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San Base And Dynamic Painting

San Base: Computer Graphics Avant-Garde
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Courtesy: San Base

Tom's Hardware: Please tell our readers a little about yourself

San Base: I'm a programmer with a passion for art, or an artist with affinity to computers and everything digital. At this point in my life I guess I can be described more as an artist, but either description works well.

I come from the former Soviet Union, where, at the age of 12, I enlisted in a Fine Arts school. A bit later, during my high school years, I also discovered another passion: mathematics. By the time I had to go to college, I had a very difficult choice to make, between Surikov Academy of Fine Arts (one of the most prominent art schools in Russia) and a technical university. In the end I picked a program in applied science and graduated as a cybernetic engineer, but I never gave up painting. I worked as a systems programmer after graduation, and dedicated all of my free time to painting. In the mid 90's, I immigrated to Canada, where for many years again I worked as a programmer.

Over the last decade I have been methodically formulating and defining principles of a new concept I called Dynamic Painting. In recent years I achieved a significant breakthrough that culminated in a technology that you can see today in my screensavers as well as other projects.

Tom's Hardware: How did you come up with the idea of Dynamic Painting?

San Base: Actually it's an interesting story - the concept was discovered almost by fluke. Around fifteen years ago I lived in Kiev, Ukraine. Working as a programmer, I enjoyed painting as a hobby. All was well until a collapse of the economy in the former USSR in the 1990s. Art supplies such as brushes, paints and canvas were hard to come by; I stocked up on paints, but I could not find canvases, not even pieces of throwaway cardboard to paint on.

It occurred to me that since I drew for my own pleasure and nobody cared for my pictures, I could just paint over my old work. When I started painting over the old pictures I noticed something peculiar about the way I was doing it. While painting over the old images, I always subconsciously tried to select colors in such a way that the latest work in progress would harmonize with the old image being painted over. This phenomenon seemed intriguing to me, so I purposefully began transforming the same picture over and over again, achieving interesting results in the process.

The paintings attained another dimension through this method: the dimension of time. But the process itself was too laborious, and paints and canvas were far from being an ideal platform for implementing the newly discovered concept. This is where my computer engineering background came handy. I put the brushes aside and started developing a program that could help me automate the image generation and transformation process. The new medium was born.

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