Godfrey, how did you get into abstract virtual artwork?
I have always been infatuated with video games and computers since a little kid. I was also always was interested in music composition. I became a sound engineer in school and eventually needed a visual to go with my music. Enter 360 degree video / VR!
How did you learn?
I am self-taught with the help from online tutorials and scouring the internet. There is some kind folks at http://GreyScaleGorilla.com and http://Beeple-crap.com putting out resources and “everyday” renders that are so inspiring, I started adapting that into everyday life. By being an active part of the motion graphic community, I learn new things every day. I create art every day, and when you start doing that, you just start to become a research maniac. I spent about 6 years studying computer graphics on my own.
Where does the music come into play?
I am a sound engineer and have been working in the music industry my whole life. Digital media was the natural course to go with my music, and eventually, that led down a 3d animation path with motion graphics because I wanted to see things “move”. I ended up landing at 360-degree videos and virtual reality production. Now I write music for the works and do custom sound design for my pieces as a one man show. Though, I do frequently collaborate with others on social media.
What is your inspiration?
I believe we all can smash self-doubt if we look fear in the face defeating it with confidence. My goal is to inspire others to do just that by being consistent with my work and evolving. I use art to express that in many ways and try to give my viewers an alternative perspective on all kinds of ideas from science, to spirituality. I want people to think, learn, and create a discussion. I am now bringing it all together to create amazing immersive experiences to inspire others to create. Imagine working in an endlessly creative space making anything you can imagine with sound and animation. What do you make? This is very interesting to me, and the driving force behind why I make new virtual worlds all of the time. I like to create experiences that are surreal that can only be experienced in this new medium. I learn about myself when I create art. Every day I learn new things and use intuition to just express myself the best I can. I want to share this art with the world!
What tools do you use?
I make the videos in Cinema4d using a 100% reflective sphere to produce an image sequence from 4k frames. I take that image sequence and bring it into After Effects and do some post effects and sync the audio. Sometimes the audio drives the work in Cinema4d and then it can start that way. Either way, it goes, it makes it way down the pipeline, to eventually become an “equitriangular” video file that I can upload to Facebook, Youtube, and a few other platforms.
How do you come up with so many (over 140+ and counting!)?
Well I am a painter, and while painting, I have learned that you need to let go of the subject matter sometimes, and let your intuition guide you when you start working. If you try to make everything perfect, you won’t move forward. I usually start off with something very simple and let the piece build itself off of a small bit of randomness I give it. The process refines and eventually figures and shapes will be there… I will see or hear something that I can relate to and put a meaning to, and expand on that. Once there is somewhat of a structure, I then take it through multiple processes. For instance. Sometimes for my materials, I used scanned artworks as displacement maps, or I use software code to distort the textures, to create a unique digital landscape. In a digital world, anything can be manipulated into anything, and I like to create from my imagination. Sometimes I use solid concepts or subject matter as the starting point, but I like to draw from abstract expressionism and give my pieces a surrealist feel to them in the virtual medium. I am still learning every day! I certainly don’t want to put myself into a box (or a sphere ;) ) Every single day is a blank canvas to me. I have to create something unique each time.
What do you think the future of VR holds?
I believe that virtual reality will be used for endless amounts of professional fields especially in training, education, and entertainment. As far as augmented reality goes, I think the practical use of augmented reality is going to surpass VR very shortly… Most people I talk to are not too happy with the idea of sitting in one place for long periods of time, as active individuals. Everyone likes the idea of ACTUAL reality overlaid with layers or GPS enabled “Channels” that one can flip through. Imagine flipping to the “Travel” channel in your glasses and data would be overlaid in the sky while you still get to view the sunset.. or looking at a wall, and being able to leave a smiley emoji and your twitter @gm3beats for others to find later…The future will be all aware headsets doing live projection mapping, and our bandwidth will be so fast it will need to be powered by light speed crystal CPUs! VR will take us close to visualizing what the future might look like, as we can create anything in our imagination. So it’s going to get interesting that’s for sure!
Where can we find your work?
Thank you so much for taking a second to read about my art and ideas of the future! Much love! Please share this interview around to help spread the word on my art, and inspire other artists to create in VR! See you in the void! – Godfrey Meyer III – The Sound Painter.