PICCADILLY CIRCUS / THE PHOTOPERIOD EFFECT

Not long after the Bunker exhibition I started to feel increasingly drawn towards the conceptual relevance of using site specific Image Based Lighting within a virtual environment. For the majority of this degree I have researched, questioned and utilized such a technique to incorporate perceptually real synthetic objects into live-action scenes. I think it’s important for me to reiterate how my project has maintained this consistent method of practice that at the core has been responsible for examining hyper-real computer generate images. As a point of departure these notions of simulating realism have questioned the relationship between a real physical space and the virtual world.

As a result I have slightly altered the nature of my final film taking into consideration the importance of exploring artificially illuminated real world places. Following my interest in photobiology I’ve been observing how the human circadian system is entrained to a 24-hour light-dark pattern that mimics the earth’s natural light/dark pattern. We are constantly surrounded by environments that disrupt this pattern, particularly in urban spaces where the bright lights of the city never sleep. I began thinking of certain places in London which never completely fall to the darkness of night, whose surroundings are artificially lit 24/7. Lux is the SI unit of illuminance and is used in photometry as a measure of the intensity of light as perceived by the human eye. Using this calculation I hope to investigate the difference in environmental illumination over the course of a day.

SAMPLING THE LUX VALUE IN PICCADILLY CIRCUS

The idea is to spend 24 consecutive hours in Piccadilly Circus where I intend to record every hour the surrounding environmental light. Firstly this will be calculated using a Digital Lux Meter which should give me an accurate reading of the light intensity, noting this down I am interested to see how this changes throughout the night and day. Secondly, a panoramic photograph will be taken every hour of the busy junction that will later be converted into 24 separate High Dynamic Range Images. By sampling the illumination and lighting data of Piccadilly Circus over a full day I intend to examine the changes in quality and intensity of light from the sky as well as the emitting neon signs.

My intention is to document and redefine elements of Piccadilly Circus through photographic texture mapping, creating an abstract representation of the space in Maya. The 24 HDRI’s will be used sequentially to illuminate the scene replaying the entire day over a 2 minute animation. As the intensity and quality of light changes from night to day a dynamic particle simulation will respond and visualize the results collected by the Digital Lux Meter.

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