Luís Carlos is passionate about Computer Vision, electronics, 3D printing and programming, and like many others working in those fields, his hobbies follow similar lines. His enthusiasm and led him to work in cooperation with The Mill in a unique project - a life-sized replica of Sonoya Mizuno, the dancer starring in the Chemical Brothers “Wide Open” promo video:
How did this come about?
Luís: The story behind this project is quite interesting, since it all happened somewhat by accident and thanks to a fair amount of luck.
Late January this year, Chemical Brothers published their new “Wide Open” video, which was created by The Mill. I spotted it on YouTube’s homepage by chance and the cover image was quite interesting, so I took a peek. As I started watching I had a passionate gut reaction to it - it’s simply fantastic, blending together a number of technologies: 3D motion capture, video effects, and 3D printing, all things that I care very much about.
What did you find most impressive?
What caught my attention was that the structure in which Sonoya Mizuno (the dancer) transforms herself along the video is based on Voronoi structures, which are well known in the world of 3D printing, one of my biggest passions. I think I watched that video over ten times in a row without blinking - it’s simply gorgeous and brilliant, and I had this enormous desire to print that fantastic model.
How did you get in touch with The Mill?
Unfortunately (and obviously), it was impossible to find the model data online. So I had the idea of emailing the producers, with this naive idea that it would be somehow possible to print the model. I e-mailed as many contacts as I could find in relation to the videoclip, explaining how passionate I was about the notion of printing it, but without any real hope of getting an answer.
After a week I got an enthusiastic reply back from The Mill. They were quite keen on the idea, so we talked over the matter for a few days with a number of people, and in the end they sent me the model to print.
Tell us a little about the printing process
At the time I only had a regular commercial printer, a Prusa i3, which was small and slow. For this kind of printing the ideal approach was to do it with higher quality, faster, and using ABS. Over a couple of weeks or so I built a replica of the open source Vulcanus Max40 printer, designed by my friend Aldric Négrier from RepRapAlgarve and adapted it for printing in ABS.
Then I started printing, taking around three weeks to print and assemble all the parts. I printed two models - one to send to The Mill, where it’s currently on display on their main hall dressed as in the video clip.
The other model I kept at home, where I can proudly look at it every day :)