VR CLAY

EN  / 日本語中文한국어

VR  3D modeling tools, 2022
l changeable x w changeable x h 200 mm (x x w x h  inch)
Fusion360, Keyshot, Unity
Arduino, Soft urethane, silicone, Stainless steel, TPU

 

 VR Clay is a haptic tool that enables sculpting in a VR environment, allowing users to feel the texture and sensation of clay with their hands. The discovery of pottery fragments in China in 2012 suggests that humans have been developing clay sculpting techniques for thousands of years. However, today’s predominant technologies involve using keyboards and mice on 2D monitors and printing with 3D printers, which, while maximizing accessibility and productivity, risk the loss of traditional sculpting techniques.

University sculpture departments are gradually disappearing, and even physical sculptors are required to learn digital sculpting. Many find the transition challenging due to the high entry barriers of digital sculpting. Surveys and interviews have revealed that professional digital sculptors and design students prefer physical sculpting techniques for their intuitive and instinctive nature, as adapting to new computer applications is burdensome.

VR-Clay leverages these familiar and instinctive sculpting skills in a digital format. This innovation allows for the continued development of traditional sculpting techniques, lowers the entry barriers for physical sculptors into digital sculpting, and saves digital sculptors from the time-consuming process of adapting to new applications. The integration of intuitive and instinctive clay sculpting techniques with digital tools promises more productive and creative activities.

 

 

 

Motivation

With the advancement of computer technology, humanity is losing the traditional sculpting techniques developed since they first began creating with clay.

This skill is an intuitive and instinctive behavior for humans. It develops from a very young age through tactile play. Even without instructions or education, humans learn to imagine and enjoy creating things by feeling and manipulating clay, honing their skills through tactile experience.

However, current computer sculpting applications rely on keyboards and mice on flat monitors, preventing us from effectively utilizing tactile sculpting techniques in a computer-based three-dimensional environment.

 
 

HMW 

How might we utilize tactile sculpting techniques in a three-dimensional environment with the advantages of computers?

 

How can humanity utilize the accumulated physical sculpting techniques in the realm of computers? How can physical sculptors employ their skills in a computer environment? How can computer sculptors create using their hands rather than relying on keyboards and mice? And are these questions even necessary? To address these curiosities, I conducted the following interviews and research.

 

 

 
 

 

Interview

With fine artists based on modeling

A. About physical sculpting

a1. What is your modeling process?

  1. Generating Ideas
  2. Rapid Shape Prototyping with Clay
  3. Sketching on Paper or Tablet
  4. Physical Modeling

a-2. What are the advantages of working with physical modelling?

  • The viewers can share the feeling of the artist touching the clay.
  • The artist’s emotions can be shared with the viewers. Viewers can feel the sincerity of the sculptor.

a-3. The matter has its own uniqueness, value, and vitality.

  • The physical space creates the atmosphere of the work.

a-4. What are the downsides of physical sculpting? It is affected by gravity.

  • The probability of failure is high. The financial burden is enormous. There is a risk of breakage.

a-5. What are computer sculpting apps similar to physical sculpting?

  • There is not.

 

B. About virtual sculpting

b-1. What are the advantages of working with digital sculpting?

  • It is possible to import previous work, copy, and paste it.
  • It takes up less space.
  • Less hard on the body. 

b-2. What are the downsides of working digitally?

  • It takes too much time to learn. It is not familiar.
  • Barriers to entry are too high.
  • Prediction is possible. leaves no aftertaste Expression is limited.
  • It does not exist in the real world.
  • It is too real to be unrealistic.
  • What happens in computer work is imitating, not real.

b-3. What needs to be improved in digital modelling?

  • I wish I could touch the clay.
  • I hope that unexpected results can be produced.
  • I hope I did not expect the result. I want the soil to harden.
  • I wish the concept of time were applied to materials over time.

 

With fine designers based on modeling

C. About physical sculpting

C-1. What is your modelling process?

  • Ideation – Sketching on the paper or tablet – Physical modelling

C-2. What are the advantages of working with physical modelling?

  • The user can understand the form more intuitively. Users can accurately grasp the volume and texture It can be created without learning the program.
  • I can make it the way I want it to feel.
  • Physical work is faster than computer work.
  • It is possible to understand the properties of materials.
  • The sculptor can communicate the material.
  • The sculptor can feel the touch.

C-3 What are the downsides of physical sculpting?

  • Expensive, Time consuming
  • My body aches, and I get dusty.

C-4 What are computer sculpting apps similar to physical sculpting?

  • Although “Zbrush” is similar to a physical modelling operation, it is not very similar.

 

D. About virtual sculpting

D-1. What are the advantages of working with digital sculpting?

  • Less hard on the body.
  • I can work without time and space constraints

D-2. What are the downsides of working digitally?

  • It is difficult to convey the sense of touch and texture used by the artist to the viewer.
  • It may be difficult to easily understand the shape three- dimensionally at once.
  • In order to implement an idea, you need to be proficient in the program you use.
  • You have to learn to program, you can’t see the real thing
  • I cannot feel the material with my hands.
  • It is difficult to grasp the light (illumination) and the three- dimensional shape of the model on the monitor.
  • this is not alive
  • The audience cannot feel the faint emotion, the pleasure they cannot do.

D-3. What needs to be improved in digital modelling?

  • Keyboards and mice are not enough for sculpting.
  • We need tools to replace them.
  • I wish I could touch and feel it in real time
  • It needs a simple way of working

 

 

SURVEY 

With Sculpture Students From 22 Universities In England And Korea, the members of Royal Society Of Sculptors and the Industrial design students From 22 Universities In England And Korea

 

1. “What is the first tool you use when creating three-dimensional artwork?”

1-1. To sculpture students at 22 universities in the UK and Korea

1-2. To the members of Royal Society Of Sculptors

1-3. To the Industrial design students From 22 Universities In England And Korea

2. What can be experienced in physical sculpting that cannot be replicated in computer sculpting?

2-1. To sculpture students at 22 universities in the UK and Korea

2-2. To the members of Royal Society Of Sculptors

2-3. To the Industrial design students From 22 Universities In England And Korea

 

3. If computer sculpting is developed to be similar to physical sculpting, who will benefit the most from computer sculpting?

3-1. To sculpture students at 22 universities in the UK and Korea

3-2. To the members of Royal Society Of Sculptors

3-3. To the Industrial design students From 22 Universities In England And Korea

 

4. Which do you think is more helpful for getting a job or a well-paying career: learning physical sculpting or computer sculpting?

4-1. To sculpture students at 22 universities in the UK and Korea

4-2. To the members of Royal Society Of Sculptors

4-3. To the Industrial design students From 22 Universities In England And Korea

 
 
 

Experiment

The solution came about serendipitously. While searching for materials on my desk to aid concentration, I have a habit of fidgeting with clay. One day, I mistakenly thought a water balloon was clay and held it in my hand for a long time.

Intrigued, I attached the water balloon to a glove for testing and gathered various materials to find those with textures closest to clay.

 

 

Test to prove function

 I then validated these tactile sensations and techniques with engineers from Imperial College and sculptors from the Royal College of Art.

Connection with Arduino

Connection with devices