Editor’s note: This post is part of our weekly newsletter In the NVIDIA studio series that honors famous artists, offers creative tips and tricks, and shows how to do it Studio NVIDIA technology enhances creative workflows.
ManvsMachine steps In the NVIDIA studio this week to share the idea of fractal art, which uses algorithms to artistically represent calculations derived from geometric objects as digital images and animations.
Founded in London in 2007, ManvsMachine is a multi-faceted creative company specializing in design, film and visual arts.
ManvsMachine works closely with the world’s leading brands and agencies including Volvo, Adidas, Nike and more to produce award-winning creative content.
The ManvsMachine team draws inspiration from many places: nature and wildlife, conversations, films, documentaries, and emerging and historical artists of all kinds.
For fans of Romanesco broccoli, the edible flower bud, reminiscent of cauliflower in texture and broccoli in flavor, can create a mild, nutty, sweet note that pairs well with savory. For ManvsMachine, this became an artistic opportunity.
The Traveling Romanesco the animation began as a series of studies based on romanesque broccoli, a vivid example of a fractal found in nature.
ManvsMachine’s goal was to find an efficient way to render it in 3D and create complex geometry with a simple setup.
The genesis of the animation revolved around creating a phyllotaxis pattern, the arrangement of leaves on a plant stem, using the highly efficient VEX expression language in SideFX’s Houdini software.
This was achieved by creating many points and shifting each of the previous ones by 137.5 degrees, known as the golden or “perfect round” angle, as you move outward from the center. The built-in RTX-accelerated Karma XPU renderer provided fast simulation models powered by the team’s GeForce RTX 3090 GPUs.
The team added a simple height and width to the shapes using ramp controls and then copied the geometry to those points inside the loop.
Leaving the basic structure intact, ManvsMachine sculpted the florets individually to create a stunning 3D model in the shape of Romanesco broccoli. The RTX-accelerated Karma XPU renderer also significantly sped up figure animations.
“Creativity is enhanced with faster ray-traced rendering, smoother 3D viewports, faster modeling, and improved image scaling with AI—all accelerated by NVIDIA RTX GPUs.” — ManvsMachine
The project was then imported into Foundry’s Nuke software for composition and final touches. In pursuit of a softer look, ManvsMachine counteracts the complexity of the animation with some “eye-pleasing” materials and color choices with realistic depth of field.
Many advanced nodes in Nuke are GPU accelerated, giving the team another speed advantage.
Such projects as Traveling Romanesco represent the high quality work that ManvsMachine strives to provide to customers.
“Our spirit is reflected in our name,” said ManvsMachine. “Equal weight is given to ideas and implementation. Rather than selling an idea and then deciding how to implement it later, the advantage is to present the full picture to clients, often using technology to inform creative people.”
Check out @man.vs.machine on Instagram for more inspired work.
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