Art & Sculpture

Dan Sultan’s music video brings 3D printing to life

Aussie alt-rock artist Dan Sultan has brought a 3D printed bust to life with his newest video clip for single ‘Magnetic’. The award winning artist teamed up with Melbourne based Dropbear Digital to create the visual masterpiece, animating it through stop motion. This awesome clip really encapsulates the artistic presence that 3D printing can help achieve.

This isn’t the first we’ve seen of 3D printed pieces being used in stop motion, and it definitely won’t be the last. The nature of 3D printing means it’s an incredibly versatile tool for such uses.

The Magnetic bust is of Dan Sultan himself, and was made to capture a full range of facial expressions, using over 60 individual 3D printed pieces. By doing this, everything down to the eyebrows can be moved and manipulated, helping the singing bust truly make his presence known.

Dan Sultan bust
Image: Gizmodo

It took two months to complete the project, and over 2,700 photos of Sultan to create a 3D model. The hard work shows, the clip is magnificent. The 30cm bust bops and shakes his head with the music, perfectly displaying the emotion the song requires.

It is difficult not to want to hit play again the moment the video finishes, as it is visually stunning. There are moments towards the end of the clip when Sultan’s bust becomes still, sitting in a gallery and then being covered in moss. While this is also incredibly beautiful, there is so much longing to see him rocking out again you wouldn’t be blamed for watching it on loop.

Image: The Creators Project
Image: The Creators Project

Dropbear studios said on their Facebook page that Christopher Langton, the sculptor that undertook the printing, had 5 printers running day and night to finish by deadline.

The post also detailed how many different facets of the design process there were:

This clip uses stop-motion animation, 3D printing, projection mapping and 3D animation combined to transform Dan into a living work of art. Lastly thanks to Dan for entrusting me with his epic and powerful song and giving me the creative freedom to bring it to life.

Dan Sultan magnetic
Image: The Creator Project

Sultan said that ‘Magnetic’is about excess and that can mean a lot of things. I don’t need to go into about what it meant for me particularly [but] the song’s about getting better – happier and more productive.

If you find yourself in Australia, say hi to my family for me, but also go and see Dan Sultan on tour in November.