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p 43 • FALL/WINTER 2010

“Red Tailed Hawk” (2008) (figure 8) is a work by artist Michael Stutz made of a lattice of woven bronze strips. Christopher Pardell helped Stutz by using FreeForm to design both the Hawk form and the steel armature that would fit inside Stutz’ large-scale work. Manipulating FreeForm’s digital clay as if it were real, Pardell was able to rapidly define a structurally sound yet evocative design of the natural contours of a bird in flight. Attempting to create a shape like this in traditional CAD programs would require inputting a series of numbers, but in FreeForm, Pardell simply shaped, pulled, and stretched the digital clay by feel, using the PHANTOM Omni® haptic device. After finalizing the armature’s shape, Pardell used the digital model to define cross-sectional profiles in 3 planes, and created a set of patterns for plywood bucking, around which artist Stutz wrapped bronze strips.

Simon Goodall

Both a painter and a traditionally trained sculptor, Simon Goodall, based in London, prefers to paint using oils, but to sculpt using digital tools because of their “creative freedom.”

“Sean” (2010) (figure 9) reflects his interest in interpreting natural life studies digitally.


literally props the computer monitor from his FreeForm system on an easel in the studio, with his subject posed in front of him. Digital sculpting allows him to quickly create whatever he can imagine – speed and freedom not offered by clay. Using FreeForm’s ball sculpting and tug tools, he can focus on the feeling of creating the sculpture,

using tools that are similar to clay sculpting tools. The ability to ‘pop’ through to the inside of the digital model and sculpt from the inside out is a huge benefit, and a major difference from physical sculpting. For Simon, digital sculpting is also a bridge into new media such as video, a new interest for him.

NEW TOOLS, CLASSIC RESULTS While some may debate the merits of computers in creating art, digital tools are being embraced and acknowledged for what they do well. “And why not?” say an increasing number of professionals. Artists have always adapted new technologies to present classic concepts with fresh vision. In the right hands, digital sculpting solutions can significantly enhance the creative process –

removing tedious processes and

freeing the twenty-first century artist for greater exploration.

Figure 9. “Sean,” (2010), Simon Goodall

(photo credit: Simon Goodall)

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