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Featured Artist: Landis Tanaka, Seattle, USA

 
Landis Tanaka 2024
 
Press_LandisTanaka_01_Landscape_LowRes_edited.jpg

 
Interview to Landis Tanaka, Artist / Creative Director / Founder follows . . .

 

Landis Tanaka draws inspiration from nature and emptiness, shaping an aesthetic that explores impermanence, organic movement, and photo-surrealism. He adopts an experimental approach to capture the essence of an idea, embracing the possibility of "breaking" things to surprise and innovate.

Founder at Formnt, a research-driven design studio focused on embracing change using the unconventional. He creates distinct, striking, and experimental visuals using digital techniques for forward-thinking clients.

YOUR BACKGROUND - FACTORS & INSPIRATION TO BECOME AN ARTIST: STARTING DAYS

I grew up in the 90’s / 2000’s, so my youth was defined by this explosion of new media/internet. I basically lived in our family computer room, spending all my time either exploring Napster or playing N64

LIFE JOURNEY & CAREER PATH

I’ve been dabbling in various media my entire life. I started playing music when I was 6 (and have been doing it ever since), got really into videography as a teenager, and always spent my free time doodling or coining weird isms.
When it was time to go to college, my youthful cynicism got the better of me so I avoided art school at all costs. I got an accounting degree, did a brief stint in investment banking, then SaaS, before being laid off and finally discovering 3D software during unemployment.

 

DO YOU HAVE ANY AMAZING EXPERIENCE AND/OR FLOP TO SHARE?

It’s hard to separate the two because my worst experiences are also often my best. That said:
I believe that art is how you interface with the world, not just how you practice your craft (though that is a part of it). Thus, my biggest gains as an artist and person have come from experiencing new things in new places with new people—not sitting at a computer. It comes from seeing things through new eyes or escaping environments where certain belief systems are reinforced. I recently traveled alone in Japan for several months and I feel I grew more as an artist on that trip than I have in 5 years of practicing my craft.
As for a flop…I won’t name names, but I’ve been on projects where communication is not prioritized (structurally or otherwise), and as a result the final product is a complete failure. I’ve learned that being the best artist, craftsperson, thinker—whatever—is meaningless if you don’t know how to communicate. This includes listening, questioning, aligning, scoping, managing, and last but not least, injecting delight into unpleasant situations.

 

SOME SPECIAL AND INTERESTING SHOTS?

Yes, Steal Away

 

This was the confluence of several tech demos I did: rain solver, ripple solver, vellum, and motion capture.

I started with a Rokoko suit to capture subtle body movements. I then made a basic rain solver with POPs, using the @hitpoints attribute to spawn ripples. I then used vellum with glue constraints to make the lily pads dimple from the rain and float around a central proximity (without floating away).

The music was recorded on my upright piano. I made the metallic sound by bowing the strings with zip ties, layering them into a chord progression, which I then doused in reverb and pitched down on a tape machine. I then took some field recordings of rainfall I captured in Alaska and blended it under the music.​

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In The Rain

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Live visual I made as part of ODESZA’s The Last Goodbye tour.

The sim itself was fairly simple: animate some basic shapes to the song beats, source FLIP from those shapes, cull the resulting sim by @age and @velocity attributes, then render as particles in Redshift.

The difficult part was lighting. When designing concert visuals, the very things that make an image look good on a TV (i.e. nuance) can look really bad on a concert wall. This is due to two things:

  1. LED panels destroy the image quality of any image you feed into it
     

  2. We must leave room for off-screen elements (smoke, pyro, lasers, stray hoola-hoops, etc.)
     

It takes a bit of forecasting to know just how much to nerf the image, and with this one I was pleasantly surprised by how legible it ended up.

WHICH TOOLS DID YOU USE?

  • Houdini

  • Redshift

  • Nuke

  • Davinci Resolve
     

CAN YOU TELL SOME WORDS ABOUT GRIDMARKETS?

Being able to send project files to render within the Houdini UI is a godsend! The support is also some of the fastest and most helpful I’ve encountered. Thanks for answering all my dumb questions!

GM: There are not dumb questions, only complicated explanations!

HOW DID YOU FIND US?

Reddit or LinkedIn (can’t remember)

WHAT DID YOU RENDER/SIMULATE?

I use Gridmarkets for all final renders, though I haven’t tried using it for sims (yet).

SOMETHING TO ADD?

Love what you are doing! Keep it up!.

GM: Thanks Landis


By: GridMarkets marketing

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