Monday, September 16, 2013

Animating Cubify Sculpt Objects Just for the Fun of it.

I have a very old copy of COOL3D that at one time was marketed by Ulead.  Ulead ended up selling all their products to Corel, which appears to have abandoned COOL3D.  Too, bad, because while it is admittedly buggy and tempermental, it was also the easiest way to create animations and motion titles.

In fact, all the openings for the videos that I create for this and other blogs are created in COOL3D.

As I played around with Cubify Sculpt, I began to have some fun creating fantasy creatures and objects that really weren't as suitable for 3D printing as they are for useless; but, fun animations.

So, I decided to throw a few of them into COOL3D and see what would happen.  Here's the result.

Cubify Sculpt's DRAW CURVE and PIPE work together in a very powerful way to create unlimited ornamentation and/or appendages.  ALL of the characters and objects in the above video were made possible due to DRAW CURVE and PIPE.

The whole process was enormously enjoyable.  Expect to see more Cubify Sculpt creations finding their way into future titles or independent animations.  It's just too much fun not to do it!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sculpt Tutorial #7: Mashup - Unlocking the Power of Cubify Sculpt

OK, so we're getting things a little out of order here.  Tutorial #6 was suppose to go over the usefulness of changing the shapes of the primitives (Cube, Sphere, Cylinder & Cone).  But, I became so excited about extending that concept to creating NEW primitives that I just had to show you that first.  We'll get to #6 as soon as possible.  :)

First, a side topic that you may find interesting.

Before trying Cubify Sculpt, I tried any number of sculpting applications.  Each of them were decent.  And, among the best is Sculptress... IF you are a true artist!!!  I tried it again just to see if I'd learned something since trying Sculptris that had made it easier to learn Sculpt.  The answer is, "No!"

I was no better at Sculptris this time around.  It is DEFINITELY an artist's tool and not for me.  There is nothing wrong with the product.  I just get lost in it.

What that means...

It means that there is something fundamentally different about Cubify Sculpt that is making it easy for me to accomplish more than I have with any other sculpting program.

But, there is more!

I already understood that I was able to get more done and better with Cubify Sculpt.  But, then something dawned on me that blew the doors wide open.  And, that is that I do NOT have to create everything about an object from one single primitive.  I can save the basic primitives in multiple forms and bring them back into my working environment multiple times if needed.  And, THAT little realization boosted my ability to create with Sculpt exponentially!

It made it possible for me to create, in a reasonably short period of time, these Hippo models.  My granddaughter LOVES Hippos and I have been trying for YEARS to create a 3D Model of a Hippo that even remotely looked like one.  The proportions aren't perfect.  But, as you can see by this very short video that I made for her, they at least don't look like fat cows!  LOL!

The Breakthrough

The breakthrough for me was the realization that I do NOT have to create a form from a single primitive that is stretched and pushed into submission.  I can create PARTS as standalone pieces and then assemble those parts together as a MASHUP, or mixture of parts.

I could never, in a million years, have created the above hippos from a single shape.  But, by using different primitives for the body, head, ears and legs, the process was not only doable; but, relatively quick.

So, here is the process that I am talking about.... Tutorial #7, Mashup!

By the way, there is WAY more to cover when it comes to creating new primitives, like the Torus in this video.  I'm really excited to show you what that is all about in Tutorial #6... even if the order is a bit disconcerting!  :)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sculpt Tutorial #5 - Repairing Poor STL Files

There are a number of developing ways to create 3D objects based on already existing items.  Scanning, while expensive now, is destined to both drop in price and yield more useful results.  Another way that several companies, including 3D Systems, are pursuing is turning a series of 2D images into a 3D object that can then be printed on a 3D printer.

But, all of these techniques can have difficulty capturing things like hair or highly reflective surfaces.  This is where an application like Cubify Sculpt can be invaluable.  As a test of these capabilities, I decided to see what I could do with an object that I created several years ago using the beta version of 123D Catch (Then called Photofly).

The item captured was a hair styling manikin.   I sometimes use these to test new photo lighting configurations. 

Styling Manikin Head

123D Catch did a great job on the facial features.  But, the hair didn't turn out as well.  This is common in 2D to 3D capturing.  The defects in the hair made for a poor 3D print.  Until Cubify Sculpt was released I had no way to correct the problems.  I've been waiting for an application that could fix the head so that it printed well.  So, it was natural to bring it in to Cubify Sculpt and see what we could do with it.

Here is a video that explains the process and shows the outcome.

While we do not need to paint objects that are to be printed with the Cube 3D printer, I decided to go ahead and see what I could to color the head.  The painting functionality of Sculpt is pretty basic.  So, it turned out to be the most difficult part of the process.  My primary criticism has to do with the inability to make the bush small enough.  And, my primary suggestion would be that the developers add the ability for us to place an image, for each axis, in the background to help select colors and refine shapes.  What does help is to use the BLENDING function to create the appearance of finer features.  

It was a lot of fun tackling this one.  And, it encourages me to look into Cubify Capture to see if it will allow me to capture members of my family to create 3D printed sculptures.  There wasn't much point for me to attempt to use Cubify Capture before this because I know that it would probably have the same issues with hair, etc.  But, now that I know what Cubify Sculpt can do to repair that problem it just might be time to give Capture a try!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Cubify Sculpt - Yes, We CAN Do It!

It's a given that those with true artistic talent can use Cubify Sculpt to create art.  But, what about us.  What about NON-ARTISTS.  Will we be able to create items that even come close to creating anything even resembling art?

I have to tell you.  That was one of my biggest questions as I downloaded and installed Sculpt.

After all, over more than a few attempts at various sculpting applications, I had struck out on all counts.  I loved Cosmic Blobs and CB Model Pro.  But, try as I might, I never even came close to creating anything that remotely resembled a human head.

This short video answers the question in the affirmative in a huge way for me.  No, the head I was able to sculpt is NOT great.  But, it CAN be recognized as an attempt at creating a human head.  And, believe me that is a huge leap forward from all of my previous experiences.

Two factors, I think, helped me feel more confident about my ability to effectively use Cubify Sculpt.  The first is that the designers have come up with just about the perfect set of controls for non-artists.  There are not too few.  Nor are there too many.  And, each of the controls seems to complement the others.  It's not perfect.  But, it certainly is useful and relatively easy to learn.

The second factor is that I ordered and received the 3DConnexion SpaceNavigator.  Being able to quickly position the working piece is an enormous help.  Again, we cover that in this video.

If you, like me, are a non-artist trying to do artistic things, I hope that this video is an encouragement to you.

The results of our artistic pursuit does not have to be great to be rewarding and fun.  And, I had a LOT of fun trying to create my "Bearded Rustler" character from the default sphere.  He's rough, just like my rendition.  But, that's OK.  He's better than the last guy I tried to sculpt.  A WHOLE lot better.  And, that is why he was a rewarding project.