©2022 Torben Zsagar

Visual Exploration Fundamentals

Antonius Koschorz


Objects and their shapes are a seemingly mundane aspect of our everyday experience, but they are steeped in philosophical significance. The shapes of objects are not just physical characteristics, they also carry symbolic and metaphysical meaning. One way to approach the philosophical significance of shapes is through the concept of form. In ancient Greek philosophy, the idea of form was central to understanding the nature of reality. The philosopher Plato believed that the physical world was simply a reflection of the world of forms, and that the true reality was the realm of eternal and unchanging forms. In this way, the shapes of objects can be seen as manifestations of the underlying forms that give them their meaning and purpose.

A way for the object to convey meaning and convey its purpose to the observer. This representation can take different forms, from the realistic representation of a painting to the abstract representation of a sculpture. The shapes of objects can also be seen as a form of communication, with the object communicating its meaning and purpose to the observer.

The shapes of objects also have a relationship to the concept of perception. The way we perceive shapes is deeply influenced by our cultural and personal experiences. Our perception of forms is not just a passive process, but an active one shaped by our expectations and beliefs. Our understanding of forms is shaped by our experiences and the way we interpret them.

Objects can also be seen as a reflection of our own state of mind. The shapes of objects can take on different meanings depending on our own emotional and psychological state. A particular shape may evoke feelings of calm and serenity in one person, while evoking feelings of anxiety and discomfort in another. This suggests that the shapes of objects are not just a reflection of the physical world, but also of our inner world.

In conclusion, shapes are not just physical characteristics, they also carry symbolic and metaphysical meaning. Shapes can be seen as manifestations of the underlying forms that give them their meaning and purpose, as a form of representation, a reflection of our own perception and state of mind. The shapes of objects are a way for the objects to communicate meaning and purpose to the observer, and a way for the observer to gain deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them.


August Guccione



Eine Sache wird erst zu Kunst wenn sie etwas unvorhersehbares beinhaltet.
Design wird erst dann spannend wenn sie einen Störfaktor beinhaltet. Störfaktoren werden im Duden als eine Sache oder ein Umstand beschrieben, der nicht dienlich ist ein Ziel zu erreichen. Störfaktoren können in unterschiedlichen Art und Weisen in Arbeiten vorkommen. Sie können in kleinen Mutationen einer Form auftauchen, in Abweichungen eines Farbschemas, einer Komposition oder einer Veränderung der Geschwindigkeit. Was alle dieser Faktoren vereint, ist dass sie auf den ersten Blick nicht direkt auffallen, sondern erst wenn man mit Hinterfragen beginnt darauf kommt wo genau diese Spannung erzeugt wird. Um zu verstehen was Störfaktoren sind muss man Werke welche in einem Erstaunen oder Interesse hervorrufen genau analysieren und verstehen. Die große Kunst ist es solche Störfaktoren nicht nur zu erkennen, sondern sie auch in seine eigenen Arbeiten übernehmen zu können.
Um das zu erreichen müssen wir unseren Blick auf kunst so trainieren, dass uns diese Details auffallen und sie verstehen. Um nochmal auf die Definition aus dem Duden zurückzukommen: Ein Störfaktor ist etwas was „nicht dienlich“ ist um ein Ziel zu erreichen. Das paradoxe daran ist, dass es in der Kunst genau dieses Problem braucht um das Ziel (die Spannung) zu erreichen. Und so auch im Design.

Batuhan Gidici


I have never heard of blender or touch design ever! I partook in this Bauhaus module because I like Torben and due to the way, he explained what it is all about. The concept is amazing! I made progress without being stressed by strict deadlines or traditional face to face class. My experience in the blender class was truly enjoyable. Not only did I learn the ins and outs of creating visually striking abstract art, but I also discovered the power of displacement figures in bringing my digital creations to life. I loved the tutorials, Torben did a fantastic job as a YouTube Blender Life Coach. Blender has opened new possibilities of geHng in touch with my creative side. I want to continue with my Blender Journey. In my studies I oJen must design something like a poster. I will definitely incorporate what I have learned, and I am excited to create my own abstract Art (rather than just downloading everything off Pinterest). I would partake again and hope there will be another Bauhaus Module like this. Here is a little poem: „In the blender class, I found my bliss, with abstract art and figures that twist, The instructor was kind, and the lessons were fun, now my digital art is second to none!“

Emil Reinert



Fionn Erickson


Even though I’m studying Computer Science, I really enjoy art and creating it.
I especially like digital or traditional animated videos and games, and also created some before with friends. Talking about blender I already know some stuff I reached myself with Tutorials on YouTube (like the well known Donut Tutorial) but mainly things like creating low poly models with a simple unwrapped Image Texture, and just dipped my toes in Geometry Nodes so touching the Shader Window in your course was new for me. During the course I think I learned some new skills, for example how to use shaders in general and a broad variety of tactics to creating morphing objects. I have a fable for Eldritch, Cosmic Horror and meaty fleshy body horror, and I’m sure I can utilize a lot of the things I learned here. Another part I like to mention was the Tutorial to Geometry Nodes. Even though I took me the longest to work though all the Nodes and understanding what’s happening, I took allot out of it, mainly because I’m really interested in this part of Blender. My biggest problem over the duration of the course was getting warm towards the abstract renders. I myself like to see something more direct in final renders, so I sometimes needed to jump over my shadow in this regard, but I’m happy I tried even though I sometimes wasn’t that happy with my results. Over the winter break, I participated in a Game jam where I tried to utilize what I have learned, and it was really fun to play around with displacement maps and the Light Path Shader. 3D Art has a huge place in my heart and I will proceed it in the further, so I was really happy when I found this course, because it meant a break from really math heavy or pure scientific courses. I had fun, learned something new and would participate again if I would have the chance.

Hannes Altmann


Here are some thoughts on my results that came up while reading „Tools of Inspiration“ by Karl Schawelka:

I think I did not understand the sense behind Space for visual Research right in the beginning. Like imitating real life objects which is the opposite goal of the course. Of course I created random unconventional forms, but maybe I tried too hard to make a beautiful image with high resolution, sharp edges and smooth shapes. Perhaps they look cool, but they don’t really „stimulate the imagination“ as Schawelka says because there is not much room for interpretation. This also might be a personality type of thing, particulary for perfectionists and control freaks. I spend way to much time and was stuck on some projects just to make them look clean. Shortly after I realized that they are not interesting at all because of this and throwed them away. Having the courage to withstand this dissonance or in Schawelkas words to accept being „a stranger to one’s own creation“ is a valuable lesson for me. I tried to make my works more experimental and less constructed towards the end and will continue with this shift. Of course you have to master some techniques to be able to leave the path of following tutorials, which was propabely the problem at the start. Letting go control in a 3D software as a novice often means to just click some buttons, crank up values or trying out new functions in areas where you don’t know what you do. Especially with Blenders massive range of functionalities. So again, doing this is was at least for me like fight against my rational mind. From this approach, two outcomes are possible. First, there is the danger that you completely mess up your file coming to a point where you are not able anymore to use it. Possibly, with one wrong mouse-click you may be rewarded with a black screen realizing that you destroyed 3 hours of work. Or your computer crashes or Blender freezes because you were not aware that you put in too high values into a recursive algorithm leading to exponential calculations that your 5 year old laptop without a graphics card can’t handle. Btw. considering this, one could argue that your level of creativity in visual research currently depends on or is limited to your financial situation (depending on whether you have the money for a high performing graphics card enabling far more complex calculations) and I would partly agree on that. Anyways, I think this contributes to make the „loss of control“ Schawelka describes not as easy as in the physical world and what may deter some newbies including me to break out even more. Nevertheless, I believe all this risk is worth it to take because in retrospect, my most interesting results occured just when I didn’t know what I was doing.

Hannes Geiß


To be honest, I have no idea what I‘m doing here, but it‘s fun. Out of sheer curiosity about what was behind the poster for the Bauhaus module „Visual Exploration Fundamentals“, I signed up for the module. As a media culture student, justifying why you want to take this course in the first semester is not difficult.
Art on, with and through the computer can hardly miss the topic of media.
As I have no experience in this field yet, my image files are very much based on the tutorials of the tutor. Step by step I tried to combine the different approaches of the different videos. My projects may not necessarily have become more attractive but I started to generate a certain workflow and some things went faster. Unless the computer crashed, which was often the case. I noticed that I always position the camera very close to the object or zoom in very close. Maybe it‘s a subconscious attempt to make the content of the image or video look more complex than it actually is, but it also looks a bit better, I think. My goal is not only to make the objects look more complex, but also to make them more complex. The module was a lot of fun and I find it very motivating and impressive to be able to see the skills and the development of all the students!

Lea Maravić


Studying to become a sculptress has been an incredible experience. Seeing what you can do in material world with limited material is exhilarating. Thus taking that inspiration to the digital space and trying to challenge the limits of reality gave me an even greater thrill. As a novice who never used Blender before, I decided to sign up for the Visual Explorations Fundamentals with Torben Zsagar. I must admit that it was challenging just taking the first steps to recreate the tasks posed by the tutorials, let alone venture into the vast unknown with my own visions.

Over the course of the semester it was at first frustrating feeling slow and a little lost, seeing how some others are quickly and creatively solving the workload when I was struggling just to keep the pace. In fact, all I was confident about at first was that
I wanted to finish the course but felt like my knowledge was so lacking that creativity would have to come later. The more I was following the class, that started changing.
It was encouraging to see how my competence evolved and I started being excited about each new assignment, wondering what twist I can introduce so the result can feel

And just like that, I started beginning to begin… from learning to follow to learning to create and enjoying to learn in this new space where anything is possible. The trick is just to learn how….and then begin… entirely mine.

Lisa Piekarski


Looking back at the beginning of the course Visual Exploration Fundamentals (VEF), I was not certain if I would be able to learn how to use a 3D computer graphics software in a few months. Note that I started as a complete beginner. Coming from the Computer Science field, creating 3D objects like spheres and planes was familiar to me, but interacting with raytracing scenes was mainly via coding. VEF offered an entirely new perspective. Being inspired by many talented people in this course, you get to know the creative and artistic side of 3D graphics. Blender is certainly one of the best open source software tools if you want to learn it. I've realized how close both worlds - Coding and Art - actually are. It made me rethink my relationship to 3D entirely and I am thankful for that.

Lorenz Weiland



Der Kurs „Visual Exploration Fundamentals“ war für mich der Erste dieser Art.

Der erste Kurs, in dem es für mich nicht speziell um die Abgabe und ein fertiges Produkt ging, sondern viel mehr um eine für mich neue Herangehensweise zu lernen und zu optimieren. Es hat mich von Anfang an gepackt, das neu Gelernte aus den Tutorials auszuprobieren und miteinander zu kombinieren. Das Herumexperimentieren mit verschiedene Arten von Displacements zu arbeiten und unterschiedlichste Texturen zu erstellen hat mich jedes mal an den Computer gefesselt und so wurde aus mal schnell was ausprobieren meistens eine vier Stündige Blender Session. In allen Fällen bin ich ohne jeglichen Plan oder Vorstellung an die einzelnen Werke herangetreten, vielmehr ergab sich das meiste aus dem stundenlangen Experimentieren.
Ich empfand aber genau diese Freiheit im Arbeiten als sehr angenehm und für mich zuversichtlich zielführend.Ich konnte bei all dem viel über mich und meine eigene Arbeitsweise lernen und ich denke das der Kurs und das freie dreidimensionale Arbeiten mich in meinem Studium stark bestärkt hat, worüber ich sehr glücklich bin.

Lynn Rosa Haag


Three-Dimensional abstraction of natural processes of plant growth

The inspiration behind my concept of the 3D–artworks came to life me when I heard that my friend started working as a florist intern in a little florist design studio in Berlin. (Studio.linne) It’s a rather small studio but their instagram profile is booming, because they take really glamourous, dreamy, almost unreal and 3D animated looking photographs of their flower bouquets. Also they sell 3D printed vases that look organic and colorful. I fell in love with their flower studio look and concept of their photographs: It’s ancombination of the way they organize the flower bouquets compositions and their choice of refined color pallets and backgrounds. So for my project I chose to built my own abstract and imaginative head-/3D space in which I can let plants, mushrooms or organic material grow.

The ambition to explore the flower-bouquets down to their core calls for them to be taken apart. To produce sufficient 3D–materials for exploration of the different counterparts of one bouquet, I looked at different techniques to produce realistic textures. Some tutorials of the Visual Exploration course were really helpful, and I enjoyed learning things that I didn’t necessarily intend to put into account for the 3D–plant artworks. I also had to think about what level of naturalistic visual effects rendering I needed, or if it was sufficient and even more interesting when the plant, stone, or any organic object looked a bit too soft or too clean to be realistic. My approach was that the viewer would still be aware of it’s artificial and digital look.

The actual experimental phase started when I was asked to create a skateboard artwork by a Skatebrand in Erfurt. I was asked to create it with a feminist approach. I created organic/dynamic, fluid and natural forms and used a lot of variations for different techniques of modelling and shading. My material choice was always intentional and I created it from the real life picture I had in my imagination. And this way of creating was the base for the rest of the artworks.

I finished up the renders with some compositing, I used lens distortion and glare nodes and I got some crispy highlights. The series of artificial and floral artworks are a response to the fusion of reality and virtual space as this phenomenon surrounds us a lot on a daily basis in todays times.

Marie Trojan


l‘ve been interested in Blender for a while now and I was looking for  Bauhaus Module that I could participate in. In this case I hit two birds with one stone. I wasn‘t really sure how the course would look like at first but I really liked the structure of „here is a tutorial you could do“ kinda thing. I also liked how easy going it was As a Computer Science stundent I am very used to strict deadlines but this was so nice to handle while also having a job and other deadlines. I would say, that I am creative but I a am no artist. The hardest part for me in those tutorials was the abstract art l‘ve never done abstract art in my life and it was really new to create structures as such. It kinda put me out of my comfort zone but in a good way. l‘ve learned many new things and got new ideas on how to handle Blender projects e.g for Game Development in the future. The art other students did were also amazing and very inspiring. lt put you in a good mindset where it didn‘t feel like a competition but it made yourself feel like you want to try more and that you want to be better.

Mariia Karnakova


In diesem Kurs haben wir grundlegende Techniken von Grund auf gelernt, die wir nun frei in komplexeren Ideen anwenden können. Alles war sehr übersichtlich und zugänglich, das Format des Tutorials schien mir sehr geeignet für ein solches Thema, bei dem man manchmal einen bestimmten Moment mehrmals wiederholen muss, und man kann das Video einfach zurückspulen. Darüber hinaus war der Kommunikationsaspekt dieses Kurses auch sehr praktisch - es war jederzeit möglich, ein Problem oder eine Frage an die allgemeine Gruppe zu schreiben, wo entweder Torben Zsagar selbst oder einer der anderen Studenten half. In den Seminaren haben wir schwierige Fragen oder unverständliche momente aus dem video analysiert und auch neue techniken erlernt. Mir hat auch sehr gut gefallen, dass wir sofort angefangen haben, kreativ zu arbeiten, was den Prozess angenehmer und interessanter gemacht hat. außerdem waren im kurs leute, die bereits Erfahrungen mit diesem Programm hatten, deren arbeit ich bewundert und die ideen zur kenntnis genommen habe. Ich dachte, dass meine Arbeit im Vergleich zu bereits fortgeschrittenen Benutzern nicht so gut aussehen würde, da ich nicht die Möglichkeit habe, alle Methoden, die ich aus den Tutorials gelernt habe, frei anzuwenden. Aber trotz der einfacheren Form und fast vollständigen Befolgung des Tutorials meiner Ergebnisse bin ich sehr zufrieden und werde dieses Programm weiter studieren und weiter damit arbeiten.

Sude Yöney


This type of art utilizes three-dimensional shapes, forms, and materials to create a work of art that is non-representational or nonobjective. It is typically created using computer-aided design software or 3D modeling programs and can be viewed in a variety of ways, including as a physical sculpture or as a digital representation on a computer screen. One of the key characteristics of abstract 3D art is the use of geometric shapes and forms. These shapes can be simple, such as a sphere or cube, or more complex and organic in nature. The use of these shapes and forms allows the artist to create works that are highly stylized and abstract, often with a focus on the interplay of light and shadow. Another important aspect is the use of color. In many cases, the artist will use a limited color palette, often consisting of a single color or a combination of just a few colors. This allows the artist to create a sense of harmony and balance within the work, as well as to draw attention to certain aspects of the composition. The ability to interact with the viewer is another exciting aspect of this type of art. Many works are designed to be viewed from multiple angles, allowing the viewer to experience different perspectives and to see the work in a new light. This interactive aspect can be particularly engaging and thought-provoking, encouraging the viewer to consider the work in a new way. In conclusion, abstract 3D art is an exciting and dynamic form of art that uses three-dimensional shapes, forms, and materials to create non-representational works. The use of geometric shapes and forms, color, and interactivity are key characteristics of this art form, which allows artists to create highly stylized and abstract works that engage and challenge the viewer.

Juro Carl Anton Reinhardt



Josephine Morlok


Mein Computer hat zwar teils leider gestreikt, sodass ich nur einige Sachen umsetzen konnte, aber die Tutorials habe ich mir trotzdem alle angeschaut. Die waren nämlich so super verständlich, dass sogar ich gecheckt habe, was Sache ist. Dadurch konnte ich endlich einiges lernen, was ich schon lange mal lernen wollte und es hat echt Spaß gemacht (und ich habe jetzt wirklich das Verlangen nach einem besseren PC, damit ich ganz viel blendern kann).