There are times when a project comes along that is too good to miss, and when I was asked to scan the original concept sculptures of the Batman cowl from Tim Burton's original 1989 film I was more than happy to get involved.
Vin Burnham (in association with Alli Eynon) forged a new path for super-hero costume with the sculpting of the original 1989 Batman costume (under supervision of Costume Designer Bob Ringwood). At the time I was eighteen and knew the significance of the suit even then. I knew history was being made, and it is testimony to Tim Burton's desire to create such a visual spectacle, and Vin's ability to bring something so special into being that changed the movie world forever. Not just the technical aspects of the suit's creation but from a wider perspective it became uber-cool for actors to take on super hero roles.
Both busts ready for 3D scanning
The amazing Jose Fernadez of Ironead Studios is using the 3D scans to create replica suits, and 3D scanning is the perfect way to accurately bring all the detail and idiosyncracies of the original sculptures into the digital realm to subsequently work from.
The two sculptures were originally created as 'concept' and 'final' busts, to give Tim Burton something tangible to sign off, so the costume could go into full production.
Both busts are cast plaster from a waste-mould, made in production 30 years back. A waste-mould is a mould used for one cast only, so these casts are one-offs, made from Vin's clay sculptures (the clay versions destroyed as part of the moulding process). The bottom line is, if something happens to these sculptures, without 3D scans there is no accurate 3 dimensional archive by which to refer or even 3D print copies.
From a practical standpoint, plaster is a great material for 3D scanning as there is no reflection or light bouncing off the surface which can affect the 3D scanning process.
3D scanning the sculptures
The Creaform Go!Scan 20 I used is a portable white light scanner, capturing highly detailed scans with high point accuracy. I needed to put some targets (little dots) on for the scanner to lock onto the surface and ease the scanning. It scanned really well, capturing even the little imperfections such as the broken tips of the ears.
Post-processing the scan was relatively simple, filling some holes, repairing the ear tips and any little dinks and dents from 30 years of life (we all have a few of them!). The final files looked great - watertight mesh ready for further digital transformations...
Now the sculptures are immortalised digitally ready for another 30 years of storage! The sculptor in me wants to take inspiration from the files and create a retro, concept cowl for fun, as a homage to what was a fantastic turning point in movie history.
• 1989 Batman movie: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman_(1989_film)
• Vin Burnham: http://vinburnham.com/
• Alli Eynon: http://allieynon.com/
• Jose Fenandez: https://ironheadstudio.com
• Bob Ringwood: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0727674/
#sculpture #3dscanning #3dmodeling #batman #creaform #batmanmovie
Created for Plymouth's #polarbearexplorers event, the desire was for us to create a realistic but "kind of cute" Polar bear cub and then make 20x duplicates. Join Greg Lawrence as he describes the process and pain of creating a lifesize sculpture of the world's cutest mammal!
Stage1 - Research
I wanted to design the cub with a keen yet vulnerable look, so I set to researching Polar bears and cubs. I immersed myself in the look and feel of the little mammals, watching them walk, run, roll around, sniff the air...it all helped gain a really good feel for how I may bring some of the expression out in the sculpture.
Stage2 - Digital sculpture
Creating sculptures digitally in my view is the most efficient, expressive way. It gives me a chance to try multiple poses, shapes and anatomical variations in a way that is simply not practical with real clay or modelling materials. I have a mad passion for digital sculpture and founded the Freelance 3D Modeling group on Linked In as a result of my passion and to join virtual hands with sculptors the world over.
You can see below the cub went through various stages from early blockout through refinement and finally I found the form I was looking for. It was a really painful process, trying to create a kind of light, fluffy look to something which will effectively be a solid.
I gave the digital sculpture a little paint so I could be sure I would be able to find the right look with the real finished model.
Stage 3 - 3D Printing the Cub
Taking the digital file and creating a 3D print is the simpler part of the process for an object that is only 600mm tall. The body was created using SuperHuge 3D printing, which is made for objects 1m up to unlimited size, so this was on the smaller side of things. The face was 3D printed in ABS and fixed to the polystyrene before cleanup ready for moulding.
Stage 4 - Moulding & Casting a Polar Bear Army
I created a silicone jacket mould - a soft rubbery jacket with a hard casing - so the cubs could be spray-cast in resin. This is a really cost-effective way of quickly making a short run of casts. Each cast came out, and was cleaned up and primed white ready for painting.
Stage 5 - Painting: Bringing the Cubs to Life
This was a fantastic challenge. We all have preconceptions that Polar bears are white - yet in fact there is a marvellous depth of colour to their fur. Additionally the colour is affected by two other factors: light and dirt. The quality of light and time of day affect the colour of the fur dramatically as each strand of fur holds and absorbs the light rays. For example at sunset the fur takes on a glowing, deep, creamy colour. Yet in a blizzard the fur is a flatter, whiter colour. Our cubs would be in shops on the harbour front in Plymouth, so also had to look natural in their retail environment. Dirt was the second factor, and often the fur is grubby around the feet and belly area. Reds and browns, clay-like from the natural habitat (when not on snow and ice) give a realistic quality. I took all these factors on board and decided to go for a clean, warmish design. Not too grubby.
When it came to painting the face, I worked really hard to paint and airbrush an inquisitive, alert look. I spent hours looking at Polar bear eyes, desperate to understand how and why they looked vulnerable in one image, yet happy in another. Finally I reached a look I was happy with.
The Final Sculptures Launched at the National Marine Aquarium
Airbrushed to look consistent across each cub. I was pleased to have achieved a soft, fluffy look with a vulnerable yet inquisitive feel.
#polarbearexplorers #sculpture #3dprinting #3dmodelling
Watch the YouTube Timelapse Video
Timelapse showing the painting and airbrushing of the little army...
We are proud to announce as of 15th June 2018 we have launched the FREELANCE 3D MODELING GROUP on Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8679019
Our aim is to build a global group of talented 3D modelers from student to professional. For collaboration, inspiration, support, competitions and job offers.
If you are serious about your 3D modeling career, get involved and be part of a global community of like-minded people. Inspire people with your work, share tips, ask for help, enter competitions and receive job offers.
Any questions, you can contact the group owner Greg Lawrence at firstname.lastname@example.org www.chinchilla3d.com or Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/greglawrence12/
Access to the group will be strictly monitored. You can join if you are a 3D modeler / designer. This includes texture artists for example, or people who work either side of the 3D modeling pipeline.
We will allow access to recruitment professionals as long as they post real jobs in the Jobs section with defined start dates etc - not blanket, catch all job ads.
We hope and expect a great synergy in the group, so please get posting and enjoy!!
#3dmodelers #3dmodellers #3dmodeling #3dmodelling #3dartist #cgartist #3dgeneralist #hardsurfacemodeling #organicmodeling #sculpting #retopology #caddesign #3dcad #zbrush #mudbox #3dsmax #maya #marvelousdesigner #solidworks #alias
3D scanning is a fast way to put a real-world object onto a computer in 3 dimensions. On the surface of things it seems easy, but the reality is a little more complex and knowing when to use 3D scanning is a skill in itself. The purpose of this article is to help you understand when it is good to make that call.
There are plenty of articles on how 3D scanners work and the different types of 3D scanners, and I really just wanted to tackle why and when you should choose 3D scanning over traditional CAD creation.
Ultimately the driving force behind a decision to choose 3D scanning is either because it's cheaper than the alternative, it's quicker or it simply cannot be matched by quality. The sweet spot for a customer is all three reasons. Let's get started:
1. The object has complex, compound, curved surfaces
2. If accuracy is important to you
3. You want an exact mirror of an original part
4. You need to archive an original object (art or heritage)
5. You want to capture the texture (colour information)
6. There is simply too much detail
6. You can't touch or work on the original object
1. Does the object have complex, compound curves? If yes you should seriously consider 3D scanning
2. How important is accuracy? If it is important to you, 3D scanning is the right choice.
3. Do you want to mirror an existing part? If so 3D scanning is the way to go.
4. Do you need to archive an original object or artifact? If yes there is only one answer: 3D scanning.
5. Is capturing the colour information important to you? It is impossible to recreate any kind of complex colour information as quickly and economically as 3D scanning.
6. Is the object extremely detailed? If so it will be much quicker to 3D scan than recreate from scratch in computer software.
7. Is the object too fragile or valuable to risk getting damaged by a moulding process? If so 3D scanning is non-invasive and non-destructive and the only way to go.