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Making Miniature Sculptures


#1

Hi Canan,

I’ve been reading about this system called DAVID-Laserscanner. I’ve
never tried it, but it looks interesting. Here’s a description from
the website-

DAVID-Laserscanner is a very low-cost system for contact-free
scanning of 3d objects. The only hardware requirements are a simple
commercial hand-held laser and a standard camera.

http://www.david-laserscanner.com

The models in their gallery look a little rough, but since they can
be exported as a Lightwave file, I imagine they could be cleaned up
in
a program like SharpConstruct, Blacksmith3d or Mudbox which are
digital sculpting programs similar to ZBrush Mudbox is getting a lot
of ZBrush converts. The is some really nice work in the Mudbox online
gallery.

http://tinyurl.com/ynmpmf*

*Since you’re sculptor, you might find 3D sculpting interesting.
It’s sort of like mushing clay around with the mouse. If you have the
patience for it, you can get some amazing results. SharpConstruct is
open source freeware.There’s also Poser and Daz3d which are primarily
for making characters for video games, but some people modify Poser
models for jewelry design. Daz3d is also free.

There is some more and resources about 3d scanning on
this wiki-

Jesse


#2

In my experience, the programs that promise to do this work much
better with simple geometric forms (like buildings) than with
complex organic forms (like people). As others have told you, this is
easier to accomplish with a true 3d scanner than with a collection of
2d photos. However, the equipment needed to capture a life-sized
figure is expensive and I imagine it might be difficult to find a
service bureau that would do this for you in Turkey. If you made
smaller clay models, less than 20cm or so, then it gets easier; there
are 3d scanners that can handle objects that size that are relatively
affordable (around 10k USD). The alternative would be to start from
scratch by modeling a figure directly in software. Sensable
Technology’s Claytools system would be ideal for this; you could
bring in your digital images for reference, and sculpt accordingly.
The resulting 3d models could be exported in STL format to a CAM
program that would generate toolpaths for a CNC mill to carve from,
or to a Rapid Prototyping machine that would build the form
additively in a waxy plastic material that can be burned out and
cast.

Andrew Werby
www.computersculpture.com


#3

On a related issue, I’ll point out that if you want to be proficient
at computer graphics, then just go out and buy a graphics pad. Wacom
is the standard, and I don’t think there’s any reason to buy
anything else - from my research and experience it will just be
inferior. As one artist put it, “Yeah I used to struggle with a
chunk of cheese…” I have an Intuos for my desktop and a smaller
Graphire for my notebook. The Intuos is pressure sensitive, so when
you push harder on a stroke it gets darker. You might think you are
drawing or sculpting with your mouse but you’re not, you’re
struggling. A graphics pad is lightyears better for drawing, photo
retouching and sculpting in any program. Once you get used to it,
because it takes a little bit to learn, you’ll wonder why you waited
so long…

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#4

Hi John,

On a related issue, I'll point out that if you want to be
proficient at computer graphics, then just go out and buy a
graphics pad. A graphics pad is lightyears better for drawing,
photo retouching and sculpting in any program. Once you get used
to it, because it takes a little bit to learn, you'll wonder why
you waited so long... 

The key words here, are “once you get used to it”. Speaking for
myself, some designers who already draw with a mouse can’t get used
to a drawing with a pen tablet. Perhaps some of the major pen tablets
proponents were MAC users who adapted to it in the days when they
only
had the option of a single button mouse without a scroll wheel? I do
know that if a CAD jeweler has a light touch & knows when to zoom,
rotate and pan; and takes full advantage of the program’s drawing
tools, they can create any shape they need to, doing it freehand with
a mouse with great ease and speed, while controlling dimensions to
1/100th of a millimeter; without even entering any numbers on the
keyboard…that’s good enough for my purposes. I bought a WACOM
tablet when I first got into computer design because I thought it was
necessary to have one, but having recovered from carpal tunnel, I
never found it very comfortable to hold the pen and squeeze that
little button on the side to do clicks all day long. I didn’t like
having to look at the pad to tap on some icon, either, and I still
needed to use the mouse for some things, so it was disruptive to
switch back and forth. Possibly a pen tablet is more useful for
touching up photos, but since I only use 2D graphics programs to
enhance 3D work for presentation occasionally, I’d be reluctant to
make any generalizations about what is best for anyone. As artists,
we
all have our own individual experiences and work flow.

From time to time during last 6 years or so, when I’ve heard someone
expound upon the benefits of pen tablets, I’ve downloaded new WACOM
software and tried it again, thinking I’m missing out on something,
but I don’t do that anymore. I like using a 5 button wireless mouse
with a scroll wheel. It’s a simply a matter of personal preference.
Although I don’t care for devices that disrupt the flow between the
creative thought process, eyes and hand, prices are coming down on 3D
navigation devices, so I may try one of the smaller ones. It seems
that they may offer more control while still being intuitive and
ergonomically comfortable.

http://tinyurl.com/37zaeo

Regards,
Jesse


#5
SharpConstruct, Blacksmith3d or Mudbox which are digital sculpting
programs similar to ZBrush Mudbox is getting a lot of ZBrush
converts. 

Just a comment on this - something to talk about, anyway LOL… First
off, I can see a purpose for open source software, but not for me.
Blacksmith3d looks pretty quirky, but I haven’t tried it. Somebody
else mentioned MOI, which is more of a Rhino thing, apparently - I
haven’t downloaded it and tried it because it’s beta, and I’m put off
by the childish website (frankly). Mudbox is something else
altogether, though. I seriously doubt that it’s getting any ZBrush
converts - I could easily see ZBrush people adding it to the
workflow, though. It fillls a really nice spot between ZBrush and
Maya or 3DsMax. I like the layers feature a lot, and the tangent
mirror feature is really useful. It doesn’t do rendering yet, but
that’s OK- most people will use Renderman, anyway. Very cool program

  • not really as good for down and dirty primary modeling as ZBrush, I
    think, but probably better for detailing. One of the best parts of
    ZBrush is the ZSpheres, which are quite unique, and Mudbox has no
    such thing. I use about 10 graphics programs, though, and use each
    for their strengths, as needed. I think Mudbox is a great part of
    the arsenal…Thanks for the tip - it was new to me…

#6

Hi John,

Somebody else mentioned MOI, which is more of a Rhino thing,
apparently I haven't downloaded it and tried it because it's beta,
and I'm put off by the childish website (frankly). 

I’m surprised you got that impression. The MoI website, isn’t
commercially flashy, but it holds a gem of a CAD program that should
not be dismissed or underestimated. The simple functional aesthetic
of the site might reflect the developer’s intention, which is to
create a next generation, simple to use, 3D design program with an
uncluttered but smartly designed interface. The developer has been
working on it on his own for over two years so his efforts have been
focused on making an innovative NURBS based program for artists and
designers, rather than sexy websites. It’s stable and gets more
powerful with every new beta. I’ve been using it for some design
projects without any problems. Due to client confidentiality
agreements, I can’t show many of them, but I’ve also been "doodling"
with the program just to test it’s capabilities.

I seriously doubt that it's getting any ZBrush converts 

What do you base that on? It’s not what I’ve read… I make it a
point of researching new software if it’s of interest to me. Mudbox
was developed by some of the production artists of The Lord of the
Rings who were using ZBrush because they wanted to expand their
toolset.

In any case, I’m glad you liked Mudbox. Actually, there have been
many ZBrush users who have changed over, however most of them are CGI
professionals who use it for commercial production, rather than the
hobbyists and kids who like ZBrush for making monsters, ghouls and
pixies :slight_smile:

Jesse


#7
Possibly a pen tablet is more useful for touching up photos, but
since I only use 2D graphics programs to enhance 3D work for
presentation occasionally, I'd be reluctant to make any
generalizations about what is best for anyone. As artists, we all
have our own individual experiences and work flow. 

Yes, Jesse, that’s true. What I said, though, was art and sculpture.
You can use a pen with Word, if you want to, but nobody would do
that. To illustrate - I was watching a tutorial about MudBox lately,
and there’s a place to set the minimum and maximum pressure, and he
said, “Or you can just crank them both up to 100% - that’s like if
you have a mouse.” In art and sculpture both the ability to vary
one’s touch is what separates the men from the boys. If you get a
brush in photoshop and pick up some blue, with a mouse it will go
"blot!" (or you can use the sliders, but talk about a hassle!). With
a pen you can start light, push harder and harder, lesser and
lesser, and paint a whole sky, or do skin tones or all manner of
things. That’s not even to mention angling the pen and doing
strokes. And the same applies with things like ZBrush - touch is
everything. No, I agree with you Jesse - if it’s not for you, and
you work in Rhino or something where there’s no benefit to having
one, then there’s no point. But this discussion is about sculpting
miniature human forms. I wouldn’t embark upon that work without my
Wacom.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#8

I seriously doubt that it’s getting any ZBrush converts

What do you base that on? It's not what I've read.. I make it a
point of researching new software if it's of 

Jesse, I base that on nothing, because that’s not what I said. Pros
more than anybody will use the right tool for the job. What I
actually said was that I’m sure many Zbrush users have added MudBox
to their arsenal, but I doubt that any of them have thrown away
their Zbrush either. Mudbox has many good tools - just the crease
tool makes it useful. But Zbrush has ZSpheres, which are
indespensable, and Mudbox’s materials are a joke by comparison. No,
the typical workflow for this sort of work is Maya, Zbrush, MudBox,
Photoshop, Maya (Lighwave, XSI…), Zbrush, Photoshop, Maya,
Mudbox, maybe Deep Paint (Right Hemisphere), render, photoshop,
render. And that doesn’t address rigging or dynamics. Mudbox is just
another part of the arsenal, and a good part, too.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#9
No, I agree with you Jesse - if it's not for you, and you work in
Rhino or something where there's no benefit to having one, then
there's no point. But this discussion is about sculpting miniature
human forms. I wouldn't embark upon that work without my Wacom. 

Interesting! I owe you an apology then. Although the topic is about
making miniature sculptures, your post wasn’t verbally framed within
the context of making miniature human forms so I misunderstood the
intention of your post. Some Orchid members ( me included) have been
known to “riff” extemporaneously on all manner of subject within a
given topic and sometimes these topic threads can get a bit
disconnected, so I honesty didn’t understand where you were coming
from. My bad! :wink:

Jesse