Sunday, 10 May 2020

Some catching up - Belovodchenko and Barbati

This blog has been a little neglected by me over the last year, but seemingly not by all of you, since the number of views recently passed the 150,000 mark. That's an awful lot of exposure! So, to say 'thank you' to all of my visitors, I wanted to share some of my recent creations with you.

I am still using Daz Studio to generate the posed models and export the OBJ files which means I'm afraid I still can't share the models with you. Increasingly, I am sculpting my own hair designs in Blender 2.80 and one day maybe I'll be able to create a full model of my own.

Since posting Tam, I was featured in an article for  by Jan Homola - if you view it in a Chrome browser, Google translate does a good job of showing you the article in your own language.

My next project was inspired by another photo that looked as though it would need a minimal amount of support material to print. It comes from a series called Bodyscape Art by Anton Belovodchenko and I hope he won't mind me reproducing it here.

The pose was relatively straightforward to reproduce and, as expected, the print doesn't need any support material at all. The hair was completely hand-sculpted in Blender with the long ends curled up in the small of her back.

Overall, a very satisfying print that I am very pleased with.

The other sculpture I've been working on was inspired by a photo that I found on Pinterest by Niki Barbati. I can't find it now so I'll have to share the copy I found and hope that Niki likes my tribute enough to allow me to share it here.

I re-imagined this model with long hair that reached to the floor and predicted that, once again, no support material would be required to print it.

Here is the model I created using Daz Studio and Blender.

And here is the finished print in bronze PLA.

I liked this one so much that I printed a second copy in some new Fillamentum Mukha PLA which looks stunning.

So, that's now all up to date. I'd better start planning the next sculpture and looking for some printspiration.

Thursday, 3 October 2019


I've been wanting to sculpt this pose for a long time. I love the intertwined limbs and the opportunity to rest the chin on the knee to avoid using support material. I think the photo is by Tam Nguyen but I haven’t been able to locate it online. 

This type of pose is sometimes called an ‘implied nude’ because the breasts and genitals are not visible in the photo. This doesn’t usually affect the 3D version, of course, since a sculpture can be viewed from any angle, but in this case the only way to pose the figure is with the breasts compressed by the limbs.

My first attempt worked out OK as a pose, but failed as a 3D print because I tried to make the hair out of individual strands and the retractions just ground up the filament - should have guessed!

So I reverted to my tried and trusted formula of selecting a nice hairstyle and then shrink-wrapping and resculpting it in Blender.

I chose a nice metallic grey Fillamentum PLA filament for this print and sliced the model with Simplify3D. The print was made on my new Sapphire-S coreXY printer from twotrees adapted with a Flex3Drive extruder system. This keeps the print-head as lightweight as possible, giving some of the smoothest prints I've ever achieved.

I'm particularly pleased with how well the sculpted hair has printed on this model. It can still be improved further, though, and I'm working on that. The second version, lower down this page, has more detail sculpted in the flatter areas.

I had to add automated support material in a couple of places - under the left breast and the left front part of the hair. Unfortunately, this did leave some nasty scarring visible on the thigh and abdomen, which I was unable to hide. This set me thinking about other ways to add support.

It occurred to me that one way to avoid the ugly scars left after removing support material would be to try and construct a sort of platform sitting over the left leg on which the support could then rest. I fired up Blender and came up with these pieces of scaffolding.

The larger piece supports the nose and the dangling strands of hair. The smaller piece supports the underside of the left breast.

The innovation here is that I realised I could combine manually created scaffolding that projects into difficult to reach areas, with auto-generated support provided by the slicer to fill in the last few millimetres.
By using this approach, I can scale the model up to any size without having to worry about the support gap - it will always be perfect for my printer because the final gap is still decided by the slicer software.

Both support pieces broke away cleanly from the model leaving no scarring anywhere on the thigh or abdomen - a much cleaner result!
Notice in the picture below how the small chunks of auto-generated support sit on top of the large manually created blocks.

You can also clearly see here how much better the hair looks now with the extra detail sculpted into it.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Shape and Form

A recent tweet from Rebecca Tun, who was the subject of one of my previous models, led me to the website of Max Operandi.   One of the Sensual photos I found there inspired me to create my next piece. It was this one called ‘Shape and Form’ (nice title!) which looked like an interesting challenge.

As always, the challenge was to use the pose controls in Daz Studio to copy the essence of this pose as accurately and artistically as possible and then create a printable 3D model.

Starting from Daz 3D Studio's Genesis 8 female as a base, I began by observing that model’s pelvis was rotated about the Y axis with the right hip flexed and internally rotated, whilst the left hip was extended sideways and backwards. I kept checking the position of the bent limbs in relation to the X-Y plane so that everything would end up making good contact with the floor.
Both arms had to be extended backwards, the left arm position being rather left to guesswork and imagination. I copied the extended fingers and bridging of the right hand and mirrored this position in the left hand.

With the exception of the horizontal area under the left inner thigh, the 3D model needed little or no support material. Keeping the breasts smaller and the head tipped upwards also removed the need for support material under the nose or chin. The hair was copied from the Katherine hair style and then sculpted in Blender as usual.

She printed beautifully, first time, in Fillamentum Vertigo Grey.

Many thanks to MaxO for giving me permission to share his photo here.

Saturday, 9 June 2018


I started working on this sculpture a few years ago but I wasn't happy with my first attempt so I put the project on hold. It all began when I saw online (I can't remember where) a picture of a small statuette called 'Reflections' by a 20th century sculptor called Harriet Whitney Frishmuth (she hated being called a sculptress!) 

She studied under Rodin before moving to America and doing most of her work there. Some of her larger works are on display in museums across the USA, including the Met in New York, but she also produced smaller pieces such as this one which regularly come up for sale in art auctions and can fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars. I think I would rather make my own copy! 

Most of the time, I have to work from a single photo when posing the model in Daz 3D, but in this case I managed to find another site with an auction catalogue that contained photos of a different copy of Reflections (sculptors often made iterative changes to their best-selling works). In this case, the statue had been photographed from every angle. 

Reflections looked like a great challenge because the pose can be made virtually support-free. I used the Victoria 6 HD female Genesis 2 base model in Daz Studio 4 and began the process of painstakingly moving each joint into the perfect position to capture the pose as accurately as possible. 

I had to position the fingers very carefully, ensuring that the tip of each finger pressed slightly into the skin it was resting upon. Details like this help the model to print successfully without needing to add support.

I have been experimenting with a new technique to get the eyes to print better. This involves carefully deleting the outer layer of the eyeball which represents the cornea. The layer underneath (the iris) has a central depression, but not a full hole, which acts as the pupil. This needs enlarging a little to make it show up in the model but the effect is well worth the effort.

I decided to model the hair myself in Blender’s Sculpt mode, which I am beginning to get the hang of using. I wanted a full-bodied style resting easily on the shoulders.

Having completed the sculpting and manipulation work in Blender, I used Project Miller to shrink-wrap a new high-definition mesh around the model to deal with all the self-intersections where the fingertips touch the thighs. A little more cleaning up to fix the normals and adding a base for her to stand on gave me a printable model.

I printed a full sized copy first on my E3D BigBox which has Independent Dual Extrusion on X carriage (IDEX) so that I could use PolySupport break-away material for the few remaining places that needed it, mainly under the nose and some folds of hair.
The print started out very well but the higher it got, the more the model started to wobble with each pass of the printhead. I resorted to using hot glue and chopsticks as described  in this video and managed to rescue the model albeit with some artifacts that you can see in the face and hair.

I decided to do some more printing to do this beautiful model justice and hit upon the idea of rotating her backwards 45 degrees and printing only the top half. The main benefit of doing this was to remove the need for any support material at all. This in turn meant that I could switch to using my new Creality CR-10S printer combined with some fabulous Fillamentum Vertigo Grey filament.

I'll let the results speak for themselves.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017


I said I would post a new model design when I reached 100,000 views for the blog and it's happened, so here we are.

As promised, I took my inspiration from an intriguing pose posted on Rebecca Tun's blog.

Plenty of challenges here for getting the pose right and then printing a decent model. I used the Daz 3D Genesis 3 base model and a pretty long hair style to try and match the photo.

I used my standard techniques for shrink-wrapping the hair in Blender to make a watertight solid model and then, combining the meshes in Project Miller (still one of the best tools for this job, in my view).

Over the last year I have been upgrading my printer to have dual extrusion capability and just recently I have successfully configured the two extruders to work fully independently of each other.

I used Rapunzel Silver PLA from Fillamentum in one extruder, and PolySupport from Polymaker in the other. This combination provides great support with no gaps but then breaks cleanly away once the model is cool. This results in some of the highest quality I have ever achieved. See for yourself!

Saturday, 25 June 2016


In celebration of reaching 80,000 page views, here is a brand new sculpture I created to print on my new 3D printer. I started from this photo found on Pinterest. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to identify the model or the photographer. If anyone has any information, please let me know.

I use Daz Studio 4.9 to create a pose using the Olympia 7 model and Sally G3 hair. Here is the model in the Daz Studio interface.

After exporting the model from Daz Studio I used Project Miller to reskin the model and Blender to shrink-wrap the hair. I did a considerable amount of work using the sculpt tools in Blender to improve the look and shape of the hair whilst keeping it as printable as possible. Here is a screen grab of the final STL file.

I recently upgraded to a BigBox3D from E3Donline and here is the model printed using grey Edge filament.

A nice addition to the collection!