Beginning work on a new book about evolutionary psychology

You can read the first few chapters of my upcoming illustrated book <here>. The project was driven by two questions:

  1. Who benefits from art?
  2. What opportunities await artists in the next 40 years?

The book is called Art and the Supermassive Pinball Machine. It will have over 75 illustrations and diagrams, including these:

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ETA: Summer 2018

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Future Thinking: Eye Tracking and Retail Design

Josh Eckert - retail design - globe

The most remarkable part of this environment can’t be shown with a still image. As you approach the back shelves, discreet cameras track your eyes’ movements. When you look at a shelf, sophisticated software detects the object of your gaze and lights glow around that shelf. When your eyes drift left, the computer tracking your pupils dims the light on the last object of your attention and illuminates the next. The computer reacts so quickly to your moving pupils that light seems to follow your eyes in real time.

This system can track the eyes of only two people at a time, and the viewer has to be within a certain range for the system to work.

Tobii is working on this. It’s called passive eye-tracking, and it should be ready in 12 months or less.

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Unifying the Darks: How an Art Director Makes an Image Pop

 Cornelius Dämmrich - Mercury
Before

Today, I’m picking on a talented German artist who works in 3DS Max.

His rendering’s crisp CG details draw me in, but then send my eyes to flit back and forth across the image in want of a strong focal point to stick to. Poor tonal organization=no focal point=weak visual punch. I respect the self restraint the artist displays with a limited palette, but he needs to organize, unify, and simplify these tonal shapes.

In a highly-complex image such as this, only focal points should have such severe light/dark contrast.

Violating this rule yields a too-busy image. That in mind, I spent 15 minutes retouching the image in Photoshop. (I’ll confess it’s rude of me to do this to a stranger’s work, but wait until you see the difference.) Notice how now the tones look correctly and coherently grouped, thereby uncluttering the image.

After
After

Continue reading “Unifying the Darks: How an Art Director Makes an Image Pop”

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