Designer Spotlight: SuperFanArt Artists

In honor of the partnership with Hasbro, we wanted to take a minute to highlight the amazing artists who have made their very own 3D printed My Little Pony figurines. Welcome to the Shapeways herd Brandon Lee JohnsonPaul PhilbinChristophe VidalMelinda Rose, and Brian Harris!

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Brandon Lee Johnson
“I delved into my element to make sure these ponies would print well (and they did.. most of the time!) and even began to take commissions from individuals who wanted to own their original characters as real and physical merchandise with custom textures, tails, manes, and poses! It’s been a long and exciting road, and I’m glad to help bring these models to you :)

Hi, my name is Brandon Lee Johnson, and I am a 3D Artist as well as fan of the program My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I’m a student with a passion for games and game design, as well as animation.

I started watching MLP quite a long time ago, back when the first season of FiM was still airing. I first came across it as I was browsing Facepunch, an internet forum, and found a thread about the show. Seeing tons of people claiming the show greatly surpassed their expectations, I decided to give it a shot! Thus begun a big whirlpool of junk that changed my life pretty heavily.

Of course, I fell in love with the show. I’ve never been a particularly discriminatory person when it came to my opinions on stuff; I knew the show was girly, but I took that in stride since it was still fantastically written. The characters felt real and believable, and I could relate to them. Once I had started purchasing official merchandise for the show, it didn’t take me very long to start indulging in fan content as well! Fanfictions, fanart, comics, and more.

This lead to me discovering Shapeways—which was fantastic, as I’ve been working with Blender to create 3d art since I was 7 years old! I began a rather long and arduous process of making your favourite ponies 3D Printable! I delved into my element to make sure these ponies would print well (and they did.. most of the time!) and even began to take commissions from individuals who wanted to own their original characters as real and physical merchandise with custom textures, tails, manes, and poses! It’s been a long and exciting road, and I’m glad to help bring these models to you :)

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Paul Philbin
“I loved the style the show used and wanted to try my hand at creating 3D models of some of the characters. This led me to creating some of my favorite pieces.”

I am Paul Philbin and I have always been interested in animation. When I was young I would take my toys and use a technique called stop motion animation to create short animated clips. I wanted to create better and better films leading me into 3D modeling and animation. I was getting alright but I wasn’t really inspired. Then in 2011 I was introduced to My Little Pony.

I saw the first episode of My Little Pony thinking it would be just another cartoon aimed at little kids. I was wrong. As it turned out it was an incredible show, great for people of all ages. It had great characters, beautiful artwork, and stories that didn’t look down on the audience. The best part was the community surrounding My Little Pony.

I loved the style the show used and wanted to try my hand at creating 3D models of some of the characters. This led me to creating some of my favorite pieces.

Christophe Vidal
“The ponies are so cute, their colors are magnificent, and they are perfectly adapted to 3D printing in full color. I couldn’t resist them!”

I am Chris Vidal and I was born in Lyon, France and I’m 35 years old.

After studying mechanical engineering and design, I worked for more than ten years in industrial design and manufacturing. Solidworks was the first software I used for Computer Aided Design and 3D modeling. I love learning new techniques and during all those years I concentrated on learning more design oriented programs, such as Cinema 4D and Maya, during my free time. It was a revelation the first time I used Zbrush and it has been my preferred software since that day.

It’s been two years since I discovered Shapeways and I opened a shop. At that time, I was very excited by the possibilities offered by 3D printing and, especially, the Full Color Sandstone. I worked enormously hard on models of video game characters and different characters from My Little Pony. The ponies are so cute, their colors are magnificent, and they are perfectly adapted to 3D printing in full color. I couldn’t resist them!

It took me about six months to make my first sale and I’ve been continuing ever since, naturally with Shapeways!

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Melinda Rose
“My inner 6 year old is beaming with pride that Hasbro and Shapeways have tapped me and my artwork to be a founding contributor to SuperFanArt!”

Melinda Rose spent her childhood in the small town of Eugene, Oregon playing point-and-click adventure games on her father’s Macintosh, climbing the neighborhood fruit trees, learning to sew from her mother, and amassing a frighteningly large collection of My Little Ponies from thrift stores and garage sales.

It seems that in the passing years little has changed as Melinda now spends her time in the slightly larger city of Seattle, Washington playing and working in the computer games industry for companies such as Cyan Inc., Blue Fang Games, and Microsoft Studios, cooking and exploring, sewing historical costumes and cosplay, and is still a huge My Little Pony fan. She is ecstatic that she is now able to share her long-time love of My Little Pony with so many new fans.

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Brian Harris
“My motivation skyrocketed at the thought of creating full color figures of character that are more accurate or have never been offered in the past. Thanks to this, my skills continue to grow and I’ve invested in more advanced software, leading to more possibilities.”

My name is Brian and I’m a graphic artist, illustrator and web designer. Growing up, I’ve always been interested in computers and any software that could paint a pixel. Every day I look forward to sitting at a computer to see what I might create.

Animation has always been a big inspiration for art and still is. When growing up, the medium often goes under-appreciated and forgotten, but it still has a lot to offer thanks to the passionate people behind them. They open you to amazing worlds, endearing characters, clever writing/comedy, and more meaningful stories and lessons than your average live action comedy or crime show.

Even with that perspective, it was easy to overlook the recent My Little Pony as an excessively cute toy commercial with sub-par writing and content. One important lesson in life is to never assume anything. Amazingly, Hasbro hired passionate people! Lauren Faust, and all involved, strove to break the mold and treat the audience with more respect and intelligence, which ended up removing gender stereotypes and opening the show to wider and unexpected audience.

The show is entertaining, cute, funny, creative, and uplifting. This made for some quick, but initially confused fans, such as myself. Though, I will credit my girlfriend as the one that got me to watch it finally. The show has also offered several surprising musical numbers that are enough alone to hook many people. Technically, it’s not the “best show ever,” nor is it for everyone, but the positive and heartwarming nature of the show is a breath of fresh air, which makes it 20% cooler than everything else ^_^

Lately my career hasn’t offered much of an artistic outlet, so I try to stay busy at home and learn new skills, which has been 3D modeling in recent years. I enjoy sculpting and modeling cartoon characters, often favorites from my childhood and current. Inspiration hit a wall not long ago. 3D work is tedious and offered little function after completing, but then I discovered Shapeways and its accessible/affordable 3D printing services. My motivation skyrocketed at the thought of creating full color figures of character that are more accurate or have never been offered in the past. Thanks to this, my skills continue to grow and I’ve invested in more advanced software, leading to more possibilities.

For 3D modeling, I currently use ZBrush, Modo and Hexagon, plus Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator as supporting roles.

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Amazing work done by all the artists involved, we cannot wait to see what comes of this partnership and hope it inspires artists and 3D modelers around the world to join the pony party!

 

3 comments

  1. Kirk

    Are your figurines painted after they are printed? I ask because the shading of the colors is very good. I didn’t know 3D printers could produce such a range of color and shading.

    1. Brian

      Colors are part of printing process, no hand painting, so there’s almost no limit. Also note, the prints are not waterproof, so avoid any liquids that could ruin the color. Most the time these types of prints are dipped into a solution to strengthen the material and boost the color. The longer it’s left in the material, the more glossy the final product will be. Luckily, Shapeways does it just right, leaving a nice matte finish, combined with the sandstone texture, creates a soft toon look that works well with this subject.

  2. Peter Weijmarshausen

    The figurines come from the printer like this! It is a full color process. So you will get exactly what you see in the pictures.

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