Jody Garrett Prints a Goat Skull that Screams “Fantasy”
by Fabian | February 17, 2015
The world of 3D printed fantasy design is unlike any other: it not only imagines another world, it makes it real! Jody Garrett designed a goat skull that looks like it’s straight from “Pan’s Labyrinth” with an incredible level of detail by using i.materialise’s Gray Resin material and his outstanding hand-painting skills. Read on for our interview with Jody and learn how he combines tools and inspirations to create dark fantasy objects such as this “Goat Skull”.
Hello Jody, tell us a bit about yourself. What do you do in your everyday life?
I’m employed with a great group of people, the Neenan Company. We’re an integrated architecture and construction company based in Fort Collins, CO. I provide the ArchViz services for our design team.
What is this skull you were working on?
The goat skull was a culmination of training exercises I completed in order to learn ZBrush and evaluate 3D printing. The project provided a sufficient challenge for both.
Where did you get your inspiration from?
I had recently picked up the illustrated book, “MC Escher: His Life and Complete Graphic Work”. The book described the account of his drawings and prints, as well as a glimpse into Escher’s personal life. Escher fell short of balancing his marriage and family responsibilities with his own career ambitions. The notion that one’s appetite for making pretty objects is seemingly always in conflict with the people he holds close is one I can relate with. So, after translating several Escher prints for practice, I created the goat skull, an animal of many conflicting symbolic interpretations.
Can you describe your style in just a few words?
In a few words, no, not so much. I haven’t knowingly found my style. But, I have many influences, from anime to pre-historic cave drawings. It’s a confluence of styles that interests me most. The skull for example was an attempt to combine Art Nouveau and classical British gun engraving. If there is a common inspiration for me it would be a sense of technical competency.
I most recently completed a Wacom pen holder that I was going to print in color. I got busy with life and forgot that it existed until you asked. I think for that particular work I was over-reaching to fit into the CG crowd. It was a miss-fire. When I do find my style, I believe it will embody a natural presence. Meaning, it will have the appearance of being naturally formed and not labored and forced. I think this is what draws me to printing in 3D. It gives something back to the digital artist that traditional onscreen rendering methods have taken away.
When did you start using 3D printing technology?
I first tried 3D printing two years ago. My daughter and I created these wacky food-safe lollipop molds out of the prints and made custom candy. The pencil is still my most beloved tool but I use a few others.
Which 3D design software do you use most?
I begin modeling in 3DS Max, usually just a crude poly-box model. Then in ZBrush I dynamesh and have a back and forth with 3DS Max. I’m not overthinking too much… just sub-tooling and merging until the model is close. I sometimes do some selective subdividing, like in the case of the skull, to keep the overhead down. Generally, I find 3DS Max’s viewport and manipulation controls far superior to the ZBrush Transpose tools. Most importantly, I focus on building at the imposed material tolerances and set up selection sets for easier clean up as the faces increase with each subdivision. Of course Decimation Master in ZBrush is a no-brainer for printing, followed up with netfabb.
And which materials do you prefer?
Haha, my favorite materials are always the most expensive ones to print with. Anything capable of holding detail with minimal stair stepping is an obvious plus. Stereolithography has performed well for me. I’m not too hot on Fused Deposition Modeling.
What’s next and what are you working on now?
I’m going to create a Quapaw Indian tribe-inspired pistol grip engraving as a gift for my father. I think this is a natural progression from the previous skull project.