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Laika Studios Continues to Take Advantage of 3D Printing Possibilities

Throughout the years, Replicator World has reported on the stop motion animation innovations Laika Studios continues to create using the wonders of 3D printing.

This year is no different.

As 3D Printing Industry investigated, like its predecessors, Coraline and The Boxtrolls, Kubo and the Two Strings, the latest feature film created by Laika Studios, relied heavily on 3D printing.  Nominated for a Golden Globe, Kubo had a budget of almost $60 million.

3D printing techniques were primarily used “in order to create thousands of different expressions on the characters’ faces.  The extraordinary amount of possibilities opened up through 3D printing is evident in the movie’s protagonist Kubo.  The figure of Kubo used to create the film is only 9 inches tall yet [it] has 11,007 unique mouth positions, 4,429 brow motions, and a total of 23,187 different faces.  Combined, this makes 48 million different possible expressions.”

As you can guess, without the aid of 3D printing, the creation of all those expressions would have been a herculean task.  But now it’s just a question of tweaking a base 3D model.  Laika Studios used a Stratasys Connex3 color multi-material 3D printer.  On top of all this, the studio even developed “their first fully 3D printed puppet, the Moon Beast.”  It was made out of 881 different parts.

“3D printing helped Laika Studios develop…efficient workflow…as instead of manipulating clay in between shots, as [is the stop motion animator’s more traditional technique], the studio had an array of detailed parts which could be interchanged accordingly.”

Perhaps even more exciting are the possibilities 3D printing brings to the stop motion animation industry at large.  “While blockbuster movies and big budget advertisements are using 3D printing to create stop motion filming, the technology is also available for small-scale productions.  Filmmakers on a budget have the ability to 3D scan objects on a smartphone and print them on a desktop 3D printer.  This means even lower budget productions can tap into a wide range of possibilities for their stop motion filmmaking.”

Image Courtesy of Laika Studios and Digital Trends

Quotes Courtesy of 3D Printing Industry

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