Blogs i write are mostly related to OSRC in one way or another, may it be a user manual, tutorial or something interesting for the reader. Since i developed the OSRC system, naturally writing information about it is my main priority. However now and then i do tend to write my own thoughts about other topics, related to technology.
Seasons - The story behind it
When i begun working on the Ilios HD Kit i knew that the first model i was going to build with it had to be something special. There are tons of generic models out there which initially were made for simple extrusion type 3D printers and their resolution was quite low to begin with.
A custom model was needed, which was tailored for the Ilios Kit and would demonstrate its capabilities to the max. Simple solid objects are easily recreated since minimal supports are required and the model does not go through any stress while it is being built. I needed something that would be complex not only in terms of resolution, but in its shape as well, having twists and turns, which could make any software with automates supports inadequate.
Designing something creative isn't easy and definitely requires skill and talent. As a 3D designer i browse through most known channels where news about latest software and model innovations are posted. One of those posts cough my attention, which demonstrated the use of holographic 3D model presentations in a unique way and was called Rabbit Holes.
I always liked the unusual design and something unique and one artist in particular was working with this style. Taron, a well known artist in the CG industry created many art pieces in 2D as well as 3D through packages like Zbrush or Sculpturis and others. These packages are hungry for polygon counts but have an abundant array of tools to help the creator in making the imaginative a reality.
Taron was kind enough to reply to my E-mail and take upon himself the challenge of creating the model for the Ilios Kit. There were lots of discussions about how the model should look, what theme it should be dedicated to and how to best present an idea without making it too dark or complex for the viewer to understand.
You can also find out more about the artist through a very nice video that was made during an art exhebition hosted by Taron. Feel free to browse through his work and enjoy the imagination behind his beautiful designs.
Since the name of the kit is Ilios, a Greek translation would mean Sun. Greek mythology has many stories to tell and it was a good starting point for the concept to evolve. There were many alterations and adjustments as the model was progressing but the end result was as beautiful and challenging as i had imagined. To describe the thoughts of the artist behind this creation, here are some words from Taron himself, who describes the concept and what drove him into the particular design:
Themed with a focus on the sun, represented by the lion head (Leo), the whole model contains all four seasons of the year out of hermetic traditions. They also represent the four seasons of life, the cycle of existence and the key substances of alchemy by analogy. The water pouring out of a cup symbolizes Aquarius, spring time, streaming down from Leo, summer time, lifted up by the eagle, spiritual or ascending version of Scorpio, autumn, whose wisdom, the serpent or dragon, which, too, stands for Scorpio, connects to the bull, Taurus, winter, whose legs carry it on the earth. With it they also respectively represent childhood, youth, maturity and age or in terms of existence; birth, growth, maturity and decay. Another analogy is in the part of our human constitution where they correspond to spirit, soul, mind and body respectively. Last but not least the four elements; air, fire, water and earth.
I always thought about making a sculpture that contains these ideas, just wondering about the impression it makes, whether the symbolic strength somehow transfers as invocation to a more profound inspiration or trigger of memories. Whether or not it accomplishes that, it certainly was an exciting effort to let it grow out of Sculptris and add final touches to it in Zbrush.
The initial model that arrived was approximately 1GB and although it was built with software that can handle it, even opening the model to create the supports was a challenge (software always crashed). After some touch ups and alterations, Taron was able to lower the model resolution to 100MB, at which point it was workable and final supports and layers could be created. Needless to say, the final result was amazing and it was a really exciting journey, seeing an imaginative model being brought to life through the Ilios machine.
The model can also be downloaded through the Files section of the website, for those brave enough to try out their skills and bring a RAW 3D model to a printable state for their own tests. Be warned that typical 3D printing packages might encounter problems opening the model or creating supports for it, small enough to get all the details out, however this was created to be a challenge and this is what you shall get when experimenting with it.