Technical Artist Kaley Cho Searches for Mathematical Algorithms to Create Awesome Art
With gorgeous swirling colors and shapes, using 3D human figures in motion, some growing and others disintegrating, LA-based Kaley Cho’s project portfolio is rapidly expanding. Suggesting that a technical artist is a “something of a hybrid between an artist and a programmer,” Kaley has been helping huge franchises and institutions to enhance their storytelling.
For instance, the South Korea-born technical artist who has a Degree from the prestigious University of Southern California in both animation/digital arts and computer programming, has been using her dual “artistic and programming” skills to work on big projects like Sony’s Ghostbusters Demo. Additionally, she has worked at Walt Disney Imagineering as a VFX designer. Both these roles demonstrated the variety of assets that she brings to the table.
Moreover, these assets also include utilizing tools like Cinema4D in Integration, a real-time audio reactive installation by Kaley, which exhibited at the USC Pacific Asia Museum to celebrate the harmony between Chinese art and Mexican art.
For example, Kaley created mountain backgrounds in Cinema4D and then imported them into Touchdesigner. For her outstanding creative efforts, she was recognized by the Adobe Design Achievement Awards in the area of animation/motion graphics.
Additionally, her creative endeavors were used in College Night at the Getty Museum to showcase the City of Angels as also being a City of Artists. Inspired by artist David Lee, Kaley created 3D motion graphics animations and text animations for large scale wall projections.
Similarly, Kaley used 3D holograms when she worked with COCA, (Center of Creative Arts) to help create a virtual webtour. Utilizing advanced Microsoft Volumetric Capture tools and created in cooperation with Washington D.C.-based Avatar Dimension, the immersive tour brings viewers inside COCA’s newly renovated campus. Kaley calls the tour an “immersive web experience” and that “Avatar Dimension is fueling the future of immersive video.”
Indeed, Kaley is increasingly finding herself in demand, even during the pandemic, observing, “I think animation is becoming more valuable especially because of Covid. Many are now comfortable working remotely, and animation is the perfect medium for creating films. TV series, commercials, games and apps. I continue to get inquiries about using animation for these purposes since it doesn’t need anyone to be physically there on set and everyone can work remotely.”
Additionally, her unique selling tool is that she’s often one of the few animators with programming experience. Moreover, Nature plays a massive role in this technical artist’s palette. Growing up, she moved to New Zealand for her English education, as her South Korean family valued quality education and believed that speaking fluent English was important.
The island’s topography changed her, as she vividly describes: “Living in New Zealand definitely strengthened my love and admiration for Nature. As a child, I would play with insects and explore forests. Even now, I try to create organic art that’s mostly inspired by Nature. I guess the bright colors that you see in my work is because of the inspirations from Nature.”
In addition, she was initially drawn into film and computer graphics after watching the eye-opening visuals and themes of the movie, Avatar, by James Cameron: “The gorgeous sceneries and fantastical creatures inspired me to create artwork that celebrates the beauty of Nature. As we live in a modern world dominated by technology, I think the message of protecting and being in harmony with Nature is particularly important. I’m also hoping to send these messages through my artwork.”
As a result, with her hands-on software knowledge and unique combination of skills, she suggests her strengths are both interdisciplinarity and the ability to learn quickly. With projects for Walt Disney, Sony, COCA/Avatar Dimension, The Getty and USC Pacific Asia Museums already in her portfolio, Kaley’s goal now is, “To become a researcher in computer graphics technology and also a leading media artist to contribute to the advancement of digital art.”
In conclusion, if you catch Kaley Cho wandering around in the hills or on the beaches around Los Angeles, she’s quite probably looking for algorithms to help create beautiful artistic effects — all to enhance her clients’ storytelling.