Braid Media Art’s Darrel Anderson Launches a Liberating Kickstarter Project: Radio Free MeshWorks

November 8, 2012 9:42 pm

Tags: 3D, Braid Art Labs, Darrel Anderson, GroBoto

GroBoto's co-creator, developer, resident artist & chief bit-washer seeks to spark creativity & collaboration by realizing years of design & invention as free 3D models.

...that is to say, he wants to refine decades of invention, design and modeling — then give it away.


Darrel said:

"This work — created over the last several years — is currently hanging around on my hard disks in varying degrees of finish & refinement. There is no way I, alone, can fully realize the potential of this work."

Not wanting leave the work’s potential unrealized, and the spirit of collaboration are his prime motivating factors...

"It's a wonderful property of digital art — especially 3D models — it’s open to virtually limitless collaboration. Other CG artists can take a shot at texturing, lighting, scene creation, additional modeling, inclusion in other 3D scenes, animation — all of that leads to new works. Even if I had infinite time and energy, solo development of the work would never be as rich and varied as the collaborative results."

"It would be a waste to leave this work languishing in virtual closets — with just a smattering of images, scattered across the web, being the extent of their realized potential. Getting this work into the hands of other Artists, Modelers & Animators skirts that foolishness."

Most of the models are already well developed — about to the stage of modeling and preliminary
meshes as seen in the top row of this Image. The goal is to bring them to a level of refinement and finish
seen in the bottom row, and prepare .OBJ-formatted meshes suitable for use by other modelers & artists.

About Darrel Anderson

An Agile Old Pioneer

Darrel describes himself as a "lifelong designer & scribble explorer" who first came to art as a means of realizing & visualizing ideas.

"I soon discovered that art could also be a tool for discovering ideas. The pursuit of ideas & imagery — and creating art tools that aid that chase — has kept me busy for a few decades... starting long before I ever touched a computer."

Darrel’s first professional, published digital illustrations & 3D content date back to the mid 80's — 3D Content for the Atari ST & Antic's Cad3D. Cad 3D soon after evolved into 3D Studio, and 3D Studio Max.

Darrel points out however...

"...there is nothing nostalgic or legacy about the works in this project. While certainly drawing on my decades of work and play with 3D design, these are all recent works."


Darrel began creating digital art tools in the early 80's — first published 3D tools were part of the original IPAS 3D Studio plug-ins — around 1990. His ongoing graphics tool project is GroBoto — a unique and playful/artistic tool for designing & creating 3D models. GroBoto was the primary tool used for all of the models in the Radio Free MeshWorks project.

Kickstarting the Project

Radio Free MeshWorks seeks funding to complete the models and make them freely available to the public — as digital 3D models — under Creative Commons Licensing.

The Project is currently live. The funding deadline is December 1, 2012.

Project Plan

Darrel says he will personally do the creative work needed to get the models ready for release.

"...but there are technical tasks, and administrative tasks, that need doing as well." He noted that KickStarter funding will not be paying for the original work-to-date. Rather, it's slated for the completion, refinement, and delivery of existing models — everything needed to make them useful & available to all artists, designers, modelers and animators.

Setting the Work Free

Darrel is committing to the release of at least 60 models (over a one year period, starting January 1, 2013). If KickStarter funding exceeds the initial goal, he will include more models, released at a faster pace. Darrel hopes the project will continue, become self-sustaining, and ultimately include completely new works and works by other artists.

An example of work that might be derived from the freely distributed meshes.

Form & Function

All models will be distributed in the Wavefront (.OBJ), file format. Darrel notes that all of the work already exists as 3D digital models — as GroBoto models and/or meshes.

"Some are very nearly ready to go, most will receive further modeling refinement and/or detailing prior to release. That final refinement usually happens in modo®, 'tho some ZBrush® work will be in the mix. The finished models will be made available through the project's website, and we will invite all major 3D sites (forums, developer/ publisher sites, CG news sites, etc, to join in the distribution)."

All of the final models produced will be free under Non-Commercial Creative Commons Licensing. Specifically, the 'Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike' license:

Rewarding Support

Cool Rewards for Backers are part of every Kickstarter project. Radio Free MeshWorks offers Digital ‘Concept Art Packages,’ Giclée Prints and 3D Prints — all based on the project’s models. Darrel also emphasizes what he calls the ‘Global Reward.’

"...everyone will get the ‘bonus reward’ of free access to the models — regardless of how much they contribute. You can’t lose. Either the project succeeds, and — for a few bucks — you get these models ...or it costs you nothing."

Composite of splash images for the eight Concept Art Package Rewards —
Digital Art Packages and Giclée Prints are available as rewards.

What's GroBoto got to do with it?

"...everything and nothing. GroBoto is a 3D app I built with a couple of friends. It was the primary design and modeling tool for every model in this project . This Kickstarter project has nothing to do with GroBoto development — it's entirely about the art, designs & ideas."

Resources & Links: Kickstarter Page:

For a better look at some of the images in the Kickstarter video, please drop by...

The Radio Free MeshWorks Pre-Launch Site

...and/or watch the KickStarter video in HD on YouTube

**Please note: If you find the color of the text hard to read, please click on "Printer-friendly" and black text will appear on a white background.**

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