Saturday, 9 June 2018

Reflections

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.






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