A woman sits on the grass in the middle of Heathrow Airport. A man in spectacles and slouching jeans plays guitar for listeners who stand silently behind him.
These scenes and more have been captured from real, every day London streets by Henry Reichhold – renowned 3D artist and photographer. For his London - New Vision exhibit, running from July 19-October 19 in Heathrow’s Terminal 5, Reichhold used photogrammetry and Autodesk ReMake to cold cast these scenes in bronze resin.
The London - New Vision exhibit uses a variety of technologies including Autodesk ReMake and ArtCam software, 3D printing technology by MyMiniFactory, Ultimaker, and 3D Filaprint to merge London’s fantastic architecture with the people who fill its streets. The project goes far beyond the capture of static objects and challenges preconceptions on how we use photogrammetry. The result is a whole new art form - all from a camera.
First, Reichhold captured his subjects using photogrammetry and his Nikon. Next, the 2D photos were turned into 3D models using Autodesk ReMake, and decimated and optimized for further use. Then the reliefs were prepared in ArtCAM, and the models were 3D printed and cold cast in bronze resin to achieve the final result.
From Piccadilly Circus to the bus depot and picnics in the park, this exhibition is all about the people of London, always changing, always fascinating.
For London - New Vision, you used a Nikon camera, Autodesk ReMake and ArtCam software, and 3D printing technology by MyMiniFactory, Ultimaker, and 3D Filaprint. How did this blend of technology address solutions for the project’s specific challenges?
Throughout the whole project I was able to test concepts with the kind help of Ultimaker who supplied the project with an Ultimaker Extended 2 printer. This meant that any issues could be ironed out before passing the models on to MyMiniFactory who used 20+ printers to create the parts needed for each model. Many thanks also goes out to 3D FilaPrint for the PLA media.
Showing work at an airport requires that the exhibition material passes the highest fire retardancy standards so showing a 3D printed final artwork in PLA was not going to happen. I looked at various casting methods and settled for bronze cold casting. This resin casting technique met all required standards.
I spent a month testing various settings and learning how to use the software with the 'Peter Pan’ statue in Kensington Gardens as my principle subject. When I was happy with how to capture the ’still’ subjects for my artworks I turned my focus on to the tricky problem of capturing atmosphere, people and clouds. For the background bas relief work Tatjana Dzambazova pointed me to a great solution - Autodesk’s ArtCam Pro. The software was perfect for bas relief creation so that just left one final obstacle, capturing people in a natural environment.
You can’t really expect people to stay still for half an hour while you take all the high res shots you need for full 3D capture so what I needed was a solution that would enable this capture in seconds - this meant a very, very fast camera. Enter Nikon’s lightning fast new flagship camera (the Nikon D5) - the ideal solution, capable of taking 140 high res raw images in just 10 seconds this became a real game changer. Thanks to Nikon’s generous support this camera made the final stage of capture into a reality.
How do you foresee photogrammetry and 3D modelling influencing art?
Photography merged together with 3D photogrammetry software creates a powerful new form of expression and I think we can expect to see a huge amount of development around this fascinating new art form.
How were you introduced to ReMake? Why do you like it?
A year ago I started looking into the possibility of taking photography into a new dimension - inspired by the extraordinary bas relief bronzes at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London I wanted to create 3D artworks that had the immediacy of photographs but in 3D.
I looked at various photogrammetry solutions and then came across the ReMake Beta application - I was amazed! The capabilities and the potential to be had from this software were jaw dropping. After a few tests I contacted the ReMake team and spoke to Tatjana Dzambazova whose brilliant knowledge and support led to the development of the Heathrow project.
The clarity of the user interface and the simple workflow both make ReMake a real pleasure to use. As a photographer creating complex 3d designs the cloud processing and intuitive surface tools are real time savers and make this a compact yet powerful and comprehensive solution.
This has been quite an exciting summer! What’s been the most surprising with this exhibit?
What has surprised most people with the current project is the fantastic detail in the models and I hope to expand on this with my next exhibition that will look at creating large artworks in 3D full colour.
Henry Reichhold is based in London and is a part time lecturer at Central Saint Martins. His work can be seen at www.reichholdarts.com. Read more about Reichhold’s London - New Vision exhibit in Heathrow Airport here and here. Autodesk ReMake is available for both Mac and Windows. Download a free trial at remake.autodesk.com. Learn more about Autodesk ArtCam here.