The Digital Reconstruction and Simulation of Civil War Garments Recovered From the H. L. Hunley
Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Digital Production Arts
Costumes are a crucial element in the representation of historical figures. Beyond reflecting aesthetic trends, clothing is closely intertwined with culture, economics, and the personal history of the individual who wore them. Fabric simulation allows for the digital creation and animation of garments too fragile or incomplete to be used directly in film or education. This thesis demonstrates the digital reconstruction of the clothing worn by H. L. Hunley crew member James Wicks. The H. L. Hunley is a submarine from the Civil War. It was the first in history to successfully sink an enemy ship, but never returned from the mission. It and its crew were lost for more than a century. Maritime archaeologists and conservators working on the Hunley have to grapple with the cumulative damage caused by 136 years submerged in the ocean. Many inorganic objects can be cleaned up for museum display, but the fabric of the crew’s clothing is significantly decayed. The scraps remaining are not enough to quickly provide the public with a clear idea of their appearance when worn by the crew the day the submarine sank. Details of James Wick’s clothing construction can be gleaned through analysis of its remnants, the study of better-preserved Civil War garments, and comparison to 1850’s and early 1860’s sewing practices. Findings inform the pattern-drafting, assembly, and simulation of realistic production-ready digital counterparts.
George, Hanna, "The Digital Reconstruction and Simulation of Civil War Garments Recovered From the H. L. Hunley" (2022). All Theses. 3847.