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Photo by Robert Zimmerman.

Landscape Paintings to 3D Models

Layers of Dreamscapes was a month-long project I pursued as an artist in residence at the Rubenstein at Arts Center at Duke University, co-sponsored by the Innovation Co-Lab at Duke, an interdisciplinary makerspace where I was previously lab manager. Learn more about and see the final products from the project below.

The tradition of painting landscapes goes back thousands of years in Western and Eastern art, while the earliest known map dates back to the 6th century BCE. Since we started drawing on cave walls, humans have been using visual arts to depict and explore the world around us. Layers of Dreamscapes is a reimagination of one the oldest subjects of paintings: the landscape.


Using my own art, I create 3D models of my 2D landscape paintings. My sprawling, dream-like fantasy landscapes act as the reference material. The process begins with the creation of a heatmap of the landscape topography, and then uses computer software to develop it into a 3D printable model that can be painted to mimic the original 2D painting. The project aims to engage a new aesthetic experience for a style of art that is otherwise confined by the boundaries of a canvas.

See my landscape paintings side-by-side with the 3D printed topography:

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