I find it hard to visualize three-dimensional space. When designing quilts, and other 2D creations, I rely heavily on digital software to help me see what is coming next. This allows me to easily test out composition and colour scheme before I start working in cloth. Without a similar aid, I felt at a bit of a deficit when I began working in sculpture.
Over the past term I’ve been dealing with this issue. I’ve just finished a course in 3D printing, which has taught me how to use digital modelling software, mainly Lightwave. I was amazed how easily you can place a sketch into the program as a backdrop and build out from it. I first tested this theory with a spaceship design my partner had drawn. I love collaboration.
It really seems to be a matter of getting into the zone and thinking about the screen as an open environment where you are actually manipulating 3D objects. Then you don’t have to worry about remembering sets of rules.
I started applying this to sculptures I was planning almost right away. The following three will be created in cloth and plant over the next month.
I’ve found it really helpful to be able to tweak composition ahead of time, and see it from all angles. I am interested to see what impact this has on the finished creations.
We learned a little animation too, and though I don’t find it as applicable to my work, I can see definite possibilities for working out kinetic sculpture, internal and external lighting, and design proposals.
The funnest part is that I got to 3D print one of my objects! I can’t really describe what it is like to build something in the computer, and then have it in your hand. The difference between working digitally or in reality seems almost negligible.