In 1501, Michelangelo was only 26 years old, but he was already the most famous and best-paid artist in his days. This is when he accepted the challenge of sculpting a large-scale David that would become one of the most iconic masterpiece marble statues of modern age; it would become a magnificent project on which he worked tirelessly for two years! At the time, such projects required deep knowledge of human anatomy, which was only accessible to a handful privileged individuals, and took a long time to complete!
Art has evolved a lot since the renaissance—but the human body is still a fascination and very much a part of artistic expression. Take the example of Jason Kimes, a young artist who makes outdoor figurative sculptures. He has recently been turning to 3D technology to capture models rather than continue with the laborious task of full body plaster molds. For Jason, all projects start with a shape, moreover a human shape and, if sculpting from scratch was tricky 500 years ago, it is still challenging today. “I've had success with photogrammetry but only from modeling a static clay figure first rather than capturing a live model directly,” said Jason. This is the reason Jason turned to peel 3d. Most of his subjects are scanned in a rather comfortable or non-strenuous pose. However, photogrammetry was not an option.
Jason’s approach to his art is pretty unique. He first starts by creating 8' tall polystyrene foam mannequins, layer by layer, using his 3D scanner. Working with digital models allows Jason to scale his models up or down with infinite possibilities!
Figure 1: Work in progress, the Styrofoam models are put together.
After smoothing out the bodies, he welds metal pieces over their shapes.
Figure 2: The metal shell is coming together
Once the structure is finished, the polystyrene foam is removed. All that is left is the empty metal shell.
Figure 3: Here is a reference for scale.
Figure 4: The masterpiece is ready to be installed
The result is stunning and truly unique. What’s more: this project went from idea to finished product in weeks (not years as it used to ages ago). With the time he saved using this process, you can bet there will be a lot of Jason Kimes statues out there!