When we worked on Project Photofly, our aim was for architects and engineers to use photographs to create "as built" models for designs where the original CAD drawings were absent or out of date. We knew it was not always best to start our design applications with a blank screen when working on projects like a building renovation or mechanical part modification. So when Project Photofly (which is now 123D Catch) took off in the historical preservation community (e.g., africanfossils.org, Smithsonian X3D), it should not have come as a surprise. For most museum artifacts, there never were any CAD drawings due to their age (e.g., Egyptian pyramids) or organic nature (e.g., prehistoric skulls). So in the "Why didn't I think if that?" category comes along an example of a different way of creating CAD drawings for objects, in this case flowers, for which there formerly were none.
- Macoto Murayama // more
- Autodesk 3ds Max // more
- Adobe Photoshop
Popular among amateur botanists, gardeners, and natural historians in the 18th century, botanical illustration is experiencing a renaissance. But no one's ever seen anything quite like the work of Macoto Murayama. Inspired by 1930's automotive illustration, X-ray art, and organic form, Murayama combines the traditional with the vanguard — scientific study and illustration with 3D digital modeling — creating something wholly unique.
Through a painstaking process of collection, dissection, sketching, photography, and 3D design, Murayama produces digital models of fully blossoming flowers, as well as their individual parts. He then adds measurements and annotations in the tradition of classic botanical illustration. The result is a stunning combination of old and new.
- Murayama's process starts with traditional tools of botany: a magnifying glass, scalpel, and photography.
- From this he creates pencil drawings.
- He then models the flowers in 3ds Max and exports wireframes into Adobe Photoshop.
- To complete the process, he adds annotation and measurements to compose his final artwork.
The Autodesk Gallery exhibit includes his first ever 3D print, a one-off animation by Murayama, and examples of his finished fine art. While Murayama originally chose flowers for his subjects because of their purely organic quality, he soon came to appreciate their mechanical and inorganic aspects, completely changing his perception. And when you think about it, isn't that what art is for?
Biomimicry is an area of science where designers look to nature to solve engineering problems. See Eiji Nakatsu: Lecture on Biomimicry as applied to a Japanese Train for an example. So examining numerical relationships found in nature, such as the geometry of flowers, may unlock the mathematics to addressing yet-unsolved challenges. The work of Macoto Murayama highlights such possibilities. Wake up and smell the math.
Thanks to Autodesk Senior Exhibit Designer, Roddy Wykes, for the information contained in this blog posting. The gallery at One Market is open to the public on Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 am to 5 pm, and admission is free. Visit us.
Flower power is alive in the lab.