I have some bad news. If you were planning on winning the Halloween contest competition by cutting a couple holes in a sheet or wearing a store bought mask, you don’t stand a chance this year. Even if you were planning on spending hours hand crafting your costume, it’s not going to be any easy task to get the number one spot. That’s because Aiman Akhtar has set the bar so high with his 3D printed costume and model Jessica dru Johnson looks so stunning while wearing it.
The costume is the result of a commission by 3D World Magazine for a tutorial published in their December 2015 issue, on sale now. The creation has already received a laudatory welcome and it’s no case of beginner’s luck that this is the case. Akhtar, a 3D artist based in Los Angeles, has already been recognized for his talents by 3D World, the Huffington Post, and the jurors of the 3D Total Excellence Award. He has been working as a freelance 3D artist for nearly a decade for clients ranging from Harley-Davidson to Mary Kay Cosmetics applying what he learned in his undergraduate at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago as well as learning new skills along the way.
For the creation of this costume, Akhtar first gathered scan data from the model who would be donning the piece. Then, based on that information did the customized sculpting in ZBrush, using mesh extract and dynamesh, and Maya so that the fit would be a perfect match. Some of the pieces of the costume were then printed on his own Form1+ printer. For the rest, he turned to the 3D printing services of Shapeways, 3D Hubs, and XYZ Limitless. All told, the project took about four months from initial research all the way through to the final photoshoot and from the looks of it, it was worth every moment.
“For a while now I’ve been enamored by the work of designers who are creating 3D printable clothing. I dig the idea of creating garments and costumes that cannot be made by any other means. That was the driving factor of the design, the parts should only be possible by 3D printing, so the arches had complex internal honeycombing, the straps were printed as already interlocking pieces and the breastplates too were interwoven with internal space built in for the fiber optic cables to pass through. I had originally wanted to do a larger, complete dress, but the budget was too limited. I was thus tasked with creating an interesting design without using too much material. With these constraints, I set out to create a high fashion piece one might see on a runway fashion show.”
Akhtar improvised while creating the costume, all the way up to the moment of the photoshoot. It was then that it really became clear how important it was to work with a team that was as dedicated and expert as the one assembled for this project.
As they got ready to create the images, makeup artist Sonia Cabrera set to work on the futuristic look, hiding the model’s eyebrows with silicone and creating a white stripe around her eyes, giving her an otherworldly gaze. As soon as the makeup was complete. Ruby McNeil swooped in to sculpt dru Johnson’s hair into the massive up-do that lifts her from the mundane into the extra-terrestrial. In order to do this, a foam core was created and her hair was wrapped over it.
Last minute adjustments to the fiber optic cables were made in order to make them frame the model and bring attention to her face while creating the effect of wings cascading down her back. As the camera rig was set up, photographer Greg de Stefano worked to set up environmental lighting that would perfectly complement the color scheme of the fiber optic lighting, overseen by the wonderfully named Ants on a Melon, and ensure the greatest level of detail would show through in the images. The final details were added with Igor Knezevic’s jewelry and Akhtar acknowledges that it was made possible only with the help of his Assistant in Everything Hwa-ryong Kim.
The high tension, high excitement atmosphere paid off as the team created some truly memorable images of a solidly intriguing costume design. This is 3D printing at its best, full of team work, iteration, creativity, and energy.
Thank goodness my kids haven’t seen this…there’s still some hope that my kittens and cowboys costumes will still seem cool. What are your thoughts on this 3D printed fashion? Discuss in the 3D Printed Halloween Costume forum thread on 3DPB.com.