The Smoky Dragon of Quantum Physics

Pixologic’s Zbrush Summit 2021 sculpt-off entry
Created & rendered solely in ZBrush, in < 3 hours

https://tinyurl.com/ZBrushSculptOff2021-OS

Pixologic’s Zbrush Summit 2021 sculpt-off entry
Created & rendered solely in ZBrush, in < 3 hours

https://tinyurl.com/ZBrushSculptOff2021-OS

Just before the sculpt-off I developed a custom
Zbrush BPR filter mimicking a depth pass —
perfect for this ghostly dragon!

Just before the sculpt-off I developed a custom
Zbrush BPR filter mimicking a depth pass —
perfect for this ghostly dragon!

Unrendered sculpt

Unrendered sculpt

My original design – Wheeler’s smoky dragon, 2018

Read the related Quanta article:
https://tinyurl.com/QMdragon2018

© Olena Shmahalo/Quanta Magazine
Reuse prohibited

My original design – Wheeler’s smoky dragon, 2018

Read the related Quanta article:
https://tinyurl.com/QMdragon2018

© Olena Shmahalo/Quanta Magazine
Reuse prohibited

The physicist John Wheeler compared a particle to a "smoky dragon": we can know precisely where it originates (tail) and where it's measured (head) but in between is just nebulous probability.

I first illustrated this idea in 2018, for the Quanta Magazine article by Anil Ananthaswamy (Read here: https://tinyurl.com/QMdragon2018). I’ve wanted to give it another shot since then, especially to improve composition and other elements.

For the sculpt-off version I kept the cages, signifying futile traps that our trickster dragon loops around and nears, but would never be caught by. The new source & detector are symbolized by a lantern & eye.

Dragons and physics are a couple of my favorite subjects, so I’d love to try to “capture” this one again sometime.

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