Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Not size zero

So, Daz 3D have finally seen the light and changed their EULA to allow 3D printing of their models, but only for non-commercial use. It is a relief to be able to use the software and models legally now, but I still can't share any of the meshes or sell the models that I create.

As you will know, if you have read any of my previous posts, I enjoy the challenge of trying to create beautiful sculptures by posing a 3D model to match either an existing photograph or an image that I have in mind. One of the aspects I have spent less time on is adjusting the shape of the woman's body. I received a comment from a reader asking whether I ever sculpted larger women and I had to admit that I hadn't tried yet, so this time I thought I would deviate from the default, skinny model body shape and try creating a woman who looks more typically average in body size.

I used the Victoria 6 body with the HD mesh add-on, which has more natural curves around the joints. I began with an idea for a pose in a fairly relaxed style and then played around with all the different character shape parameters , giving a modest 20% increase to the 'Heavy' setting and a 70% boost to the 'Weight' parameter. I'm not entirely sure what the difference is but it's quite an interactive process, so I just move the sliders slowly and stop when I see the effect I'm looking for.

Daz haven't just given permission for 3D printing of their models, they've simplified the whole process too. Upgrading to the latest version of the Genesis 2 models brings a new option to the Anatomy section.

This rather gruesome-looking add-on modifies the geometry of the eyes and mouth, turning them into closed meshes. It also replaces the front of the eye with a new, more sculptural representation of the iris and pupil.

I chose an elegant, raised hairstyle that still required my previously-described shrink-wrap technique to make a fully printable model.

The pose would clearly need support material turned on in several areas, as can be seen in the print below.

This is quite a small print, taking five and a half hours to print at 0.1 mm resolution. There are still some small blemishes left after removal of the support material, particularly on the underside of the model. There are also signs of irregularity in the Z-direction which need further investigation.

Overall, a very satisfying project.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015


Well, I said I would start a new model when I hit the 50,000 views mark and it's happened. I was inspired by this photo of Eléa Joly by Antoine Tyce and so created a pose closely based on the original. 

The really big news this time is that HiveWire3D have released a new version of their Dawn model which has far better handling of extreme joint positions. And best of all, Dawn SR2 is fully licensed for 3D printing (non-commercial, personal use without an additional license). This means that I can now legally use my own 3D printers to print posed models.

The enjoyable part for me is working out how to pose the model in a realistic, but still printable, way, that looks both interesting and unusual but still natural and anatomically correct. I chose to move the left hand downwards to make printing easier and to allow me to scale the model up a bit larger inside the printable volume of my largest printer. Placing the left hand on the right thigh seemed natural and ensured a printable outcome. 

Making the resulting meshes printable is now just a minor chore that usually takes less than an hour to complete. Simplify 3D does a great job of generating just the right amount of support material so that the undersides of surfaces are printed as cleanly as possible. I still like to print at 0.1 mm resolution so that as much of the detail is preserved as possible. The print ran for 30 hours without a hitch and looks great.

Here are some photos and a video of the print before and after the support material was removed. I have lightly sanded the undersides in preparation for my first attempt at painting a model.

And now here is the model painted.
I used a matte black spray paint as an undercoat and then used a dry brushing technique to apply a metallic bronze acrylic paint.