‘Sporting Forms’ Represent World Cup Matches Via 3D Printed Data Models

This year’s World Cup which was watched by over one billion fans worldwide, was probably also one of the most exciting World Cups we have seen in quite a while. The games may be over, but the outcomes will be brazilremembered by over a billion people for years to come. If memories are not enough, then one 3D printing project may be just what the doctor ordered.

An English artist named Brendan Oliver has created what he calls Sporting Forms. What a Sporting Form is, is a collection of data and algorithms which take every movement on the field that players make during a particular World Cup game, and transforms them into a 3D model. The models are quite intricate, and are based on the players’ coordinates on the two dimensional playing field throughout a game.

The data collected really has several main purposes. One is that it can be animated via a video, to show the progress of a particular game. For instance, it uses positional data collected on players in real time. The data is used to create a ‘digital performance’ based on the interaction between players, and the outcome of each play. Using a special algorithm, points of excitement during a match are highlighted with larger spikes on the Z-axis of the graph. Generally the more excitement within a game, for instance the 7-0 victory of Germany over Brazil in the semifinal match, the more chaotic the 3D model will appear, as you can see below.

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Additionally these models can then be 3D printed and saved as a way to remember a particular game. The real purpose of all this, however, is to create an art form, which is on display currently at the The Pride and the Passion: Contemporary Art, Football & The Derby County Collection exhibit in Derby England, at the QUAD Gallery.

Data represented via 3D printed models, is not something that’s new to the art field. In fact we have seen artists 3D print sound waves, as well as brain waves in the past. 3D printing has added an additional medium for artists to express themselves, as well as provide visual representation of data which one would likely never imagine would have beauty within.

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Oliver has posted data representations of several key 2014 World Cup games on his site. Being a fan of England himself, he included England’s three group matches, as well as all the quarter-final, semi-final, and finals matches. The data was all provided by a company called Opta Sports, and Oliver has 3D printed out several of these matches, many of which are posted within this article.

What do you think of this this type of art? Let us know your thoughts in the 3D printed World Cup data forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the digital representation of the semi-final match between Germany and Brazil below.

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