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Clay sculptural sketch of Archimedes and environs

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#1 kraterkid

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 03:12 AM

Hi folks,

Here's my latest "sketch" in the Lunar Observing Forum.

#2 kraterkid

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 03:50 PM

I finally got a cheap webcam so I could do a fly over of my clay sketch of Archimedes and environs, here is "Landing in Archimedes" . Please forgive the shaky grip and bad lighting.

#3 rolandlinda3

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 06:14 PM

Rich, looks beautiful to me. Kept going back. Kept smiling.

#4 kraterkid

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 06:29 PM

Thanks Roland, :D

Just wish the lens housing was smaller so I could get a view closer to the surface, a little closer to what it would look like if you were surveying the scene from the surface.

#5 JayinUT

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 07:13 PM

Rich,

I will be unoriginal but simply amazing. I love the use of light on the sculpture and the effect it has. Love it! Are you going to do more?

#6 frank5817

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 07:37 PM

Rich,

You could have told us you were tired of waiting for NASA to return to the moon so you took it upon yourself to just go there. :lol: Really, really cool stuff Rich. :bow: :cool: :rainbow: How large is this clay model and is it light enough to move? :question:
When you get some more time I wish you would continue with these sculptures. This is very impressive.:waytogo:

Frank :)

#7 kraterkid

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 08:19 PM

Thanks Jay and Frank! :D

Jay, I'm working on one now of the Montes Riphaeus that is about twice this size. Then I'm planning on doing a huge clay sculpture of Mare Nectaris, but expect that one to take several observing sessions to fully complete. I'll be doing fly overs of each when I finish the reliefs.

Frank, sketching the Moon using modeling clay is such a kick and the added benefit of being able to adjust the lighting later to simulate different lunar days is incredible. Add to that the fun of playing with the webcam trying to keep the field of view within the model in order to create a movie and I think you can see how addictive this can become. The model is 13" x 11" and weighs about 8 pounds.

I'm hoping to try some new techniques of guiding the webcam along the viewing trajectory to make all the motions as smooth as possible. Any suggestions from folks who have tried similar projects would be greatly appreciated.

#8 Tommy5

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 08:29 PM

That is very ,very, cool thanks for sharing.

#9 kraterkid

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 08:36 PM

Thanks Tommy! :D

#10 Jef De Wit

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 01:52 PM

Rich, I'm deeply impressed. I send your piece of art to the mailing list of my astroclub. In a post some days ago I asked it was possible to work in 3-D. I think your model is a definitive answer!

#11 Aldebaran

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 02:03 PM

Wow, very impressive work, Rich! It's amazing how accurately you have rendered all the details in that area of the Moon! :D

#12 kraterkid

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 05:17 PM

Thanks so much Jef and Juha! :D

This kind of sketch, although it does take some preparation, is very rewarding. I think anyone who can sketch the Moon can create a clay sketch. Just takes a little practice and time at the scope. I'm waiting for the right lighting to start my next one, but I am so excited about doing it again.

#13 perfessor

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 10:41 PM

Rich, that's awesome. I want to see more!

#14 kraterkid

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 10:30 AM

Thanks Tom! :D

I'll definitely be doing more clay sketches and fly overs with the webcam, they have actually opened a whole new way of looking at the Moon for me. I enjoy the challenge of interpreting the topography at the eyepiece from the shadows cast and the sculpting of the model on the spot. I really want to encourage others to give this a try, it is a real kick!

#15 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 12:53 AM

Neat!

As a first attempt at getting smoother motions for your fly-throughs, how about creating a 'track' from stiff wire (such as hanger wire, as can be found in any DIY store). The scale of your models is small enough that the supports may need only be a post at each end of the 'track'. The webcam could hang by a simple loop of (not-so-stiff) wire, the loop being just large enough to allow some degree of rotation for those creativs pans while 'flying'.

It would still require some steadiness on your part, but at least one degree of freedom would be made smoother.

I'd love to see more of this!!

#16 kraterkid

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 10:30 AM

Thanks Glenn! :D

Great idea, I wasn't able to locate any stiff wire around the house, so I tried another technique. I affixed the webcam to the end of a long wooden dowel and slowly moved the model around underneath it. it's still a little jerky, but it's a big improvement over my first efforts. Here's the new video, "Flying over Archimedes and environs" . I'm going to try your suggestions when I get a chance to pick up the right guide wire. A friend of mine wants to try mounting the webcam to a battery powered motor from a toy car and enable the cam to ride the wire loop. How exciting and addictive this has become! :whee:

#17 frank5817

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 09:09 PM

Rich,

Great work! The close up detail in this model is fantastic. The videocam doing the fly over simulation adds a whole new wonderful dimension to this clay model and its well made detailed appearance. :cool: :bow: :rainbow: :bow:

#18 kraterkid

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 11:06 PM

Thanks Frank! :D

This is such a cool way to sketch. I thought I'd try one of Copernicus and environs soon, maybe tomorrow night or the next, then I'm going to do one of the Montes Ripheaus. I want to do something larger because it's easier to keep the webcam within the area of the model. I've got enough clay to do one 20" x 20". I'm just not sure I'll be able to do that in one session. I learned a new trick too. I use 1/2" thick Elmers foam core board and lay a 1/4" thick clay layer over it. I discovered that if you take a wet sponge and coat one side of the core board with it, it causes the board to become concave on one side and convex on the other. This is perfect because it simulates the radius of curvature of the Moon. So the next model will have the benefit of this added dimension as well, something I am eager to incorporate into these clay sketches.

#19 Special Ed

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 06:43 PM

Rich,

You have kicked imaging and sketching up a whole notch with these sculptures--absolutely fascinating. Don't be too modest--this not something just anyone could do. What is needed is a good eye, good hands, and a thorough knowledge of Luna. :bow:

I hope you have submitted your sculptures to LPOD.

#20 frank5817

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 07:17 PM

Michael,

Check out the LPOD for August 2, 2009. You have been very busy getting ready for school and missed it.

Frank :)

#21 kraterkid

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 07:32 PM

Thanks so much Michael! :D

It helps to keep a playful attitude about this approach. I do agree though, doing these with realism means applying my best understanding of lunar topography and surficial albedo. It's really amazing how it seems to combine the sketching aspects of shape and contour with the sense of depth that you are determining from the shading that you see at the eyepiece. But keeping it realistic means avoiding exaggerated vertical dimensions, something that is easy to do because of the long shadows near the terminator. That's why I prefer lunar mid morning or mid afternoon light on the features I am sketch sculpting. Funny that when I first tried this medium I did not think it would be possible to do this at the scope.

I was honored to have my clay sketch of Archimedes and environs posted by Charles Wood for the August 2nd, 2009 LPOD. Oops, Frank beat me to it! :o Thanks Frank! :grin:

#22 frank5817

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 09:15 PM

Rich,

Sorry I should have waited to let you answer Michael.
This has been a great month of excitment for you thinking about all the potential here with a very unique way of representing the eyepiece view of the lunar surface. Your idea of warping the base of your next attempt to simulate lunar curvature will add additional realism.
I hope you have clear skies for your next adventure.

Frank :)

#23 kraterkid

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 10:23 PM

That's cool Frank, I appreciate the thought. :D

I'm going out tonight, perhaps I'll try Copernicus, including the Montes Carpatus, Eratosthenes, and Reinhold. Lots going on in the area, it'll definitely be a real challenge. Like I said though, it may take more than one session to complete. We've had some flow of moisture from Mexico today, I just hope it stays clear at night.

#24 Special Ed

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 10:12 AM

Rich and Frank,

Thanks for the link and congratulations on the LPOD, Rich. I never seem to be able to keep up with all the fine work posted here, much less comment on them, but I would have hated to miss this one. Looking forward to more lunar sculptures. :)

#25 kraterkid

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 01:15 PM

Thanks Michael,

Unfortunately, I didn't get out early enough to start my clay sketch of Copernicus and environs, so I did some imaging of the area instead and called it a night. Perhaps tonight.






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