Around the World in 80 Models: Winnipeg

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Hop on board as we continue our journey Around the World in 80 Models! We began our itinerary at Sketchfab headquarters in New York and are working our way through Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, South America, and North America. To catch up on past destinations, check out the rest of the Around the World in 80 Models series.

This week we head to Manitoba, Canada, where web designer Jean Vouillon takes us into a forest of spirits to see a wood carving, and into his backyard to take a peek at an excellent example of Inuit art.

Winnipeg, Canada: Woody Mhitik

Hi, I’m Jean Vouillon. Originally from France, I have been living in Winnipeg – Manitoba, Canada – for 14 years. I’m teaching mainly web design and coding at the University of St-Boniface. I’m very keen on technology, and how it can be efficiently used in transdisciplinary ways. So let’s be clear, I’m not an expert in 3D scanning but more a jack-of-all-trades person.

My journey in the 3D scanning world started with backing up the Structure Sensor project. I scanned my first models in 2014 using an iPad and the itSeez3D app which also gave me the opportunity to discover Sketchfab. This equipment works great and quickly on people – I’m 3D scanning my students on their very first class! 😉 – or on representations of human beings, like the Ghandi sculpture for example. But I was unsatisfied with objects and also with the level of details of the geometry.

Then, too lazy to use Agisoft PhotoScan, I tried Autodesk Memento, now Recap. It’s a very easy solution, which allows great results with a small amount of work – my kind of program! I don’t have a specific setup or equipment for photogrammetry. I shoot handheld, in manual mode, using my old eos T3i with either a 2.8 24mm or a 1.8 50mm Canon lens. A recent addition, is a Ricoh ThetaS to shoot 360 degres HDR environments, that I can then use with my models in Sketchfab.

Bois-des-esprits (Spirits Wood) is the largest contiguous river bottom and upland forest in Winnipeg. It is a nice trail people enjoy hiking, biking and snowshoeing. Along the way, dozens of wood spirits – gnome-like men – carved in dead trees by artist Murray Watson can be spotted. Off the main trail, in the heart of the woods, stands Woody-Mithik, the spirit guardian of the forest. It is a 3 meters high sculpture, made from a large elm tree by Walter Mirosh and Robert Leclaire. The name Mhitik, meaning Woody in Ojibwa, was chosen by an elder during an aboriginal ceremony.

“As you walk through the forest with trees overhead
You can feel the presence, or so it’s been said
His eyes are upon you as you stroll through the trees
He is the Wood spirit who resides in the trees”

Katherine Vermette

I shot 112 photos with a Canon eos Rebel T3i and a 24mm lens. I shot the pictures in April. The snow was just gone – Winnipeg, remember? – so there was a lot of water around the sculpture – noticeable in the picture – preventing me from taking all the photos I wanted.

Winnipeg, Canada: Woman and Child

With nearly 13,000 pieces, the Winnipeg Art Gallery has the world’s largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art. To celebrate and honor it, an Inuit Art Center is being built and expected to open in 2019.

This sculpture is not from the WAG collection but a personal piece I bought a couple of years ago. It’s from artist Mary Oshutsiak (1972-2014) who lived in Cape Dorset, on Baffin Island in Canada’s high arctic and who is very famous for her carvings of women with babies. The Woman is wearing an Amauti, a parka, made from seal or caribou, with a built-in baby pouch just below the hood.

I shot 62 photos with a Canon eos Rebel XT – not even the T3i! – and the 50mm lens. For the pictures, I just waited for an overcast day and shot outside in my garden! Even if the sculpture is very smooth, Memento created a bumpy surface because of the texture of the soap stone. So I had to play with the Sketchfab 3D settings to give back its smoothness and shininess.

To see more of Jean’s models here on Sketchfab, check out his profile!

About the author

Abby & Néstor

Abby and Néstor are Sketchfab Masters.
Abby Crawford, Ph.D. is trained in and passionate about Roman Archaeology and works as a freelance artifact illustrator and 3D scanner in California.
Néstor F. Marqués is a virtual Heritage & cultural diffusion researcher, and an enthusiast of ancient Rome’s culture.


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