01 December 2009

3D March of Man

A while back I started the March of Man project. The goal is to create a massive illustration of human evolution using hundreds of figures. My first attempt involved drawing them by hand on a big piece of paper. I think that lasted about a week.

My second attempt involved a rich web application, where people could submit image files according to certain specifications, and these would be incorporated into a big collage. This got a bit further, but went stagnant for a few reasons: 1) the application is a bit buggy and unwieldy (it was my first big Flex project), 2) drawing each figure still takes a while, and 3) I overestimated the amount of public interest there would be in contributing to this project. (Thanks to Steve O'Connor, though, for being the only other contributor!)

It's been a couple of years since I launched that site, and now I've started on a new method. Will it go anywhere? We'll see. It does solve some problems of the previous approaches.

This time, I'm doing it in 3D. The plan: 1) create a poseable model of an Ardipithecus ramidus female; 2) create morph targets for various other species, ages, and for males; 3) use this to create images for significant localities; 4) combine these into one vast mural.

So far I'm almost done with step #1. Here she is:


(Also posted on my sketch blog, Dragabok.)

Still have to tweak the hair a bit and make her poseable. After that, I've got my work cut out for me....

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