Dog of Zone interactive projection - it works! by Lukasz Pazera

Dog of Zone projection title screen (in polish)

Dogs of Zone were meant to be an interactive projection from its early days. It is what I pitched when I was starting PhD studies at the Intermedia Department of Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Poland. And that was in 2010. It's been taking an awfully long time and it still does BUT...

I took some time off from work last year and spent about 3 weeks getting back to Dogs. I managed to keep working on the project 1 day (almost) every week afterwards. Well, it was more like 6-8 hours since family duties would't let me spend more. I made some progress and thanks to this regular mini-schedule I was able to keep the project in my head. That had been going for about 5 months. Then at the end of the last year things turned out for me this way that I could switch to Dogs full time. And I spent most of first quarter of 2017 working hard on the project.

I was on the edge of quitting on Dogs completely quite a few times. It's been rather painfull process but I can finally see the finish line now (and the process is getting better). Although it's still a bit blurry line I can at least think about the whole undertaking with more confidence.

The biggest change is probably that originally it was supposed to be 3 projections but, as usual, it appeared to be too much work. It's going to be single projection then. For now at least. Hence, while the whole series is still called Dogs of Zone, the interactive projection will simply be Dog of Zone.

So what does it mean that it's an interactive projection? In general terms the installation is: a set of pre rendered animation loops, Microsoft Kinect for PC and a custom application (codename Spektator) built on Unity engine. User position in space is being transferred into Spektator scene via Kinect in real time (the active area is in front of the projection screen). The scene contains a sort of script for the projection - which is a set of rules for triggering animation loops based on criteria such as user's position and speed. The result is an interactive projection that reacts to user actions.

I hope to post more detailed information on various aspects of Dog of Zone production in coming weeks and months (which should also help with developing the theoretical PhD thesis that Dogs are the subject of). Meanwhile, below are a few photos of the projection WIP being displayed on a wall at my studio. Hopefully, it'll give you some idea on the final effect.

On a side note, I don't have a wall large enough to fit the 3x1.7m projection so I had to photoshop out the door from all the shots (and you can see it was rather sloppy job on some of them) ;).

Postcard From The Zone I - Making Of by Lukasz Pazera

Postcard From The Zone I, 2008.

This is the image that spawned the series of Postcards From The Zone, although at that time I didn't plan for that. I just wanted to make a landscape picture and experiment with my technique a little bit.

I like to combine painting and drawing techniques in the same work. I love the speed, freedom and richness of early painting gestures on paper but for fine control over details I prefer ditigal medium far more. The idea was to use what is best in each medium - do a quick underpainting traditionally and then work it up with digital tools.

The image started from an A4 size drawing on paper. I used a mixture of acrylics painting and drawing with pen and ink as well as with a fine point marker.

Postcard From The Zone I, original drawing.

For digital painting I use Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter. The split is simple - Corel Painter for all the painting (because you can't beat Painter's brushes) and Photoshop for simpler touch up painting and all editing/post processing.

I prefer to keep my digital files simple - which means as few layers as possible. If PSD gets too big I flatten the image as I go. Ideally, I would have a single layer, just like real painting. It makes things much simpler - especially in Painter as it doesn't support things like adjustment layers.

In case of Postcard From The Zone I I used two paintover layers to enhance the image. One was "beneath" the drawing (the drawing is applied in Multiply mode in Photoshop) and one on top.

The "beneath" layer includes sky and simple brush strokes to darken some areas. The sky is a combination of linear gradient in Photoshop and a gradient created manually with airbrush tool in Painter.

Postcard From The Zone I, paintover on a layer beneath drawing.

The "top" paintover layer adds more details to the image.

Postcard From The Zone I, paintover on top of the drawing.

And that's it.

New Website Up by Lukasz Pazera

Welcome to my new official website! I have really dropped the ball on maintaining any sort of personal website for the past years. This will hopefully change now. I'm still changing/adding things a bit but it should be working overall.

There are both some new works up (particularly from Dogs of Zone) as well as some older ones that I haven't shown before. More to come hopefully...