Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Fowler Imprint

"There was also a queer triangular, striated marking, about a foot in greatest diameter, which Lake pieced together from three fragments of slate brought up from a deep-blasted aperture."

"Tough, muscular arms four feet long and tapering from seven inches diameter at base to about two and five-tenths at point. To each point is attached small end of a greenish five-veined membranous triangle eight inches long and six wide at farther end. This is the paddle, fin, or pseudofoot which has made prints in rocks from a thousand million to fifty or sixty million years old."
 Greg Onychuk brings us the first 3D print of his recreation of the Elder Thing imprint from Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness".   I believe this is the first time anyone has taken a crack at this iconic artifact.

As an aside, I think we're seeing the future of propmaking in Mr. Onychuk's work.  His physical sculpting skills are impressive, but he's now creating his works digitally and then having the masters printed.  The process is both revolutionary and evolutionary.  The technology allows an artist to perfect their work in a virtual environment, but still relies on the appreciation of form and texture of a traditional sculptor.  The possibilities are very exciting.


Raven said...

Considering that an authentic Antarctic explorer's journal was recently found in the melting ice, I wonder what would happen if such convincing objects as the present one should cough* chance to likewise turn up *cough* in the melting ice this Antarctic summer [=Northern hemisphere winter] -- or those notebook sketches of Elder Thing murals, the sculpts of Elder-Thing-vs-Shoggoth battle scenes, etc. Oh, that's a wicked thought. I repent me of thinking it. *slaps own wrist*

Phil said...

He must have have a really high resolution printer. I recently painted some 3d printed Borderlands props and was surprised at how roughed and ridged the edges were. Almost pixelated. This piece looks so much nicer. I'd love to see it painted.

Alysson Rowan said...

This is an exciting departure, and I'm a little surprised that we haven't seen digitally created props like this before.

The detail in this sculpt is excellent, and I would be interested to see it painted to match the geology it is meant to represent.

Indeed, for this kind of sculpt, it is not beyond the realms of possibility to do a 3D scan of a real rock and to then digitally add the desired trace fossil (footprint, atrefact or whatever). Printing out and finishing would then be child's play. It would even be possible to scan both halves of a split rock to enable the mould and the cast halves to be displayed.

Finding the fossilised object in the field, anyone?

Propnomicon said...

@ Raven

Now *that's* how you kick off an immersive ARG.

@ Phil

I believe "Electric Geisha", the company he uses, has a top of the line unit. Printing digital sculpts seems to be one of their specialties.

@ Alysson Rowan

And you could cast it in real rock. Eastern Europe has a huge industry that specializes in casting molten basalt for home fixtures and art pieces. The technology is just starting to show up here in the US. I've been looking at basalt rebar for a construction project and it's an amazing material.

Alysson Rowan said...

@ Propnomicon

Casting in reconstituted slate would be better, since the rock describes is slate - it is also much easier to produce.

@ Raven

Naughty, naughty! *shakes finger*
I have 'buried' a few artefacts for LARPers to find in the past - it is amazing to see their faces. At least one item was missed and picked up by a metal-detectorist.

Raven said...

@ Alysson

... and taken for identification to a museum, where it now rests among "Curious Discoveries in the Local Area"? One can but hope.

Alysson Rowan said...

@ Raven

... who contacted me since they knew my stuff (they stocked it in their gift shop - since a lot of it was modelled loosely on some of their own artefacts).

It did go into an exhibition of amateur finds, though.

Raven said...

@ Alysson

Yessss! [fist-pump] When a prop, not made for an exhibit, nevertheless ends up being exhibited (as a "find"!), that has to count for something special, above-and-beyond.

Like a Bobo for Kooks, except good, if you know what I mean.

That there was no deception involved, the museum knew your work, and all, makes it especially nice. No guilt.