True stop motion filming has been seen less and less in today’s feature films. Typically, 3D animation has moved in to replace this dwindling market. Still, there are some studios who keep the tradition going and have reinvented themselves to make use of emerging modern technologies. Laika, a stop motion studio based out of Portland, Oregon and responsible for films such as “Coraline” and the upcoming “ParaNorman”, has found an exceptional use for 3D printers in their film production.
They have tasked these printers to produce “replacement faces” that can be switched on their character models to show different expressions. A brilliant idea, as the faces can be designed through software tools and then printed ready to go with just a few minor touch-ups. This efficiency boost has allowed them to create over 1.5 million individual expression possibilities for just their main protagonist. Seem like a large number? It sure is. Jack Skellington in “The Nightmare Before Christmas” had barely over 800 expressions. “Coraline,” which was released in 2009, made some use of 3D printing and managed an inventory of 200,000 faces for its main character. Seeing the application of such a modern, fascinating technology used to bolster this type of filmmaking is remarkable. You’re going to want to Read More.