Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow
Stan Winston was a movie magician whose talent and creations are no doubt ingrained in the mind of most moviegoers around the world. With a movie history featuring the iconic looks from Aliens, Iron Man, Jurassic Park, and The Terminator, it’s no wonder original Stan Winston props attract a wide following both for sentimental and the obvious reason!
Many years ago, Blake Beatnik le Saint acquired an original Stan Winston prop from the 1998 movie Small Soldiers. The fun-loving and hyper-active Insaniac, wrapped in chains and wearing a tribal necklace, looks oddly peaceful when standing on its accompanying wire-articulating rig. This prop held exceptional sentimental value for Blake, surviving the test of time, loss, theft, and vandalism within the battlegrounds of life.
Determined to preserve this piece of his life, Blake crossed paths with Laser Design in order to produce a high-resolution 3D scan of this precious but unstable movie prop. Utilizing cutting-edge technology, Blake would be able to use 3D scan data to transform this historic movie artifact into a permanent and durable token of remembrance, unable to be tarnished by the patina of time.
How to Train Your Tasmanian Devil
Insaniac is a high-energy and high-mobility character, using an iconic spin-attack many would go on to imitate on playgrounds, backyards, and the privacy of their imagination. In order to visualize and create the necessary practical special effects, highly detailed and articulated movie props were constructed which allowed for highly customized and fluid poses and movements. In order to produce a 3D printable version without destroying the prop through disassembly, a special tactic was utilized – a tactic which requires the model be scanned multiple times.
The first step in scanning this movable prop was to establish a baseline pose and remove all non-essential elements. Insaniac is usually adorned with chains and the prop reflected this form of “clothing”. With approval from Blake, the chains were cut, revealing the full form of Insaniac for scanning – chains could be re-added later. Quickly scanning this initial pose as completely as possible with the Artec Eva in HD-Mode allowed for a high accuracy and high detailed model. Using the Eva allowed the entire prop to be scanned all at once as the entire prop filled the Eva’s field-of-view.
3D Scanning with the Artec Space Spider
Once the initial pose with the Artec Eva was established, work began on scanning individual body parts with higher detail. Using the Artec Space Spider for an even higher resolution, each limb was scanned independently, and only after articulating the model to achieve custom poses. For example, scanning the right foot required the model be positioned as though in the middle of a soccer kick! The articulation of this prop was instrumental in allowing it to be scanned without disassembly.
Slowly and steadily, each individual head, shoulder, knee, and toe was scanned processed into a color 3D model, and then realigned back to the baseline position. Inherent to the design of this movie prop is modularity in limb choices, so alternate hands and feet were scanned which allow for faithful recreations of poses not seen in nearly 25 years. Even the necklace was reconstructed by cloning good, complete talons and replacing the incomplete ones. Some joints such as the feet could be safely disassembled by removing a pin, however ball-socket joints such as the shoulders and upper leg could not be disassembled. Internal-facing surfaces were captured as much as possible by scanning in multiple positions, allowing hidden internal features from one position to be revealed in others. All remaining internal-facing voids were hole-filled to create complete polygon models suitable for modification and ultimately 3D printing.
With the successful digitization of Insaniac, the physical art now has a digital form. Thankfully, through 3D Scanning and 3D Printing, Insaniac will remain in Blake’s life, outliving us all, perfectly preserved and immune to the inherent corrosion of sunlight and oxygen. This creature of plastic was created, and has now become immortalized, by efforts many find indistinguishable to magic. 3D scanning may not be magic, but its ability to preserve our memories adds magic to our lives.
Do you have a project in mind that involves 3D scanning or want to know more about the Artec 3D Scanners? Contact us today to learn more about how Laser Design can help you incorporate 3D scanning into your design process.
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