Daniel Peluso's UC Santa Cruz Portfolio

For admission to the M.F.A. Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) Program, Fall 2016


Note: Click on any of the images below to view as a fullscreen slideshow. There are five total image slideshows (separated by centered bold text titles) with a total of 15 images. In order to view different slideshows you must close out your currently viewed show and click on an image in the next slideshow you wish to view. Below the images is my video example. 

Miniature World Photography Series

The miniature world of Phipps Conservatory (Pittsburgh, PA) exhibits brought to life. Shot with a Canon Ti3 DSLR. 

Still images and textures of my original interpretation of planet, Kepler-186f, from my documentary, The Quest for Another Earth

Images were created using Maya (3D computer modeling) and Adobe Photoshop (texturing, digital drawing). The planet’s texture was created by digitally drawing original Mercator map projections of the planets surface (night/day versions) and atmosphere in Photoshop, which were then wrapped around my models in Maya. The night side portion of the planet is derivative of what Earth looks like today, with artificial lights glowing in the dark abyss of space—suggesting a planet with possible life.



Computer drawings done with program, Processing. The coded Javascript files that created these images are interactive so that the user can draw their own version of this atom smashing, Higgs boson inspired art.


Egyptian Dream

Part pen, part collage. Unfortunately, the original was stolen and this is the only image I have of the work. It was one of my favorites. 

"Microcosmic Experience" Series

I took miniature items such as flower pollen, sugar, and salt and imaged them with a scanning electron microscope. Next I false colored in the scans in Adobe Photoshop and turned them into this image series, which showcases the amazing microscopic world all around us. 


My documentary, The Quest for Another Earth

The video was created using Maya (3D computer animations, modeling), Adobe Photoshop (texturing, digital drawing), After Effects (animations), Premiere (video editing), and Pro Tools (audio editing). Live video footage was shot at Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Observatory and astrophotography of the night sky used for the opening scene was captured in Lake Sonoma, CA. The final scene is an original artistic interpretation of planet, Kepler-186f. 

Synopsis: In 2009, the Kepler space telescope launched into space to search for planets orbiting stars outside of our solar system. These planets, called exoplanets, had no data to prove their existence until 20 years ago. Currently, because of exciting developments in astronomy, data shows that planets actually outnumber the estimated 200 billion stars in our galaxy. This 3D computer animation serves to highlight the importance of this cutting edge science.

This short film, entitled, The Quest for Another Earth, spotlights the Allegheny Observatory where members of the research team, STEPUP (Survey of Transiting Extrasolar Planets at the University of Pittsburgh), actually perform astronomical observations of exoplanets.

To ponder the wonders of the age old question of whether we are alone in the Universe, the animation also explores a recently discovered exoplanet, Kepler-186f, which is 500 light years from Earth and has been called an “Earth-cousin” by astronomers because of its similarity to Earth.

Brought to you by ACCIAC
All Direction, Production, Filming, Animation, and Writing by Daniel Peluso
Narrated by Mike Boyer
Film Score by Jordan Wood
Science Advisor Arthur Kosowsky
Animation Consultant Dean Mougianis