PhotoScan and 3D Printing

Brendan Kelly


Based on our experience with photoscan the results can either be disastrous or uncannily realistic. Here I would like to take a look at both of these results and see the uses of them.

            With the disastrous results, one might look at them and see a failed project or a day wasted taking pictures, but if taken out of the context, without viewing it as a failure, one can see it as a work of art. To be completely honest, I am not an art major, and I have no true definition of what constitutes art, but seeing the lego-like figure engulfed in a shadow when we tried to use photoscan was definitely an interesting experience. Taking the failures of these real projects could be one way to make art using this Digital Humanities tool.

Another strategy for making art of this could be to intentionally make a corrupted model. One could do this in many different ways. AN artist could take very few pictures of the object, this would cause it to be dark, blurred and distorted, just as our lego-man was. Another way to make a corrupted model could be caused by not taking picture of a certain side or part of the object, this would most likely result is a clear side with a very distorted side mixed together. This would cause an almost two-face artistic style if the object was symmetrical. My final idea for corrupting a model would be individually picking the points where the pictures lined up. I’m not sure exactly how this would turn out, but picking points on complete opposite sides of the object could result in some ridiculous and crazy artwork.

You could corrupt current pieces of artwork too. Instead of taking pictures of legos, an artist could take pictures of a famous statue or building, and use the same techniques mentioned above to change the visualization of the artwork.

These models could be used as just models in photoscan, but could also be 3D printed and painted appropriately to make a sculpture out of. Here the artist could choose the materials that the object would be printed with, which could greatly affect the artwork, as a model made of plastic and a model made of copper will differ greatly.

Now, lets think of what we could do with the masterpieces, the perfect models of photoscan. Most people’s instinct would be to combine these models with 3D printing technology and get perfect to-scale models of these objects. To what extent is this a useful idea though? 3D printing is currently going in the direction of customizing objects and using them to create small intricate designs. Photoscan can be used to make customized objects, but these objects will just be replicas of already existing objects. Making scaled down models would be very easy combining these two technologies but scaling up would be difficult. This means that creating 3D objects with intricate designs using Photoscan would not be very effective.

Overall I think that combining 3D printing and Photoscan would be most effective and interesting as an artform.


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