Storytelling with Stop Motion Film and 3D Printing

October 21, 2014

Chipotle Back to the StartOut with the old, in with the new? Where’s the fun (and magic) in that – when we can keep the old (tried, true and dear to our hearts), merge with the new, and revel in the combustion of creation!

3D printing + stop motion animation – my hearts ‘a fluttering. 

Stop motion animation is 75-year-old technique where an object (e.g. doll with movable joints, a clay figure, a drawing) is physically moved in small increments between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played as a continuous sequence. This technique resulted in the world’s first animated film in 1897: The Humpty Dumpty Circus. Another well known stop motion sequence would be King Kong climbing the Empire State Building in 1933.

Now with modern computer graphics and CGI technologies, stop motion is never going to be the special effects juggernaut that it was for the better part of a century in film. But stop motions irreplaceable quirkiness of yesteryear remains quite endearing – and its fan-base numerous. Additionally, production costs can be far, far cheaper than CGI – especially with rate at which 3D printers are becoming easily accessible.

But here’s what’s happening recently in stop motion film making – animators can use 3D printed objects in place of hand-made or that which is pre-existing (Lego’s will forever live. Thankfully). This allows for custom, tailored creations, increased efficiency in production, rapid prototyping, and a whole new style for making films.

Okay – time to sit back and enjoy a few examples

Chipotle’s Award-Winning Viral Ad Video

Unbox Yourself, China’s first online learning platform focused on the creative industries, illustrates how creatives must break out of their boxes to innovate as well as how technology is driving change in the creative industries.

Boxtrolls, soon to be released, is the biggest stop motion production ever, uses 3D printing – Gizmodo does a great job detailing how this film was produced.

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