It’s been quite a while since I used my blog, over 2 years in fact, not because I haven’t been doing anything, quite the opposite actually, for the past couple of years I’ve been working on and off with a local childrens charity “Twin Vision” helping out with a big project they had. Over the 2 years I made many assets for them for 3 animations based on key medical figures from Liverpools history. Early on we got a 3d printer to try and improve the quality of the work we were doing. It has been invaluable. I’ve now had chance to go through some photos from the project and thought I would share some details on the making of the most complicated piece that was required- a World War 1 ambulance…..
It was quite obvious early on that this would need to be largely 3d printed as much of it would be too time consuming to build by hand, so I began by roughing out the shapes in Zbrush, and using the head from one of the featured puppets for scale.
Like traditional modle making and sculpture you soon realise that what looks ok initially is actually way off! So I changed the proportions and started to add more parts.
I had to think a lot about how this thing would be printed, how it could be split up into printable parts, it had to be large enough to fit a stop motion puppet, and a 3d printer has size restrictions, plus it takes forever to print anything.
It was starting to take shape fairly quickly thanks to the magic of Zbrush
Each different colour or “Polygroup” is a part that needs to be produced, most were printed but some made by hand as they were just too large to justify printing when they could be handmade.
Not very interesting but here are all the different parts exposed, you get the idea of how many parts were needed though, and the daunting task of printing it all and putting it together.
These were the first parts that I printed, still pretty useless on their own….
One of the wheel alone took about 18 hours to print
Starting to take shape, this was a relief with the deadline approaching!
It all had to be held together on an MDF platform adding to the weight of the final piece, so it needed some legs for support, these were positioned behind the wheels so they were less conspicuous and would either not be shot or edited out later.
The wheels were held in place with some little caps that were printed to the exact size to fit over the ends of the metal rods in the axles.
And here it is fully assembled, this was new years day round at my parents house, it had to be transported there in the back of a car which was a good test run for it’s future journeys. Had to get it sprayed green before it went dark.
and here it is after a quick spray.
and here is the finished piece. I would have loved to add some more details and really work on the paint job, add mud to the wheels etc, but the deadline was pretty tight, I had about 2 days to paint it in the end. This was a lot of work, lots of crawling into bed wondering how to get around a problem, but it was thouroughly enjoyable….
and it ended up in Tate Liverpool pretty close to a Lowry, which was nice.