Cubics Obsessive

November 2013 –– 
Working with Geometry and Rendering aesthetics is certainly one of munko’s favorite crushes, as countless nights are spent playing with a variety of generation engines. Ultimately these exercises ignite the imagination of how these tools will enable new directions of graphic design output. One recent theme that has been prominent in the thought process is the generation of Cubic Matrices, which enabled the output of these three very different applications.

From Paper to Pixels

–– 01

Dear friend and frequent collaborator Rebecca Allen Smith reached out for a contribution to her Boston exhibition entitled ‘From Paper to Pixels’. The central concept was to pair designers and programmers together, to take concepts from paper and usher them outward into the physical and experiential space. Munko was paired with Steff Kelsey, aka the Code Viking, and they created an experience based on a Cubic Temple which could then be explored in real-time using a game controller interface - ultimately rendered using the Unreal Engine. The important theme for the piece was an ever-evolving continuum, that the hours of the day were accelerated to create an intimate experience with the passages of time from within the temple.


–– 02

Being very interested in the Mayan concept of juncture and continuum, this piece seeks to explore the Space/Time fractal difference in which space turned inside out becomes time and time turned inside out becomes space. It’s transformation lies between multiplication and division in which one whole is fragmented into infinity of fragments balanced by simultaneous equal and opposite multiplication. Fragmentation is less than quantum and multiplication is more than quantum of reality (inertia) – one is gradual change (time) and another is instant change (space) of inertial here and now.

Artist GMUNK and the Code Viking present in collaboration this interactive and visual exploration of the premise, a customizable and individual experience to immerse one into the fractal forms of space.

Vine Print

–– 03

VINE co-founder Rus Yusupov approached Munko to do some commissioned artwork for their New York office, which was again another great opportunity for some Cubic Obsession. The theme of Data Streams was on the mind; the idea of building a cubic city and rendering the data flow as an aggregate sphere of movement and a network of dense line workings. A few stylizations were explored with the print, paying homage to the Vine palette while using a depth matte to emphasize the structure’s irregular surface geometry.

Floating Metal Key

–– 04

Friend and ultra-handsome musician Matthew Wilcock approached Munko to do some album artwork for his forthcoming EP entitled ‘Floating Metal Key’.. The brief was to run with the concept of a floating piece of metal geometry and place it into a distressed and retro-graphic cathedral, synthesizing the tactile palettes of old with the crystal clean structural algorithms of today. The result is an album cover stuck in an undefined genre, which is where Matthew’s music prefers to be, mixing classical instruments with highly distressed, glitch-heavy accompaniments to create a sound that is almost undefinable.

Design Process

–– 05

Frequent collaborator Marcin Ignac once showed Munko the Hemesh Generator, which was simple web application that took a cubic primitive and extruded faces outward per the simple slider controls.. Although the app was a bit limited in how much detail could be produced before it crashed, there was still incredible potential with using multiple OBJ exports to create highly detailed structures. This App has always been a favorite and was utilized to generate the cubic geometry in both the ‘Paper to Pixels’ and ‘Floating Metal Key’ artwork.

Iterative Extruder

–– 06

Another useful tool was the Iterative Extruder, a Maya plugin that enables the and optimizes the manual extrusion of faces from a cubic mesh – essentially a manual version of the Hemesh Generator. For the Vine print, Munk wanted to space out hard and manually build the cubic city on which the data lines were going to flow across, taking great time and patience to pull faces exactly as intended. Using this plugin in combination with the V-Ray rendering engine ( coupled with a nifty fishEye lens ) enabled the creation of the artwork - gotta love them enabling plugins.