15/10/07: toevoeging bij "Algorithmes and Pictures" (Mediacity 2005)

About how I work.

People are sometimes mistrusting computer-generated pictures or movies, because they think these are arbitrary, mechanically, without any content: just run some program with graphics and colours, pick out the most eye-catching sequences, and there you are! Pictures and movies like this do exist of course.

The way I work is as follows:

1. It starts with the discovery of some method or technique of which I think it could do something interesting with colour, structure or other image-properties.

2. I write some software including the algorithm which is the "kernel" (heart, essence) of the method/technique.

3. If I like the first pictures I get with this little program, I start expanding the program with a suitable interface, mainly by programming the keyboard-keys, monitor-feedback and source-files (files containing numbers or characters in an ordered way): finding a form for how to steer the parameters who determine the image. This seems evident, but what I dicovered since the time I started working with the computer is that the way I do this, the form I choose, is nearly as important for the endresult of the movie as the above mentioned kernel-method! This is why:

4. A good-working interface, rightly tuned to my own preferences, is a kind of structure that determines a.o. which roads I will go in the whole process of creating the film.

5. This process has the form of a spiral: I make some pictures, make some changes and additions in the program, make pictures again, change the program, etc, etc. The program becomes larger and larger, the pictures are becoming frame-series.

6. In the end-phase changing the program nearly stops, and all the work consists of finding the required, the best working and most signifying, "speaking" arrangement of the pictures in time.

7. Myself in the middle.
All the time from start till finish, I am the one in the middle of all this, choosing, selecting, throwing away, expanding, shortening, correcting. Looking at the pictures and changes and movements and colours, but also looking, listening into myself, trying to detect the feeling in myself (which sometimes has a very weak voice) which hopefully knows what to do. In fact every artform (writing music, writing books, painting) is following this process. It's not the machine, it is the playing with the machine which is important..

8. Every time another method!
Every time I start with a new film I use another method or basic technique. I feel this has to do with my background as electronic engeneer and connected with this, my urge of discovering and playing with techniques. So what I do is partly creation, partly discovery.

9. Finally this: when I started using the computer making films, I thought (after using classical animation-techniques in making films) the whole process of making would be much faster. This happened to be not the case. If I would make films in a way of painting every frame by hand, the time I needed would be probably the same as it is now. This might be a law which says that the time needed just depends on the creator and not on the technique used.

When I would do it not in this way I would be a very bad man, or a mad man!

Bart Vegter.