Tessa’s Weekly Picks – Animated 3D Printing


Tessa Blokland  

Studio LAIKA - KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS - 3D Printed Animation - Tessa's Picks - LEO Lane

The love for animations and motion pictures was planted during my youth. My godmother took me and my sister to every cartoon film premiere and it was fantastic! Dedicated to this love, I, of course, take my boys to every new cartoon and animated films or show them via internet fascinating short films. It is amazing to see what is possible nowadays in animated films and with 3D printing the possibilities are endless. Here are some examples of 3D printed animated films. Enjoy watching!

Dutch design studio and alumni from Design Academy Eindhoven Job, Joris & Marieke create two animated films for Happy Camper using 3D printing. Surprisingly the designers decided not to remove the support structures. “We kept them to symbolize the crutches and limitations that impede our daily lives… or the much-needed boost that helps us cope and persevere, a theme that repeatedly occurs in the new Happy Camper songs.” The animations and featured 3D prints are on display until 28 May 2017 in the front room of Amsterdam music venue Paradiso. You can check out the end results on Vimeo: Go Home and Easy Way Out. They even shared a video with a successful and unsuccessful print, like you always have in daily life.

Bears on Stairs is an in-house studio project of design studio DBLG in collaboration with Blue Zoo, exploring the use of stop frame animation with 3D printing. The process involved printing a sequence of 50 tiny sculptures which had to be photographed one by one over a period of 4 weeks.

Another great example of FDM 3D printing is the one-minute short film Unbox Yourself from Zihua Create, Goodstein, and Pixomondo. This fully 3D printed commercial illustrates how creatives must ‘unbox’ themselves to drive change in the creative industries. In total, eleven UP printer Plus 2 were used in production, combining their efforts to produce a highly impressive 688 ‘Box Men’, all with different poses and gestures. To animate these, the production team spent a month on frame-by-frame filming and post-production work.

Filmmaker Gilles-Alexandre Deschaud spent two years 3D printing 2,500 parts to create each frame of the film, Chase Me. From the characters to the set, all elements were printed using the Form 1+ SLA 3D Printer. Each precise detail comes together to form a beautiful representation of a magical world. The animated film combines the magic of film with the wonder of 3D printing. This short film follows a ukelele-playing girl who is chased through a dark forest by the monster that emerges from her own shadow. It is even possible to receive one of the unique (and numbered, corresponding to the frame of each shot) 3D printed pieces used in the film after a donation. The donations will be used to support Deschaud to make his next short film.

In the previous examples all filmmakers used 3D printing to create the characters, whereas in this last example, Kubo and the Two Strings from Oregon-based Laika studios, 3D printing is used for not only making the characters but also to make sure that each character will have the right facial expression. Kubo himself, for example, the main character in the film, has 11,007 unique mouth positions, 4,429 brow motions and a total of 23,187 difference faces with more than 48 million possible expressions. Without possibilities of advanced 3D printing techniques combined with stop-motion animation, this amazing film could never have been made.

LEO Lane_Weekly Pick_Animating 3D Printing


Each of Tessa’s weekly picks is a curated group of 3D printed designs, based on the week’s chosen theme. If you would like to offer a theme for Tessa, or if you have your own 3D printed weekly picks you would like to see featured, please let us know by commenting below. Subscribe to the newsletter to get the latest weekly picks every week in your mailbox.

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