Click above and go full screen to view our 2020 proposal for the Native Art Experience web portal!
Using our experience with the Seattle Art Museum and others, we would like to scan native cultural artifacts from all over Canada and make them freely accessible to everyone, using a responsive, scalable web portal and cloud apps to display photo-realistic 3d scans, museum virtual exhibits and tours as well as news related to native culture and archeology.
The concept came about in 2018 while working for a gallery, the manager of the gallery said it was the first time some of the objects had been exposed to lighting in 15 years and once I was done scanning, may be relegated to stage for decades longer. The work we were doing, giving objects a second life online, for anyone to access on any device was comforting to me and others. We would like to do this, on a large scale for Canada Native Culture, we owe them that much.
Fun fact: The first object we scanned in early 2013 was a statue, so today were going to look back at our favorite statue/art scans from the last 7 years!
Some of best examples we have from those early days were of Thai origin; there is something about the aged materials and the details employed on so many piece that make for a great scan. One of the ones we brought back from Thailand was this great metallic Buddha head:
Since then we have worked closely with Spirithouse to scan several more Thai objects and carvings, as well as other pacific nation artifacts:
When artist Ivan Eyre’s Birdwrap statue made its residency in Vancouver, I made a point to scan this amazing work and the results were excellent! The embedded model bellow is greatly reduced in size to 14k polygons:
While many of our scans are captured in the controlled comfort of a well-lit studios, there are times where you need to capture something onsite. Such is the totem at the front entrance of Lu’ma Native Housing Society on Nanaimo in Vancouver BC. Incorporated in 1980, the Society was initially incorporated to provide affordable housing to Aboriginal families and individuals with low to moderate income, currently operating just under 500 units of affordable housing
Expertly crafted by Nisga’a artist Mike Dangeli, the totems were officially unveiled on October 25th 2013 and have weathered the elements rather well since then, as they often do. After getting permission, I found an ideal cloudy day and in the middle of the day, with traffic zooming by at one of east Vancouver’s busiest intersections, I captured the left totem in about 15min (Both totems are nearly identical)
The 114 source images needed some processing even before getting into the compiler, at which point the background of each image had to be masked out to avoid unnecessary data points. The first compile level generated nearly 71 million points in the dense point cloud, which in turn created a 2,887,088 polygon mesh.
The process from 114 source images to polygon mesh
The 114 source images needed some processing even before getting into the compiler, at which point the background in each image had to be masked out to avoid unnecessary data points.
The resulting textured model was simply beautiful, capturing the most subtle carving details and wood grains. Special thanks to the administrative staff of LNHS!
When you work in real estate, you may see so many properties that you eventually get a bit numb to it all; the features, the views, the locations. But once in a while, you find something special so kicking off a new 604 Scans feature “Homes Gone Past”, we will look at 135 Turtlehead Road in Port Moody/Belcarra.
“The Twin Princes”
That was the nickname the locals gave the twin 70s waterfront homes on Turtlehead Road, which were built at the same time, mere feet from each other, something that would spell trouble nearly 50 years later…
My path would cross the Twin Princes in the summer of 2015 when I was tasked with capturing the southern prince for an estate sale. The location wasn’t great for those without a car, in fact it featured one of the lowest “walk score” Ive ever seen at a whopping 3/100 but then again, that was part of the charm of this exclusive area. While only 40min from downtown Vancouver, the Belcarra Peninsula home was nested on a quiet and isolated North Shore of Port Moody. Perched above the entrance to Indian Arm, the many outdoor areas featured jaw dropping views of Deep Cove and the mountains, as well as a gorgeous pool carved into the cliff side and water access.
The interior was a mish-mash of updated touches while harking back to its 70’s roots, including a ridiculously spacious layout that only yielded 2bed/3bath! On my first walk-through I remembered thinking “I Could live here” and it took a lot to impress me, and really, everyone has their preferences.
It went on to be sold in March of 2016 and I always wondered who the lucky person was… Did they appreciate it? Love it? Was it rented out? Left vacant as an investment? Soon enough the princes faded from my memory, to be replaced by scores of other properties, as the downturn of late 2016 prompted many to sell.
But when in April 9th 2017, I heard about flames consuming a hilllside in the area, my heart sank… A small electrical fire had ignited in the basement suite of the Northern Prince. The geography made putting it out virtually impossible without a firefighting vessel, which was being used on the other side of lower mainland. Soon the blaze spread to the Southern Prince and both buildings were lost…
CTV News Report on the fire:
Strange to form an attachment to a property I didn’t even own or even lived in but during my afternoon there, it felt like home.
As of 2018, the site is bulldozed flat, the mystery is what will become of it? The houses, along with the memories, are fading and gone, while the land is reclaimed by nature…
One of the main advantages of 3d scanning is the relatively quick creation of props, something that can make filling a 3d scene VERY expensive. When we can cut down the modelling time by a factor of 10, especially for complex objects, the choice is simple.
One of our largest contracts of 2017 was for a kitchen scene in a photorealistic animation for VFX house Hydraulx. The fruits, veggies and carbs we captured that summer were used in several shots, from background objects to closeups.
Today were going to expand on our look back at Disguise; our collaboration with The Seattle Art Museum.
I was first contacted last year by a SAM representative regarding the potential use of photogrammetry and color 3D printing to bring the public closer than ever to priceless artifacts in a major summer exhibition. The project turned out to be ‘Disguise’, a summer exhibition examining the role of masks in ancient cultures. Through 3d scanning and printing, the goal was to allow visitors to touch and feel some masks, some had never been displayed in public .
The first task was to handbuild a custom turntable to accommodate the artifacts, which ranged in size from 7″ to 4 feet long. We also assembled a rig of low-heat lighting to eliminate any risk of damaging the pieces.
Some of the masks were extremely delicate, which made the process quite challenging but the team persevered and everything was scanned within the allotted time booked with the pieces.
Once the data was secured, there were a few weeks of solid weeks of processing ahead. The project required the highest possible detail level and we pushed the tools to the limit and in a few cases, beyond their limits.
Everything went fairly smoothly on the processing side but the relatively new color 3D printing process brought along several challenges before we ended up with the results we wanted.
The masks presented as 3D renders
In the end, we delivered 12 replicas of the masks at a stunning level of detail, on time. Disguise was an amazing project to be involved with and we are always looking forward to more projects with Museums. The exhibition wrapped in early September, after a wildly successful late summer run.
Today on “Homes Gone By”, were probably going to ask questions with no answers, specifically about the heritage home on East 11TH Avenue in Vancouver.
“Lack of electrical light fixtures, daytime showing preferred”
I got the heads up, same as any potential buyers who wanted a showing; the home was a heritage renovation that was halted, I assume foreclosure. In a popular and accessible area of East Vancouver, the property was buffered from Clark Drive traffic by the 8 acre China Creek South Park.
Once inside I was told to be careful, as there was a hole in the floor near the strangest staircase Ive ever seen.
The entrance and the staircase to the top floor were the first of several unique, if not Escher-like design choices in the home, you can even see a curved entry to the basement stairs under the main staircase. It wasn’t all curves though, this 1910 heritage home needed a number of original touches like the amazing wood flooring and windows. The kitchen featured a swooping tile/wood line and I could only imagine the cabinetry that was going to match that… This was a labor of love…
Once downstairs, the extra height was perfect for a large shop or a future suite/living space, at the time it was the main shop used for the home reno.
With many efficiency upgrades throughout, including next generation insulation, lighting and an on-demand 12-zone hot water system
The top floor was unfinished at the time, it seemed to be the sleeping quarters for the person working on the reno.. What happened? Run out of money? Personal Issues? I have to be honest and say it was a little sad, seeing a project unfinished, the potential never reached…
The backyard was back to the curves with a strange concrete border and small grass area, I didn’t quite get it myself but I have to say, the garage was stunning.
Once again I’m left with more questions than answers, maybe I’ll drive by one day and see if somebody finally finished the old house on 11th…