Date of Award

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Legacy Department

Digital Production Arts

Advisor

Dr. Jerry Tessendorf

Committee Member

Dr. Robert Geist

Committee Member

Dr. Timothy Davis

Abstract

Surfacing is the art of creating materials for digital objects, and it is an incredible technical and artistic challenge. Creating materials and textures for 3D meshes involves managing potentially hundreds of image files, moving data between multiple software packages, and building shaders that will work consistently through a digital production hierarchy. All while attempting to create a piece of art that will tell a story of what an object is, how it was made, and where it has been. Balancing these technical and artistic components is an extraordinary challenge, and it is easy for an artist to get overwhelmed or distracted by the technical demands of surfacing at the cost of the quality of their art. The topic of this thesis is a suite of tools designed to allow artists to intuitively manage these technical demands by streamlining the most time-consuming aspects of surfacing into condensed one-click operations.

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