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Old 04-15-2013, 05:43 PM   #1
Ian31R
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Best clay for 3d scanning

I was wondering what would be the best reusable clay to use for 3d scanning. I don't plan on painting the clay, so I just care about getting the geometry scanned in, that's because I wanted to be able to reuse the clay after I scan it in. Also I was hoping to find a decent clay that wouldn't dry out very quickly, in case I need to scan it in again after a couple days, and then make another sculpture. Also I need it to keep a decent amount of detail.

I was thinking maybe Super Sculpey or Super Sculpey FIRM Gray, but from my experience, it seems to dry out pretty quick, and can require a lot of kneading. Is there a way of keeping the clay soft for a while? Also Sculpey can be expensive just for one brick of it. I know there are many different types of clay, and I've really only used the Sculpey clays, so I'm sure there has to be better alternatives.
 
Old 04-15-2013, 05:54 PM   #2
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Fro msome of my buds I have heard some great things about supersculpey.
http://www.sculpey.com/products/clays/super-sculpey

I have not tried it myself, but I might soon.

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Old 04-15-2013, 06:23 PM   #3
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I haven't tried the Firm gray, but $9 for a pound of it isn't bad - http://www.amazon.com/Super-Sculpey...=I1RFOQTKIN2OP2 I wonder if you can use certaing types of oils to keep it soft, or maybe use water to soften it back up. I'm mainly worried about the sculpture cracking, if I leave it out for a while.
 
Old 04-15-2013, 07:13 PM   #4
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Roma Plastilina Modeling Clay
"One of the world's finest modeling materials, Roma Plastilina is the renowned choice of professional sculptors. An oil-based, non-hardening modeling compound, Roma Plastilina is permanently pliable and works smoothly. It's available in four consistencies:
Soft, used for making large sculptures.
Medium, generally used for portrait heads, busts, and figure work.
Medium-Firm, used in making models and smaller objects;
Extra-Hard, used in highly detailed work."

You can find it pretty much everywhere.
 
Old 04-15-2013, 07:18 PM   #5
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Just saw this also

"How to Make Roma Plastilina Modeling Clay

http://www.ehow.com/how_7730923_mak...eling-clay.html

"Roma Plastilina is an oil-based modeling clay manufactured by Sculpture House, Inc. Because it is easy to work oil-based clays into fine details, it is commonly used to help create molds. However, most people would know oil-based clays because of their use in stop-animation -- also known as "claymation" -- films and commercials. This is because the oil content allows the clay to remain permanently malleable. While the quality of store-bought oil-based clays is reliable, they are sometimes cost-prohibitive. If you are up for experimentation, you can use a simple recipe to create your very own version of the fine Roma Plastilina Clay found in art supply stores."

Read more: How to Make Roma Plastilina Modeling Clay | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_7730923_mak...l#ixzz2QYqp7evJ
 
Old 04-15-2013, 08:58 PM   #6
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3d scanning works on most diffuse materials and clay is pretty diffuse in the right lighting. So just find a clay you like to work with.

1. Personally I use water based clay for everything because it's super cheap, you can easily jump from being thick and heavy to loose by just adding. You just need to cover it with a damp cloth when your not working with it. Only bad thing is it isn't that great for really small objects.

2. Supersculpey was was second favorite clay but you really need to kneed it for a while before it gets a nice workable state. It is nice though that you can change it's consistency and make it softer by kneading it more because it is a plastic like material. The trouble though is that it is quite expensive for how much you get.

3. Oil based clay (Roma Plastilina) is least favorite. It works fine but I find it just so slow to work with. It stays the same consistency all the time and you have to pre-choose if you want hard/medium/soft and then your stuck with that forever.

If you have issues with a scan you can always spray it with something like "Magnaflux Spotcheck Developer" or another white coating which gets rid of the bright specular highlights off objects and makes it very diffuse so the laser doesn't reflect off the surface.
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:06 PM   #7
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As a rule of thumb...

What is important is that the colour of the clay is not dark....(i.e. dark brown or black) light colours are preferable.

Avoid anything shiny or translucent, specular highlights are very bad when it comes to scanning.

Avoid anything that will create light absorption.

Have fun!

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Old 04-15-2013, 09:11 PM   #8
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Looking through art books, it looks like most animation studios use Chavant clay.
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Old 04-15-2013, 10:56 PM   #9
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Hey thanks a lot for the advice guys. I guess I'll just have to experiment with different clays. Roma Plastilina clay sounds interesting, since it keeps its consistency. The Chavant clay looks interesting as well. I'd probably want to go with the medium consistency, so I wouldn't need to do too much kneading, but it will still have decent detail.

In general, I have a lot of experimentation to do, since I still have to get a 3d scanner. I plan on making my own scanning rig, and I'm trying to decide between a laser scanning approach or a photogrammetry approach. I figure both would be easier than scanning using light projection, like with a projector, and cheaper than getting a Kinect. I might do something similar to this rig for 123D Catch - http://www.instructables.com/id/Cam...for-123D-Catch/

Its funny, the parts for that rig were 3d printed, so he had to print to scan.

Last edited by Ian31R : 04-15-2013 at 11:46 PM.
 
Old 04-15-2013, 11:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian31R
The Chavant clay looks interesting as well. I'd probably want to go with the medium consistency, so I wouldn't need to do too much kneading, but it will still have decent detail.


I would recomend getting the firm. Chavant clay softens with heat, so you can just put it next to a light bulb to soften it, while getting it harder in order to add fine details is a bit trickier (you can leave it the freezer for a few hours, or you can use caned air upside down).
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:15 PM   #11
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Scanning, unless you have the most intricate details and can't afford pooling, should be irrelevant, as if you want perfect results you can just prime up any clay for the scanning.

Choose based on what you want to sculpt and how.

There are many clays, and while the speed they dry at and their volume retention are key attributes, not all are best suited to all scales and types of models. Some can only take so much weight or be rolled around the armature so finely before they start cracking in the over or parting when wetted.

And there's the hugely personal factor of your sensibility and what you prefer for sculpting, I absolutely hated some clays that some other people were singing the praise of.

I would strongly recommend you buy a few and do a very basic roughing pass around some rolled metal wire hangers of the tougher volumes your model will have, and pick for yourself.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meloncov
I would recomend getting the firm. Chavant clay softens with heat, so you can just put it next to a light bulb to soften it, while getting it harder in order to add fine details is a bit trickier (you can leave it the freezer for a few hours, or you can use caned air upside down).


Well I have canned air, and I could always get a blow dryer or heat gun to add heat. I just think it would be so awesome to have a workflow of sculpting out models, then digitizing them, and touching them up afterwards. Too bad there isn't any clay that doesn't leave a mess.

Last edited by Ian31R : 04-15-2013 at 11:21 PM.
 
Old 04-15-2013, 11:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThE_JacO
Scanning, unless you have the most intricate details and can't afford pooling, should be irrelevant, as if you want perfect results you can just prime up any clay for the scanning.

Choose based on what you want to sculpt and how.

There are many clays, and while the speed they dry at and their volume retention are key attributes, not all are best suited to all scales and types of models. Some can only take so much weight or be rolled around the armature so finely before they start cracking in the over or parting when wetted.

And there's the hugely personal factor of your sensibility and what you prefer for sculpting, I absolutely hated some clays that some other people were singing the praise of.

I would strongly recommend you buy a few and do a very basic roughing pass around some rolled metal wire hangers of the tougher volumes your model will have, and pick for yourself.


Thanks for the reply. Yeah I definitely agree that I have to experiment. I probably shouldn't have asked for the "best" clay. I figured there would be a bunch of different opinions, since it would be like asking what is the best modeling software. I mainly wanted to see what people were specifically using for 3d scanning, and get a discussion about what their experiences where with the different clays.

I don't even have any specific types of models in mind. Its probably a lot harder to sculpt hard surfaces with clay, so maybe I'll try to sculpt environmental things, like rock walls or cliffs, who knows? Doing characters with armatur would be nice to scan, but I probably would get better results just modeling from scratch, instead of sculpting, mainly because I don't see myself making perfectly detailed sculptures anytime soon.
 
Old 04-15-2013, 11:44 PM   #14
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Unlike for software, asking what's the best clay or paint isn't against the rules, at least you got a few brands listed

Sculpting hard surfaces with clay is actually perfectly possible, but normally, before CAM, it used to be a last pass after wood work, which worked better for the polish pass.

Things like rocks, cliffs and so on you are going into diorama territory, often times a mix of cork layers with watered chalk for the low frequency texture and epoxies for finish. You can use clay or various sculps, but for anything of scale it's extremely expensive and can get impractical.

Can I ask what exactly you're after? You just want to learn to sculpt practically, or you actually have a project in mind?
Clay and its equivalents are not all that is used for sculpting, especially in the realistic modelling work or in the SFX/miniatures work.
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:05 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThE_JacO
Unlike for software, asking what's the best clay or paint isn't against the rules, at least you got a few brands listed

Sculpting hard surfaces with clay is actually perfectly possible, but normally, before CAM, it used to be a last pass after wood work, which worked better for the polish pass.

Things like rocks, cliffs and so on you are going into diorama territory, often times a mix of cork layers with watered chalk for the low frequency texture and epoxies for finish. You can use clay or various sculps, but for anything of scale it's extremely expensive and can get impractical.

Can I ask what exactly you're after? You just want to learn to sculpt practically, or you actually have a project in mind?
Clay and its equivalents are not all that is used for sculpting, especially in the realistic modelling work or in the SFX/miniatures work.


I really don't have a specific project in mind,. The main project for me next will be fabricating the scanner. I've always been fascinated with the idea of digitizing an object, and being able to destroy it, but still have a digital copy of it. It seems more fascinating than even printing models out.

I don't have an expensive Cintiq or tablet for 3d sculpting, so I figured what would be closer to digitally sculpting, than sculpting with real clay, and scanning it in?

I remember seeing a behind the scenes of one of the star wars movies, a while back and they show the different sculptures they did out of clay for different rock formations and stone arches, that they scanned in for the movie. The technique you mentioned with cork sounds interesting. I also remember seeing a video recently of someone painting wood chunks to look like rock.

I plan on scanning in various foods, like fruits and vegetables also. It'll just be nice to be able to scan in whatever I want, when I'm finished with the rig. Maybe I'll post it when the rigs done.

Last edited by Ian31R : 04-16-2013 at 12:14 AM.
 
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