Radio Free MeshWorks: Beaming 3D Invention Around the Globe
Radio Free MeshWorks: Beaming 3D Invention Around the Globe
A Digital Arts pioneer seeks to spark creativity & collaboration by realizing years of design & invention as free 3D models.
A Digital Arts pioneer seeks to spark creativity & collaboration by realizing years of design & invention as free 3D models. Read more
What is it?
...a Project to realize and freely distribute dozens, maybe hundreds, of original 3D models. This work — created over the last several years — is currently hanging around on my hard disks in varying degrees of finish & refinement. Radio Free MeshWorks seeks funding to complete the models and make them freely available to the public — as digital 3D models — under Creative Commons Licensing.
Note: For a better look at some of the images in the video above, please drop by: The Radio Free MeshWorks Pre-Launch Site
Most of the models are already well developed — about to the stage of modeling and preliminary meshes as seen it the top row of the image below. The goal is to bring them to a level of refinement and finish seen it the bottom row, and prepare .OBJ-formatted meshes suitable for use by other modelers & artists.
Alright, who's responsible for this?
I'm Darrel Anderson, a lifelong designer & scribble explorer. I first came to art as a means of realizing & visualizing ideas — only to discover that art could be a tool for discovering ideas.
The pursuit of ideas & imagery — and creating art tools that aid it — has kept me busy for a few decades (starting long before I ever touched a computer).
Here's my informal Bio/CV.
An Agile Old Pioneer
…at least I like to think so — regarding the agile bit — nothing I can do about the old part. My first professional, published digital illustrations & 3D content date back to the mid 80's — 3D Content for the Atari ST & Antic's Cad3D (Cad 3D soon after evolved into 3D Studio, and 3D Studio Max). However, there is nothing nostalgic or legacy about the works in this project. While certainly drawing on my decades of work and play with 3D design, these are all recent works.
I created my first Digital Art Tools (perhaps a stretch to call them 'Graphics Applications') in the early 80's — first published 3D tools were part of the original IPAS 3D Studio plug-ins — around 1990. My current, ongoing graphics tool project is GroBoto — a unique and playful/artistic tool for designing & creating 3D models. GroBoto was the primary tool used for all of the models in this project.
Why do I want to give away this original intellectual property?
- Because I'm mortal, and the work need not be.
- Because — try 'tho i might — I can't work 100 hours a week.
- Because of a lifetime subscription to the idea of artistic collaboration.
There is no way I'll ever realize the full potential of this work. It's a wonderful property of digital art — especially 3D models — that once the modeling is done, countless variations can be derived. Texturing, lighting, scene creation, additional modeling, inclusion in other 3D scenes, animation — all lead to new works. Even if I had infinite time and energy, solo development of the work would never be as rich and varied as the collaborative results.
It would be a waste to leave this work languishing in virtual closets (my hard drives & CDs) — with just a smattering of images, scattered across the web, being the extent of their realized potential. Getting this work into the hands of other Artists, Modelers & Animators skirts that foolishness.
The work's value is in the ideas, imagination and love put into each piece.
The value is in its potential.
That value is best extracted by freely sharing the work and inviting other creative people to explore, expand & enhance it.
I need help. GroBoto, the primary tool used in the creation of all of the models in this project, eats up much of my time these days. I will personally do the creative work needed to get the models ready for release, but there are big technical tasks, and small administrative tasks, that need doing as well.
KickStarter funding will not be paying for the original work-to-date (which amounts to 1000's of hours). Rather, it's for the completion, refinement, reworking and delivery of existing models — everything needed to make them useful & available to other artists, designers, modelers and animators.
Setting the Work Free
Over the course of a year (starting January 1, 2013 if funding is in place by that date), at least 60 original models will be readied for free distribution (see Stretchy-ness below).
Form & Function
All models will ultimately be saved and distributed as meshes in the Wavefront (.OBJ), file format. All of the work already exists as 3D digital models — as GroBoto models and/or meshes. Some are very nearly ready to go, most will receive further modeling refinement and/or detailing prior to release. That final refinement usually happens in modo®, 'tho some ZBrush® work may be in the mix.
The finished models — in .OBJ format — will be made available through the project's website, and we will invite all major 3D sites (forums, developer/publisher sites, CG news sites, etc. to join in the distribution). All of the final models produced will be free under Non-Commercial Creative Commons Licensing. Specifically, the 'Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike' license as described here:
Commercial Licenses are one of the project's rewards. See the Rewards section below for details.
There are more than 60 designs to choose from. The majority of the models featured in our Kickstarter presentation (Video and other materials) will be released — others, not shown, may be included as well. We will seek feedback from Backers throughout the project to make certain popular works are produced and released. If the project exceeds its Kickstarter goal, we will add more models (see Stretchy-ness below).
S t r e t c h y - n e s s
We are committing to the release of at least 60 models (shooting for a bit better than one per week over a one year period). If KickStarter funding exceeds our initial goal, we will include more models, released at a faster pace. We hope that the project will continue, become self-sustaining, and ultimately include completely new works and works by other artists.
Concept Art Packages
- Digital Concept Art Packages — $10 to $75 Rewards
- Concept Art Limited Edition Prints — $100 to $250 Rewards
Details of these packages may be found here: GroBoto Concept Pages
Concept Art Giclée Limited Edition Prints — $100 to $250 Rewards
These are small editions, signed & numbered — printed on quality art paper with archival inks. You choose one or more (depending on reward level) from the six images below.
Each Design available in two sizes (longest dimension)
- 18 in / 46 cm ($100 Reward)
- 27 in / 68 cm ($200 & $250 Rewards)
GroBoto 3D App
GroBoto v4 — $50 to $250 Rewards
GroBoto is the software used for the initial design & modeling of all of the models in this project. Make your own stuff, discover that 3D modeling can be playful & exploratory — a place to think, see & invent.
Please See the GroBoto website for more info
Limited Edition 3D Prints — $350 to $2000 Rewards
Three designs — each in two sizes, and several materials — are be available as rewards. You chose the design & material, size is based on the reward level.
- Clockwork GoggleHead
The renderings below are simulations of the 3D Prints ...and I'm still working on the models.
I thought it would be fun to share the evolution of these pieces over the course of the project. Please stay tuned to our Kickstarter update pages for progress and photos of test prints. As you can see, EnzoAeronaut is a hybrid of EnzoMite & Clockwork GoggleHead ...a wonderful bit of serendipity, so common in digital 3D — illuminating why getting these designs out there in the artistic mix so vital.
The Tea Staining technique (see below) is new to me — yes, it literally means staining with tea. I've used it before on different materials, but not on any sort of 3D print. I was inspired to include it after seeing this work.
I'll post my tea-stain test results in updates here. Seems like it will be fine. If it doesn't look viable for any reason, I'll remove it as an option — but thought it was too cool not to try.
Total edition of each Design is 50:
- 30 copies at approximately 11.0 cm • 4.3 in.
- 20 copies at approximately 15.3 cm • 6.0 in.
Sizes vary slightly with each design.
To honor the Limited Edition, these specific versions of Clockwork GoggleHead and the two Enzo's will not be among the freely distributed project models. Different versions of the same concepts will be released as Radio Free Meshworks models. ...which makes sense anyway — 3D printing and useful models for rendering, animation, etc. have different requirements.
Commercial Publishing Rights Rewards — $1400 to $2000 Rewards
Need an original design for your own creative endeavors? These rewards allow you to choose from any of the models and concepts in this project.
These rewards give you International, unlimited, perpetual, commercial publishing rights.
Non-Commercial Creative Commons Licensing is provided as part of Radio Free Meshwork's model distribution. That means all commercial licensing will be — by definition — non-exclusive. However, commercial licensing is available — and that's what these rewards offer.
Wrap it Up already...
Broadly Brushed Closing Bits...
Collaboration & sharing of ideas, tools, techniques is cool, satisfying & productive — it's been at the heart of my artistic life since the days of graphite & linseed oil. Early on — when computer graphic imaging was mostly a nerdish hobby — generosity & collaboration thrived.
CGI is now intertwined with the mega-million dollar industries of gaming, film, and advertising. That influx of cash and human resources has lead to extraordinary advances ...a wonderful development. Nevertheless, a current of sharing still flows beneath that costly surface, and — through this project — I hope to be a tributary.
What's GroBoto got to do, got to do with it?
Everything and nothing. GroBoto is a 3D app I built with a couple of friends. It was used as the primary design and modeling tool for every model in this project (most have had, or will have, additional work in other 3D apps). This Kickstarter project has nothing to do with GroBoto development — rather, it's entirely about the art, designs & ideas.
Risks and challenges
I don't see any big risks. The core work has already been done — design and creation of scores of original 3D models. Giving away so much original intellectual property could be seen a a risky move, but — for the 'un-tapped potential' reasons stated above and below — I see greater risk in keeping it locked away.
Bringing each of these models up to a standard that will both satisfy me, and make them useful to other artists & modelers is a lot of work — but it's work I love and have decades of experience doing. I have full confidence it will get done — it is vitally important to me personally. I truly feel it is a waste to leave the potential of this work un-tapped. I'm driven to get it out there. My heart & soul are fully engaged.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)