International Space Art Network

Welcome to a place of vision and beauty. Welcome to the world of space art.

Here we can talk about the tools and techniques for creating fantastic space art.

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LOL  I had not realized how psychic I must be. I replied to Mario's post before he posted it! :D  And looking forward to seeing your next one, Kennith - the Ice Cold System was so good!

Thanks. I'm working on a new version with a big asteriod crater with a base in orbit of a planet.

Mario - first may I thank you for your comments regarding my work. I have only shown three pieces of my deep sky work ever and they sold that night and received such lovely comments that when I returned to Australia I decided to do an exhibition of 15 deep sky objects and then look for somewhere to show them. I am 'driven' with a passion that should be frowned upon in someone of my years! LOL  So - I love reading an appraisal such as your.

You make an excellent well balanced case for digital art as art and what interested me most was the definition of the  PSD as being the original.  Can one not make a copy of that PSD file?  Because my working life was spent in IT I have stayed away from software in my art other than for social entrepreneurship but I imagine one can make an exact PSD file any number of times.  

And yes I love a good discussion - I am far from won over to the dark side regarding digital creations but if the issue of one origiinal is resolved I may concede an inch! :D



Mario John Borgatti said:

Hello Marie,

Please let me preface my comments by first saying: Your paintings are magnificent, beautifully rendered and a feast for the eyes!  Additionally, I'm glad you've reinvigorated this topic, for it is one that truly deserves a thorough airing.

You ask: "Is there any software that allows an 'original' yet?"

The "original" in my digital paintings is the PSD (Photo Shop Document) and is referred to, and retained as, a master. This master includes every last bit of detailed information of the work and is usually never released by an artist unless it's commissioned or some other form of work for hire. A PSD, rendered at very high resolution can fill the space of a traditional canvas without any loss in vibrance or detail. A JPG  is but a copy/print of the original, yet even at lower resolution it still has fairly good values and detail. In either case, whether it be a traditional painting or a digital one, the copy can never exhibit the superior quality of the original.

As for technique: In Photoshop the duplication of strokes and related styling techniques are accomplished by substituting charcoal and brush with a mouse, stylus or one's fingertips. The digital artist's tools simulate the many brush types and sizes, various sponges and other application and texturing tools of the traditional artist. All the work in my digital paintings is laid out exactly as it would be rendered in the traditional manner. I start with a blank canvas, then sketch out my design, lay down my backgrounds and build my subject just as you do, and I've done in the past, one layer at a time. Although software is available which is capable of creating landscapes, terrestrial and celestial objects and various other subject matter, I don't use them in my work. Not because they are not valid or artistic solutions to creating fine images, I just find it more gratifying to do it the "old" way.

The Realm of Galaxies

"The Realm of Galaxies" was painted in the manner described. After painting the entire "canvas" black, I then applied the dust clouds, stars, and details individually, all of which are comprised of many successive layers. The lightest (white in this case) was the base color and the increasingly darker colors were blended on a digital pallet quite similar to the traditional method. The painting took many hours, over several weeks, to complete. I started with a sketch then several studies, some of which were scrapped, before I was satisfied with my conceptual vision of the final piece. The application of the myriad components in the piece, rendered one at a time, require one to step back (virtually) and critique the painting almost every step of the way. As you know, it's a fine line between just enough and too much. In the case of "The Realm of Galaxies" I completed several versions before I had satisfied my mind's eye with the work being offered.

For purposes of demonstration I've included this side by side detail (within the red area) from the above painting:

(Double click image to see greater detail)

On the left is a detail from the painting above rendered at 100 pixels per inch, compared to the merged PSD on the right. Merged, meaning all the layers have been compressed and digitally processed as a very high resolution JPG at 600 pixels per inch. The techniques simulating those of real brushes show up much more clearly when comparing both images. A full blown PSD, which because of it's large file size makes it impractical and risky to post publicly, offers even greater detail to the viewer because it is completely uncompressed.

Marie, your pencil, keyboard analogy pretty much sums it up. Software is just another tool available to the artist. Digital paintings are as unique and tangible as any artistic product can be and just as difficult to imitate -- especially since the forger does not possess the highly detailed master. In practice, this master is the artist's ultimate provenance and as long as he or she possesses it, any and all false claims to it's history and ownership are moot. As to the question: "Is it art?" I'll leave that one to the eye of the beholder.

I hope I was able to offer some insight regarding your query. - Mario

Thank you Kennith, Have you seen any of David A. Hardy's tutorials on this site. I tried a couple and they're really excellent Photoshop lessons,  - Mario

Kennith Perry said:

That is a great galaxy painting. I've got photoshop but don't use it as much as I should. I have found a great tutorial for a space scene using ps I found in a magazine called fantasy art volume 2. I hope to use it soon after I finish my current scene I just started.
Aha! I figure score one to me regarding a scenes of an original for digital art as no one refuted my argument. :D. Just saying....

Marie, Thanks for your challenge and your passion, it's what separates artists from critics. In response to your comment, which finds my previous post lacking in convincing content, I will attempt to clarify my point.

It is true, one can make multiple copies of a PSD. But, they are just that, mere copies and are designated as such at the time the the artist chooses to make them (which is rarely necessary and usually done when saving to an external hard disc or some other media storage device).

Even If the artist decides to sell the work as prints or downloads, either of which is a compressed single layer version, there is no need to sell the master. Artist's who sell their masters and all the rights that go along with it, are legally bound to refrain from reselling the image and bans them from any future use of that image, even if using it for reference material, without express permission from the owner.

As you know there have been, cases before the courts where the buyers of original digital art have contested any further use of their rightful property by the artist from whom it was purchased. In most every case the courts have ruled in favor of the purchaser, stating in their opinions that not only does the new owner own the digital master, but all related copyright claims; thereby relegating the master are useless to the seller/artist. Any attempt to resell the art in question would be tantamount to stealing an oil on canvas from the new owner's collection.

Therefore, I must respectfully disagree with your assessment of a PSD master with regards to it's validity as an original work. The original PSD master lives only on the originator's computer hard drive. Multiple internal copies of the original master are just that - copies. Any copies produced outside of that disc are merely compressed versions. If the artist loses his work due to a computer malfunction, and is unable to recover that work, it is no different than a painting destroyed by fire.

I know this discussion will never be settled and that's not a bad thing. It's always good when issues like this are aired, especially when it is done among artists sans the interjection of art critics. Furthermore, I'm truly enjoying this spirited debate and look forward to further exchanges on the subject.

- Mario

You make such an excellent case for an original digital file that I feel churlish continuing with my opposing view. But I shant let that stop me of course! :D

For there to be an original it must be unique and therefore no other one exactly like it exists in the world.  

I speak here of the actual file data on it - not the name given to the file (or possibly in this case a folder full of files).

We have agreed that the original can be reproduced to create xxx originals such that the files/folder would be indistinguishable from each other.   We accept that this is done because one needs to back up one's work etc.  The very act of backing up the original file means it is no longer an original.

Regardless of the undertakings of the owner of the original file, when a copy of file is made there is no longer an original in existence. Renaming the file does not change the file data. 

Perhaps our terminology should adapt to the new technology? 

.

I have not read them yet but I will, thanks.

Marie, I  totally agree with your analysis.

An original work should be unique from any and all copies in every respect, including, as you have pointed out in the case of digital art, the data as well.

For purposes of this discussion, and since I can't upload a PSD here, I submit an original PNG document, RED BALL, the top Image, and a copy of the same image below it of which not a single element has been altered. I've also attached PNGs of the HTML & binary code beneath the images in the same sequence. For purposes of demonstration I've emboldened the bit strings that are unique to their respective images. Although I may have missed a few, the differences between the two images are many and I believe a side by side comparison of the two illustrates the uniqueness of the original.

Ive made other copies of this same image, run the text through a binary code generator and I've yet to find any version where all the data matches perfectly. Apparently the computers internal clock is at work here. A time line is embedded into every document produced and at a future date and time, when any an all subsequent copies are produced, the computer updates the data automatically. This establishment of time, built into every computers logic system, makes every single document we create unique.

The obvious benefits for those who create using digital media: The date and location of origin are firmly established, thus providing a record which could be helpful in prosecuting online thieves so eager to lay false claim to ones proprietary brainchild.

Thank you Marie, Your challenge has me thinking!

Mario

RED BALL - PNG Original

REDBALL - PNG Copy



Marie Green said:

You make such an excellent case for an original digital file that I feel churlish continuing with my opposing view. But I shant let that stop me of course! :D

For there to be an original it must be unique and therefore no other one exactly like it exists in the world.  

I speak here of the actual file data on it - not the name given to the file (or possibly in this case a folder full of files).

We have agreed that the original can be reproduced to create xxx originals such that the files/folder would be indistinguishable from each other.   We accept that this is done because one needs to back up one's work etc.  The very act of backing up the original file means it is no longer an original.

Regardless of the undertakings of the owner of the original file, when a copy of file is made there is no longer an original in existence. Renaming the file does not change the file data. 

Perhaps our terminology should adapt to the new technology? 

.

True - absolutely true and I applaud you and smack myself for forgetting that.  There is an original data file for a piece of digital art. I concede.  

Marie,

Your looks and talent are complimented by your graciousness. This argument has been discussed, sometimes heatedly, on art forums all across the internet. It was your challenge that prompted me to research this burning question and I think we can both be credited with the conclusion regarding the matter of original data. 

That said, A digital artist, or artists using any media for that matter, have a long way to go before they can even come near your spectacular works. They are truly inspirational!

Mario



Marie Green said:

True - absolutely true and I applaud you and smack myself for forgetting that.  There is an original data file for a piece of digital art. I concede.  

Well I've only been producing digital art in Photoshop on a Mac since 1991, having been doing 'trad' art since 1952, so what would I know? ;-)   It's largely a matter of trust: if an artist says that (s)he has only produced one print or giclée and has destroyed the original digital file, then only seeing another copy can prove that they were lying. In my novel, 'Aurora', I have an artist on Mars who works on a special tablet in which the crystalline structure is 'locked' when a work is finished, and no further changes can be made; hence, an original. . .

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