Damani Kofi Adadevoh is a 3D artist and designer using a Shining 3D scanner and Geomagic Essentials, a subset of the Geomagic Wrap toolset, in collaborations with sculptors, musicians and filmmakers.
Impressive 3D scanning projects are hiding in plain sight. HBO’s upcoming series The Penguin, the rapper A$AP Ferg in the video for Green Juice, Brooklyn art collective MSCHF, sculptor Tom Otterness, and many other big names use the technology.
They call on 3D artist Damani Kofi Adadevoh to make their projects happen. “3D scanning is picking up in the arts. Museums and traditional artists are increasingly using 3D scanning,” Adadevoh says.
On the other hand, scanning has a very technical facet. It’s the exploration of the boundaries of advanced technologies that lies at the heart of Adadevoh’s artistic vision. “I like capturing objects and I’ve supported different industries, engineering, manufacturing, art and design,” Adadevoh says.
He’s been working in the 3D space for six years. His journey began at university where a professor in the Sculpture Department introduced him to 3D printing and 3D scanning. “In my educational experience, those technologies are often coupled, and that’s amazing. I like the fact that there are no boundaries between 3D capture and 3D manufacturing,” he adds.
Gotham FX studio asked for a headscan of actor Douglas Smith
He explored these two technologies in many commercial projects before finally specialising in scanning. He made this decision simply because as opportunities presented themselves he found increasing profit and higher profile clientele as a 3D scanning specialist.
He discovered Geomagic Essentials, a subset of Wrap, when he started working as a Shining3D reseller. Working with Geomagic software every day means he’s had first-hand experience using its capabilities and features, which made him a unique superfan.
“With scanning, data is data,” he says. “You can capture the data with different tools, but it’s the software like Geomagic Essentials that allows you to process the data, combine data from multiple sources, align it, and do a comparative analysis.”
Brooklyn, New York-based art collective MSCHF worked with Adadevoh on creating an ATM that shows a leaderboard of users' current account balances. The ATM, which was on display during Miami Art Week, is “an extremely literal distillation of wealth-flaunting impulses," MSCHF member Kevin Wiesner told the arts and design publication Dezeen.
For this piece, Adadevoh scanned an ATM, exported the point data as .asc and created the mesh in Geomagic Essentials. “Geomagic Essentials does a good job at meshing, especially when resolving noise. I couldn’t spray the ATM for this so the glass surface was a bit tricky,” he says.
Using 3D scanning to create an ATM for art collective MSCHF
Another artist that he works with is sculptor Tom Otterness. “I got the impression that he’s interested in what new technologies, like 3D scanning, can do for his more traditional practice. I love that. It’s great to see people who are already experts in their field and see scanning as an opportunity and trying to understand how they can use it to better their existing practice,” he says.
Otterness uses 3D scanning to preserve, modify and enlarge some of his work. “Some of the traditional approaches can be taxing on his body so for him to build a team of capture and 3D design artists I think it makes sense. It’s yet another example of how different industries have benefited from the technology,” Adadevoh adds.
A lot of his work involves full-body scans. A$AP Ferg’s Green Juice music video is a case where actors were scanned with hand scanners and LIDAR. “The most common use of 3D scanning in music videos is visual effects, and that’s the case with Green Juice. Additionally, the theme of the video was technology and there were “fake” prop 3D scanners on set, which was amazing,” Adadevoh says.
There are various uses for body scans. Adadevoh often scans people for digital double effects, like dangerous stunts or flying, or to create a practical make-up effect. For special effects sometimes they’ll scan an actor’s head and use the scan data to create a 3D print of their head at a one-to-one scale. The head-print is a perfect reference for dressing with custom prosthetics because the scan data is so accurate.
One of the biggest advantages of scanning software like Geomagic Essentials is compatibility with a wide variety of scanners on the market. “I like that Geomagic Essentials is so broad-reaching that it doesn’t matter what scanner you’re using. Many scanners come with a basic suite of tools, out of the box, but the tools in Essentials are the next level”, he explains.
The Mesh Doctor is one of the features he relies on most for cleaning scan data. He mostly uses it for post-processing. When his clients work with CAD, auto-surfacing comes in handy. Then Adadevoh can take the mesh data and convert it to a NURB surface.
Another useful capability is importing scans as frames. “Depending on how you export the scan data from the scanner, sometimes you’ll have a unified cloud and sometimes you’ll have individual scan frames. I love the individual scan frames because I can cycle through them and figure out where the individual noise is coming from or if there is an issue with just one of the frames,” he says.
Finally, when he needs to show clients the outcome of the scanning, screenshots are the key. “A lot of my clients can’t even open the files I create, but the image is almost more important than the file itself. This is why I regularly send screenshots of the project to my clients,” he explains.
Adadevoh with Ferg and his uncle T Ferg
In the future he’d like to devote more time to scanning buildings with LIDAR. He had already scanned the iconic Chrysler Building, the firehouse for Ghostbusters, in New York, which left him impressed with the range of industrial scanners.
“I’d also like to try mixing hand scan data with LIDAR. With scanning it’s often a question of having the right tool for the right job. LIDAR could give you very broad strokes but maybe you can’t go into tight spaces the way that some handheld scanners could. I’d be interested to see what’s possible if I mix data,” he concludes.
Adadevoh is very optimistic about the future of the technology. “I’m seeing 3D scanning used more and more as people begin to understand. We’re now at the early stages of 3D scanning and we educate people and show them what’s possible,” he concludes.
Learn more about Geomagic Wrap and about the software tools Adadevoh uses in his projects.