Tools for recreating 3D models from movie

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  06 June 2017
Tools for recreating 3D models from movie

Greetings everyone !

A little summer project I would to work on is 3D modelling and printing. More specifically, what I would like to do is, for instance, take some artifact from a movie (say Gandalf's wizard staff in LOTR) and print it 3D. Now I imagine most of the work will have to be done manually (basically copying from screenshots of the movie), but I was wondering if there's any tech that could somewhat help in doing this?

My second question is: which 3D software would be best suited to this kind of work? I am a first year engineering student, so I have a light background in CATIA V5 (basic modelling techniques and assembly design). But I have been told that CATIA is more suited to purely engineering work and is a bit of an Overkill for creative work. Is that true? If so, which 3D software would you guys suggest?

Thank you !

  06 June 2017
Sounds like a neat project you've got there.

What I'll suggest is the lower end of the scale in terms of cost and timeframe to completion, since this is a fun activity. So rather than recommend tools that are industry spec I'll just recommend the most efficient solution short term for the time being.

Firstly software, probably Blender renown as the 'hobbyist's' goto but nowadays practically on par with most industry standard DCC (Digital Content Creation)*applications with an added bonus of being 100% free. The link below overviews a workflow detailing setup-content creation-export ing* an.stl*(STereoLithography)*formatted file for 3D printing plus this step by step tutorial requires no previous 3D modeling experience:

Prepare your model for 3D printing with Blender

Further recommendations, a couple of low cost printers that range between $70 -*$130 USD and other relevant 3D printing programs:

A8 Large Desktop 3D Printer Kit High Resolution with LCD Display

Dremel 3D40

Various 3D Printing Tools

For references, yes possibly ripped online*images of the object in orthographic (2D view) view or something similar to the end result. So here's a project I'd found that might be usable, it's a user tutorial making a foam copy of the staff:

Gandalf Staff


CGTalk 3D Printing show thread*

Some kickass stuff of what people have made.


  06 June 2017
Thanks man for the detailed response ! I'll look into all of this.

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