Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Watch 'em Burn - Young Miniatures - US 101st Airborne 506 PIR Noville 1944

Though I am still in the midst of refining the tonal transitions and capping on some of the finer details, I would like to share some of my notes on how to create a "vibrating" effect with the light. Several years ago I when I was teaching vision biology from this text book by Margret Livingstone, titled Art and Vision, I encountered this topic on how equiluminent colors can create a vibrating effect on the eyes. It seems that the human visual cortex relays visual information to the higher order visual areas via two streams: the "Where" stream and the "What" stream. The "Where" stream is much faster, color blind and has high contrast sensitivity. The "What" stream is slower, color selective, high acuity and low contrast sensitivity.

In the case of equiluminant colors, though both of these colors are different in hue, they share the same level of brightness. This combination makes them are visible to the "What" stream but invisible to the "Where" stream. This creates an imbalance stimulus to the brain and therefore arousing this  visual phenomenon.

In the example above, notice that the text is legible in color mode but disappears when color information is discarded.

A little more than a hundred years ago, some impressionist painters like Monet were consciously employing equiluminant colors. Take for example in this painting titled Waterloo Bridge, Sunlight in the Fog from 1903 was rendered using an equiluminant complementary color scheme. The sunlight and reflection appears to be radiating because their color values are equal and therefore creates this vibrating effect.

Taking a cue from the impressionist masters, I tried to employ the same concept to rendering the flaming light on the paratrooper.

I hope that you will find my color notes useful. If time permits I will try to do a line up of the colors I used for this palette.




Mike said...

Is there a way I can digitally download your video instead of buying a CD?

Calvin Tan said...

Hi Mike,

unfortunately Model Art magazine, the commissioning publisher could only release the video in DVD format so as to maintain the highest resolution format. The English editions has both PAL and NTSC format.

Best Regards,


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