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Artificial Intelligence Controls These Surreal Virtual Realities

3D artist Moritz Reichartz automates little virtual objects.

by DJ Pangburn
Apr 16 2016, 7:00pm

 Screencaps by author

While 3D artist Moritz Reichartz was creating a virtual rendition of Ai Weiwei’s Stools in Mashup Between the Clouds, he was also nearing completion of an automated 3D animation inspired by artificial intelligence. Titled Hands Off [A.I.], Reichartz created the animated video over a year of research and development. In describing the animations as “automated,” Reichartz means that no keyframes were used whatsoever for any of the clips—he merely “designed and guided the self-driving movements.” In this sense the animated virtual objects and spaces, which are equally surreal, beautiful and alien, are types of A.I.

Reichartz considers Hands Off [A.I.] to be an artistic answer to Tim Urban’s essay “The AI Revolution: The Road to Superintelligence.” The artist says the article gave him “heavy mental vertigo” and might have even scared him.

“I was always interested about automation in computer usage,” Reichartz tells The Creators Project. “Having the computer do all the work in making things move for my animations was just a logical step and with advancing techniques learned, I was ready to experiment with this. Late development of software like Houdini (SideFX) and terms like proceduralism are also influences.”

After creating a variety of little evolving motion tests in Cinema 4D (using Effectors and Xpresso to control motion), Reichartz collected the ones he liked best. He then conceptually connected these to Urban’s article.

“After starting to work on my animations again, it came to me that they are also some primitive artificial intelligence, steered by me, [while] the future of A.I. is also an automation of learning,” Reichartz explains. “Things started to intertwine and through my fear of A.I., and the automated animations, the title Hands Off [A.I.] evolved.”

Will this video make viewers fear A.I.? Perhaps not. But it will most certainly dazzle them with automated virtual visuals.  

Click here to see more of Moritz Reichartz’s work.  

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