3D Printed Kidney?


3DTeacher-Icon[1] Here is another cool 3d printing video to share.  It focuses more on non-traditional uses like medicine and weapons.  Great for initiating discussion.   ~Cornell


January 25, 2013: Imagine a world where you can make anything you want, just by pressing "print". 3D printers have arrived and they promise a fascinating future, depending on what we make. For more info, please go to http://www.globalnews.ca/3d+printing/...

Scientific American: Why Scientists Should Embrace the Liberal Arts

Science alone isn’t enough to solve the world’s problems

“But to be truly effective, we must start much earlier. What we really need is a much broader humanistic education for scientists (and nonscientists), beginning in K–12 education and continuing through the undergraduate/graduate and professional years. It is through the study of art, music, literature, history and other humanities and social sciences that we gain a greater understanding of the human condition than biological or physical science alone can provide.” ~ David J. Skorton is president of Cornell University

<<  Read More  >>

If you read the comments below the article, it is definitely a controversial topic.   In my opinion, one could say that the Renaissance was the most innovative epoch, and this is a period in history when the arts truly blend with the sciences .   To me, the sciences are to driven by rules that are not to be broken, but one must sometimes  look past them,  break, or bend them to find new  original thought and ideas.  I want to clarify, that the sciences are equally important; the more knowledge one has to work with, the more diverse one thoughts can be . . .

Photoshop Ethics . . .

OJ_Simpson I teach a Photoshop course, which covers the basics for the most part, a little bit of painting, photo manipulation, matte painting, and skills that can be used for texturing in the 3D world.  My first assignment is to take a simple portrait and edit it so that it would be a close relative of that person.  Meaning a completely different person, but still look like it could be an actual photograph.  I show them that even first day of class that can use a very simple and easy tool with amazing results.  I start by showing them the Dove commercial and then going over the tool.  

I love Sunday Morning on CBS, I have been watching as long as I can remember.  Today, I came across this episode from 2010 and it is great for initiating the conversation about Photoshop and ethics.  Definitely worth watching with your 2D or 3D class.  


The Mask of Divine Proportion

Dr Stephen Marquartdt developed a facial mask as a measurement of classic beauty to help plastic surgeons align facial features for more symmetrical accuracy based on a series of rectangles, triangles and decagons.  [More] 



Check out this program that will automatically change a person to make them more “beautiful” ???  Portrait Pro http://www.portraitprofessional.com/gallery/


Dove Commercial – Ethics

 Sean Armenta Covering the Liquify Tool

Photoshop Digital Cosmetic Surgery 101 by Sean Armenta

Here is an guide to help you with what ever you need to know about the liquify tool.  

A Comprehensive Guide to Photoshop’s Liquify Tool

All For the Love of Cheese . . .

Nolans_Cheddar_CommercialNolan’s Cheddar Commercial - director: John Nolan with a run time of a minute and half. 

I want to start by saying no animals were hurt during the production of the commercial.  A mouse was used, but the mouse in the trap was CG.    

OK, now I thought this was funny and cute, my wife thought it was a bit morbid.   

At first I, assumed it was CG, but after researching, I realized it was an animatronic mouse.  With that said . . . there are a lot of videos that I assumed were CG and were actually animatronic puppets.  Make sure you check out John Nolan’s demo reel.  ~Cornell

John Nolan - Animatronics Reel

The World's First 3D Sensor for Mobile Devices – COOL!


Now that I have an iPad and have become an addict, I am have come across a bunch a very cool apps and tools related to digital arts, particularly 3D.  I am seriously considering get one of these and seeing what we can do with it. My only concern is the scan quality, I have used a number of scanners and have found the scans to be sub par.  I have also used the Kinect as a 3d scanner and although thought it was very cool, was disappointed in the quality of the scan.  *The people who design the Kinect also also has designed the technology for this device.  Either Way . . . Very Cool and I still want one . . . ~Cornell

 Also Check this interview out – THIS IS SO COOL!!! 

Hollow Face Sculpture? An Amazing T-Rex Illusion

I do not remember when, but a while back at either the MET art Museum or the DAM (Denver) I saw what is called a ‘hollow faced’ sculpture of a head.  It was really cool .  As I walked around it,  a number of times,  it seemed to track my movement.  It is hard to explain, but the second video will give you an idea of how it works.   It was basically in a negative of a sculpture or the mold, but as you move around, it  gave the illusion that it was a ‘typical’ sculpture . 

I just came across this video and had to share it, it works on the same ‘hollow face’ principle.   It is the Amazing T-Rex Illusion!   Check it out.  ~Cornell

Amazing T-Rex Illusion!


How it Actually Works. . .  It will make you laugh.

Playing with Shadow

A to Z by Kumi Yamashita 2011

I love light & shadow AND I love sculpture.   I have experimented a bunch with creating sculptures where the subject was the actual shadow not the sculpture.   Man, I love Yamashita work, make sure you check out his gallery too. 

I also came across this software that plays with shadow in a similar way.   The design examples that are used are a bit on the simple side, but it has potential.  Imagine what you could do with 3d modeling software and a 3d printer; it could be a lot of fun. 

Kumi Yamashita


Niloy J. Mitra, Mark Pauly

Shadow Art


To them, I said, the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images. - Plato, The Republic

Shadow art is a unique form of sculptural art where the 2D shadows cast by a 3D sculpture are essential for the artistic effect. We introduce computational tools for the creation of shadow art and propose a design process where the user can directly specify the desired shadows by providing a set of binary images and corresponding projection information. Since multiple shadow images often contradict each other, we present a geometric optimization that computes a 3D shadow volume whose shadows best approximate the provided input images. Our analysis shows that this optimization is essential for obtaining physically realizable 3D sculptures. The resulting shadow volume can then be modified with a set of interactive editing tools that automatically respect the often intricate shadow constraints. We demonstrate the potential of our system with a number of complex 3D shadow art sculptures that go beyond what is seen in contemporary art pieces. 

<<  More  >>




Silhouettes Of Jazz

You also need to  check out this movie produced with the Shadow Art tool.


Composition and Chase Jarvis

Updated 12/31/13

One side of rendering that is rarely talked about is composition.  And since many of the schools have been dropping or lessening the traditional skills being taught, a big bummer,  is the quality of student renders are falling? Technically they are getting better, but so is the technology.  Schools are becoming and have been “profiteering”.  That might be a little harsh, but they are more attune to profits and less to educating.   I went to a session at SIGGRAPH where this exact topic was under debate.  The bulk of the students (paying majority) want to jump right in to 3d skipping the foundation courses.  AND this has impacted enrolment leading schools to change program requirements.  I think this is a shame, but just like Mac Donald's in France, despite the the anti-Mac Donald's sentiment, they are still selling millions of burgers.

With that rant over, I love Chase Jarvis.  He is a commercial photographer and is creating exceptional images.  I heard him speak a couple of years ago and then went to diner with him afterwards.   He is a dynamic speaker and has a unorthodox approach to his art form.  Also he has a 21st century outlook on marking.  Basically, he’s got some skills.   Check out his work and share it with your students.   http://www.chasejarvis.com

And here is a play-by-play of this shot: http://blog.chasejarvis.com/blog/2010/08/scotts-guest-post-play-by-play-post-production-on-this-popular-photo/#more-1903.

Photography is a great “homework” assignment to supplement your rendering curriculum.  It doesn’t have to be with a fancy SLR, just a simple digital camera.   With that said, it should be with a manual SLR, all the skills transfer.  It should even be a weekly assignment; composition is a skill and can’t not be taught over night.  The most important thing  is to be able to  “see” and unless you are looking, you will not see anything.  Not to sound too philosophical, but it all comes to practice and the more one looks for  or thinks about composition, the better their work gets.  ~Cornell  



Also check out his book . . .  The Best Camera Is The One That's With You: iPhone Photography by Chase Jarvis

My First iPad Painting - Wacom Creative Stylus

My wife gave me an iPad Air for Christmas and it is AWESOME!!!  I also got a Wacom Creative Stylus which works with the iPad.  I am still exploring the stylus’ potential, but this is my first tablet, so I am still just playing.  The first App I downloaded was Sketchbook Pro which I use the regular version in my classroom and painted a simple apple  . . . that kind of looks like a tomato. 

MyFirst-iPad-Painting-sm2So here is my review of the Wacom Creative Stylus in action with pressure-sensitivity!  It didn’t seem to work right out of the box, or so I thought.  Let me clarify, it functioned as a stylus, but I could not notice any pressure-sensitivity either in Bamboo Note or Sketchbook Pro.   The manual states that pressure sensitivity works though Bluetooth, so I tried to connect it to Bluetooth.  No Luck.  I am very new to the iPad, in fact I hadn’t connected it to anything yet.  I  tried to connect my iPad  to the sound system – no luck.  I assumed that my Bluetooth was not working, since it would not connect to anything??? I did a bit more research and couldn’t find muc h that would help.  Eventually, I got my iPad to connect, but it still wouldn’t connect to the Stylus. 

OK, this is what I was doing wrong. First the stylus doesn’t show up on the Bluetooth device list, no matter what you do and this threw me off qui a bit.  Second you have to tell each application what stylus you are using.  For Sketchbook Pro, got to ‘I’ symbol  for information on the top menu, then preferences, and change 3rd Party Pen Connection.  Even after setting it up correctly, the pressure-sensitivity still didn’t seem to work.  I was frustrated needless to say.  Then I played with pen setting and voila, it worked.  I was about to return the $99 stylus.

After I got it going . .  I was sold, but I really wanted to test it and painted an apple.  Hmm, so is it worth $100?  At this point, I would say, “Hell Yea!”  I have had almost every generation of Wacom’s Intous line, including the Cintiq.  Honestly, the (iPad or other) tablet will replace the drawing, tablet there is no question; this is the future.  It is not completely there yet, limited resolution, memory, high-end 3d capabilities, but this is the future.  What I really want to see is a high-end 3d application like Mudbox or Zbrush, on the iPad.  That will be an industry changer.   Or even a wireless connection to your main workstation so that it works like a Cintiq.  Now that would be awesome!

The Creative Stylus.  I read a few blogs out there and a lot of people complaining about the tip . . . I don’t have a problem with it. The flow is smooth enough, not as smooth as the Intous line, but certainly not a deal breaker.  The rubber is soft and they only give you a few, so I will predict that I will be buying a few more down the road; I will let you know how long they last.  They also sell a harder tip for writing, but I think I will just buy a cheap stylus for that, as opposed to switching the tip  and possibly loosing it.   Keep the Creative just for drawing!!!

Another blogger was complaining about the fact that the pen was not rechargeable, well it lasts for over 150 hours and batteries are about $1.50 each???  Rechargeable devices that small never seem to last very long, so I bet it would be more frustrating to find that your battery is out again than just popping in a new one.

Comparing to the Intous line . . . The stylus’ feel is completely different and I have frequently pressed the buttons when not wanting to changing brushes.   The Length is about two inches shorter then the Intous  stylus, but a lot heavier feel which I like.  It is not as thick either, which I feel gives it a bit less control.  There are 2048 pressure levels with +/- 45 Degree tilt recognition, almost the  same as the Intous  which has 2048 pressure levels with +/- 60 Degree tilt recognition. 

Here is my brush pressure-sensitivity testing. Very Cool!!!


Is it worth saving a few bucks for the Pogo Connect with all the extra tip options?  They look really cool and I want to try them.  I almost considered getting a second stylus, just to try it . . . But I have heard that it does not work with the iPad Air.  

Conclusion:  I am sold and will recommend the Wacom Creative Stylus to my students.  If anything changes I will let you know.  Also, if the Pogo Connect I am buying one and will report back.


Play, passion, purpose: Tony Wagner - TEDxNYED

When I first heard Tony Wagner speak, you could see me nodding as he spoke as if he were preaching.  ‘Sing it brother!’  I can’t say I agree with everything he says, but we are definitely on the same team.  This TEDx speech is a bit watered down version of his he previous speech to the International schools;  The previous speech seemed a bit harsh and with a public school bashing tone.  Either way, the video is worth a watch.  I also purchased his book and am in the process of reading it; I will let you know when I am finished.

Tony Wagner recently accepted a position as the first Innovation Education Fellow at the Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard. Prior to this, he was the founder and co-director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for more than a decade. Tony consults widely to schools, districts, and foundations around the country and internationally. His previous work experience includes twelve years as a high school teacher, K-8 principal, university professor in teacher education, and founding executive director of Educators for Social Responsibility.

Tony is also a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and a widely published author. His work includes numerous articles and five books. Tony's latest, Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change The World, has just been published by Simon & Schuster to rave reviews. His 2008 book, The Global Achievement Gap has been an international best seller and is being translated into Chinese. Tony has also recently collaborated with noted filmmaker Robert Compton to create a 60 minute documentary, "The Finland Phenomenon: Inside The World's Most Surprising School System."

Tony earned an M.A.T. and an Ed.D. at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Paralyzed Graffiti Artist Draws With His Eyes

A group of artists and hackers have crafted a gadget that lets a paralyzed graffiti artist continue making art using only his eyes. And it costs about as much as an iPod shuffle.
Zach Lieberman of the Graffiti Research Lab started working on the EyeWriter with one man in mind: Los Angeles-based graffiti artist Tony Quan. In 2003, Quan was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, leaving virtually every muscle in his body paralyzed except for his eyes. Lieberman and developers from Free Art and Technology, OpenFrameworks and the Ebeling Group were inspired to create low-cost, open-source hardware and software for eye-tracking to help Quan draw again.  << More >>
*You can also listen to the NPR story.
Also check out the Kickstarter video.

Creativity: Phineas and Ferb Get Busted!


“They are forced to think inside the box.”

Today in class we talked about “Creativity and Divert thinking”.  I posed questions such as, “Can you learn to be more creative or is is something that you are born with?” and  “How does ones environment influence creativity?”   I introduced the talk by sharing a short music video from Phineas and Ferb Get Busted!  It is an awesome Disney TV series about two inventors.  When my daughter watches TV, which is not very often, it is one of her favorites;  I love it too.  The students wanted to watch the entire episode, because they all seemed to love the show as well. 

In this episode Phineas and Ferb  get caught by their parents making a flying car and get sent to reform school.    The reform school tries to break them of all creative thought.
Sergeant: OK, listen up, maggots! You are here because your parents (mockingly) are worried about you. Now, the way I see it, the root of all children's problems is unacceptable levels of imagination, fun, creativity and unbridled enthusiasm! Don't you eyeball me! Our goal at this school is to crush the dangerous elements inside you and replace them with structure, order, discipline and conformity.    (Part 1, 05:31)
The music video “Chains On Me” sung by Dan Povenmire,  has a fun chorus ”Cause they say imagination is morally wrong.”
“Chains On Me” by Dan Povenmire
I woke up this morning, and the world was gray.
Haven't seen the sun since they hauled me away.
The boss man says there's no use in trying,
He won't let me color outside of the lines.
Got these chains on me,
And they're draggin' me down.
Got these chains on me,
Hear that clanking sound?
Got these chains on me,
Mister, hear my song
Don't say imagination is morally wrong
Drink of water, boss?
As long as I've been here I got nothing to show,
Try to make something but the boss says no
Wanna be creative but the man won't hear it That big boss man, he's trying to crush my spirit
Got these chains on me,
They won't let me fly
Got these chains on me,
Won't tell me why
Got these chains on me
Mister, hear my song
Don't say imangination is morally wrong
No, they won't let us dance or bang that gong,
”Cause they say imagination is morally wrong.”

Teaching Digital Painting

First of all, learning Photoshop is essential for almost any 3d application and is required for all advanced courses.
When I teach digital painting, I break it into four major steps.
  • Basics of Photoshop – General PS Skills
  • Introduction to Digital Painting  –  Sphere
  • Digital Painting with Color   -  Apple
  • Digital Painting for Realism  - Student’s choice

Introduction to Digital Painting  –  Sphere

Students are expected  to paint this reference image using Photoshop  including the background, shadows, reflections, & specular highlight.  This is a really simple project and I demonstrate it in a matter of minutes.   Yet the students always complain because I make it look so easy, so I end up repeating again after their first attempt.     I also introduce some technical vocabulary, which is not necessarily needed, but I feel that it helps them to know what to look for.   This is an easy project for students to draw what they know and not what they see, basically fake it.  Hence, pointing out the elements of light and shadow, helps them to try to draw what they “see”.  Otherwise they almost always overlook the ground reflection and reflected light. 
While they are painting, I mention that once they master this, which it is easy to do, the next project, painting the apple, will easier than they think. 

Shadow Diagram3


Umbra – (Latin for "shadow") The area completely obscured by object or the “Hard” shadows
Penumbra – The area partially obscured by object or the “Soft” shadows
Core Shadow -
Specular Highlight - This is a reflection from a light source and is the bright spot of light that appears on the surface of a 3d object. The smaller the highlight the shinier the surface, the larger the highlight the more the surface defuses the light.
Reflected Light – Is a faint light reflected or bounced back on the object from the surfaces surrounding it.
Mid-Tone – The tonal value mid-way between the highlight and shadow. Sometimes referred to as halftone.
Value – The gradation of tone from light to dark or of color luminosity

Digital Painting with Color   -  Apple

With this project students are expected  to paint an apple from a reference image, which I usually provide, using Photoshop  including the background, shadows, reflections, & specular highlight.  Once they have completed the sphere, they will find painting the apple easier then they think.  I generally brake this up into a number of steps because it is hard to really understand then steps if they have traditional painting experience. 
So why do I have them paint an apple?  Honestly, it is not that hard.   If I told them to paint a self portrait, it may look too old, too young, nothing like themselves, and most likely not even human.  But an apple, even beginning students will have success with painting one, even though it may look nothing like the original reference.   My main goal is for them to understand the basic process for painting digitally. 
The apple on the left was painted by a senior and it was his first painting ever, traditional or digital.  The Apple on the right was painted by a 9th grader it was also her first painting.

Digital Painting for Realism  - Student’s choice

This last project is a lot more open ended and many students don’t even get to this far and end the semester with the apple;  I am OK with that.  Everyone comes with different backgrounds, experiences,  and drive and my curriculum is very student centric.   I always have a handful of students who want to take it farther AND I WANT THEM TOO. 
The self-portrait is a 10th graders final project.
The painting below is called “Looking for Answers” was the her final senior project and she won Scholastics Art & Writing National American Vision Award.  The painting was showcased at the Smithsonian in Washington DC for a year.   

MakerBot Wants You to Buy a Teacher a 3D Printer

Did you register your program to get a 3D Printer?  I did . . .   Here is the link: http://www.donorschoose.org/blog/2013/11/12/makerbot-announces-a-mission/ 

MakerBot is a on a mission to bring a 3D printer into every public school in America.  Starting today, any public school teacher in the United States can request a MakerBot Academy Bundle and their project will qualify for Almost Home funding provided by MakerBot and its partners.

Each MakerBot Academy bundle contains a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer, three spools of MakerBot PLA Filament, and a full year of the MakerBot MakerCare Service and Protection Plan.  MakerBot will also support teachers with the development of ongoing 3D printing curriculum that teachers can participate in and utilize in the classroom.

- See more at: http://www.donorschoose.org/blog/2013/11/12/makerbot-announces-a-mission/#sthash.DFT5f9Wk.dpuf

Bre Pettis was the first kid on his block to get an Apple II computer. The device was intriguing, and all his neighborhood friends tinkered with it endlessly even though it served little practical purpose. Pettis went on to start 3D-printing company MakerBot Industries (SSYS), and he sees its products in the same light: They may seem silly at first, but the kids will figure them out.

To get kids playing with 3D printers, Pettis is emulating Apple (AAPL) in another way. On Tuesday the company announced an ambitious plan to . . . <<  More  >>


Will 3D Printing Change the World?

Tomasz Strzałkowski – CG Artist


Tomasz Strzałkowski – CG Artist
Website: tomstrzal.com/
Galleries: http://tomstrzal.deviantart.com/  http://tomstrzal.cgsociety.org/

Interview with me on Evermotion

news114th february 2013

Interview with me on Evermotion :-)))



3DArtist Magazine Issue 51

news11st February 2013

This is great! I'm absolutely proud and happy because my work is in latest issue 3DArtist Magazine! Here is cover and page with my work.


3DWorld magazine March 2013

news130th January 2013

Cover 3DWorld magazine March 2013 and page from this issue with my work




<<    More Strzałkowski Interviews    >>

CGArena: Dec - Jan 13, FREE Digital Magazine

CG Arena is a free downloadable CG Magazine with great articles and tutorials.

  • Interview with Tomasz Strzalkowski
  • Photoshop: Making of Maru Chui Wei
  • Maya: Making of Little Honey
  • 3ds Max: Making of Old Man in the Dark
  • Maya: Making of The Green Redemption
  • Gallery - Showcase of latest Impressive art

Link to Magazine

Sebastian Sylwan - New Lenses to View Reality: Art, Science and Visual Effects

At the end of a semester of an intro class, I always have at least one student approach me and tell me that ‘I ruined going to the movies for them’.  What they mean is that they can’t watch a film without thinking about the technology behind it.  I always laugh because If I can, I will watch a film twice, once for the film itself and and another to really look at the FX and Animation. 
The first time I watched Avatar, I wasn’t really even aware of FX and animation, I was able to just enjoyed the film.  I can say that was the first time that had ever happened; there were a few times in Avatar, but generally I just got lost in the film.  Well, thinking back, I guess I didn’t think about the waves in The Perfect Storm and I am sure there were others.  

Sebastian Sylwan of Weta studios gives a TEDx talk exactly about this.  And states that, “through out history we have searched for and constructed more and more sophisticated tools to produce better more convincing representations for our stories.” and that even though today we are using cutting edge technologies, the next generation will just “push the boundaries of story telling even further.”  I can’t wait.

Check out Sebastian’s talk. 

Future of Museums?


Link to Virtual Model: http://3d.si.edu/explorer?modelid=55

Will all Museums have virtual exhibits in the future?  If students have access to these virtual exhibits with super detail, up close, and with virtual tool access, how will this change education?  How will it change all fields from medicine to archeology?  I have been telling my students for years that what ever your future career they end up in, 3D will be somehow be involved particularly in the STEM career paths.  Check out these videos on the Smithsonian’s X3d Project.  Super Cool!  ~Cornell


Virtual Models




Smithsonian X 3D – Overview - Meet the team and learn more about the Smithsonian x 3D project.


Smithsonian X 3D - What is 3D Digitization?


Smithsonian X 3D - Digitizing Collections


3D Scanning at the Smithsonian

What can you do to bring some of the Smithsonian's 137 million objects to life? Put them in 3D!
This is a full-time job for two of the Smithsonian's very own "laser cowboys," Vince Rossi and Adam Metallo, who work in the Smithsonian's 3D Digitization Program Office. They work hard to document, in very high three-dimensional detail, many of our priceless and important collections so that the objects are available for research, education and general interest.


Smithsonian X 3D – Conservation


Smithsonian X 3D - Education