing organically from the art itself, Fusion CIS and Westminster Schools student artists created an entirely new concept, Living Art. Westminster Schools, Atlanta, designed a beautiful art gallery in its new multi-million-dollar Barge Commons lobby. With the addition of an outstanding video wall next to the gallery, Westminster wanted to somehow integrate the two, celebrating Westminster’s art student achievements.
Creative Director, Lauren Millar, envisioned the student’s paintings transforming into 3-dimensional “paint flows,” gracefully flowing & mixing & swirling, as if escaping the confines of the artist’s brush! Each piece evolving into the next, creating an installation that integrates the physical and digital art realms – integrating the two art mediums and the two separate spaces at once. The display would be a continuously living, moving, morphing installation, ever refreshing its design. A reflection of our ever-evolving world in which dynamic digital movement is a key part of our lives. And a whole new era of digital art development was born here at Fusion CI Studios.
Fusion's R&D team, led by fluid dynamics guru, Mark Stasiuk, designed and created these “paint flow’ transitions with computer-designed fluid simulations and developed an entirely new fluid effects tool or ‘digital brush’, if you will, for the creation. Our digital art brush identifies parts of the paintings as proxies for fluid properties. For example, gradients in luminance were used as proxies for fluid pressure gradients that drive fluid flow, and the hues in the art were used as proxies for fluid viscosity that resists flow.
Because each color in the art pieces have unique color properties, we programmed each color to behave like a fluid and interact, at its margins, with surrounding pools of color, forming complex, highly organic color flows evolving naturally from the original art. The results are textbook examples of generative art - the art actually generates the next frame of itself, creating an organic evolution dictated by the physics algorithm. Each initial art image generates its own unique evolution, an expression of its color palette and patterns.
Since Fusion’s new method is image-based, it naturally allows color-fluid "force fields" to be layered in just the way you composite images, and the flow forces can be controlled with compositing-like tools.
For example, color-correction (ie., gamma adjustments), heightens motion. The potential controls and resulting motions are endless, so the R&D team came up with a wide palette of color flow styles, allowing our Creative Director, Lauren, to select and mix and achieve the right motions for the installation. This remains a very active area of research in the Fusion CIS art lab. And the latest exciting development allows this process to be interactive! Since the simulation methods rely dominantly on 2D image manipulations, they can be executed in real time on GPU and made interactive (triggered by human movement... or anything you want… to any degree you want). This is also a wonderful example of our fully 3-dimensional color flows; they appear to be layered back into the depths of the screen, even escaping the display's digital frame, creating a very cool 3-dimensional effect, as if the paint flows are escaping the digital canvas in pursuit of their independent expression!