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3D Printing -is that the end for sculpting?

Discussion in 'Sculpting' started by Tecumsea, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. Gaudin A Fixture

    Thats all true, Carl.

    Its not going to be the case when millions of people will suddenly begin to churn out masterpieces, it is still going to be selected few who can actually do the job.
    Same as currently the case, many try, few are successful.
    Its also too early to say one likes 3d more than traditional - there isnt enough to see to make comparison - 3d just doent have enough presence.
    It will be a massive win with game industry - where soul and character of the sculpt isnt quite necessary - just shapes and quantity.

    Most likely a combo of digital and traditional will exist.
    But as technology goes faster and cheaper, I think its going to be the costs, speed and the possibilities that will see decline of traditional sculpting - and most likely - only in certain areas.

    And its not going to be now or in 5 or next 10 years for sure.
    The question is how many will choose to invest effort and time now to come out on top when it happens.
    Jamie Stokes likes this.
  2. Tecumsea PlanetFigure Supporter

    Thank you for your responses to my original question which was based on complete ignorance of the Technology qualities and possibilities of 3D printing, coupled to natural curiosity about a subject that could or would impact on our Hobby.
    The replies in summary have answered the question in great detail and my thanks for the input which has been a interest not only to myself but possibly other members of the forum.

    Funky50 likes this.
  3. zodiac Active Member

    Its also too early to say one likes 3d more than traditional - there isnt enough to see to make comparison - 3d just doent have enough presence.
    It will be a massive win with game industry - where soul and character of the sculpt isnt quite necessary - just shapes and quantity.

    3D has absolutely massive presence, everywhere! Literally everywhere you look 3D is there in some form. It hasn't been harnessed to our hobby yet nor the potential realized. This is a tiny tiny hobby. There is very little if any difference between traditional and 3D sculpting as far as being able to recognize the imprinture of a particular artist/sculptor, same with digital painting, marble and milliput, pen and brush. There's just as much 'soul' now in a digital sculpt as a traditional, in some cases digital leaves traditional at the starting blocks. All down to the skill of the artist/ sculptor. It's been used extensively in 'games' so maybe that has given people the idea that it's limited - it isn't, the imagination is the limit just as with clay. When you make a digital sculpt you go through exactly the same actions and workflow as you do with clay on a turntable, the more experience you gain the better the result just as with traditional. Is this debate futile? No, I disagree with Carl on that point, it's an airing and positive way of gradually becoming aware of more possibilities to further our hobby and artwork. By the way that company you worked for carl..Ha! I remember when MACS came in and the company I worked for wanted to get rid of the whole creative and production staff and just have the CEO's secretary do it all because they thought all it took was the push of a button, on the strength of one seminar too... they are no longer in business!!
  4. Gaudin A Fixture

    I am talking very specifically and narrowly in terms of our hobby. As far as I have seen - only 10+ passable kits or so - mind you, I am not purposefully following, but in real terms I wouldn't call that a significant enough presence to make conclusion.
    Rest of the world = no doubt. I worked as an artist for a computer game company at some point so got an idea.
  5. carl reid A Fixture

    You are quite correct Zodiac!

    3D printing and rapid prototyping is everywhere you look, from the car parts to kitchen appliances etc. These are all mass produced products. Where the means justifies the end.
    But there is one genre thats missing "Organics" with the exception of the film industry. Who as we all know has a huge budget for the most part. This justifies the investment.

    When I say futile I mean in this minute market place
    To invest the finances and time in a market that is very niche and as small as this one is unviable in my opinion.
    You will always get the odd hobbyist trying his or her hand, and you will always get the odd success story, but to think it will lead to sweeping changes accross the board, is in my opinion unachievable.

    There are many companies out there offering 3D printing services, but very few can actually offer an organic 3D print from scratch. They may be able to scan a human and reproduce him in any scale. But you know yourself to achieve those small subtle movements that make a piece are a whole different thing. That is where the operator has to have a knowledge of subtle human anatomy, and I'm sure there will be some that can straddle both techniques, but very few in my opinion. Then you have to break the piece down for production perposes. It's not a simply case of digitally inputing release angles, like you would on an engine block. So the sculptor not only has have to be a 3D artist/sculptor with all the necerssary skills and the ability of the sculptor with all the subtlies required, they also have to be a pattern maker. this is a big ask.

    Its a bit like the CGI film makers, and game producers all looking for the most lifelike animation like Toy Story, and Tin Tin etc, but there is still a massive appeal for Tom and Jerry and Jungle Book.
    One will never replace the other in my opinion. They may co-exist to varying degree's.
    There is a reason why art is appealling, and there is a reason why CGI/3D printing is appealing, but as to whether one replaces the other we will see, but I have my doubts!

    diamond cutter likes this.
  6. zodiac Active Member

    Breaking a figure down for molding is not that hard in 3D, I'll try and find you a tutorial, it's just like doing it conventionally but on a computer and just as accurate, it's quite amazing and relatively simple. As for printing you supply the organic or hard surface sculpt as an STL file, they just print out what is on the file so yes, in order for it to work successfully the sculptor has to be an artist, technician and engineer which is the same as producing a master traditionally! people need to know that this 3D is for pattern makers at the moment, you can't mass produce on 3D printers, you also have to tool the printed piece, however sophisticated this will always be the case I think. I t won't replace anything, it'll just be another tool in the artists armoury
  7. Meehan34 A Fixture

    I don't know why people keep thinking that a 3D printed figure is just a scan of something. I have seen examples of such things but 99.9% of the art is being created that can be printed is scratch built in the computer. here is an example of my friend Mariano sculpting a female from scratch. He is the same one who sculpted the Lesnar figure in my original post. More detail and perfection can be acheived in the 3D sculpting over traditional sculpting.

  8. Piotrec Active Member

    I was going to ask you Mike about the software your friend is using. Now I know and I will give it a go. :)

    You are absolutely right that this way we can achieve more detail, but all the finest detail will be lost during the printing process. We still have to wait for technology to improve a little bit I think.

    BTW, how much time it takes to design just a body in software like this?
  9. JasonB A Fixture

    Not so much technology, but for the technology to become readily available and affordable. They are digitally printing things far more complicated and MUCH smaller than any figure we would ever want. Nano printing anyone???

  10. Piotrec Active Member

    Right Jason. Technology is there, but not yet widely available and affordable. That is what I meant.

    3D scanning should be a real boon to the forgers though. You can steal something in 120 and sell it in 54. Both physical and digital sculptors should worry about that.

    Jamie Stokes likes this.
  12. JasonB A Fixture

    I don't know how much scanning would effect the digital guys, since they can just print it in whatever scale they choose, no new masters or molds to make (unless they are using the printed piece as a master for cast copies). They could advertise the figure and give buyers the option to buy it in whatever scale they want. Imagine a drop down menu allowing you to select any scale for your favorite fig. That would be sweet...
    The traditional sculptors would be screwed by it since they sculpt the masters in a given size and are pretty much locked into that scale and making copies from that one master.
  13. pokrad A Fixture

    There is a free software -(Zbrush requires a pile of cash) look for Sculptris and Blender - they are more than enough to try the technology - even some professonals are using Blender...

    You can also compare the sculpting process with ZBrush and Sculptris:

    Sculptris is much simpler program, but I find it perfect for "organic" sculpting, and You can start with almost no knowledge about computer sculpting...

    Here is a sample sculpting timelapse in Blender:

    Blender is much more like Zbrush - it has more "working modes" (modeling, sculpting,animating etc...), sculpting is just one part of it...

    Check out also this sample of combinating modelling and sculpting on the same "object" in Blender:

  14. Meehan34 A Fixture

    The technology is totally there. MAX I.G who is a member of this forum printed these figures for me. As you can see, all of the detail and life are in these sculptures. It's time to quit trying to wish this technology away.

    printed figs.jpg

    Piotr; On the question of affordability, I think it is very expensive depending on the 3D computer artist. If Mariano wasn't my friend I could never afford to commission a sculpture from him.
    Jamie Stokes, Einion and armorer like this.
  15. Merryweather Well-Known Member

    Meehan this is good stuff. Do you know what model printer these guys are using?
    what strikes me is the minimal support structure generated- very good indeed and minimal clean up.
  16. armorer Member

    What scale or size of these figures? And how many cost the printing this details set?
  17. Meehan34 A Fixture

    I do not know what printer he uses, but he is typically online here a lot so you could PM him. It is surprisingly affordable too. And as you can see he can print every ounce of detail the sculptor puts into the model and it is completley smooth. Everything I have had printed at shapeways has a weird wood grain looking texture on the surface of the model. The grain shows up when cast in resin too.
  18. Meehan34 A Fixture

    I had him print each figure in 54mm and 75mm, the cost for the 6 figures was just under $500 USD. It is a little higher per piece if you just have him print a single figure.
  19. armorer Member

    Thanks. Very nice price
    And the big parts are hollow inside?
  20. Meehan34 A Fixture

    They are solid material with no hollow parts.

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