Hey everyone! Just thought I’d let all of you loyal readers (Hi Mom!) know that I recently started doing commissions. Fast, quality, and cheap! What else could you ask for? Apply now, before one of the three changes (Too late! As of 2018 It’s no longer as cheap, fast, and quality as it used to be).
I prefer working from concept art or sketches, but I can go off of a description as well. I’ve been doing 3D graphics for a while now. Something about the pure geometry and creativity appeals to me. If you need a 3D model or a rendering of a 3D model, send me an e-mail! I specialize in un-textured models, especially stuff that has to exist in real life, like water-tight geometry for 3d printing, and low poly models for pepakura papercraft fabrication. I’m rubbish at digitizing human faces though, so, you are forewarned. I mean, they will still look like a human, just, probably not anyone you would recognize.
There must be a LargeNumber of 3D modeling services out there, but now…
LargeNumber += 1
Also, I don’t have a place to comment on my 3D models on my website, so this can serve as a place to put those comments. If you’ve seen, enjoyed, wanted to change, despised, or otherwise had anything to say about my 3D graphics, here’s the place! Leave your comments below.
Everything I make is, as far as it depends on me, free from intellectual property restrictions. If you like what I make, and would me to make more of it, consider becoming a patron of my work.
Hi! I randomly ran across your 3D Blender butterfly model. I find it extremely impressive and spent some time yesterday poking around in your file to learn from it.
One quick question — I was toying with making the wings flap, and notice that the part of the wings close to the thorax/body of the bug appears locked into position (does not move freely with the rest of the wing). I’m curious why this is, if you somehow locked those points into position so that it is separate from the rest of the object? Anyways I think your butterfly looks great.
I hope you don’t take this as a random Blender newbie assault… I realize a lot of that goes on in the world.
Thanks for stopping by. Glad you’re enjoying the butterfly!
I did it that way because that’s how the butterfly’s wing actually bends. As the wing flaps, that inside flap remains stationary against the abdomen (otherwise, it would clip through the abdomen, which is physically impossible!). If you end up making a rig for the whole body, I suggest hooking those points to a separate set of bones so you can animate them in sync with the abdomen. If, for example, the abdomen is raised, the flaps would “close” so that the wings are touching each-other beneath the body.
The locked points are located there by way of a “hook” modifier, which you can disable or modify in the “Object Modifiers” tab. Currently, the hooks target a pair of emptys, unhelpfully named “Empty” and “Empty.001” and located around the middle of the abdomen. The easiest way to select them is with the “Outliner” window (the scene tree structure thing) where they are just below all the Camera objects. If you don’t want to bother with a rig, you can animate the flaps by animating the position of these two emptys directly.
Hope that helps! If you get a good rig in place I’d be glad to put it on the download page so other people can use it.
Oh, and as long as you’re fixing things, there are some weird little “shoulderpad” triangle whatsits in the thorax mesh, kind of hovering in space above the front wing joint. You could “hook” those to the wings so that they move together. Or maybe figure out how that actually works? That’s been bugging me.
Hi there, I came across your model of the Monarch butterfly after searching for to draw a 3D version! I was glad to find it, ’twas only after I had drawn this I went back to find source/reference and let you know how lovely I think the model is… If you want to see the drawing feel free to check it out on my instagram page ðŸ˜‰ I’m going to have this tattooed on my foot too!
Very cool! Excellent drawing, you’ve included so many of the tiny details! I’m glad you’ve gotten some traction out of it.
Butterflies certainly are beautiful. So delicate and colorful! Hope the tattoo turns out well!
Thanks for the compliments!
Thank you so much for the interesting story and 3D model of the monarch! I am a teacher of 3rd grade students and have just recently finished up a unit on the life cycle of the monarch butterfly. Your 3D model has helped bring about high interest in the life cycle. I have had several special needs students struggle with the life cycle concept, and your model brings it to life! Thanks so much for your good work!
You’re very welcome.
I was introducing my sister to 3D modeling and such, and I found your take on the Tetrahedral Planetoid quite inspirational – both the 3D model that you produced and the idea of an engine that would generate such cities automatically (or at least would make it easier to extrude the architecture radially or concentrically). The cherry on the cake, of course, would be to explore this immersively, with physically accurate centripetal gravity.
I am curious as for whether the 3D model is still available, and if you would care to share it. It is true that building this from scratch is a recommendable experience, but if our focus (mine and my sister’s) is on a physics engine for planetoids (and not on an efficient way to build said planetoids), then it would be great to work with some content that’s already there.
If you have some developments of your own, I’d be curious about them too. Thanks in advance ðŸ™‚
Thanks for the kind words! I do still have the model (probably archived on my other computer), and will send you a link once I figure out where I put it. It is not water-tight, and probably unsuitable for testing, but I’d be glad to see what you do with it.
I share your dream of exploring such procedurally generated planetoids. My own efforts to make such an engine have morphed into Project Fledgeling, which I encourage you to check out. If I were to address the planetoid generation and exploration specifically, I would do so using nested convex hulls. Tetrahedral Planetoid, of course, uses such a method, being the intersection of a tetrahedron and a set of nested spheres.
As far as a planetoid physics engine goes, I’ve got some source code sitting around from when a friend of mine wrote his own Open GL game engine. It includes collision detection and accurate physics. You might ask him if you can play with it, as I don’t think he’s ever made it publicly available. He re-worked it years ago to do ocean simulation for one of my other projects, and the code still runs fine.
Best of luck in your endeavors! Never stop learning!
I came across your 3D Monarch while Googling the thorax of a butterfly. I’m in the process of creating a 3D mosaic sculpture of the Life cycle of a Monarch, and needed a good, up close picture of the body segments. Thanks so much for sharing your work. I will send pictures of the sculpture when I’m done. Getting close now.
Yours monarch work is the best on the internet. I am currently creating workshops for children (of all ages) preschool, after-school, community…
I would love to learn to use your work to create an adult sized 3D costume as well as realistic wings for my students to strap on during “migration”, “the cloths of the monarch” and so forth. Your work is my first exposure to 3D printing and I will have a colossal learning curve. May I call on you for help and guidance?
This is actually not 3d printed, but simply modeled in the computer.
However, if you wish to make adult scale wings, that is possible to do. Consider using Pepakura?
Best of luck, and please do contact me with further questions. firstname.lastname@example.org
Your monarch model is awesome, and I’d like to use it as a basis to create a lower-poly butterfly model with different wing patterns. While you appear to be open to people creating derivative works (e.g. “Where It Went”), you haven’t actually said what the license for your work is. It would be really great if you could affirm that the blender file (including textures and animations) was licensed under something like the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Internal license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Thanks again for a great example of 3D modelling in Blender!
I finally just found where you said the files are “Public Domain”. Thanks!
Thanks Cory! Glad you like it. Yes, everything I make is free to use however you like.
Sir, fascinating project!
Any chance of getting FBX files, or another Max compliant format?
Blender (the primary 3d tool I use) currently defaults with capability to export to .dae .3ds .fbx .bvh .ply .obj .x3d and .stl and has many options to export to other formats. So, I can get you any of those formats, or anything that can be converted to or from any of those formats.
For 2d files, I like to work with .png and .jpg but can also do any other raster or vector format.
Hey, There. Love your website. I’m doing some art work based on the monarch butterfly and was asking the question about the legs. Couldn’t find it anywhere until I came across your site. Knew that they had six legs but could only see 4 in all photos. Thanks for answering that question. Understand you do 3d modeling. How do you go about that. I’d like to learn more. Also, what are the costs?
i live in the Bay Area, am a landscape designer as well as a sculptor/painter and am designing and installing gardens with butterfly host and nectar plants. Recently designed a closed Monarch butterfly for a sundial design for the city. Sadly, didn’t get the commission, but have the drawings for the future. Yep, couldn’t find those other legs and have been searching the web and looking at my butterfly specimens, but the legs are already gone.
Yeah, I think I ended up finding out about the butterfly legs on Wikipedia.
The 3D modeling is a learned skill like anything else, though I do have a penchant for spatial thinking. Costs are mostly time, as the hardware is common and the software is free if you use Blender.
Beautiful garden work! Do you do the mosaic and hardscape yourself as well?
If you’d ever like me to do a 3D work-up on your plans, let me know. I did something like that when I proposed some art for Miner’s Corner Park, and I think it turned out rather well.
Hello. Beautiful Monarch model! I ran across it doing a random google search looking for butterfly models for a Hitfilm project to help a new user along a bit. I’m not the most impressive modeler/animator out there, so I didn’t do your model the justice it deserved, I’m afraid. I hope you can forgive that. I put your website down in the INFO on a Youtube video I posted showing him what it can do in Blender/Hitfilm. Many thanks for your hard work on this model.
Even that model is quite old, I am impressed by the quality!
hi, i was searching monarch butterfly for one of my short film desire and found your work which is really looking good and realistic. Do you have “.ma” format packed file for this model?..
please let me know that how can you help me.
No, I do not. Maya has a closed native file format, so Blender does not support it. You can export it to fbx though, or some other transfer format.
As a physicist and mathematician, I can’t help but be an M.C. Escher fan. “Two Worlds” and “Tetrahedral Planetoid” are well up on my list of favorites. I ran across your 3-D model of TP around 10 years ago and my jaw dropped in awe. You had created the foundation for a VR world where I could walk the paths and stairs immersively instead of imaginatively, and also consider the possibility of generating a real 3-D construction of this incredible world. Back then the technology wasn’t so available, but I’ve always carried the thought as to whether TP could be 3-D printed. Are you aware of anyone having done this? Have you considered it yourself? I’m not familiar with the topological constraints of 3-D printing so I am interested in your thoughts here. Having not seen any reproductions, I have chalked this up to three theories that, either Escher’s work is too obscure to have ever been considered, the task of digitizing it appearing too daunting to even want to try, or, the time machine theory that we don’t see a 3-D printed TP in real life because they are impossible to make! Please bring me 10 years up to date in the life of your creation.
Thank you for reaching out! As you can tell from the prolonged delay, I do not often check the comments on Isqua Istari these days. However, you are not forgotten, and a month is little compared to a decade!
The first thing I did when I finished reading your question (I think you must mean “Double Planetoid” instead of “Two Worlds”) was search on the internet to see if anyone else had made a 3d model, and though mine still seems to be the only TP model, I found this DP model:
Indeed! 3d printing these planetoids is totally possible! Unlike some of Escher’s works which are impossible geometries or optical illusions, the DP and the TP are true solid objects which can exist comfortably in our world. I would hazard that your second guess as to their absence is correct, especially as 3D printing requires a strict formulation of the geometry (the faces must be both manifold and watertight) which I did not adhere to in my own model.
It wouldn’t be a particularly difficult task to convert them though. Were you interested in commissioning a pair of 3D prints? For less than $100 each, you could get a full color 3.5″ diameter print:
Or a 7″ diameter one if you get it printed in white plastic.
The Double Planetoid is regular and straightforward enough that filling in the hidden geometry would be easy, but the Tetrahedral Planetoid is another matter. Did you have anything in mind for the two hidden sides? I’ve been idly toying with the idea of fleshing them out, though it would also be possible (though a bit dissapointing) to simply duplicate the shown faces on the reverse.
As to visiting virtually, do you have a VR setup? Sketchfab has VR integration, and I’ve set it up:
It doesn’t rotate under your feet, but it wouldn’t be outrageous to try to set it up in a game engine. The dream would be to program the computer to procedurally generate planetoids of arbitrary housing density and size, but one step at a time I suppose!
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!