Thursday, September 26, 2013

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Fly Wingz (Finale!)

Well... it's been a while!  Three months and one week since my last post to be exact.  Life has been pretty unpredictable lately, so it's been difficult finding time to work on my art.  But aside from that, there is one long term project I have finally finished... "The Wingmachine" video!  I've posted about it a few times in the past (1, 2), but just for a refresher, here is the run-down.

I started this animation project back in the summer of 2011 for the research lab I worked in at FSU.  I asked my professor if I could do something related to scientific illustration for Directed Individual Study credit, which in biology is typically given for undergraduate research projects.  But he said yes and asked for a video describing the main tool we used to take pictures of fly wings - the wingmachine.

The Wingmachine

After two semesters I finished the majority of it, and since then I've been working on it off-and-on adding and tweaking things.  In the video, I show how it's made, how it works, how to use it, and how further analysis of the wing pictures can be done using other programs.  The full scope of evolutionary, genotypic, and phenotypic information that can be gained from these simple wing pictures is pretty incredible, and it would take way more than a paragraph to explain properly.  But if you are interested in evolution and the connection between DNA and physical appearance, you can find more information on Dr. David Houle's research at his lab's website.  Here are some example pictures taken with the wingmachine!

Control wing - no genetic manipulation to the fly
Experimental wing - genetic manipulation of the gene Dachsous (ds)
Experimental wing - genetic manipulation of the gene Beadex (Bx)
Experimental wing - genetic manipulation of the gene Vein (vn)
Experimental wing - genetic manipulation of the gene Wingless (wg)

Aside from the science, learning how to make a movie was a different but equally complicated process.  In the end, I discovered two things:  1) I never want to be an editor, and 2) Making digital art is very very different from making traditional art.  I think in being a computer-inept person like myself, I would've rather taken more digital design classes than teach myself this stuff.  But I tried my best.  Anyway, I plan on writing another more detailed post about this project later, but for now here is my final product!

And since it's been so long, I have accrued quite a bit of artists I've fallen in love with.  Here are some of my favorites:
Breaking, pen and ink, by Boicu Marinela
#AF8, porcelain and mixed media, by Oleg Dou
Slow Bullet, oil on canvas, by Jon Fox
Little Sword, mixed media on paper, by Sail
Large charcoal illustration, by Anouk Griffioen
Drawing from travel sketchbook, by Pat Perry
Hot Hot Hot, 2012, acrylic on canvas and cut out paper, by Mi Ju
October, ink and acrylic on paper, by Lauren YS
Street art by NeSpoon
Mystery of the Three, acrylic, by Kim Noble

Sail - also, here's a preview of his new show @ Roq La Rue
Lauren YS - here is an awesome video compilation she made of four years worth of sketchbooks