From Virtual to Reality with Jonathan Yeo – Homage to Paolozzi (Self Portrait)

“This is the first sculpture to be designed with innovative virtual reality software and then realised in bronze as part of a major new exhibition at the Royal Academy in London. The exhibition, From Life, examines how artists’ practice of making art from life is evolving as technology opens up new ways of creating and visualising artwork.”   |

For over 18 months, Jonathan experimented with various innovative technologies related to image making, including virtual reality and advanced 3D scanning. Through a partnership with Google Arts and Culture, Yeo collaborated with Google’s engineers on their Tilt Brush software, which lets users paint in a 3D space using virtual reality technology. Yeo also worked with leading optical company OTOY, whose pioneering technology is used by leading visual effects studios in Hollywood including George Lucas and Warner Bros. Using their advanced LightStage scanner, a highly detailed 3D scan of Yeo was created and then imported into Google’s Tilt Brush software. In a ‘virtual life room’, Yeo was able to create a virtual self-portrait based on this digital scan. With the help of Google’s VR lab in San Francisco, Yeo’s virtual creation was 3D printed from the Tilt Brush software. It was then cast into bronze by Pangolin Editions, one of the world’s leading sculpture foundries in Gloucestershire, enabling his virtual brushstrokes to be captured in 3D and then realised in sculpture.