Tag Archives: diegetic prototypes

A guerrilla future realized.

This week my brilliant students in Collaborative Studio 4650 provided a real word guerrilla future for the Humane Technologies: Livable Futures Pop-Up Collaboration at The Ohio State University. The design fiction was replete with diegetic prototypes and a video enactment. Our goal was to present a believable future in 2024 when ubiquitous AR glasses are the part of our mundane everyday. We made the presentation in Sullivant Hall’s Barnett Theater, and each member of the team had a set of mock AR glasses. The audience consisted of about 50 students ranging from the humanities to business. It was an amazing experience. It has untold riches for my design fiction research, but there were also a lot of revelations about how we experience, and enfold technology. After the presentation, we pulled out the white paper and markers and divided up into groups for a more detailed deconstruction of what transpired. While I have not plowed through all the scrolls that resulted from the post-presentation discussion groups, it seems universal that we can recognize how technology is apt to modify our behavior. It is also interesting to see that most of us have no clue how to resist these changes. Julian Oliver wrote in his (2011) The Critical Engineering Manifesto,

“5. The Critical Engineer recognises that each work of engineering engineers its user, proportional to that user’s dependency upon it.”

The idea of being engineered by our technology was evident throughout the AugHumana presentation video, and in discussions, we quickly identified the ways in which our current technological devices engineer us. At the same time, we feel more or less powerless to change or effect that phenomenon. Indeed, we have come to accept these small, incremental, seemingly mundane, changes to our behavior as innocent or adaptive in a positive way. En masse, they are neither. Kurzweil stated that,

‘We are not going to reach the Singularity in some single great leap forward, but rather through a great many small steps, each seemingly benign and modest in scope.’

History has shown that these steps are incrementally embraced by society and often give way to systems with a life of their own. An idea raised in one discussion group was labeled as effective dissent, but it seems almost obvious that unless we anticipate these imminent behavioral changes, by the time we notice them it is already too late, either because the technology is already ubiquitous or our habits and procedures solidly support that behavior.

There are ties here to material culture and the philosophy of technology that merits more research, but the propensity for technology to affect behavior in an inhumane way is powerful. These are early reflections, no doubt to be continued.

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There is a story in the future. Digital graphic novel is also designed to make us think.

Page 44

The charming conversation between Kristin Broulliard and Toei-N is just one of the reasons I really like this page. The two of them framed from the back-view with the scope of the big board is another cool visual that I ended up being pleased with. Aside from all this, however there is an interesting design fiction that emerges. As I have written about extensively, the surveillance state technology, the floating balcony, and the natural conversation with a synthetic human being all qualify as diegetic prototypes. The term diegetic prototypes (Kirby 2010) refers to the diegesis, the fictional world within which, “..technologies exist as ‘real’ objects… that function properly and which people actually use.” This project, quite obviously stops short of material fabrication,and leans heavily on the realism that can be conveyed through CG. In their digital forms, artifacts have dimension and virtual physicality. There is a deliberate goal of examining how they can go unnoticed. As with may present-day artifacts like smart phones and laptops, these blend into the scheme of everyday. They are ubiquitous in the culture, yet they serve to influence social interaction and individual behavior. Therein lies the design fiction.

The touch of nanoprene.
The touch of nanoprene.

I created Toei to be an immensely likable “person,” that anyone might enjoy conversing with, but it nevertheless begs the question that we would not be having this conversation with a human being. Does that bother us? Should it?

And these questions also emerge:

Will we forever into the future simply acquiesce to the latest technology, even if it erases any sense of privacy, or human intimacy?

Have we already begun this process through our social networking, texting, and second lives?

 

In addition to creating an interesting story, it is my goal to make us think as well. Maybe this will get it started.

Comments welcome.

Kirby, David. “The Future Is Now.” Social Studies of Science 40.1 (2010): 41-70. Sage Journals. Web. 20 May 2012. <http://sss.sagepub.com/content/40/1/41.abstract>.

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Design Fiction: More Ammunition

Design Fiction Rationale #24

There are a number of good reasons to practice design fiction. A few:

  • It’s the foresight side of design thinking.
  • It generates ideas free of constraints like, “How many can we sell?”
  • It helps foster an appreciation for the interdependency of things. 

And then there are provocations about the implications of creating any design, it’s affect on society, on behavior, on other things.

I have already written about this in my MFA thesis, When Designers Ask, “What If?”, and more or less predicted it, but as it has been widely reported over the last couple of weeks, a 3D printer has produced a gun that has been successfully printed and fired. In a web article, this quote fell out:

“An undetectable firearm constructed on your computer may sound like science fiction, but unfortunately, it’s already here and our laws have never contemplated this scenario,” D.C. City Council member Tommy Wells, who introduced the legislation, said in a press release. “These weapons create a significant and immediate threat to public safety.”

I hate break it to the D.C. City Council, but laws do not contemplate anything and more often than not, laws are created to fix problems that people never contemplated. So, now we have a new problem that city councils all over U.S. will have to create laws for and governments will have to regulate.

Roll your own. Source: The Sun
Roll your own. Source: ibitimes

But let’s face it, the cat is out of the bag. You can make it against the law to do anything, which works for the wide majority of people, except outlaws, terrorists, and loose-cannon regimes.

Did anyone think about potential ramifications of a home 3D printer in the hands of a bad person? Perhaps, but as is often the case these “black cloud” scenarios are usually brushed off with the positive outweighs the negative types of comments. There’s heavy pressure for progress and precautionary types are dismissed as “Debbie Downers.” I think we build things because we can, and then think about it later.

We like to think that technology will save us, save us from destruction, from cancer, from obesity, from boredom, from death. Some folks are holding out for it. But there is always a downside, like with Uranium gone missing, or texting while driving, bovine growth hormone. In the future it may be that our perfect selves along with a 24/7 virtual fantasy in our heads will become … boring. Then there’s that death thing. What could be wrong with scientists and artists and loving wonderful people that live forever? Except, of course, for the people that aren’t so wonderful or just plain evil.

And that’s one way we can use design fiction, with our diegetic prototypes to suspend disbelief about change, so that people can look at the possible future with this new thing or that new thing and maybe take extra time to think about the downside. Like Bruce Sterling says, “It’s important to explicitly acknowledge the drawbacks of any technological transformation—to “think the underside first,” to think in a precautionary way” (Sterling, Shaping Things, 2006:12).

Maybe the bigger question is this: If we knew then what we know now, would anything have changed? Are we even capable of stopping ourselves from building, or injecting, or releasing the next big thing because of those few minor, potential mishaps? Should we? After all, surely we can find some technology to prevent the downside from even happening.

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Sci-fi web comic. Page 22. Director’s commentary.

Today the title has been shortened from “sci-fi, CG, crime thriller, web comic laced liberally with design fiction overtones” to the title above. What other choice did I have?

Page 22

The scene in Sean’s lab continues. He has just authorized erasure of a select set of memories from Keiji-T, his ultra-sophisticated synthetic human. As we saw on pages 17 & 18 Keiji has been commissioned by the New Asia Police Hong Kong 2 division as a state-of-the-art detective. Keiji reports to work at Police Headquarters first thing in the morning, though Sean remarks that he will be sleeping a bit later than that. We can gather from page 20 that Sean has an appointment with the face on the screen, on page 20.

Design fiction diegetic prototypes

Aside from the design of the cascading visual interface that Sean uses to erase Keiji, and the other props that make up this scene, there are a couple bits of visual design fiction that happen on page 22, and in true form we do not obsess over them or really even call them to the foreground in any overt way. As true diegetic prototypes, they blend into the background, not particularly magical and part of everyday life (at least Sean’s everyday life.) This first is the way Sean makes his worktable and chair disappear while simultaneously enclosing his work in a transparent crypt. This will keep his work off limits to his lab assistants until he gets back. The second visual trick is not so obvious and you have to be paying attention. The difference is Sean’s bodysuit. Not that in p22, panel 3 Sean is wearing his grey, AHC uniform. In the final panel, the style has changed to a digital-camo look (very fashionable in 2159). How did he manage this, you ask? Thanks to programmable fabric and the commands from his luminous implants changing your clothes is virtually instantaneous. For more on luminous implants, see this post.

In the final scene, Sean exits through a huge , aperture-like vault door to the rear of the lab. It’s interesting how so many of these props are designed to be functioning elements but are seen only as a glimpse from a distance. This is a lot like a movie production where enormous amounts of detail are built into the sets since you never know where the camera will end up pointing or how close the director will decide to get to said prop. Alas, so much of it ends up as only a passing glimpse, part of the texture and context of another world.

Comments welcome. Cheers.

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A CG Web Comic for the Thinking Man or Woman

The original intent of The Lightstream Chronicles was a tasty coffee table, hard-bound book with slick, varnished black pages and a sweet linen cover with LSC emblem embossed in silver foil. Sounds cool, huh? Well, if you have been following the story, the blog, or the web site, then you know that that idea died a painful death on Kickstarter some months ago. I did a full diagnosis on that in a previous post, but now that I am several weeks into what has become The Lightstream Chronicles Web Comic I’m thinking that digital is not so bad after all.

fingerSSaSM-480

 

There are a couple of reasons for this change of heart:

Experiencing The Lightstream Chronicles has two foci, one for the reader-observer and one for the designer. For the designer, the experience of creating the story, the research, scriptwriting, planning, design, and production become processes of continuous challenge. Each embodies design in different ways from the not so familiar means of writing fiction and dialog, to the more familiar methods of visual thinking, planning, prototyping, rendering, retouching, selection and layout. These, however, could all be grouped into the category of doing, which are valuable exercises in polishing the craft of a visual designer. A less visible benefit of the design fiction process is accessible only if the designer embraces the intentional act of questioning and reflection. The fabrication or visualization of realistic diegetic prototypes can play a major role in suspending disbelief about change and the plausibility of near and distant futures, but at this level, they are little more than contextual support for more believable stories.

A 24 percent version of a full page spread. For the full res version visit: http://thelightstreamchronicles.com/WebComic.html
Click on this and you get a 24 percent version of a full page spread. For the full res version visit the site link above.

 

In order for diegetic prototypes and artifacts from the future to provide the subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) commentary on the artifacts in use today and the interconnectedness of design and culture, the designer must ask, “What if?“ And the question does not concern the, “if ” of whether the artifact could be made, it asks what would happen if it actually was made, and subsequently used. It is this inquiry, that yields the story of human interaction, and the resulting behavioral and or social changes that occur. The experience of the designer then, can be twofold: as hypothesizing visualizer of future artifacts, adjunct to a believable tale, or thought leader who welds artifacts with human behavior in the form of narrative to provoke discussion and debate.

The latter was the intention of this thesis and project. It yielded and continues to yield an experience that drives reflection into the end-result of design and technology. Indeed, if in the storytelling, the audience of science fiction and its design sub-genre stops with the satisfying act of consumption, a strong element of the meal is left on the table. Such design fiction is intentionally made and should be similarly examined. Through reflection, these future artifacts provide form of social introspection and a way of slowing (at least long enough to converse and examine) the headlong pursuit of more, because we can. Therein the designer’s experience is enhanced through a far deeper examination of the process of design, and it’s consequences.

The second focus is deals with the zoom tool in the hands of the viewer. For the audience, in many ways, The Lightstream Chronicles is an interactive graphic novel. Though it is not built with sophisticated programming that incorporates motion and sound, it is built in a high-resolution format (300 ppi) that on most computer displays requires the reader to engage by actively zooming, panning and scrolling to navigate the pages. This was intentional. Building this level of detail facilitates the process of inquiry. It draws the reader into a more inquisitive relationship the environment, the characters and the diegetic prototypes. This sense of realism, of tangible artifacts, tactile surfaces, and atmospheric detail is critical to the design fiction experience. The resolution serves the dual purpose of having artwork that is of sufficient resolution for an eventual printing, and it encourages the reader to push into the imagery up to five times, thereby increasing engagement with the narrative.

This is a key distinguishing difference between traditionally hand drawn sequential art. While hand drawn art can be scanned or digitally built at a similar or higher resolution, it most often does not hold the level of 3-dimensional detail that would, upon inspection, yield any further value (beyond a fine examination of the artist’s technique). With CG that is built, realistically textured, lit, and rendered in virtual space the reader must adopt the illusion that the objects and people are not simply implied through the artist’s technique, but actually exist in 3D space.

In no way do I slight the sublime satisfaction of flipping through those glossy pages, but diving deep into virtual space has it’s advantages.

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Diegetic prototypes from the design fiction graphic novel and webcomic

The grand purpose behind this blog is to chronicle the progress of my thesis and my graphic novel. Of course, the two are intimately related. The thesis objective is to participate and contribute to the discussion and practice of design fiction. Design is changing and that means that designers will have to change, like it or not. I believe that it is better to be conscious of this change and to participate in it rather than waking up one day and finding that you no longer recognize your profession. Design fiction asks us to imagine a plausible future—even just a possible one. Like, what happens when hardware disappears and the technology we use becomes internalized; or when messages become thoughts. What will be visual? What will be virtual? Environments? Software? Design fiction, through the creation of diegetic prototypes provides legibility for the ideas that surround this.

 

Linked to this, is the science fiction, crime thriller, graphic novel currently in progress. The story takes place in Hong Kong 2, in the year 2159 and is built and rendered to scale completely in CG. It’s also a web comic.

 

This particular post focuses on one of the more prominent prototypes in story: the embedded, two-way, luminous implants that appear on the fingertips of the Hong Kong populace. These “luminous implants” do everything from “dialing the phone” (called tapping), accessing the Lightstream (the evolved Internet of 2159), sending or receiving data feeds from active touch surfaces, and controlling body chemistry. They are used for security and identification as a “smart fingerprint”, they can be outfitted with a pheromone release system for attracting the opposite sex, and they even change color to match your mood or fashion. Exploiting the purpose behind diegetic prototypes (to suspend disbelief about change) the implants figure into several aspects of the story. If you are roving around the city you are likely to see the Luminous Systems advertisements that are floating around, and I have incorporated a scene inside the Luminous Systems store. I have designed it as a sort of Zen spa meets Apple Store. I see the implants as standard piece of bio-hardware that gets implanted under the skin at an early age, like 5 or 6 years. Digging into the idea a little deeper, I found the idea of tapping, to be a fascinating angle.

Learning to use your new luminous implants. Click to enlarge.
Learning to use your new luminous implants. Click to enlarge.

Since there is a direct connection to the brain, voice, sight hearing, taste and, of course, touch, learning the tap language,  is just a matter of infusing the program and watching your fingertips light up as it prompts you through the language. This immediately becomes “remembered” information. To give it a bit more reality, I designed this “user’s manual” for beginners. Ready to order?

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Graphic novel update and web comic debut

The Lightstream Chronicles is moving forward. I have completed about 25 percent of chapter 2 thus far and created several new diegetic prototypes to further the design fiction discussion. New scenes in chapter 2 include the interior of police headquarters, the Hong Kong 2 police surveillance control room, the medical center, Kristin’s office, her apartment, and a few other spots. Chapter 2 also introduces the remaining characters that didn’t show up in chapter 1. This would include Kristin Broulliard, Detective Guren, Col. Chen, and a host of bit players and extras. (Keiji-T a major character appeared briefly in chapter 1). You can see all the characters and get some additional background here.

39Ch2m

If you weren’t one of the 270 people that downloaded chapter 1 (when it was available on the site) then you can start following the story in web comic form. I will be updating it every Friday morning here at GMT-5.

On a side note, this is my last semester at OSU, and I’m scheduled to graduate with my MFA in May. I have submitted a number of applications for faculty positions around the country and here locally so it will be interesting to see where I end up this Fall. Next post, will feature a one of most visible diegetic prototypes of the story.

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Is all science fiction automatically design fiction?

It is probably helpful to reference evolutionary geneticist and science lecturer David Kirby who coined the term “diegetic prototypes” (Kirby, 2010). It is Kirby’s assertion that scientists often use cinema to further their projects and interests. “The presentation of science within the cinematic framework can convince audiences of the validity of ideas and create public excitement about nascent technologies”(66). Kirby’s analysis included classic, technology-laden films such as Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and Stephen Spielberg’s Minority Report, among others. In his view, scientists and engineers go to elaborate lengths to make these technologies as realistic as possible. “The most successful cinematic technologies are taken for granted by the characters in the diegesis, and thus, communicate to the audience that these are not extraordinary but rather everyday technologies. These technologies not only appear normal while on the screen, but they also fit seamlessly into the entire diegetic world”(50).

I think there are two specific variables to the answer. First, there is the perspective and intent of the creator, and second, the audience. The SF creator could be the author (in the case of literature) and the director (in the case of film). If we look at the archetypal stories of Philip K. Dick or Arthur C. Clarke, a sense of realism and plausible science make the speculative future seem more real, and believable. When Stanley Kubrick took 2001 to the screen, “Kubrick wanted absolute realism: he wanted the hardware on screen to look as though it really worked” (Bizony, 1994:81).

If you accept science fiction author Bruce Sterling’s (2012a) definition of design fiction as “…the deliberate use of diegetic prototypes to suspend disbelief about change.” then deliberate intent is specific and we would have to examine our science fiction on a case-by-case basis.

When the designer becomes science fiction author the intent of design fiction is perhaps most obvious. Bleecker, Candy, Dunagan, Dunne & Raby all fall into this category, and I submit, so does my graphic novel. Perhaps a science fiction writer (using a heavy dose of creative license) might simply decide what the world will be like 147 years from now. But in the context of this project, the designer is compelled to follow a course of due diligence before speculating on the design, the culture and the infinite number of possibilities that could affect it. Many believe that technology will have the greatest affect on design by enabling designers to imagine things heretofore unimaginable. That technology and the subsequent advancements in biotech, artificial intelligence, medicine, energy and transportation will send ripples into politics, religion and humanity.

Though there are perhaps as many definitions of science fiction as there are science fiction authors, most would agree that, in the final analysis, it is about people.

“[Social] science fiction is that branch of literature which is concerned with the impact of scientific advance on human beings.” — Isaac Asimov, Science Fiction Writers of America Bulletin, 1951 1

The use of diegetic prototypes can suspend disbelief about the future scenarios, and through an examination of culture and context, individuals can contemplate present-day decisions that will affect the future on an individual basis.This brings us to the remaining variable: the audience. If design fictions can engage the average person-on-the-street to dialog about the imminent future, then perhaps individuals will become more aware of their ability to engage in discussion and thereby help to direct the future rather than being directed by it.

So, whether it is design fiction, science fiction or both, it is important that we not lose sight of its ability to make us think, and perhaps accept our responsibility to do so.

 

Bizony, P. (1994) 2001 Filming the Future. London: Arum Press Limited, p.81.

 

Kirby, D. (2010) The Future is Now: Diegetic Prototypes and the Role of Popular Films in Generating

Real-world Technological Development. Social Studies of Science, 40 (1), p.41-70.

 

Sterling, B. (2012a) Sci-Fi Writer Bruce Sterling Explains the Intriguing New Concept of Design

Fiction. Interviewed by Torie Bosch [radio] Tempe, AZ, March 2, 2012.

 

1. http://io9.com/5622186/how-many-defintions-of-science-fiction-are-there

 

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Futurist Artifacts. Where is the Design Fiction in Chapter 1?

I’m referring to chapter 1 of The Lightstream Chronicles, of course. I’ve decided to write about this since I fear that some folks (who actually care about such things) may have taken a pass on covering chapter 1, because the design fiction element wasn’t obvious or categorically relevant. I will be detailing some of this in future blogs.

The future of The Lightstream Chronicles is built with “artifacts” that, by virtue of the narrative, become infused with meaning. At the same time, they are intended to provide a sense of realism and increase engagement, as well as foster discussion and debate. Because design permeates culture, and is an inextricable part of daily life, as it has been for centuries and will likely be in the future, design also blends in, and the people living in, and with it, don’t particularly take notice of it. As Kirby suggests, this is the purpose of diegetic prototypes: characters take them for granted, which tells the audience that these are, in context, not magical, but rather everyday technologies.

As an example, it is helpful to consider how the current day has evolved. To a mid-20th century audience, the idea of a smart phone or an iPad may seem extreme or fantastic, but in the context of today’s culture, these tools are commonplace and have become significantly less remarkable to the users. The smart phone, as an example, is a designed technology that brings with it new efficiencies, and at the same time, engenders new behaviors. To imagine by what means humanity will communicate in 147 years, the designer must also speculate on what new behaviors that technology will engender. The first step is to research trending technology. In the example of the smart phone, there will likely be the convergence of many technologies. Miniaturization is one aspect. With the relentless pursuit of faster and more robust computing, physicists have calculated that miniaturization will, upon achieving the molecular limit, will come to a grinding halt. Unless molecular computing can pick up the slack, the end of Moore’s law (the idea computing power doubles every 12 months, or so), which is predicated on the use of silicon chips, is predicted to occur in the next 20-25 years. For the purposes of the story, it is assumed that this level of nano-engineering is successful. The next converging factor is the implantation of these devices into the human body. This is already in common technology in cochlear implants, pacemakers and medical information chips as well as security and tracking devices. Combined with advancements in retinal displays through contact lenses and eventually built-in devices, everything that is present-day smartphone technology will eventually be implanted into the human body.

In the future world of 2159, the smart phone is long gone. Relaying and transmitting messages, or images is achieved through the nano “chipset” implanted shortly after you are born. These react with luminous implants just under the skin of the fingertips. Users learn a sequential language of “taps,” fed via the body’s own electrical impulses to the brain to access different content and transmit or receive information. Tapping the correct sequence makes, a “call,” and the user can see the person on the other end through a retinal projection and talk, or simply “think” their conversation. In this instance, design has become internalized. Behavior is the only telltale sign that design is in use.

 

Luminous implants will be the portal to senses, emotions and data.
Luminous implants will be the portal to senses, emotions and data.

Not everything in the story was designed to be ”new.” Many future technologies were imagined as a blend of today and tomorrow. For centuries, society has been had a fascination with furniture and seating that will probably continue, only the materials will change. Just as “antiques” from a previous century find their way into current lifestyles, fashions, and personal artifacts, it is likely that these elements of 20th and 21st century culture will be carried forward into the 22nd century. It is plausible, therefore, that a LeCorbusier sofa winds up in the living space of a character from The Lightstream Chronicles. This mixture of old and new could also be expected in architecture. Though it may be surrounded by radical new designs, classic and even ancient architecture will be continually restored and renewed. Other artifacts like books and art, or artifacts from the past, will likely continue to be collected as they provide meaning and hold relevance in the culture.

Next post:

Building the Visible World

 

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My sci-fi graphic novel: more updates

Editors note: If you are arriving here for the first time, I’m a designer working on my MFA thesis is a graphic novel set in the far future, 2159. The objectives are two-fold: 1.) an exercise in epic designmanship that examines the design-culture relationship within a future narrative. Because the end result is visual, making things and and diegetic prototypes are a natural by-product.  2.) Created entirely in CG,this visually rich graphic novel will be an exciting, page-turning, thought-provoking adventure into the future.

With that behind us, I’ve made some progress on character design, to the point that I think I’m back on schedule and satisfied, (do you believe it) with the renderings, style and overall look that is developing. Five of eight characters are complete with the remaining three underway and well past the half-way point. As soon as this is completed I will be working to polish my overall story synopsis so that you guys will have something real to think about. I’m seriously toying with the idea of going on Kickstarter to get some funding. I’ve been working around the clock on this for almost a year, (with no appreciable income) writing, researching, etc. and a printed book seems to be a necessity, and that means promoting it and everything that goes with that — hence the funding.  A web comic, as I have discussed previously, might happen but only after the entire work is complete. This could be a year away.

Also on the list is a website for the book based on the title, and a video trailer. So, there is no end to what needs to get done.

Meanwhile, on my parallel path of examining the relationship of culture to design and vice versa, my designer investigations have touched on dozens of design decisions that amount to futurist predictions for the year 2159. These would include geo-political changes,  the philosophical ramifications of a techno-human future, society, religion, crime, as well as a plethora of design speculation on things like interiors and furniture, architecture, telepathy, fashion, transportation, food and cooking, weaponry, hardware, learning, and, of course, the meaning of life. All of this requires prototyping, researching and designerly thinking on the relationship of culture, the human condition, and design. Is this fun or what?

The path to that place, right now, is a matter of 3D modeling, UV texture mapping, rendering, rendering, rendering, tweaking, rendering, Photoshopping, and did I mention, rendering? Anecdotally, I was putting the finishing touches on one of my key characters and as I’m walking the image, I notice that there is this annoying shadow in the background. It reminded me of my studio days working with the great photographer, Paul Schiefer and those moments when we would be staring at the screen saying, “Where did this shadow come from?” We always had tons of lights on the set so it became a matter of switching lights on and off to find which one was the culprit. Of course, this is exactly the procedure in 3D. When I found the offending light, (set somehow to a distance of 25ft.) I ratcheted it down to about 6ft, but my next render revealed a background in darkness. Hmmm. Here’s where you depart from the photo studio world: I added a new light exactly where I needed the illumination and turned shadowing off . The result a perfectly lit background sans pesky shadow. That would have come in handy in the studio, huh Paul?

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