Ben is a DJ, VJ and 3D Artist who is currently working in Mannheim, Germany.
He is into 3D Modelling, Animation and Architecture Mapping. Ben will guide us through the process of Creative Architecture Mapping.
When was the first time that you’ve learned about New Media Art? Who introduced you to it?
That’s a hard question. I think I started after I read an article about 3D & New Media Artists. For me, painting or simply creating art is something special.
For a very long time I thought that I’d never be able to create something similar or even call myself a designer. But then I found Nebmotion’s tutorials about Blender and they honestly changed my life!
Creating something in a 3D program was my introduction to the world of design. At first I didn’t even know that this type of art was called “new media art”. I started to learn how to create 3D objects, clips, animations and many more stuff. I also followed Izy Lab and UON Visuals from Canada. Then, I was trying to get on Superrare and Nifty, I was also trying to get into crypto art. These dudes suggested me to check out the hashtags #newmediaartists and #visionaryart.
Now I’m feeling confident in being called an artist or even better – a New Media Artist. That’s actually a new lifestyle for me.
What technology and tools do you use for your artwork?
My main tool and source of power is my laptop. I’m running an HP Omen 15 with a GTX 2070 with obviously Blender and Mad Mapper, as well as Resolume for projection stuff. Also my smartphone comes in handy sometimes with a wide range of picture manipulation tools.
Can you briefly guide us through the process of creating Architecture Mapping? What time does it take?
Okay, so let’s start from scratch.
If you get requests for new media artwork, that’s nice. However, most of the time, you need to get the work totally on your own.
Finding the Right Place / Object for Architecture Mapping
I usually contact my city asking them if they have some nice spots on buildings or even monuments that I can bring to life with my tools. Let’s say the answer is yes and they have some sort of tower. First step for me is then to completely rebuild my object of choice in Blender and check the light situation at the site. I do this because you need to figure out what beamers to use to fight against the light interference coming from street lamps, cars etc.
Thankfully, I’m working with a big brand here in my hometown with good contacts to people where I can rent big ass beamers.
So let’s say it’s already been two weeks and my work on the 3D model is getting way more detailed. I’m also doing a lot of sketches for the show, I’m simulating how it goes, finding out what clips I can use or perhaps, I’m using third party clips.
Finding an Artist and Event For Architecture Mapping
If so, the question is who will need your New Media Artwork? I usually reach out to many good artists and I’m capable of blending together different styles. However, a collaboration is not that easy.
If you do 6 or 8 hour gigs at a party or festival, it’s a little bit easier to visualize. But if you’re making an artwork for a 30-minute gig, your project needs to have that “mind-blowing-wow” effect in order to be recognizable and stand out.
Meeting The Building and Architecture Mapping
So, after a month (or more) of preparation full of making clips and the different 3D models, we finally get to the building to set everything up. Beamers, cables, a good position and lighting. You can finally see what you did at home and it’s fascinating!
However, you’re not finished yet, because you have to map all the screens within your projection program, add different layers, windows. Then masks and more windows. A lot of long and hard work goes into the process, and keep in mind that the whole project looks and works best in the dark. Also, you might only have one day until the show, so I’d say like a total of 6-8 hours go into preparation.
What Time Does It Take to do Architecture Mapping?
I got a little side-tracked there so back to your question, what time does it take?
It depends on the request honestly, but I would say for a monument or a big house wall roughly a month of work all together with building the 3D model to make it a nice and unforgettable experience plus the installation time as aforementioned. For instance, to map stages on parties you roughly get like two or three hours max so I obviously like gigs where I have more time.
What drives your spirit and keeps you creative?
Exploring the whole wide 3D world is really driving my spirit and keeping me. At the moment everything I make is a priority! So, I always need to find out which way to do it, to get the best results.
Have you been featured in any exhibitions?
It’s not an exhibition, but I did some visuals for a shopping window in my town during the crisis. I also did some stuff for the streaming portal UNITE accompanying live sets together with my Sharedmindvisuals boys.
Before the pandemic, I’d say my dream was to be doing big stage shows on festivals such as the Boom or the Modem because it’s always special to see something like that becoming reality but now I have other plans for the future.
Where do you dream to be featured?
I’m dreaming about doing architectural mapping on the sickest places around the globe. My biggest dream yet would be mapping Aztec ruins in South America, in the jungle you know or getting invited to an exhibition in the US or Asia. That would be amazing.
Something like the Digital NYC Square Street Festival which is completely done in virtual reality. It was so amazing to walk around and watch all those nice art pieces and installations. It would be really awesome to be part of it one day.
What’s the biggest challenge that you’ve met so far while creating art?
Good question! I’d say the hardest thing is getting the renders ready! 😉
No no, I’d say creating citys or villages are really big challenge for me at the moment. And don’t forget me that liquid animation stuff, love it but hate it to create it!
How do you picture the technology of the future?
Oh, I love the technology of the future beginning with Unreal Engine for doing really sick streams and virtual stages. So I guess VR will be booming this year and thanks to Oculus, it will be a great experience. Hope I can get my AR Stickers ready soon.
I’m totally in love with that tech as well!
I hope that in 10 Years people will still go to real locations, parties and raves because it’s the bloodline of our culture. It’s cool to have it in VR but the same with VR Food, you can buy it, can hold it, have it anything but you can’t eat it and feel stuffed and well after it.
How can our audience support you?
The best support you can give or get is exchanging contacts so we can help each other grow to sky! No limits! Endless possibilities! 🙂
Also shout out to my Sharedmindvisuals guys! Love you!
You can support @bendeform by reaching out to him for a collab, tips or simply sharing his work! Let’s suport this talented New Media Artist together! 🙂