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Try this with your 3D printer......

Discussion in 'Sculpting' started by bonehead, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. bonehead A Fixture

    This is a job I did recently for a client (don't ask - that is all the info you will get - client proprietary information, etc.). It is, of course, a portrait head of a real person.


    I know folks who work in the movie industry. Yes, they do have 3D scanners that can scan the head of a real person. That scan can then be reproduced as a sculpture using a 3D printer. What neither of those processes can do is produce a usable sculpt out of the chute. It will be close, but even a scan taken from a real person needs to be tweaked by an artist with a good eye, because the scans end up being somewhat lifeless and lackluster. Everyone I have talked to about this says the same thing.

    But the above head could never be done that way anyway. Why? Because today the subject is presently decades older than he appears in this sculpt! No way a scan can make the guy look younger! And what about sculpting people who are already dead? You cannot scan those either.

    In the end, 3D printing is just another tool. It still takes a person with an good artist's sense to produce a sculpt with good artistic merit. A tool is only as good as the person using it. I think the reason some people question whether such technology will make sculptors (or other artists) obsolete is more down to a cultural obsession with technology - and the belief that technology is in some way "superior" to the efforts of a skilled and determined person. This is baloney.

    Even with all of the technology out there, it will still take a person with artistic skill to create a finished product with good artistic merit. When you show me a machine that can extemporaneously produce a work of art with the relative merit of , say - a Mona Lisa, then my skills will become totally obsolete. ;):cool:
    Sokol, b00gie, Mike S. and 17 others like this.
  2. JasonB A Fixture

    Looks like Sean Connery has contracted you...the young Sean Connery that is!
    As for 3-D printing vs. Sculpting, I think that discussion has went around and around about twice, and is headed for the 3rd round.
  3. megroot A Fixture

    Very nice work Mike.

  4. RKapuaala Active Member

    Nice work Mike but,,,,
    3D printing is not sculpting. The printer doesn't do anything but take a 3D file that was created by a scanner or a sculptor (one is a machine the other is a person like myself) and it prints it out as a 3 dimensional object.
    The printing press does not write books,,, a man does that. He writes them out and in the old days a printer laid out characters and ran each page through as an exact copy of the mans story.
    That is what the 3d printer does. A man,,, not a machine.
    A scanner can aslo take your beautiful wax (or clay) sculpt and turn it into an object that can be printed any size you want.
  5. RKapuaala Active Member

    But the scanner cannot create an object, it can only scan it.
  6. RKapuaala Active Member

    Oh,, and the 3D printer can't do anything at all without a 3D file.
  7. Steve Well-Known Member

    Your work will be in demand as long as you care to crank it out. The best be the best.
  8. BobLff257 A Fixture

    Great work Mike, it looks like Robert Shaw to me. (y)(y)(y)

  9. Diegoff A Fixture

    It reminds me your wonerful Sailor Malan figure. Long time ago... ;)
    captnenglish likes this.

    Connery for sure and looks like a 1/6th head.....add sideburns and you have the man who would be king.

  11. Piotrec Active Member


    Sean Connery it is.
  12. JasonB A Fixture

    Unfortunately when I think of Connery, this image has been burned into my mind. ZARDOZ!


    I can only hope and pray a 3-D printer CANT.DO.THIS!
  13. bonehead A Fixture

    Thanks guys for the kind words!! :):D

    Sadly, I had the misfortune to see this movie. It is on my short-list for worst movie ever (along with Terence Malick's "the Thin Red Line" and "Purple Rain"). I actually walked out of the latter one, and wished that I had walked out of the other two - several hours of my life wasted that i will never get back....... :wtf::yuck:
    captnenglish and crf like this.

    Somethings when seen can never be unseen....and thank you so much for posting this picture. Ugh!

  15. JasonB A Fixture

    I saw Zardoz 1 1/2 times. The first time I tuned in halfway through and wondered what I had stumbled across, or if I was having some sort of aneurysm that was clouding my mind and making me believe that really was Sean Connery in a red diaper. The second time I had to watch from the beginning just to get the full story. And still, at the end, I thought I was suffering from brain trauma...
    The only other time I felt that way was at the end of Pink Floyds "The Wall", and it's pretty well accepted you have to be stoned out of your mind to survive that unscathed.
    crf likes this.
  16. Funky50 Guest

    Just off to burn my retinas out now.......thanks lads
  17. RKapuaala Active Member

    Bonehead, I hope you don't mind that I introduce a little levity here....
    Bet you can't do this in wax.
  18. Einion Well-Known Member

    I see what you did there Mike! ;) While I do appreciate your point here I think you've missed the target a bit on what the technology currently can provide, much less eventually. Setting an impossible standard for scanning to match isn't fair though, and doesn't really cut to the heart of the matter anyway.

    Well I don't know what to say Mike, that opinion is not universal.

    While it's true that you do need to do work on laser-scanned stuff that has been output in some way to 3D, the highlighted portion of your paragraph is the real crux here - the intimation that the 'sculpt' itself needs some interaction from the hand of an artist to make it look right, to fix some artefact of the process that makes it look, what, artificial? That's simply not the case [that it needs to be done, every time].

    So by way of counterpoint:


    This look lifeless or lackluster to anyone?

    Sometimes all that's required is the removal of something akin to gates or sprues (channels and supports) - which is all that was necessary on the above - and while this does benefit from being done with skill and sensitivity it could easily be done by merely a skilled technician, not a sculptor. Remembering that exactly the same sort of work on bronze foundry castings was often the exclusive purview of the foundry staff, none of whom were artists (by their own admission), merely craftsmen.

    RKapuaala likes this.
  19. Helm A Fixture

    Pffft David 500 years later and it's still in primer even I paint faster than that :whistle:

    NickM, Einion, pokrad and 1 other person like this.
  20. bonehead A Fixture

    I missed the target you were aiming for, but my point is still valid: some things simply cannot be scanned! In such cases, it is back to good old analog sculpting skills (whether they are used with a computer sculpting program, or with good old-fashioned clay). And with such being the case, the skill of the sculptor is unlikely to be completely eclipsed by technology. That was the only point I was trying to make.

    With my point having been made, your other arguments are simply splitting hairs. Your example of David is beside the point - especially so since it was made with the very same analog skills I was advocating the first place! Show me Michelangelo's un-tweaked scan of David and I will have cause to reconsider my position......
    theBaron and crf like this.

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