Sublimating Buenos Aires
Richard Aponte has a long history in the field of Visual Effects as an artist for film and TV for more than 10 years, working on successful film titles such as Ice Age, Split, Southpaw, Spies in Disguise, Peanuts, and TV shows such as The Leftovers, Blindspot, Power, and others. He specialized as a Digital Composition Artist for Visual Effects and as a Senior level user of the industry standard software named Nuke, and has been working in multiple studios from coast to coast in the United States. After his development as an artist and mastering the complex techniques of post-production work in the film industry, it was only natural that he continued pushing for new knowledge and techniques to bring a new vision of how we see the world we live in. And so it was that he entered Augmented Reality through Projection Mapping—after training and studying with the latest technologies, he felt like he was at home when he realized that the same digital artistic magic used to work in cinema could be adapted to Projection Mapping. This time, instead of using a cinema screen in a theater or a TV monitor, the real world becomes the canvas to digitally paint any common surface, thus turning any everyday object such as a wall or table into a digital artistic expression.
ABOUT THE PROJECT (by Richard Aponte)
One day strolling around the Buenos Aires streets:
This project is inspired by walks around the streets of an immense, hectic, and beautiful city. A city to which the artist thanks so much for the warm welcome that has given to thousands of Venezuelan migrants who are looking to live in peace. Buenos Aires reminds a bit of Caracas and a bit of New York, but then the realization is that it is a city with a unique style. Every street of Buenos Aires is filled with historic architecture, but above all, it is filled with tree-lined streets that make the outdoor spaces enrich the soul as you walk by.
The images of the installation are not of any specific street—this street doesn’t really exist, but rather it is a collage of photographs taken in different places, like the streets of Palermo, the Jardín Botánico, the Bosques de Palermo, Tigre delta islands and even the Hipódromo, with the idea that this anonymous street could really be any given street in Buenos Aires. The recorded ambience sounds also originated in different spots in the city. The projections and animations look to tell the story of how the energy of Buenos Aires can change into so many hues in just one day.
The artist used a variety of latest technology software and techniques that helped him get to the final result, like Lightform (a software and hardware package) to execute de scene scanning and several animated effects for the projection mapping; also Nuke (a high end software for visual effects), used for different custom made animations for the installation; Adobe Photoshop, to create the main images collage for the installation printing; and Adobe Audition, to mix the ambience sounds for the piece. The installation was printed in a Blackout fabric with a printing technique named Sublimation that gives a high definition quality to the images, and it was done in a local Buenos Aires shop that specializes in this type of work.
This installation was done following several steps with a lot of care. The first week of the residency period was used to finish the concept of the idea for the installation, which started developing in the prior months before the residency start date and was conceived using photographs taken in the previous 5 weeks in different areas of Buenos Aires. The second week was dedicated to research, finding the fabric and figuring out the printing details to then mount the fabric in the Sala Políglota (the printed fabric measured 3 meters long by 70 cm wide and it was hung at height of 6 meters, a total of 6 pieces of fabric were mounted using an illumination design for the times the projector was off). The third week, and part of the fourth, were dedicated to the projection mapping design and ambience sound set up, where multiple render iterations were done till getting to the final result. In the fourth week, the Open Studio was hosted, where guests witnessed the work result of the artists-in-residency and a talk was done about projection mapping technology. The projection mapping installation had sound interactivity and the viewers were also able to interact with the design through an app sending OSC messages.
1976 | Caracas, Venezuela
Lives and works in Orlando, USA
2002 | IT technician, C.U.A.M, Venezuela
2008 | Technical Certified in Digital Post Production, Valencia C.C., Orlando, USA
2009 | Associate Degree in 3D Animation and Visual Effects, Dave School, Orlando, USA
2020 | Together Apart: Nido, Proyecto´ace, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2021 | Immerse Festival ’21, Bus Stop to Orlando, Orlando, FL, USA
2019 | Immerse Festival ’19, Fishes Mural, Orlando, FL, USA