Dylan Sisson: Worley Basin

  • ©2004, Dylan Sisson



    Worley Basin


Creation Year:



    Procedural shade


    44 inches at 15,400 x 15,400 pixels


Artist Statement:

    The works in this series toy with the perception of macro and micro. What seems large, resembling surface terrain, might very well be seen as minute, like microscopic gestations in a petri dish. These images are neither. They are, instead, entirely procedural entities. Each image is a 30 shader rendered on a plane, representing a “pure” world of mathematical functions, a world that is neither big nor small but somewhere else altogether, yet not entirely unfamiliar.

Technical Information:

    Each work in this series was created as a single procedural shader and rendered, more or less, as a shader swatch applied to a flat plane. These procedural shaders were created using Pixar’s Slim, an interactive tool for shader assembly. Each shader is composed of many, many layers of simple procedural functions (like Worley and turbulence). These functions create simple, non-repeating patterns (dots, for instance) that were then painstakingly sized by manipulating surface parameterization, mapped to color and/or layer opacity, and
    adjusted by various other methods. Each image was built up manually with many different layers of these simple functions. No painting, digital or otherwise, was involved at any point in the process (a selfimposed constraint of this project.) After completion, each shader was rendered directly from Slim as a glorified shader swatch, but perhaps with a larger resolution than normal: 15,400 x 15,400 pixels. The shaders displaced the surface of the plane to make bumps. The shaders were rendered with Pixar’s RenderMan, and the images were not altered by any other means.