Some old work and random bits.
Dropping this here for updating when I get the chance...
Long story short, I have a 3D printed (with some heavy post texture work) on it's way to the mold maker. I'll post on the 3D print stuff, as soon as I get the chance. However, in the meanwhile, here is a digital mock-up, if you will, of the fleur. Modeled in Maya/Zbrush, with the texture created in Substance Painter.
I have more or less finished the fleur-de-lis model. All that is left is ensuring I have the correct scale, after which I will prep the file for printing.
I ended up modeling the fleur from scratch, as the photogrammetry derived mesh had too much noise. I realized that I would spend a lot of time cleaning it up in Zbrush and would likely pull my hear out in the process. Thus, I used a relatively cleaned up scan mesh as a reference model in Maya. Making the ref mesh a "live surface" I was able to constrain geometry to it, as the geo was generated. Very similar to retopologizing in game art, but with a much higher triangle count, in the end. I think it came out pretty well. Off to print.
I've been interested in using photogrammetry/3D scanning and 3D print, for sculptural restoration and am currently working with a great company, and am super excited to work on this project.
Long story short, I've been commissioned to capture a fleur-de-lis that needs copying, for a large bronze light sconce assembly. I'll print a copy(s) in wax (though I'm researching alternatives), which will be used to cast replacements in bronze.
I've captured the shots and am cleaning the photo-data now. A quick and dirty (no Lightroom work, or masking) test export has yielded a noisy but solid mesh.
In deciding what my next photogrammetry project would be, I remembered the 1863 (I may be wrong on the year) Remington Navy cap and ball revolver that I found in my Grandmother's basement as a child. My Uncle Frank had procured it as payment for mowing grass back in the 40s, and has sat in a box in one place or another for decades. It's in poor condition in terms of finish and the locking mechanism on the hammer is broken. Furthermore the base pin handle has broken off, and the tab that keeps the charging handle against the barrel is missing.
My goal is to scan and clean up and essentially do a digital restoration of the subject, replacing the missing components, removing corrosion (and the results of my pre-adolescent rust removal that destroyed any original finish), such that it looks like it may have when in service.
This digital restoration will then be skewed to both a real-time model and a printed and finished display piece. Both lend challenges. Removing the corrosion and adding a smooth blued finish, without destroying the scanned detail and avoiding extensive remodeling may not be easy. Printing the high rez mesh shouldn't be to challenging, but painting and finishing with the hopes of simulating blued steel, brass, and wood, may very well be.
I have dissembled the revolver and am formatting how to support it and it's separate components within my light tent.
I'll update as time goes along. This promises to be a fun project, and the idea that this relic that has meant so much to me over the years may carry on within my chosen art form, is a thrilling prospect.
I have the revolver more or less disassembled. Were this a working relic, I would have likely opted to have a gunsmith do the disassembly, but for better or for worse it appears it has likely been disassembled and reassembled many time over it's lifetime, and was rendered inoperable a long time ago. In fact, the hammer was secured to the frame, via the tip of a cut off nail. I have to wonder if that was the work of my late Uncle. Prior to his ownership, I know nothing of the relic.
I have one more step in the disassembly, and that is removing the cylinder from the frame. The pin (technically speaking the base pin) that holds the cylinder within the frame, has not only lost it's handle that helps to facilitate removal, the remainder of the pin has frozen within the cylinder. A healthy dose of PB spray hasn't loosened it a bit and no amount of hammer and punch have elicited a modicum of movement. As soon as I finish this update, I am headed to the hardware store to buy some Kroil for the frame to soak in for a week or so. This is a bit of a setback, but I can at least start photographing the parts I have already removed. The worst case with the cylinder is that I leave it in the frame, however that would make separating the components, along with repair and clean-up in their digital state, a bit of a headache. Wish me luck.
Well, my former employer, Harmonix laid off about a sixth of the company. So it is that I find myself unemployed as of March 30th. All I can say is, thank the stars for unemployment benefits.
The upside however, is that I have had the opportunity to learn Photogrammetry (see above cow skull render) in the process. It's been a lot of fun and I'm blown away with the results. The work still requires mesh clean-up and texture work, but that's where the fun comes in, IMO. I hope to share more of my work and process as time goes on.
Looks like I forgot to post anything in 2015. I spent the vast majority of last year working on Rock Band 4. I started with Harmonix Music Systems on January 6th and hit the ground running.
Along the way, I have done a few 3D printing pieces for a client, but no personal projects. I did however win best-of-show, in the studio's Halloween pumpkin contest, though I was accused of cheating in a tweet or two. Lolz.
I have in the meanwhile discovered a new passion and that is drawing while commuting via public transportation. I spend about 2 hours a day on a train and bus, so I've started drawing on my phone using Sketchbook Pro, Pixlr and a few other apps. I started the year a truly 2nd rate 2D artist, and while no illustrators are in any danger of losing their jobs, it's amazing what drawing every day can do for your 2D chops. Anyhow, I'll post a few of those as well as a few other bits of news.
Commuting via public transportation can be a wonderful thing; you don't have to drive, it's good for the environment, it **usually** carries on despite in-climate weather, and so on. That said, it can also be completely awful. The buses in Boston get crowded sometimes and the trains even worse. For the most part, my fellow commuters are well versed in public trans etiquette and despite being nose to nose with them at times, are acceptable traveling companions. However, on occasion there is that outlier, who's bad day, addiction and/or mental illness ruins it for everyone. Not to mention the smells (namely urine with the occasional errant bus-fart) and sounds that one is assaulted with 5 days out of the week (the squeaking brakes between Harvard and Central are ear splitting).
Most people deal with the conditions (and don't forget boredom) by distraction, namely via the smartphone. In addition, music is a popular distraction (for the most part using earbuds/headphones - don't get me started on the assholes who opt for their phone's speakers...). This is what I for the most part did, in the beginning of my public trans days. Staring at Facebook while listening to music on my over-the-ear Bluetooth headphones (to hell with wires).
But one can only refresh FB so many times before your brain starts to go to shit. So one day, I started sketching on my phone, using SketchBook Pro , with a recently acquired Wacom Gen. 3 Bamboo Stylus .
I did this piece a few years ago. The helmet was wearable (albeit a bit awkward to say the least.) The display bust consisted namely of a urethane (Smooth-On's Plasti-Paste) casting I did via a life cast a year or so before I made the helmet.
I'm becoming quite fond of Sketchfab, as it's a geat means of keeping a client up to date on your progress, as well as a way to just show off. They've really spruced it up over the last year, with a good array of material and post settings.
I thought a low-rez version of my Wacom stylus holder (which was eventually printed out on a Form 1 printer) would be neat to show. Note the interior 'snap-in' accomidation for the OEM holder's base. It fits in nicely and gives the holder a good weight.
I'm likely late to the game on this one, but I have stumbled upon the best tool for cutting the top off of your pumpkin. A hacksaw blade! Either start with a standard knife to make a slit and then insert the blade, or push the blade through. Then just saw away, being sure to choke up on the blade and ensure you keep your inward angle. It also makes cutting your registration notch a cinch. No more sketchy kitchen knives that get stuck in the pumpkin, as the hacksaw blade just slips along as you cut. I used one intended for cutting metal, so the teeth were very close together. You're less likely to cut yourself than with perhaps the more spaced/larger tooth blades. I'd hazard that children could use it safely as well.
I've also found that rubber gloves (I really like the Ammex nitrile) are a great way to prevent the pumpkin under the fingernails and itchy drying pumpkin on the hands and wrists. I've seen some people wear light work gloves when cutting their pumpkins to reduce the possibility of cutting your supporting hands. Seems like a good idea.
This is my 3rd attempt over the years to sculpt-carve a pumpkin. I'm getting better, but I've got a way to go before I'm satisfied with the results. Carving (a subtractive process) is tricky!!
The pumpkin shown was for a friend, who is a den mother in the Cub Scouts. It's to be 1st prize for a costume contest. I hope it's good enough to satisfy an 8 year old at least!
I modeled a handful of sea birds for the amazing Industria Mechanika model company, about a year ago. I'm contemplating putting them on my portfolio site, but for now thought I would give embedding Sketchfab models a go, on my blog first.
These meshes were eventually output to 1/35 scale, which is pretty small. Thus, when modeling I kept the detail fairly low. No need to invest time into detail that won't be printed.
I've been a conventional sculptor for most of my life. While I've for the most part, moved from clay sculpting to digital, I still crave the tangible; hence my keen interest in 3D printing. For the last decade or so, I also explored mold making and casting. Being able to reproduce my clay sculpture, proved to be very satisfying. Materials ranging from silicone rubber to urethane plastic to gypsum plaster, made up the majority of my castings.
Despite having for now, moved to digital sculpting and 3D printing, I maintain the desire to make multiple copies of my pieces. While I could merely print additional copies, there is the matter of expense and the relatively limited variety of materials available for print.
Hence my next project I have on deck. I'm keeping the subject matter under my hat (think alternate history/Sci Fi WW2 era) but the the means by which I'm producing the pieces is something I've been yammering about to anyone who will listen, for some time.
I want to cut out the middle man, so to speak and rather than print a master that I would then create a mold from, I want to print the molds. Not only will I be able to engineer pour lines and vents, and registration points, the tolerances between the mold halves should be very high. One of the hardest parts of mold making is creating a dam between the two (or more) halves of the mold when laying on the material. It is not uncommon for the place where the mold components come together to have miniscule gaps, resulting in an edge or flashing on the subsequent casting.
I'm very excited about this particular project. Where as a few posted previously have fallen somewhat by the wayside, this one is a go. I'm in talks with a concept artist and am very close to procuring some of the equipment I will need. I will most certainly be posting my progress!
I went to work yesterday, knowing that I may very well be leaving without a job. It began with the grapevine; talks of layoffs around the water-cooler were a daily event for months. Finally, word came from on high that there would indeed be layoffs. Who and when, were anyone's guess.
Eventually, October 15th was eyed as THE day. Lo and behold, indeed it was. I'm not at liberty to say how many people were laid off, but it was not an insignificant number. And unfortunately, I was among them.
I'm not sure what metrics they used to determine who stayed and who would be cut. I was told 'it's us, not you' and I believe them. Personally, I had nothing but positive experiences at Turbine and I can say without hesitation that my work was solid and that I was a productive and amicable member of the team. In fact, no-one I saw that got laid off 'deserved it.' There were some surprising choices and I saw some really talented, hard working and just all around good people lose their jobs. It was a sad day indeed.
That said, them's the breaks. I have no ill will towards Turbine. The games industry is tumultuous. Publishers (in Turbine's case, Warner Brothers) pretty much dictate the numbers. I know there were a lot of heavy hearts among management yesterday. Their's was not an easy job.
So anyhow, I'm beating the pavement, keeping my eyes peeled, among other hackneyed phrases. The Boston area has a growing and vibrant tech, design and game dev community. I'm looking forward to what's next.
One thing about this event that will stick with me, is the outpouring of sympathy and genuine affection I felt from my former co-workers (those laid off and those still working). Management let everyone go home after the announcement and I was amazed at how many people stuck around, while those selected waited to have their exit interviews. Beers at the Biltmore afterwards soothed frazzled nerves, laments turned to jokes, jokes lead to hugs and goodbyes. It was a good day despite it simultaneously, completely sucking.
I was only there for 10 months, but I'll sure miss working with those folks (and one dog).
The Meetup group, Reality Computing is meeting tonight in Boston, where I'll be giving a 10 minute presentation, The Creative Potential of 3D Printing.
I'm really looking forward to meeting members of the group and hearing the other speakers. As all my fans and followers know (hey Mom), I am, dare I say, obsessed with 3D printing. I don't have much experience with scanning, (though I have had amazing results with 123D Catch, by Autodesk), so I'm very interested in the talks on 3D scanning.
I don't have any relevant imagery to add. So here's a picture of the 'molded knobs' I got off of the free table at work yesterday...
So I did my presentation, "The creative potential of 3D printing", at the Boston Reality Computing meetup, a couple of presenters after Autodesk. Yeah... that wasn't intimidating at all. The tech presented by the other speakers was amazing. The Autodesk 3D scanning presentation alone, was worth the drive through Boston rush hour.
Showed a few prints and went over my process from reference material collection and measuring to post processing and painting. Met some really friendly/smart/driven people and generally had a great time.
Showing my non-firing handgun prop, which took a ton of post processing and painting. Work in computer games long enough and you're bound to have a gun model saved away in your back catalog somewhere...
I received my poison bottle from Shapeways a month or so ago.
The green wasn't nearly as green as their website purported, but otherwise I'm really excited about the results. The glazing process obscures the detail a bit, but it still looks pretty cool.
The cork was in colored sandstone (which incorporated a texture map) turned out awesome. It really looks like a cork!
A little Photoshop fun, to boot...
Time for some catch up. Family, work and freelance have kept me pretty busy...
Anyhow, here's one of my latest projects. It's a stylus holder that fits over the base of the OEM holder that comes with Wacom tablets. It was sculpted in Zbrush and printed on a friend's Form 1 3D printer.
It was painted with airbrushed acrylics and an oil paint wash. I finished with a mineral sprit based varnish, wich turned out really nice.
When I get my act together perhaps I'll do a post on my process.