Scantling lamp (and some fun with IK chains)


I didn’t think I would ever have rigged models in my archive, but when I set out to rebuild Mathias Hahn’s wonderful Scantling Lamp for Marset in Max, I just could not bear the thought of having to pose it by fiddling with its three axes and its pesky wires.

The solution: a simple IK chain (see viewport grab below) that will let you do pretty much all the lamp can do in real life just by moving a small dummy around. The wires are controlled by two additional spline IK chains so that they stick to the lamp as it moves (the wires may need some hand-tweaking to avoid interpenetration). All axes include angle limits to make sure you don’t break the lamp by twisting it around.

The rig is not particularly sophisticated but although it was conceived to allow for easy posing, it might be just good enough to be used for animations (in case anyone wants to emulate the Pixar ident).

More images of the lamp here.

12 Responses

  1. Sajith says:

    Hi Bertrand,
    your work is absolutely inspiring, not to mention just amazing…The level of detail is just mind boggling…

    I love the way you’ve rigged this lamp, and about the wires, was just thinking how about using a hose? I know the level of control of posing the wires is not that good compared to ur Spline IK method, but it’s just a thought I wanted to share… :) keep inspiring!

  2. Ella says:

    Oh my goodness! I just found you through a post on Japanese Trash and you are amazing! These are some of the best renders I have ever seen. I’m thinking of blogging about you and would need to borrow some images. If this is a problem, please contact me at

  3. manu says:

    I know exactly what you mean.

    It’s not about recipes though, and I certainly wasn’t thinking about a video featuring an entire piece (although I have to be honest, I would absolutely love that). But, Bertrand, you are such a meticulous artist, clearly a perfectionist, I think the length or the subject wouldn’t matter at all. It’s all about the pleasure (for those of us who love architecture, design and CG) of watching these objects come to life in 3d space, with what I’m sure are not misterious techiques or magic modelling secrets but just a lot of attention to detail. If we, spectators, could pick up a tip or two, that would be just a bonus, specially for those of us who walk the same perfectionist path.

    Give it some more thought!

  4. BBB3VIZ says:

    I’ve toyed with the idea in the past, but never really got started. The problem is that there is no single way to go about modelling a piece of furniture. So much depends on which piece you pick. Recipes that might work in one case may not in other. Also, there can be quite a lot of back and forth, trial and error, which would make a video a little frustrating. Finally, this can be quite a long process, so it would have to be a long video, even if it is shot as a timelapse. But if there is enough interest I might give it some more though.

  5. manu says:

    Dear Betrand, any chance for us to see not a narrated tutorial but maybe just a short silent video of your furniture modeling?

    Love this lamp, good job.

  6. Bryce Mironuck says:

    Well I cannot wait to see more of your work, all of it ends up being some of my favorites. On a relatively side note, I’m still hoping to see the “making of” for your Tribeca Loft. That piece of work absolutely stuns me every time.

  7. BBB3VIZ says:

    Thanks Bryce. This was a lot of fun (in a head-scratching kind of way). I’m now thinking of rigging a few other models of mine.

  8. Bryce Mironuck says:

    The rig looks awesome, along with the incredible details of the up close shots. Fantastic!

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