Sunday, August 14, 2011
The campaign for less detail
All this investigation of 3D printing has me a little worried. As the technology improves, the results will be perfect. Worse, it's possible to print in colour. Combine this with 3D scanning and model making as we know it will be superfluous. Just take your scanner down to the prototype and a few days later you have an absolutely perfect miniature replica.
That doesn't sound much fun to me. Where are the burnt fingers ? The sticky patches on the modelling board evidencing the use of glue ? The aroma of Humbrol paint ?
But then it occurred to me. There will still be a place for it. History has taught us that.
It's the difference between painting and photography.
If I want an accurate record of something I take a photo. Assuming I can use a camera and not get my finger over the lens, the result will be a perfect, accurate, representation of whatever it was I pointed the front of the box at. Anyone can do it with varying degrees of success.
On the other hand people still paint. Others still buy their paintings. We haven't closed the National Gallery just because some of the images aren't as realistic as we might like. In fact some of them are downright hopeless.
So in the future we will have people putting together hyper-accurate models using the latest technology. For a while we will stand in awe as the perfect scene plays out in front of us at an exhibition. Then we will wander off and see the impressionistic version put together by some bloke with cardboard, bits of sawdust and painty fingers. They won't be as accurate it's true, but they will have personality and feeling.
In fact you could argue that the quest for every more realistic and detailed models is the highway to nowhere. At some point you will be overtaken by the technology. On the other hand, blokes in sheds will still enjoy making models, just with less detail. So join us in the bodger camp - you know it makes sense !