Modeling a 3D Historical Rendition: Process & Product

By: Colin Forsyth '15

Advising Faculty: Andrea Wollensak

Being awarded the ConnSSHARP research grant gave me the unique opportunity to further explore my interests in digital design and CAD software. Over the course of 8 weeks, I designed a digital rendition of Tryon’s Folly, one of the last stops on the Underground Railroad and my home in Niagara Falls, NY. The first couple weeks were dedicated to researching 19th century African American slave escape routes and techniques. Before I could digitally reconstruct my basements where the runaway slaves hid, I had to take pictures, detailed measurements, and material studies of the structure. Next, I digitally reconstructed the architecture in a 3D animation software, Autodesk Maya. Using found research and my finalized model, I intend to produce a realistic, first person, 3D animated narrative of a slave escaping to Canada. My understanding of Maya’s interface and virtual tools also allowed me to assist Professor Wollensak in transforming scientific data, satellite imagery, GPS data, and Icelandic glacial data into digitally generated sculptural forms using the college’s Computer Numeric Control (CNC) router. These studies will be showcased in her solo exhibition at Konstepidmen Gallery, Gothenburg, Sweden, Spring 2014.

Related Fields: Art, Ammerman Center