The Digital Artwork:

My Digital Artwork is my own exhibition of Generative Art in a The Sims Art Gallery. It consumed much more time than I had planned, but the process was fun and engaging from the beginning to the end. Here I will detail all the steps involved, from the art gallery rebuilding to the production of the video you have watched. 

Last semester I did Mike’s module Models, Simulations and Games and all those thoughts and reflections about games made me download The Sims again and start playing with it in my free time. Last time I had played The Sims was at least 10 years ago, so I learnt everything from scratch during these months, but it provided the technical foundation and understanding of the game to be able to realize what was done for this module. 

The Art Gallery Building:

The building used for the art gallery suffered a complete restoration. There is a predominance of glass and stones to allow visitors to feel the nature outside. In the main entrance there is a coffee shop, so visitors can buy a coffee to enjoy their walk in the galery.  

The theme:

The exhibition’s theme is: “Memories from another reality”. The idea is to show another (our) reality through the images. Art becomes a vehicle that connects two words, unveiling another reality in a call for awareness. Awareness that there is more outside. More than it is possible to see or understand, reminding us of our own limitations as human beings in understanding the world and the universe. 

The tools and Methodology:

Generative art tools are softwares created by humans for another human to do art. Using these softwares, real pictures were given a new style representing the participation of technology in our society and how it impacts the way reality is perceived. 

What enchanted me the most while I was creating my pieces was the surrender, once the result is rather than predictable. The learning curve loses importance as each step is capable of producing interesting results in a combination of my artistic capability, my understanding of the software and the software itself.

To compose the pieces I used images I had taken myself from cities, food and nature. My perspective of the world from the experiences I had. Then I uploaded those images to two Generative Art softwares: Linify written inNode.js and Nginx and Chromata written in JavaScript, with the purpose of transforming them into something else, something I was not able to anticipate. 

Trying to explore the settings available in the softwares I used all their features that produced a visually understandable outcome. Some combinations of the settings produced completely unclear results and those were discarded. 

Once I had the final images that were selected for the exhibition, I downloaded The Sims 4 Studio, which is the application used to make changes directly into The Sims game. Through The Sims 4 Studio all the objects can be edited as well as the gameplay. The process to upload my own artwork to The Sims involved 5 steps:

  1. Choose and download from The Sims 4 Studio the frame that would be used.
  2. Open the frame image in an image editor tool (I used Photopea).
  3. Replace the image by my artwork and save the file.
  4. Upload the new frame image with my artwork into The Sims 4 Studio.
  5. Insert the updated package into The Sims folder “Mods”. 

The video: 

The video was recorded using The Sims Cinematographic Camera, which has 5 camera points in sequence and for this reason several videos were recorded separately. I did the final editing using Microsoft video editor tool, where I set the videos in sequence, included the music and did some other minimal adjustments.    

The soundtrack:

The soundtrack chosen is part of the music Rhinestone Eyes by the band Gorillaz, which I considered appropriate as they are virtual band and again refers to the idea of “another reality”.