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Making of Creation

Creation was made as my final piece during a two week intensive course (BIOL2222) at the ANU. The course was deisgned to combine a scientific and artisitc approach to understanding and representing anatomy.
My original intention behind Creation was to explore the process of creating a body as a form of artwork and how my digital medium would influence the final output. Michelangelo was a big influence on this work, from his concept of a figure struggling to be freed from the block of marble (as seen in his Prisoners series), to the posing of the hand from The Creation of Adam, replicated by my own figure.

Creation Documentation

I began the work by scanning my own head, a process I have only done once and with my father as the subject. The results were not ideal but were suitable for my purposes.


I decided to use a scan instead of sculpting the head myself due to the time restraints of the project. I also was hoping to get more experience working with scans because they’re lots of fun!


I knew I wanted to replicate the aesthetic of Michaelangelo's ‘Slaves’, so I created a few test digital sculptures to try and best understand how the figure was going to interact with the block he sits in (as seen below). Once deciding on the rough pose (the bottom right), I created a draft version of my figure in a neutral pose to help me to find the tone for the final piece.


I particularly liked this final pose because it reads quite easily as the figure attempting/hoping to move beyond the block. It also conforms more to the form of the figure, further blending the ‘artwork’ and the medium.


The series of images below  shows the final figure from multiple angles. Due to me already having a very strong idea of what was going to be covered by the block, I was able to selectively sculpt in the anatomical detail where necessary. Despite the back being inside the block, I tried to quickly sculpt in some basic forms which would help me to create the connecting systems.

This sculpt was made particularly challenging by the time constraint of the project. Due to 3D printing being a very time consuming process I had to start and finish the figure in 1 day.

This was also the first time I have ever sculpted a character in a dynamic pose which added additional layers of complexity.


After creating the figure, I then placed some bones that I had previously made inside him. This was done so I could sculpt away at the muscles I had just created in order to see the structure underneath. The radial ulna was made specifically for this figure which I previously had issues with  because of the strange curve in the shaft as well as their complicated relationship with each other during pronation/supernation.


The purpose of these images are to demonstrate the surface imperfections I painted onto the figure in order to break up the reflections, thereby making it more realistic. Each colour represents a different level of roughness.


I spent several hours trying to light each shot so that every frame would be able to stand on its own as a piece of ‘art’. An example of this lighting can be seen below. I was unhappy with the flatness of the lighting on the left, it shows too much of the object when I was trying to be more abstract in these rendered shots. I ended up going with a rim light which I animated to help to guide the viewers eye up the object with the camera.


Here is another example of the adjustments I would make to individual shots. On the top is the original lighting for the scene and the bottom shot shows a keylight I added to help define more depth, balance the shot and draw the eye to the cranium as opposed to the block on the right.


These are some ‘making of’ pictures for my 3D prints and their subsequent photoshoot.


The objects are printed with support structures which need to be removed VERY carefully.


After photographing the prints I decided to try and match the contrast and tone of the original renders. I was conscious not to remove the layerd stepping effect in the model in order to help celebrate the medium.

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