Here’s a 3D Character Animation of a medieval manikin, commissioned by the GRASSI Museum für Angewandte Kunst Leipzig, which is exhibiting the original figure.
The original manikin is made of wood, with strings inside to keep the limbs together. It was once possible to pose it and use as drawing and anatomy reference. The detail is astounding. Even though the whole thing is just 22,5cm large, it had actually been possible to move the toes and fingers. Now of course you better not move or deform it, otherwise it might just break, being almost half a millennium old. That’s why it is exhibited in a fixed pose in the museum.
To find out how the manikin was constructed and built inside, it has been scanned by Prof. Dr. Klaus Bente at the Leipzig University, in cooperation with Graduate Conservator Christian Jürgens at GRASSI Museum für Angewandte Kunst. The resulting 3D model made it much easier to see the inner workings of this figure.
To illustrate what poses and movements might have been possible with it, I cleaned and edited the mesh for animation in Blender. The rig has been done using Rigify, Blender’s automatic biped rigging system. Rendering was done with Blender Internal, with slight postprocessing by the built-in compositor.
If you want to find out more about it and see the original manikin, visit the GRASSI Museum für Angewandte Kunst Leipzig!