Ars Electronica

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Prix 1987 - 2007

ORF Ober÷sterreich

Work 3: Natural Shapes
Jean-Franšois Colonna

A virtual experimentation is defined as the association of the solving of the equations of a scientific model and the exploitation of the produced results. Apart from some exceptional cases, these results are too numerous to be read alpha-numerically and must be given to the users (scientists or engineers) as animated synthetic pictures.
When visualizing an airplane wing, a car or a soap box, an engineer has not many choices to display the shape of the modelled objects. But unfortunately, it is not uncommon that the virtual experimentation results do not exist as natural objects (a pressure for example) or again have no right to be visualized (in quantum mechanics, ...). Then, in 'scientific visualization ', picture synthesis must be used with care to avoid:
- visual artifacts
- dangers ('a picture is only one point of view') The basis of a methodology can be proposed and followed; it is inspired by the work of painters of the past centuries (geometrical proportions, chromatic equilibrium, ...). Scientists must be put on their guards against non informative aestheticism. Thus, picture synthesis is one of the best ways to concile (or better, to reconcile) today's Art and Science: for example, Art needs high-tech tools to produce realistic pictures, and Science needs artistic advice to produce the most useful images.