I have recently been asked about the possibilities of taking the panther that I created for Prairie View A & M and making it into a smaller version or perhaps even jewelry. Of course the traditional process of sculpting a smaller version of the panther is always possible. But that process means a mold and casting and as a table top version the cost of this process can run a couple thousand dollars. I’m open to exploring other options.
With the melding of digital technology in my traditional sculpture studio optional technology is definitely a possibility that I am curious to explore. If you follow the blog on the Panther Project you know that the original panther design was created in the computer, and enlarged by SNYAPPSYS Digital services in foam. Clay was added to the foam for the final version. It was then put through the traditional mold making process for bronze casting.
This digital process of enlarging expedites my work tremendously. The difficulty is that digital models, as seen in the computer, rarely translate well to real life. There were many modifications that I did on the large panther. As the blog shows, I carved on the foam, accentuated muscles and features so that it would translate well into bronze and in some places even lengthened or added to the figure. I also modified the pose.
So, I’m back to the digital drawing board. I am opening the original file of the panther and comparing it to my traditional bronze piece. My goal will be to do more work on the digital version and experiment with printing it using the 3D printing process.
The program that I am sculpting in is ZBrush. I’m exploring the new features that are available in Zbrush 4R4 that were not available when I created the panther just a year ago. Features like QRemesher that helps me to retopologize the panther, or fix the geometry, so that I can create a better digital sculpture. I’ll report back on how the digital sculpting progresses, as well as how the 3D printing process comes along.
Project blog for the Prairie View Panther can be found at https://prairieviewpanther.blogspot.com/