Feb 10, 2016 | By Alec

Art and sport are rarely grouped together, as they seem to attract completely different crowds. However, fantastic things can happen if you combine the two. This is proven by artistic duo //benitez_vogl, who had the brilliant idea to 3D print the plays from football games for their VS:0.02 [gridiron] project. Catching all the gameplays from a 60 minute game in a single 3D printed frame, it makes it very easy to see what the turning point of a game is and what kind of plays make a difference. However, it also provides a very stunning visual result. And in honor of the Super Bowl 50, they have now expanded their project to include the plays from all 50 Super Bowl games from 1967 to 2016.

To refresh your memories, //benitez_vogl is an artistic collaboration featuring Margarita Benitez, a media artist and the Fashion Technologist and Assistant Professor at The Fashion School at Kent State University, and Markus Vogl, media artist and Assistant Professor in Art at the Myers School of Art at The University of Akron. We first ran into them in 2014, when they were working on remarkable 3D printed exoskeleton sleeves that create a temporary “snake skin” effect on human skin. But throughout their work, they say, the focus is on questioning contemporary issues that affect technology, “such as exploring the mediation of information in our lives.” And does anything contain more hidden data than a sports match? To illustrate this, they have previously also captured the data of the traditional eight ball pocket billiard game in the project Versus 0.01 [eight-ball].

But 3D printing data from football games certainly provides a very interesting perspective on that game too, and the results could teach you more than just numbers or graphs alone. So how do they gather that data? For VERSUS: 0.02 [gridiron], Vogl and Benitez essentially condensed all game data of a Super Bowl game into a single frame. “The sculptures analyze the game play by play and visualize the distance the ball traveled regardless of type of play. Our 3D software then builds arcs based on the distance the ball travels,” they explain. To make the models more understandable, each team is given a single side they stick to all game and penalties are factored into the beginning of the play. “Touchbacks are registered 2 yards behind the goal line, Touchdowns 5 yards, extra points 20 yards, Field goals 15 yards and safeties 9 yards. If a ball is brought out from the end zone it registers at the 0 yard line of the respective team,” they explain.

What’s more, the kickoff team can be identified by the kickoff arch, with plays being numerically advanced from the front of the model to the back. The result is a cool little frame with numerous arcs on them that can be touched, felt and studied from all angles. They have even done so for the 50th Super Bowl game featuring the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos already, just two days since it was played. For the trained eye, the key plays that earned the Broncos their victory can be easily singled out. This has to be the most artistic approach to game data we’ve ever seen.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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