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Digital sculpting?


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Now that Reaper is involved in plastics, is there any plan to move into digital sculpting? I believe it was mentioned during the Kickstarter that the Bones process involves a 3D scan of the sculpt, followed by CNC machining the mold cavities. The natural next step is doing the "sculpt" in software as well. Plenty of benefits there from copy/paste of details from one model to the next, "posable" models to try different poses or adjust a pose at the very end for better mold making, a revision history so you can easily undo changes or fork a model into several different files to try different appearances, altering the scale of a model at any point in the process, no risk of damage to the original from shipping or handling or the mold making process, and so on.

 

I've been really happy with the sculpts from Reaper, but in the same way that sculpts from 5-10 years ago now "look old" when put next to the work product of today (it's amazing how far the same sculptors talents have progressed over the years), I'm wondering if today's "hand made" sculpts will hold up next to the digital sculpted models just hitting the market from other manufacturers. Just interested in hearing thoughts. I can understand if future plans need to be kept under wraps. "I can neither confirm nor deny..." and all that. :;):

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It's funny, because I always used to think the miniature sculpts had to be like 5 inches tall and then were reduced somehow for the molds. I couldn't believe somebody actually sculpted them the same

Funny, that's kind of how I feel when I sculpt. I spend a lot of time wondering who will like it and what art they may create using it. I feel very much like I'm in partnership with all the potentia

In the military you wear a uniform, folks often look the same. Same weapon, equipment, clothing, sure there may be a few personal touches but by and large, the same. That's what I thought when I saw t

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It's funny, because I always used to think the miniature sculpts had to be like 5 inches tall and then were reduced somehow for the molds. I couldn't believe somebody actually sculpted them the same size.

 

Digital sculpting is ok, I guess. But it takes some of the mystique away from doing a miniature and knowing that somewhere out there somebody made the exact same thing at the exact same size out of lumps of green putty.

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Digital has its place. But the assumption a lot of people have, that a human sculptor is not able to match it perfection-wise is not only ignorant, but rather disgusting to me. The computer can repair the programmer's geometry and perhaps get a more perfect curve, but it can't be creative. It can't have character. And likewise, just because a person has a degree in programming these things, does not guarantee he is a genius or even a terribly original or creative person, or that his results will be characterful. But it does guarantee he will have quick and easy access to create dreck.

 

There's something wrong with this whole drive to force the industry to an all-digital format (a drive pushed as much by the clueless masses who assume greatness in digital formats, as much - or more - than it is by people actually in the industry). And by "wrong," I mean other than putting hordes of artists dedicated enough to spend years mastering a craft with their hands out of work. And that is, that for every creative genius making a living designing digital sculpts, there are legions of hacks already making a living at typing up the most unexciting and hackneyed garbage imaginable, which the masses seem eager to grab up whether because they are simply not schooled, or because of the novelty of the thing.

 

I sculpt with my hands. I do have a number of years of 3D digital work under my belt. I was pretty good at it, if not terribly programming-savvy. But I am better with my hands. My father was an excellent sculptor. When clueless kids come by my booths at conventions, and begin insisting I "just go out and buy a 3D printer" because it is "cool," my response is usually "but I haven't mastered sculpting with my hands yet; I don't want to move on to a computer-aided art until I have achieved something on my own."

 

The number of people who understand the desire to know an art on its most elemental level is sadly miniscule, and only a rare few nod their appreciation.

 

I am not so dumb as to not understand that technology replacing traditional tools is the way of things. Nor am I saying that somebody cannot create great art with a computer. As a former musician, I got used to new toys for making things long ago. But I do ask the same question of people who rely exclusively on such tools for sculpting and painting as I did those who learned to compose musical pieces without any background in guitar or piano theory, or similar; we live in a society reliant on a dwindling power source and the good will and greed of people mercurial enough to pull the plug. What do you do when the power goes out?

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At this point, which method one uses is kind of moot... Make the model in digital and print out a master, or make a physical master and laser-scan it into 3D software for any modifications (such as posing changes suggested earlier). Both methods have advantages and disadvantages.

 

Me? I prefer a physical master. It's viscerally appealing.

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>copy/paste of details from one model to the next

 

 

:angry: i hate when they do that

 

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Just keep in mind here that's its likely that the same sculptor did all three pieces and you are seeing his/her style (I didn't look to see who did this, I would guess Bobby Jackson). Also, sculptors do cheat. Its more than traditional in the historical side where the same torsos and legs may well be used for greens. It just saves time. As an example check out this link to the Perry Brothers WIP pictures: http://www.perry-miniatures.com/pages.php?page=metalsworkbench

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I believe in the case of Sirs Brannor, Malcom and Conlan the same sculptor *resculpted* the piece (not sure which one came first) in order to get a cohesive look among the leaders of the Crusader faction. I have seen this in action, where a green is getting arms or legs cut off to be re-posed or resculpted. It was done a lot with the Warlord pieces, check out any of the sets of grunt soldiers for the various factions. It's how you get an army with a unified look, and a lot less work. And it's an old old trick.

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I can't speak for current Spartan models, but I have much of the early Dystopian Wars line. While it isn't immediately obvious, the 3D print left a grain that was distracting while painting. I'd have preferred a smoother surface. (especially one that didnt wick the paint.) On the other hand, the details are mind blowing.

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Wow, this offers some really cool possibilities.

 

Imagine scanning in a life sized actor in costume. How weird would it be to know that your next Urban Legend Sophie was an actual scan of a real person?

 

Or you could easily create an army of goblins or whatever by varying the virtual pose, think of a tool like Poser.

 

Finally you could make custom casts of individuals. Maybe I could have a figure of me in a Renaissance Fair costume.

 

Unfortunately the sculptor can be removed from the equation for some of these approaches, but you still need someone creative to compose the design. It is like the progression of hand writing to typing to word processing.

 

Finally this may also lead to the computerized painting of the miniatures. I'm sure a 3d CNC painter/printer could create the ultimate photo-realistic and detailed paint job.

 

What next a virtual animated figure on a 3d display surface (Like Star Wars chess)

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