Dec 092016

Otto Lilienthal, a German pioneer of aviation. Body sculpted by Phú Nguyễn.

I just finished sculpting two digital portraits for a museum exhihit on the history of flight. One is of Otto Lilienthal, a German inventor of a glider in late 1800s, and the other is of John Uptigrove, a contemporary Canadian designer of a very small helicopter.

Photo of Otto Lilienthal

Otto Lilienthal “was the first person to make well-documented, repeated, successful gliding flights. Newspapers and magazines published photographs of Lilienthal gliding, favorably influencing public and scientific opinion about the possibility of flying machines becoming practical.”

My portrait sculpture of Lilienthal

The challenge mainly lay within the scarcity of reference photos of both characters. The vastly different moments when the photos were taken, where the character in question sometimes looked like completely different individuals, posed another problem for the artist to resolve.

A tiny photo of John Uptigrove

Uptigrove in T-shirt and jeans. Body sculpted by Phú Nguyễn.

The allowed timeframe was fairly tight, and the sculpts were intended for 3D printed figurines, so my main focus was to hit the likeness as much as possible.

My portrait sculpture of Uptigrove

If you have a hero or heroine of whom you would love to have a 3D printed portrait sculpture, feel free to drop me a line.

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