Spinning sculpture - with programmed animation

Hi, sorry in advance for the title and the lack of knowledge of what exactly it is I'm looking for. 

I believe my overall question is "what field is it I need to learn about in order to achieve this idea?"

What I'm looking to do is create animated sculptures, somewhat simple ones in principle. What i wanted was to take one of my skull sculptures and cast in a way where it's cut up horizontally into multiple parts. Then end goal being that each of those parts would spin. So I imagine it mounted with a cyclinder through the centre of each part, when static it looks like a normal skull (although willing to accept that having gaps) and each of those parts can spin independent of each other, electronically. 

So that's where I'm at in terms of the concept, but I don't really know what it is I'm needing to learn in order to do this, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

What I'd love to end up doing is designing the motion, having them spin in a way that's authored. I trained as an animator, so I'm thinking in terms of offsetting motion, playing with overlap and having the motion ramp up and down in speed. 

Any answers much appreciated, especially those delivered as if to a somewhat intelligent child. 


  • Options
    edited November 2021
    Is your goal to create something similar to this famous sculpture by David Černý?


    If your general concept is similar, the first step would be to think of the type of sequences you want the sculpture to perform.   Taking the example above, all 42 segments of the sculpture can move independently to create many of the sequences.  This determines how complex the mechanical component will be.   The sculpture above uses 42 large servos to perform its many animation sequences.

    Here is some behind-the-scenes content on the David Černý sculpture.


    The types of subjects you would need to learn about would be bearings, mechanical linkages like gears and gear ratios, servos, and various controller options which could range from small microcontrollers like an Arduino up to a PC running software like VSA (Visual Show Automation)

  • Options
    Dsvid Cerny stole my idea!

    Thanks so much, that's really helpful. Arduino had come up in a google dive so I'll look into that more. 
Sign In or Register to comment.