Passing on the Magic - photogrammetry 3D printed bookends
Passing on the Magic - photogrammetry 3D printed bookends
From words to bronze, this project creates 3D printed bookends inspired by classic children's novels with captured reality techniques
From words to bronze, this project creates 3D printed bookends inspired by classic children's novels with captured reality techniques Read more
100 BOOKENDS - FROM WORDS TO BRONZE
Photography has a new form of expression, a new frontier in a new dimension.
The project will create 100 bronze bookends from photographs using photogrammetry (or 'captured reality' as it is also known) which is the process of turning 2D photographs into 3D objects.
This technique was redefined by the artist with his groundbreaking new approach developed for his recent exhibition at London Heathrow Airport in 2016. The exhibition was sponsored by AutoDesk, Nikon, Ultimaker, 3d Filaprint and MyMiniFactory and was seen by an estimated 5 million passengers.
The extraordinary metamorphosis from photo to bronze used by this process fuses dreams into reality - this is a story where words turn into images and images into bronze. The focus of the project was to try and capture the immersive power of children's books as a physical expression, a tiny glimpse into a child's world expressed in bronze.
Passing on the magic: The inspiration behind the Alice Bookend
'Wake up, Alice dear!' said her sister; 'Why, what a long sleep you've had!'
The inspiration behind this artwork is of course the wonderful book ‘Alice in Wonderland’ written by Lewis Carroll. Using ‘captured reality’ techniques the artwork looks to transfer some of that magic into a new dimension - brought to life by 3D printing. The artwork shows Alice about to wake from her dream of ‘Wonderland’ - the time obsessed rabbit frozen in time for one instant will vanish as her eyes open - and then in that fleeting moment between sleep and the conscious world she recaptures him in her imagination and shares the story with her sister.
"She pictured to herself how this same little sister of hers would, in the after-time, be herself a grown woman; and how she would keep, through all her riper years, the simple and loving heart of her childhood: and how she would gather about her other little children, and make their eyes bright and eager with many a strange tale, perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland of long ago: and how she would feel with all their simple sorrows, and find a pleasure in all their simple joys, remembering her own child-life, and the happy summer days." (Alice in Wonderland)
How the Bookends were created - pixels into polygons
As shown in the image below the bookend is made up by combining many 3D elements together, all sourced from around 600+ 2D images which were then processed in 3D software to create a 3D mesh made up from millions of polygons (tiny triangles). This mesh was then manipulated and a full size 3D printed model was made. The whole process of creating the models from concept to final print was time consuming and an intense learning curve, taking around six weeks each to finalise.
I started the capture process with the figure of 'Alice' which meant taking lots of photos from different angles as shown in the animation below: My 7-year-old daughter kindly volunteered to model for this - a process which involved taking up to 150 images with a Nikon D5 high speed camera in just 10 seconds to capture her from all the required angles: (Charlie and Lola are just here to help isolate the subject from the background!)
The result of this process was the 3D printed PLA (bio degradable plastic) form shown below which would be incorporated with the other elements like a 3D collage.
Below the final 3D PLA prints of the bookends. These took three days each to print each using an Ultimaker 3D printer.
Another World/Peter Pan
The second bookend is called ‘Reading Peter Pan’ and looks to capture the young reader totally immersed in another world of pictures and words. The work flow as in ‘Alice’ starts with the key figure and again stars my daughter Ellie. This is blend of 3D ‘captures’ of trees, grass and includes some details from Sir George Frampton’s 1912 ‘Peter Pan’ - all the images were sourced from Kensington Gardens in London. A mixture of Bas Relief and full 3D capture, the artwork is inspired by J.M Barrie’s classic novel ‘Peter Pan’ and seeks to hold in place that complete absorption as this magical tale draws the reader into another world.
Peter Pan PLA model (front view)
Below: Artist impression of the bronze bookends, unique in both design and appearance. This will be the project's finished product.
From 3D print to bronze
The last step in the process involves making a wax mould of the 3D PLA print to create a cast in bronze. This is done in a specialised foundry and sample casts are first made to ensure the quality of the final production. The finished bronze bookends will measure 13.5x1.5x10.5 cm.
Details of all the rewards can be found in the right hand column.
Cold cast aluminium photogrammetry bas relief of Alice offered for contributions of £150. see photo below.
The greetings card and posters referred to in rewards 2-6 are shown in the two images below, 'Peter Pan in the Snow' and the 'London Thames View from Victoria Tower'.
Project funding, the future and keeping in touch
The project funding will initially go into casting 50 pairs of bookends starting with Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. We hope to use any additional funds to create further bookends including ideas inspired by ‘The Railway Children’ and ‘The Wind in the Willows’. We will keep everyone update as new designs emerge!
If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to contact us - we would love to hear from you!
Risks and challenges
The most time consuming part of this project has already taken place - the actual design of the art work. The money raised from this project will as set out above go towards the casting of the book ends in bronze. We have taken great care to ensure that this is a viable task and have made tests using a cold cast technique, with excellent results, which indicates we will have an amazing end product. There will clearly have to be new tests made in actual bronze which may delay the project slightly as we will only go ahead when 100% happy, but this should not amount to any significant period of time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)