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David by Michelangelo
by jerry7171, published
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I took on the challenge of attempting to 3D model a full-sized copy of Michelangelo's colossal 'David.'
So far, he's proving to be a tough challenge as he's a very dark bronze color. Even under overcast conditions he's difficult to photograph in such a way as to clearly display the fine detailing that Michelangelo sculpted, such as the veins in his forearms, the pattern of his pubes or locks of hair, his toenails, etc. Add to this the fact that he stands on a rather tall pedestal and parts of him simply become invisible to me.
I tackled this part of the problem by purchasing a telescoping painters pole and mounting my Nikon D200 on it with a long shutter trigger cable.
Even with a 12-foot pole, I still couldn't get David's shoulders or the top of his head. There were numerous small parts of him that were difficult to catch from enough angles so those spots that look like seams or rough patches are the result of that. Add to all this that on the day I photographed him for almost two hours, it was windy and my painters pole would sway and vibrate slightly no matter how much I tried to steady and dampen it.
Finally, after about 400+ photos, all shot in RAW to maximize the usable information, I broke up the job of recreating David into sections so I wouldn't overwhelm my Macbook Pro. I parts I ended up with were his feet, then his legs and lower torso, his upper legs and torso, his chest, his back, and finally an overall nearly full figure on which to merge all the various point clouds together and hopefully create a highly detailed model.
As you can see, a modeler is only as good as his talents and photos, and in this case, my newbie experience is plain to see. David turned out decidedly on the low quality side, but again, that is more due to me and my inexperience.
Agisoft Photoscan is some incredible software but as forgiving and user friendly as it is, it still needs a user to have some good working knowledge to create really good results.
Considering the difficulty of the shooting conditions and the size of the sculpture, I think I'm entitled to feel somewhat good about this model, but it's far from finished. I think I'm going to tweak some settings and try again. I'm still trying to get the hang of software like Meshmixer and Meshlab too.
As always, if anyone out there wants to use this model and clean it up or improve it, please feel free and be my guest. I'm just happy to share it.
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David by Michelangelo by jerry7171 is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution - Share Alike license.
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