July 24, 2015 | By Simon

Ask any dedicated artist what helped them learn their skill and many are likely to mention something along the lines of “sketching what you see”.  Yet, because it’s not always feasible to sketch certain things in real-time, the use of reference models have become almost as common as the pencils and paper on an artist’s desk.  Thanks to 3D printing, the ability to create custom reference models for artists - both analog and digital - has never been easier.

Among others who have explored making custom reference models include Jun Huang, a fine-arts painter, sculptor, model maker, 3d modeller/texture artist, prop builder, and concept artist for games, movies, and television.  With a wide-reaching portfolio of professional experience including work on permanent displays for The Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Regina, video games such as FIFA, The Bigs (Baseball), Dead Rising series, and card games including Reign of Dragons and Lord of Dragons  - as well as teaching and mentoring at 3D animation schools for the past 7 years while also creating a number of successful art products - it’s safe to say that Huang knows a thing or two about creating marketable commercial artwork that’s anatomically accurate.  

But of all of the subjects that the Vancouver-based Huang creates, wild animals are among his favorite.   

“My style is grounded in realism,” explains Huang.  

“I want these beasts to be as living in the wild. I am steering away from the ill-proportioned, cage-dwelling, and domesticated zoo animals. Instead, I am trying to represent the wild specimens, where their muscles will be relatively well-defined but not exaggerated towards fantasy art or stylized proportions.  The sculpted models are recreated based on reference from actual animals. In some cases, there is a slight emphasis towards the average ideal anatomy proportions, but these are balanced and subtle.  These are not 3d scans of the dead or dissected, nor plastinated bodies where there is loss of muscle volume.    My goal is to produce the best models in the market and I welcome customer feedback that I can use to further improve and add value to my products in the future.”

Aiming to help others learn to approach sketching images or sculpting models with anatomical features based on actual animals similar to his own techniques, Huang has spent the past few years developing his own line of reference models - or figurines - based on his years of experience.  While some of the models were created in traditional clay years ago, others where done more recently using digital tools.  Regardless of when or how they were created, they are all based off his knowledge while working at The Royal Saskatchewan Museum and studying alongside taxidermists.   

In order to produce the high quality and high resolution models, Huang has turned to 3D printing to bring the digital models to life in the physical world.   

“Quality printing and casting is absolutely essential,” says Huang.  

“I have the experience, knowledge, and passion to make my anatomy models of the highest quality in the market. To realize a CG sculpture into a physical product, it requires 3D printing or 3D rapid prototyping.”

Using his experience of sourcing out 3D models to premium 3D printing providers that specialize in dental and jewelry applications, Huang’s final 3D prints will be post-processed and finalized to every last scrutinizing detail before being made into mold masters.  The final models will be hand casted from a high quality grey resin that is capable of locking in every intended detail while also balancing durability and weight.  

With the goal of making the models accessible for both students and professionals alike, Huang recently turned to Kickstarter to help bring them to life and was able to successfully raise over $28,000 CAD.  

“As an individual, there are certain challenges that come with a venture like this and by way of crowdfunding, my hope is to have these anatomy models produced faster than if I were to self-fund,” he explains.  

Those interested in purchasing their own anatomical model from Huang’s line - which now includes even more specimens including humans and rhinos - can find out more by heading over to Jun’s Anatomy.   



Posted in 3D Printing Company



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